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> A Question On Flooded Lead-acid Batteries
CWB
Posted: February 18, 2012 03:31 am
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"Holy crap. I didn't know they were that lousy."

yep , they pretty much are .
L/A batteries do not like to be discharged ... exactly the opposite of NiCd batteries .
even the the so-called "deep cycle" types will not put up with many deep discharges before giving up the funk .
the deep cycle types are best used where there is a good chance that once in a while they will be pulled down .

rapidly charging L/A batteries may sound good in theory but in reality high charging rates shorten the life of the battery .
they certainly do perform better in this area than they did 40 years ago but they are not really designed to be deeply discharged and rapidly recharged .
they do not like extremes in temperature ... cold and heat will shorten the life .

using them as they were designed to be used results in a decent lifespan .
it's like going to the barber ... "just a little off the top" .


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Fallingwater
Posted: February 18, 2012 04:57 am
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Oh well, this pretty much kills the whole project. If I can't go ghetto there really isn't much point in DIYing the vehicle - batteries alone would probably cost about half as much as a new electric scooter, and when you consider the other parts and the time it just isn't worthwhile anymore. sad.gif

QUOTE
Yeah, for me, the idea was to get at least an hour's runtime on battery alone, after which, on a bike, I'm ready to get off and stretch my legs, and probably need water. So, pull over at a convenience store, slip a plug in, buy some stuff, eat/drink, and by the time I'm ready to go again I've got charge for another hour.

An hour of LiFe power would require a ridiculously huge battery. Even with, say, a small 15hp motor you'd need 11 kilowatt/hour. Every A123 18650 cell is good for 3.5 watt/hours. Have fun fitting 3142 cells in your motorcycle.
Even taking into consideration that the motor wouldn't go at full power all the time, you'd still likely need more than a thousand cells. Maybe two thousand.
Of course it'd be a lot easier if A123s (or other high-current LiFes) came in much larger, square sizes, but currently no such thing exists, at least as far as I'm aware.

Even with a scooter-sized motor and, say, 400-cell battery, to recharge it in ten minutes you'd need a recharging station capable of outputting 8400 watts. Which might be doable for one bike, but would become a serious problem if this were to become a trend. Doing the same thing for cars would be unfeasible unless every service station got fitted with its own mini nuclear reactor (a solution that I'd welcome with open arms, but we all know how the NIMBYs think).

I don't think we'll ever get practical EV fast charging - the amount of power involved is just too high. Maybe when we crack cold fusion... laugh.gif

QUOTE
The slower you're comfortable going, the less fuel you need to bring. 25km/hour would only require a LiIon battery pack the size of a thin textbook for a 4 hour, 100km range. If you want to travel at 50km/hour, you need a pack bigger than the average starter battery for that same 2 hour trip.

I'm aware of this, but if I were ok with 25 km/h I'd get an electrically assisted bicycle and disable the assist check. Comfortably driving in traffic requires the capability to go at least at 45/50 km/h.


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AwesomeMatt
Posted: February 18, 2012 06:02 am
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QUOTE
If I can't go ghetto there really isn't much point in DIYing the vehicle - batteries alone would probably cost about half as much as a new electric scooter, and when you consider the other parts and the time it just isn't worthwhile anymore.


Well there's no magic. What do you think those electric scooters run on for batteries? Probably deep cycle lead acid. If EV was so easy to do well, we'd be doing it. It's obviously not.

If you can get a motorbike with a dead engine cheap, and a treadmill motor (3kW with not much of a fan) cheap, throw in some free "dead" car batteries and see how it does. 3kW will get you.. 78km/hour or so?

Or hell, get a bicycle frame and throw a single starter battery on the cargo rack, if you don't want to invest anything until you find out what you can expect.

QUOTE
An hour of LiFe power would require a ridiculously huge battery. Even with, say, a small 15hp motor you'd need 11 kilowatt/hour.


