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Old 07-05-2006, 05:19 PM   #1
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Vertical Range of Electric Vehicles?

I am curious as to how high electric cars can go. This might be applicable if you wanted to drive up a mountain, drive out of California, or to Denver for example.

Certainly, it is possible to increase range by minimizing drag coefficient. But height is mainly a function of energy density - how much energy you can store per unit weight. There will be a maximum for each battery type. It should be easy to figure out.

Batteries are measured according to Whr/kg or (Watt Hours/kg).

1 Whr = 3600 J/kg.

So, for a 1kg battery that has 3600 J, E = mgh, h = E/mg = 3600/9.8 = 367m. So basically, each Whr is the same as the ability to go a vertical distance of 367m.

Therefore a regular flooded lead acid battery of 30Whr/kg will be able to travel a maximum of 30*367 = 11010m, or 11km. In actuality, this isn't possible in an EV because there is parastic weight, wheels, body etc. Which is practically, what, half the weight? Meaning 5.5km, and in actual fact less because energy is used to warm up the air as the vehicle drives through.
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Old 07-05-2006, 05:33 PM   #2
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AC Propulsion's lead acid TZero used a sealed lead acid battery pack, rated to 18 kWh at the 2 hour rate.

It was able to make a 90 mile round trip from San Dimas and a climb up Mt. Wilson, which is over 1 mile high, and back, on one charge at ~60 mph.

The Lithium Ion TZero has climbed Mt. Baldy road up over 6,000 feet, and came back during a 90 mile round trip using up only 30% of the stored energy in its battery pack.


Just too examples. Electric cars will be able to climb practically any mountain in the United States, or elsewhere.
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Old 07-05-2006, 07:28 PM   #3
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If you guy have hear of Randy in Hawaii and his famous mountain climb - I did the math and came up with how much energy it took to drive the 37 mile distance and then factored in the energy to lift the weight up the altitude and you could not do it with lead batteries no matter how may you could carry. It all comes down to energy density a simular calculation was down with my electric scooter and climbing Mt Washington and I couldn't do it without better, lighter, more energy dense batteries.
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Old 07-05-2006, 08:17 PM   #4
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I hope to god the firefly battery is not a vaporbattery. It seems to have a lot of potential. I wonder if you could test it yourself, after all it appears that it's just changing lead for graphite foam... I should find a firefly thread to post on.

In the mean time, here is an interesting thread.
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Old 07-06-2006, 05:15 AM   #5
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generally "they" will not talk to anyone other than a potentially BIG customer
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Old 07-13-2006, 04:53 AM   #6
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Firefly batteries in the GT6 = 300 miles range. What's not to like? St. Louis to Chicago on one charge...
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