May 27, 2010 AT 9:31 am

624 Miles on a Single Tank of Electrons

via Wired:

An electric vehicle powered by lithium-ion batteries broke its own world record for the longest EV trip without recharging when it completed a 623.76 mile run.

The Daihatsu Mira EV, featuring Sanyo batteries and converted from gas to electric by the Japan EV Club, already set a record for the longest single trip without recharging when it took a 345-mile journey from Tokyo to Osaka last November.


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8 Comments

  1. That’s all well and good, now switch it over to Lithium Polymer so you don’t have to get the batteries changed twice yearly.

  2. Bret, they did use rechargeable lithium batteries

  3. Now if they made the body of PV cells, they might have squeeze a couple more miles out of it. =)

  4. Lithium polymer cells hold the electrolyte in composite (solid) instead of organic solvent (liquid-ish). http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lithium_polymer#Design_origin

  5. "The cost of an electric car of this type is prohibitive" aaaaand there’s your answer.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lithium_polymer#Electric_vehicles

  6. Wow! This is a massive effort. Kudos to them. 8320 batteries though -sheesh 807lbs (366kg) worth. They must have packed them in the boot(trunk), engine bay, doors, under the seats, in the glovebox, ashtray and sunvisors.

    Like one of the articles says, it’s a pity it’s a custom job. 8320 batteries is absolutely unmanagable in the long run. Finding poorly performing batteries amongst that lot would be a nightmare even if they were broken up into smaller packs.

    One of the guys from our Sydney EV club assembled cells for his EV traction pack esentially using lithium polymer laptop batteries (minus the battery enclosures – he made his own enclosures). He seems to like them. He thinks they don’t bow/sag in voltage during high current pull like when accelerating hard from stop or hill climbing but I don’t think he’s actually ever measured it. Lithium Iron Phosphates do to a degree and lead acids absolutely do, quite markedly.
    Prohibitive? debatable. Bloody expensive? Undeniable.
    I’m concerned about the volatility vs energy density factor. But then driving at high speeds with a tank holding 80litres/21 gallons of combustable fuel probably didn’t seem right once upon a time.
    JD

  7. @LadyAda I said LiPoly…I saw they used Lithium-ion. My comment was in regards to the degradation that lithium ion batteries (sometimes rapidly) go through.

    @Johngineer And the second half of that sentence: "…but proponents argue that with increased production, the cost of Li-poly batteries will go down."
    Increased demand fuels supply, fuels growth, etc etc. But you’re much smarter than me, so I don’t need to tell you that. :)

    (P.S., that comes off as being really snarky and sarcastic. It’s actually not my intent at all, I just can’t phrase it better. Totally cordial.)

    @John Dowdell: What we need is for demand for larger batteries to emerge. I reckon there’s an enormous market out there for power solutions for electric cars.

  8. Well, here’s my take on this whole thing. I believe their purpose in doing this project was to use existing and widespread technology. While you could argue that LiPoly is now widespread, I’m guessing they started this project a number of years ago, when it was less available than it is today. I also think they had some sort of strict budgetary cap, since this is not a VC-funded research startup but rather an enthusiasts group. Yes, they were sponsored by Sanyo, but sponsors often set a limit to how much they will contribute and rarely exceed it. As such, they had to use cheaper and less cutting edge materials.

    I don’t think any of that diminishes what they have accomplished though. If their goal was to show the world it could be done, then they succeeded admirably.

    So the mandate is clear: somebody (you?) needs to go forth with a LiPoly car and break 1500 and then 2000km. You could call it ‘Roly Poly’ (I’m just gonna give you that name, cause I’m such a mensch).

    @Bret: no, I didn’t you were being snarky. At least not until you said you weren’t :)

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