Well hold on, remember that motor requirements increases cubically with speed. Later on you go out and say: "capability to go at least at 45/50 km/h."

If that's your target, redo the math. 25kph requires 100W, so, a one hour trip is 100Wh. 50kph requires 8x that, so, 800wh.

800 < 11,000

Even if you want to go 100kph, that's only 6.4kW, not 11.

...

I should pause and say that, no one has corrected me yet. I'm just basing this off a couple places mentioning a normal in-shape but not overly athletic guy can produce 100W output continuously, and that's me and I go about 25km/hour. 20-30 anyway, and where in there might make a pretty huge difference considering the function is cubed.

Then, I know that air resistance is a cube function, but there's also two other main forms of friction. One is rolling resistance (tires on the road) and the other is drivetrain resistance (chains and hub). I also recall from somewhere else that at bike speeds air resistance doesn't dominate too significantly, but at motorbike speeds it does. So I'm presuming just a plain cubed function.

If you want to crunch your own speed based on this, here's the math based on the above:

Wattage Required = (0.18566 * speed)^3 .... (speed in km/hour)

Or, for speed:

Speed = (Wattage^0.3333) / 0.18566

If anyone wants to pipe in and adjust or correct these, go ahead.

http://phors.locost7.info/phors06.htm <-- This page uses some numbers from fluid dynamics presuming various coefficients and other things I wouldn't know how to modify away from the Corvette example they give. Oddly, my numbers come out almost exactly the same (I've heard a bike is no better, air resistance-wise, than a car).

Of course the point is, if you're okay with a *little* less speed, you can get away with a *lot* less battery.

QUOTE
Of course it'd be a lot easier if A123s (or other high-current LiFes) came in much larger, square sizes, but currently no such thing exists, at least as far as I'm aware.


http://www.a123systems.com/ <-- Go here, click products.

18650 = 3.63 Wh
26650 = 8.25 Wh
32113 = 14.5 Wh
Amp20 = 66 Wh

Again, A123 are prohibitively expensive, they are a long term investment (last longer than anything else). If you just want a junker or a DIY toy, don't use 'em. If you do go A123, then their cells are available online quite cheap. 18650s are mass produced for DeWalt power tools so they might be far cheaper per Wh than the others. These don't need to be balanced for some reason.

Salvaging laptop batteries would work just fine too. A normal laptop battery pack is around 90 Wh, so, 10 of those would get you what you want. A brick of 10 would be... *measures*... about 4.5" x 5.5" base, and 6.25" tall and would weigh 15 pounds (7kg). Almost exactly the same size of a normal computer power supply and no heavier than an MOT. Not too shabby at all.

You want 100km/hour range at 100km/hour? Okay, umm, 8 of those blocks. Which, on a motorbike frame, ain't difficult. Look at a lot of those projects, they've got 4x starter lead acid packs, or 8x motorcycle batteries (48 cells).

QUOTE
Which might be doable for one bike, but would become a serious problem if this were to become a trend. Doing the same thing for cars would be unfeasible


Your oven is 240V and 30A. That's 7200W. And that's to charge it in 10 minutes at home. Not infeasible to just lay some new wire to the garage.
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atom
Posted: February 18, 2012 10:13 am
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QUOTE (Fallingwater @ February 18, 2012 01:49 am)
You aren't considering location. I suppose in the US it would indeed be impractical for many people, but in other places things work differently. Keep in mind that in many places here it's perfectly feasible to live without a car. Most people who don't own cars at least buy a moped to have some degree of versatile personal transportation, but even those without can manage by using public transport and bicycles (and, you know, feet).

Most people's everyday driving in Europe is from the outskirts to the city proper. This is not very much road even in huge cities, let alone in the smaller ones where most of the population lives. EVs could accomplish this almost entirely.

As for longer range, I think this is very close to how I'd do things. A hybrid system, essentially, only done properly.

