Electric Vehicle 0-60 MPH times not all accurate

electric vehicle 0-60 times

You might have read recently that electric cars have impressive acceleration.  You’re not wrong.  But the electric vehicle 0-60 mph times posted by the manufacturers are conservative at best.  Most electric cars are very fast, even the tiny ones.

As noted by GreenCarReports, the following chart shows electric vehicle 0-60 mph times are reported by the manufacturer.

Model Time
Tesla S 4.2
Toyota Rav4 Ev 7.0
BMW i3 7.0
Chevy Spark EV 7.6
Mercedes B-Class 7.9
Honda Fit EV 8.5
Fiat 500e 9.1
VW e-Golf 10.0
Ford Focus EV 10.4
Nissan Leaf 11.5
Smart ED 11.5
Mitsubishi i-Miev 15.0

 

But these do not appear to be the real world times.  As noted in the comments beneath the article, many Nissan Leaf owners dispute the numbers saying that they’ve seen the time as low as 9.4 seconds.

It took some searching, but by looking through the forums for each of the vehicles in this list some interesting info has been discovered.

Model Time Link
Tesla S 4.2
Smart ED 6.1 link
Toyota Rav4 Ev 7.0
BMW i3 7.0
Chevy Spark EV 7.6 link
Mercedes B-Class 7.9
Haonda Fit EV 8.5
Fiat 500e 9.1
Nissan Leaf 9.4 link
VW e-Golf 10.0
Ford Focus EV 10.4
Mitsubishi i-Miev 12.0 link

 

The number for the Smart ED is modified heavily by what is called the “kick-down”.  When the driver pushes the accelerator to the floor, there is a notch at the end that can be pushed further.  The kick-down adds a significant boost to the acceleration.

Once more people start taking their cars to the drag strip and modding becomes more common electric vehicle 0-60 mph times should improve.  For now, you can use an app in your smartphone to get an estimate of the time.  And it might be good to do it more than once to get an average.

Apps:

Source: GreenCarReports

Dual-Carbon Battery promises the Future

Dual-Carbon Battery

In what appears to be an announcement out of the blue, Japan Power Plus has rocked the battery market with the dual-carbon battery.  Although there are no demonstrations yet of the capabilities of the dual-carbon battery, the claims are impressive.

As noted in the name, the dual-carbon battery uses two nodes of carbon, one for the positive and another for the negative.  Rather than transferring energy from one node to the other, it is transferred to both.  At it’s most basic the claims of this version of the dual-carbon battery are as follows…

  • Non-volatile (won’t explode)
  • Non-thermal (doesn’t get hot)
  • Plentiful materials (Carbon is easy to come by)
  • Extremely fast charging (20 x faster than Lithium)
  • High number of cycles (3000  or more)

The discovery of the use of sand to make silicon was a fortunate find.  Could the dual-carbon battery be a find of that level?  Promising the same energy, longer life, safer, and the capacity to be recycled, could pull many of the complaints from the table.   Not to mention the use of one of the most common elements in the period table.  If true it could be the a Nikola Tesla-scale idea.

Source: GreenCarReports

What use are Lithium Air Batteries?

lithium air batteries

If you’re involved with academia or electric vehicles, then you are probably aware of the rising interest in Lithium Air battery technology.  If you’re not, this may be an interesting article because it alludes to the possibility of some fairly impressive advancements in battery tech.  So, what are Lithium Air Batteries?

History

Lithium Air is not entirely new, it was first proposed in the 1970’s.  Since that time several advancements in battery technology have led us to Lithium Ion (Lithium Iron Phosphate, aka LiFe) cells which are in most electric vehicles today.  The trouble with the current tech in LiFe is the relatively low energy density that it has.

Science

Energy density is the amount of energy in a unit of mass that a substance can hold.  For LiFe batteries that’s about 250 Wh / kg.  By contrast, gasoline has about 13,000 Wh / kg.  But Lithium Air is supposed to have 11,700 Wh / kg or by contrast to LiFe batteries nearly 50 times as much energy density.

