Asking a favour from a NW Vectrix owner please

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Night Train
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Asking a favour from a NW Vectrix owner please

Postby Night Train » Mon Aug 25, 2008 8:27 pm

Hi,

With much research I am begining to see the Vectrix Scooter as a cost effective and viable option for my work commute. However, it would be on the limits of the range on a Vectrix. I am unlikely to be able to recharge at work as the parking is away from my place of work.

I really need to see if it is possible to do a round trip on a single charge. Google maps say it is 28.3 miles each way on a mix of motorway, A roads and urban roads from Salford to Burnley. Route Map here.

If anyone is local to the area I would really appreciate an experiment to see if it is possible on a single charge given the range of road types and speed. It would be Salford to Burnley for 8-8.30am and then return in the evening after 5pm so very little traffic (opposing rush hour direction) and could be simulated at any out of hours or weekend times.

I don't need to use your bike myself, just need someone to try the journey and report back if you don't mind please. I would be happy to meet you and assist in any way.

Thank you.
Alfred

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qdos
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Postby qdos » Mon Aug 25, 2008 9:56 pm

Not got one and not ridden one any great distance but an almost 60mile trip isn't really going to work from what I've heard of people who've tried. I would like to hear otherwise but I think you're going to find the answer is that it's not realistic I'm affraid

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EVguru
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Postby EVguru » Tue Aug 26, 2008 10:26 am

If you are stretching the range of a vehicle you won't get the best life from the batteries. All battery types exhibit a curve relating depth of discharge to cycle life and it usually has an exponential component.

Lead acid is the worst. An Optima YellowTop is rated something like 200 cycles @ 100% DOD , but 2500 cycles @ 25% DOD. Gnerally you get the most out of lead acit at 50% DOD. The NiMh in the Vextrix is much better, with many more cycles available at 100% DOD and a less severe curve to the graph.

Vectrix claim 68 miles @ 25 mph, but the reported practical range seems to be more like 40 miles.
Paul

http://www.compton.vispa.com/scirocco/
http://www.morini-mania.co.uk
http://www.compton.vispa.com/the_named

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Night Train
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Postby Night Train » Tue Aug 26, 2008 12:55 pm

Not so good then. :(

I guess the only other realistic option would be to go back to finding time to design and build/convert my own with that specfic need in mind. Or get work to either allow me to bring the scooter into the workshop to charge up or to fit a suitable socket in the carpark area. Neither are likely from a health and safety point or cost to my employer.

Back to the drawing board unless someone knows a differnet solution.

NickJ
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Postby NickJ » Tue Aug 26, 2008 3:46 pm

To agree with Paul about not stretching battries, and throw in my bit. I am looking at range on an ev for a much more arduous run and to get a "working" range of 55 miles I am looking at a vehicle with a "total range" of 75+ miles. Experience from the berlingo we run shows that its daily run of 32 miles is comfortable and allows the vehicle to perform well, it will do over 50 miles with care but at the end becomes a bit of a chore. From what I know of the Vectrix it would be a lively and fun ride over 28 miles but the 56 you are looking at will probably only be possible if you "hypermile" which largley takes the fun out of driving and can annoy other road users! We had 61 miles out of the berlingo but only by driving it like a mobility scooter!

In short the best bet would be to talk ever so nicely to your employers and agree to any H&S things you can so you can charge at work...then you dont have to worry and can exploit the vectrix's performance!

mattcarr
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Postby mattcarr » Tue Aug 26, 2008 8:16 pm

I had this dilemma before I bought my Gwiz. My commute is 26 miles total, 30 when I drop my son off at his playgroup. I could have done the commute in the Gwiz but I would have pushed it too much - especially in the winter months when the range would be reduced. I approached my employers and they were more than happy to let me charge at work. So I do about a 35-40% discharge and get to charge again at work. I am hoping this will help lengthen the battery life as they get charged up as soon as I have finished my journey.

eco-wheels
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Postby eco-wheels » Wed Aug 27, 2008 1:51 pm

Hi Alfred

There was a bod with a Vectrix at the science museum NW meeting - you could ask Tim or Mary for his contact details. If you do find a "Volunteer" let us know and I can stand by with a van (with tail lift) - if required.

I am also interested in a bike that can "do the distance" give us a shout if you want - based in central Manchester

Howard

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Night Train
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Postby Night Train » Wed Aug 27, 2008 10:36 pm

Hi Howard,

The Vectrix does sound good but if what has been said is true, and I have no reason to dispute it, then even if the Vectrix can do it it would be just about and no good for the batteries in the long run.

There really needs to be an affordable single seat vehicle that can do some motorway runs and is good for that sort of distance. I would happly give up unwanted passenger and luggage space for stamina at 60mph.

My girlfriend was asking the sensible question: Could I have a second battery for the Vectrix safely stored at work that I could change over once I am there?

I will have to have a chat with the people at work to see what is possible but as I am on term time contract only and I have to wait until now to now if I am still working there after summer I don't think there will be much investment in my needs.

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qdos
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Postby qdos » Thu Aug 28, 2008 8:53 am

night train wrote:
My girlfriend was asking the sensible question: Could I have a second battery for the Vectrix safely stored at work that I could change over once I am there?



Sensible question yes but the batteries are deep in the depths of the bike and don't conveniently pop out. You could charge off a static pack at work which could be a cheaper set of lead acids but i don't think this is good for Lithiums though I'm no expert but it works with lead. Basically keep a pile of cheaper batteries on charge which you can connect up to the vehicle and fast charges the vehicle. There's an article on doing this in the next issue of Plugged In.

You're journey though is quite a tough journey for an EV at the moment and it may be that a hybrid is the solution for you at the moment. But given time I'm sure something will come up I know we're working on this goal but your total range is a tad high and with the motorway speeds it's really just beyond the pale. Unless you could take the slower roads instead of the motorway ?

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Night Train
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Postby Night Train » Thu Aug 28, 2008 7:28 pm

That is what I explained to her, the cost of a second battery pack, its inaccessibility, its weight. Not as simple as swapping a set of AAA Nicad cells in a digital camera. It would be easier to have two Vectrixes (Vectri?), one at work charging while I return home on the other one! But if I could do that I wouldn't have had a problem to begin with.

I can currently do the commute at 65-70mpg in my diesel estate so I don't really see sufficient benefit in a hybrid. Slower roads would then add a lot to my journey time through local traffic jams.

From what I have read on here about EV's in general, the speed and range isn't really a problem, cost and vehicle type is. Most vehicles are designed to seat more then one with luggage and do urban commutes for minimal and reasonable build cost. All I would be looking for is a light weight vehicle with space for one seat and a brief case, all else could be batteries.

I was thinking, there must be sufficient expertise and experience on the forum and in the club for us to design and build a single seat, longer range commuter vehicle that could cruise at 55mph on the motorway with a top speed of, say 65mph. It could either have a built in range of 100 miles or a self contained 50 mile range battery and charger pack that can be easily swapped out and plugged in.

Could we not get together and design one, as a kit? I'd go for a single seat tadpole (reverse) trike It could be marketed through the club as individual component sets that happen to be able to form a whole, working EV conversion to go with some donor running gear.

I am thinking along the lines of:
A motor transmission kit (maybe a wheel motor)
A controller kit
A battery and charger kit
A F1 style cockpit safety cell
A lightweight body shell
A set of plans for a welded tube chassis to suit donor running gear

Just a thought.


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