Yeah an EV would probably cover everyday urban driving, and if you're already in a situation where you can walk or cycle everywhere then it's kind of a mute point anyway. But the problem with an EV is that if you ever need to do long distance journeys, even if just once a month or so, then you can't use your car. Even if you had the money and space to keep an EV and a normal engine car for long distance use (or could just rent one), you might still get caught out by unexpected long journeys.

Hybrids look promising if done right, so that you're only burning fuel when you need it. I don't agree with his trailer idea - it's fine for planned journeys but still doesn't work for unexpected long trips.
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Fallingwater
Posted: February 18, 2012 12:57 pm
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QUOTE (AwesomeMatt @ February 18, 2012 06:02 am)
Well there's no magic. What do you think those electric scooters run on for batteries? Probably deep cycle lead acid. If EV was so easy to do well, we'd be doing it. It's obviously not.

I know that, but pure EVs are typically designed with batteries that are intended to be almost completely discharged. I was thinking the reduced discharge requirements of my design would allow me to get away with cheapo car batteries. Obviously that is not the case...

QUOTE
If you want to crunch your own speed based on this, here's the math based on the above:

The battery calculations have exhausted all the math capacity my brain can output for the rest of the week laugh.gif yeah, I don't get along with maths very much...

QUOTE
I've heard a bike is no better, air resistance-wise, than a car

I'd say it depends on the bike. Cruisers have no aerodynamics to speak of so they're probably considerably worse than cars. A fairied sport bike would be better, I think, but only if the rider lies down on the fuel tank.
And then of course it also depends on the car. Nissan Cube, anyone? laugh.gif

Personally I can't quite figure out why we don't yet have removable top fairings with a windshield for motorcycles. I'd love to be able to use my bike in any weather and temperature without resorting to an astronaut's suit. I'd build one myself, but you're not allowed to do such modifications here... sad.gif

QUOTE
http://www.a123systems.com/ <-- Go here, click products.

18650 = 3.63 Wh
26650 = 8.25 Wh
32113 = 14.5 Wh
Amp20 = 66 Wh

Oh. I stand corrected - I didn't know they made larger sizes than the 26650, and back when I checked some time ago that only had a little more energy than the 18650 and cost a lot more. Obviously they've improved things since then.
I've found Amp20 cells in some specialty online stores, they're asking for prices ranging from $32 (minimum order of 1000) to some fifty euro. The minimum prices are enticing (you could always invest - buy 1000, use some to build your EV, sell the rest to EV enthusiasts for a small profit), but fifty euro is too much.

QUOTE
Again, A123 are prohibitively expensive

They actually don't seem so bad. Give it some time for more stores to carry AMP20s and we may have a small revolution at hand, here.

I gave a go to 18650s some time ago and they were much cheaper than I expected, I only paid 1.2 each. But I only got five, not the cartload that would be needed for an automotive pack.

QUOTE
These don't need to be balanced for some reason.

You sure? It sounds strange to me. They're far more robust than LiCo cells, but even an A123 can't like getting reverse-charged.

QUOTE
Your oven is 240V and 30A. That's 7200W.

I can assure you it is not. Most households here top out at 3KW total. I think ovens are 2KW or so.

QUOTE
And that's to charge it in 10 minutes at home. Not infeasible to just lay some new wire to the garage.

But we weren't talking about the garage, the idea was to plug it while you're outside, possibly in a place where other people would want to do the same thing.


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CWB
Posted: February 18, 2012 01:40 pm
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about the only way to get by using L/A batteries would be to "overbuild" the battery pack so that you can get the range/speed you want without depleting the charge to damaging levels .
sooo ... if you do the calculations to "just get by" for a given range and speed then take that and double or quadruple it , you might just get decent serviceable life out of the batteries .
calibrating a bargraph voltmeter as a charge level indicator would not be hard ... just fudge factor in only dropping to a safe voltage under load .