Right now gasoline vehicles get, at best, 50 MPG, but at an average of about 28 MPG.  Whereas electric vehicles tend to get an average of 110 MPGe.  By contrast again, this is roughly 4 times more efficiency.

Now consider that the average electric vehicle gets about 80 miles / full charge with LiFe batteries.  Imagine if Lithium Air were a possibility today.  That 80 miles would become a possible 4000 miles / full charge.

The average gasoline vehicle goes about 250 miles on a full tank.  So with an average of 28 MPG that means that the gas tank is about 9 gallons.  This to me implies that there is point where the manufacturer is deliberately making the tank smaller than it could have been.  Supposing that average gasoline car had twice or three times the size of gas tank, it could go anywhere from 500 to 750 miles before needing to refuel.  But in the case gasoline, there is a weight cost for each additional gallon.

Electric vehicles do not have the trouble of added weight when refueled or depleted, the weight is always the same.   But would a manufacturer consider making the range of the vehicle 250 miles to match gasoline or pack as many batteries as possible into the space?

Example

I’ll use my Smart ForTwo Electric Drive, as an example.  The LiFe battery pack for the Smart weighs, let’s say, 600 lbs and has a range of 70 miles.  With Lithium Air that same pack would grant 3500 miles of range.  But would it be more reasonable to cut the pack down to a range of 250 miles, making its weight a mere 15 lbs? Or would it be better to cut the weight by 75% (to 150 lbs ) and make the range 900 miles?

Let me know what you think in the comments.

Tesla Model E

At the end of March there was a bit of buzz about the Tesla Model E, but since then the activity has died down.  Elon Musk announced the Model E give some projections and left it at that.  Now we have to wait for what leaks we can get, when we can get them.  But so far the specs look promising.

You can expect the Model E to arrive in 2016, shortly after the release of its much larger brother the Model X (a cross-over SUV).  What is known so far about the E is that it will be about 20% shorter in length than the S, have about half the battery capacity (48 kWh), and cost less than half as much ($35k).

Nothing New About Nissan’s Smart Rear View Mirror

Smart rearview mirror

It’s not new, it’s long been an idea that has been considered by many vehicle manufacturers, to use a camera rather than a mirror.  But unlike other proposals to eliminate the physical rear view mirror, Nissan is merely proposing an added rear view camera.

Nissan is at the top of the game when it comes to cameras.  They’ve pioneered the Birds-Eye view around the vehicle for full perimeter awareness.  So when it comes to proposing the idea for a simple rear view, it’s definitely nothing new.  But who’s to say that you can’t just toss out the physical mirror for a digital one?

The NHTSA, that’s who.  The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is quite adamant that each motor vehicle must have a certain number of mirrors to accommodate as much rear viewing as possible.   Of course there are vehicles like trucks and buses that do not have good rear view visibility, but they are mandated to have additional side mirrors.

So what is Nissan actually proposing?  The Smart rearview mirror system places a 1.3 MP camera with a very wide angle lens at the top of the tailgate of the vehicle, offering the best position for a full view.  The fact in this case is that the camera will be better than your current rear view, even if there was nothing blocking in the back seat.  The function is enable with a simple rear switch on the mirror, chancing the entire thing into a video monitor.

Oh, yes, did you want to comment about the fact that the NHTSA doesn’t allow full motion video in front of the driver, while the vehicle is in motion?  It does seem to put a strange spin on the distinction between the full motion of what is happening behind the vehicle and that of a movie.  What if the movie is mostly scenes from recorded rear view mirrors?

Personally, I’m cheering for Nissan to push for this, although I may never own one of their vehicles. Sadly, as cool and likely useful an idea as this, it may be a long uphill battle for Nissan, but we can always dream about it, right?

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