March, 2008

Going to the Portland Better Living Show

Porsche 914 EV Conversion

Yesterday was a long day. I spent over seven hours on my feet at the Portland Better Living Show displaying the 914. My throat was hoarse at the end of the day from answering the same questions many times. Overall, people were very interested and I'm hoping a few will show up at the next OEVA meeting. Many thanks to Gary Graunke (who set this whole thing up), Ken (forgot his last name) and Joe Williams (on the left) for hanging out with me during the nine hour show.

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Green Cars Part 4- Compressed Air

DIY Electric Car

Could the answer to our transport needs have been right in front of our faces all this time? Conventional cars work by exploding fuel and air in a chamber to exert force on the pistons, but what if rather than using an explosion to provide that pressure on the piston, you just stored your ‘fuel’ at a constant high pressure. That’s the concept behind the air car , and it looks like a pretty promising technology.

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Trending Sources

Some of the Facts : Automakers Comment to CARB

Plugs and Cars

The Large Volume Manufacturers, the automakers with obligations under the California Air Resources Board (CARB) Zero Emission Vehicle Program, have made a joint comment about the staff proposed revisions that will be voted on Thursday March 27 in Sacramento. It can be seen here (comment #121) along with 187 other public comments (overwhelmingly asking for a stronger mandate for plug-in cars) on the CARB website.

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PHEV Blowback

Plug In Partners

A curious story ran in USA Today last week. Here is the headline and the lead: Plug-in cars could actually increase air pollution By James R. Healey , USA TODAY The expected introduction of plug-in hybrid electric vehicles could cut U.S. gasoline use but could increase deadly air pollution in some areas, two reports say.

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Installing LED Lights and Fixing the LED Flasher

Porsche 914 EV Conversion

I received a shipment of 3-watt LED lamps and a low-load flasher relay from superbrightleds.com yesterday. The bulb bases were the same, so replacing the bulbs was easy. I ordered the CF13GL-02 LED flasher relay, which is a plug-in replacement for the Porsche 914 relay and responds to the much lower current pulled by the LED lamps.

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Electric Subaru: Tell 'em what you think

Plugs and Cars

Subaru has brought some R1e electric mini-cars to NY. They have a program with Tokyo Electric Power Company that has been testing vehicles in Japan since 2006. Now, they're at the NY Auto Show, and two of them are joining the New York Power Authority fleet. Much like the Th!nk nk City that NYPA also tested, the cars have a 50 miles range with a 65 mile per hour top speed. Any interest in such a car? Subaru wants to know. Visit the bottom of their R1e webpage here to send them comments.

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Green Cars Part 3- Hydrogen

DIY Electric Car

The more I delve into this topic the more detail I want to address, so rather than cover all three energy storage options in this post I’ve decided to give a more detailed look at hydrogen. Keep a look out for a look at compressed air and battery electric in the next two weeks. Hydrogen is the darling of the media, car manufacturers and oil companies. alike. The general public seems fairly convinced that hydrogen vehicles are going to be the way of the future and a simple replacement for oil.

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More Trending

2000 miles and counting

Porsche 914 EV Conversion

I broke 2000 miles with the 914 EV this week. The car has been running smoothly with no complaints. One of the "features" of the 914 is that the turn signals come on (but don't flash) if you leave the turn lever in the "left" or "right" position, even when the ignition is turned off. This presents the dilemma of running down the 12V battery while the main pack is charging.

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Automakers Losing Religion; CARB Keeps Unfounded Faith

Plugs and Cars

The expense and impracticality of hydrogen fuel cell powered cars is beginning to dawn on the major automakers. Batteries will do within a few short years what H2 advocates can only dream. The Wall Street Journal reports GM, Toyota Doubtful on Fuel Cells' Mass Use. Top executives from General Motors Corp. and Toyota Motor Corp.

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Playing with PakTrakr

Porsche 914 EV Conversion

Many months ago, I installed a PakTrakr ( www.paktrakr.com ) to monitor the state of my batteries and it's been acting rather flakey. The PakTrakr consists of several serially connect "remotes" which drive a "display" unit in the driver compartment. The voltage displayed shows the pack voltage and is supposed to monitor the state of each battery and the State-Of-Charge (SOC) for the pack too. In short, the voltage displayed jumps around quite a bit.

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Fixing PakTrakr Signal Integrity

Porsche 914 EV Conversion

Well, I played around tonight and looked at some of the PakTrakr signals on the oscilloscope and found some noise on the data line going between the PakTrakr "remote" modules. It looks like each PakTrakr remote has three wires coming out of them: Black - zero volts from that module Red - 11-12 volts from that module Green - 3.3

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