a big part of the problem with L/A batteries is "surface charging" . the plate material is not evenly "reversed" during the charge cycle ... the surface has a tendency to be converted first/faster . and there is a lot of surface area to that "spongy material" .
it is not just a matter of pumping X number of WH into a battery to recharge it ... it is also a matter of rate over time .
this is why they perform admirably in spitting out a fair amount of power for a short period of time ... the total amount of energy to "put back in" is relatively low per given unit of plate volume/surface area .

at one time the use of a generator on the average vehicle was the norm and it was capable of (seriously here) about 20 amperes . this was all good and well until you tried to run the blower motor , electric wipers and headlights all at once for any length of time ... the generator could not "keep up" and the power demand was supplemented by the battery . this was a loosing proposition especially after cranking the starter motor .
enter the alternator ... the average stock alternator was capable of 30 amperes with some optional types good for 40 amperes ... the situation was better .
as time marched on , the current capabilities of "stock" alternators increased ... 50 A , 75A , 125 A ... i have seen 180 A alternators in service .
this had the effect of being able to recharge the battery in decent amount of time and keep up with the requirements of the sundry loads . this increased the life of the battery .


low voltage (say using 12 volts) would require much more current for the same power production of a given level than (say) using 120 volts .
those pesky IIR losses rear their head every time you turn around .
as far as dangers go , a little food for thought ...
the other day i read that 1 out of every 10 cars/drivers in minnesota is in someway "defective/impaired" (mechanically and/or the driver on legal/illegal drugs or just too old to be driving) , this means that as you are driving every 10th vehicle has a chance of crossing over the center line , blowing through a stop light/sign (etc .) and cause you to step on a rainbow and go to jesus .
i imaging the odds are less favorable on friday and saturday night .
the odds may vary in your location but they are still there .


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tekwiz
Posted: February 18, 2012 10:08 pm
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QUOTE (AwesomeMatt @ February 17, 2012 06:29 pm)
QUOTE
You could make the argument that a fast-charging pack can go a long way to solving range issues simply by parking for ten minutes every once in a while to whack a whole lot of charge in the battery, but this poses a whole new set of problems regarding the charging equipment and power draw of the facilities.


Yeah, for me, the idea was to get at least an hour's runtime on battery alone, after which, on a bike, I'm ready to get off and stretch my legs, and probably need water. So, pull over at a convenience store, slip a plug in, buy some stuff, eat/drink, and by the time I'm ready to go again I've got charge for another hour.

Maybe more, 2 hours would be better.

The slower you're comfortable going, the less fuel you need to bring. 25km/hour would only require a LiIon battery pack the size of a thin textbook for a 4 hour, 100km range. If you want to travel at 50km/hour, you need a pack bigger than the average starter battery for that same 2 hour trip.

More for your purposes:

http://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-bui...ric-motorcycle/ <-- That project and any of the ones in the sidebar, all use lead acid batteries. Common to use 4 starter batteries, but, can't say what they get out of them.

The most successful electric production vehicle designs will include standardized, quickly interchangeable, battery packs.
This gives you that 1 minute turnover at the fueling station.


BTW: The biggest issue with 'dead' car starting batteries is increased internal resistance. Often a flush & fill with new electrolyte, followed by a full slow charge, will restore a lot of performance. There are also many, many people who replace batteries when the warranty expires. This is the source of many of the guranteed used batteries available in most cities.
The one in my moho is one such, & it still starts the engine fine after a winter of sitting connected to a trickle charger. I bought it last spring.


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CWB
Posted: February 18, 2012 10:21 pm
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"The most successful electric production vehicle designs will include standardized, quickly interchangeable, battery packs.
This gives you that 1 minute turnover at the fueling station."

i can just see it now ...
a week ago the same kid who could barely manage to say "wuld yuh lak fries with thet ..." has now been hired on across the street .
he now says "wuld yuh lak me tuh change yer batt'ry ?" .

yeah , it elicits nothing but confidence from me .


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tekwiz
Posted: February 18, 2012 10:25 pm
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QUOTE (atom @ February 18, 2012 01:13 am)

Hybrids look promising if done right, so that you're only burning fuel when you need it. I don't agree with his trailer idea - it's fine for planned journeys but still doesn't work for unexpected long trips.

Hybrids are great if you do mostly stop & go city driving, & lots of it. Like a taxi, for example.
For someone that doesn't drive more than 25k kilometers a year and/or does mostly highway driving, Hybrids are a worse choice than a conventional car, because they actually get worse highway mileage than a conventional car with a manual transmission.
They also have limited battery lifespans. There is no such thing as a permanent rechargeable battery. They all have limited numbers of charging cycles available.

It's very, very difficult to beat the internal combustion engine for efficiency in auto use.
This is for one reason only: An internal combustion engine only has to carry 1/14th of the weight of it's energy supply with it. The other 13/14ths of this energy supply comes from the air.


As our technology level presently stands, the best overall choice is compressed natural gas(CNG) in a light IC powered vehicle. Right now the conversion parts are expensive, but this will drop as more & more cars become so equipped & the cost advantages of mass manufacturing can be applied. wink.gif


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For to you, kings & armies are things mighty & enduring.
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Fortuna favet fortibus.
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johansen
Posted: February 18, 2012 11:04 pm
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QUOTE (tekwiz @ February 18, 2012 05:25 pm)

They also have limited battery lifespans. There is no such thing as a permanent rechargeable battery. They all have limited numbers of charging cycles available.


As our technology level presently stands, the best overall choice is compressed natural gas(CNG) in a light IC powered vehicle. Right now the conversion parts are expensive, but this will drop as more & more cars become so equipped & the cost advantages of mass manufacturing can be applied. wink.gif

yep, and that's the reason the electric utilities are drooling at the idea of bi-directional plugin hybrid battery chargers..

--someone else gets to pay for the battery.

AFAIK, lithium iron phosphate batteries are at parity with lead acid for lifecycle cents per kilowatt hour. and both are right about 25 cents/KWH.
You think they are going to pay you a fair price for the depreciation?
If it were cost effective for the utility to do it, they would have batteries the size of nuclear cooling towers to deliver the variable load.

taking 30MPG as an example, thats 13 cents per mile at $4/gal.

if you're spending 10 cents per kwh on the electricity, 25 on the battery, you're at 35 cents per kwh.

figure 300 watt hours per mile and you're at parity, and that's just for the "fuel"


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AwesomeMatt
Posted: February 19, 2012 07:45 am
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QUOTE
taking 30MPG as an example, thats 13 cents per mile at $4/gal. [...]
figure 300 watt hours per mile


30 MPG on the highway. You won't be getting that in stop and go traffic.

Also, 300 Wh/mile would be for near highway speeds, again, not in traffic.

At city speeds of 30 mph (even continuous), an EV uses 53 Wh/mile.

So, the gap widens greatly.

In other news...

user posted image <-- Picked this up today smile.gif
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johansen
Posted: February 19, 2012 08:11 am
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QUOTE (AwesomeMatt @ February 19, 2012 02:45 am)
QUOTE
taking 30MPG as an example, thats 13 cents per mile at $4/gal. [...]
figure 300 watt hours per mile


30 MPG on the highway. You won't be getting that in stop and go traffic.

Also, 300 Wh/mile would be for near highway speeds, again, not in traffic.

At city speeds of 30 mph (even continuous), an EV uses 53 Wh/mile.

I got 31 MPG driving five miles per day, not exceeding 40mph, hitting approximately 12 stop signs per day, 6 days a week, for 2 years.

in a 1996 honda civic that i drove into the ground.

the 300wh number is for an SUV conversion, 100kva motor, average driving, actual case study numbers from 2006 or so.

I'd give you as low as 150 wh/mile for a purpose built hybrid, daily commuter, say 3000 pounds.

50wh? you're talking electric motor cycles there...


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AwesomeMatt
Posted: February 28, 2012 12:45 pm
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Fallingwater: Is this project/thread officially dead to you? If so I might start my own thread eventually. Else...

Was doing more reading today. Figured I'd share some links since you were discouraged.

http://www.evalbum.com/1133 <-- 1981 Kawasaki KZ440 conversion.
http://300mpg.org/projects/evcycle/ <-- His homepage for the project. Lots of links to videos.

Basically, bought a motor, threw on 4 lead acid AGM batteries (starter-sized it looks). He's geared it low, so it maxes at 72km/h, but would easily go way faster, his motor is gigantic. Max range on it is 32km, average commute was 10km. Says he's gotten 1000 commutes out of it, though didn't mention if he was talking in terms of wear and tear or if he's still on the original batteries. He spent $700 on the 4-pack 5 years ago.

http://www.builditsolar.com/Projects/PV/pvscooter.htm <-- This guy drives an off-the-shelf scooter. He's added a stupid solar gimmick (ignore that, charge it howerever you want).

It's his daily commuter (200 trips a year). Averaged 17 km per trip. Couldn't find out how fast he goes, scooter maxes at 50-60km/hour... but he used the same batteries for at least 4 years (can't actually see when he started), and was draining them pretty heavily since he said after 4 years that it was struggling to travel 15 km.

Batteries are a 12Vx50AH (600Wh) lead acid x 4. So, 2400Wh.

According to my math, at max (least efficient) speed it should be capable of 104 km draining the batteries deader than dead. But the specs are more conservative saying "up to 40km." But, at 17km per trip, he was only draining the batteries 17%.

So, when I said 75 cycles at 10% discharge... looks like that clearly doesn't apply for any lead-acid non-starter. This guy's experience says 1000 cycles at 17% discharge, and he didn't take care of them or fast charge them either. Let them solar charge and left 'em outside.


So, there you go, the first two long-term projects I looked at, both 4x lead acids, both around 1000 cycles. I don't know how much worse free starter batteries would perform, but, provided you don't leave 'em discharged for any period of time, it might still make sense to look into.
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Fallingwater
Posted: February 28, 2012 02:00 pm
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QUOTE (AwesomeMatt @ February 28, 2012 12:45 pm)
Fallingwater: Is this project/thread officially dead to you?

It's shelved, but it was born shelved - until the laws change I can't build my own EV, unless I make it something incredibly inconspicuous like an electric skateboard laugh.gif
For years there's been talk about changing the laws and bringing them more to the level of Germany, but things like these work slowly in Italy.
In Germany you can essentially do whatever you like, as long as you keep it safe; I think there's a test the car has to pass, to prevent things like VW Polos with three times the horsepower as the original but the same weedy brakes.

I gotta say, I don't like the American mentality relative to carmaking and driving, but damn do I love the freedom you have in modifying them to hell and back. Around here if something isn't approved by a ton of bureaucracy you can't drive it, period. You couldn't even drive very slightly modified cars around because the law prohibits any sort of unapproved modification, be it even just an aftermarket air filter. For such small mods most people just don't care and do it anyway, and the police is extremely likely to overlook them, but you get the idea: a motorcycle with a boxy body that goes "wmmmmm" instead of "wroom" would not pass unnoticed.

Aaanyway: thanks for the links, I'll give them a good read.

Edit: hmm... what I *could* do would be to buy an electric scooter with dead batteries for relatively cheap, and replace them... it might be a lot cheaper than buying the scooter new... hmm, worth some thought


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tekwiz
Posted: February 28, 2012 10:34 pm
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QUOTE (Fallingwater @ February 28, 2012 05:00 am)
QUOTE (AwesomeMatt @ February 28, 2012 12:45 pm)
Fallingwater: Is this project/thread officially dead to you?

It's shelved, but it was born shelved - until the laws change I can't build my own EV, unless I make it something incredibly inconspicuous like an electric skateboard laugh.gif

What about a bicycle trailer that pushes instead of pulls? wink.gif


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For to you, kings & armies are things mighty & enduring.
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