08 July 2008

It's Alive!

I am pleased to introduce our new baby:

Alex was kind enough to spare me another pregnancy and bear this child all by himself.

Her name is Bev, because she is a Battery-operated Electric Vehicle.

I'd just like to say for the record that I think my crackpot inventor husband is totally awesome. (Because he really is awesome all by himself, not just because he has good hair or because we have two vehicles again.) We went for a test drive tonight, and the silence of this vehicle was so surprising. And it was totally gas free. Bwa ha ha ha! (Unflattering victory dance.)

I love you, dear.

15 comments:

msjvd said...

Congratulations Jen! Two new babies in less than six months! Stunning!

I'm really curious about this new electric vehicle. Are there more details available elsewhere?

Things I want to know: How far can you go on one charge? How long does a charge take? Are there charging stations around S. Utah? Is charging economical in comparison to gas? How much was this vehicle? Where did you get it? How many miles does it have on it? What's its life expectancy?

I could go on....

The Rookie said...

That is insanely cool. How green of you! How do you charge it? I love that her name is BEV. :) (How's that for a random spattering of comments?)

Angie Lewis said...

Wow, impressive...I agree with the other comments in that I'd like to know how it works...I'm not very up on these things!

champy said...

Answers:
Not quite sure what the range is yet. With these batteries, I'm only hoping for 35 miles to a charge or so. Just enough for around-town use.

It charges overnight.

It charges from a standard wall outlet, so, yes: there are "charging stations" everywhere.

Charging is a LOT cheaper than gas. It costs 1-2 cents per mile as opposed to 15-50 cents for gasoline.

The vehicle cost $600.00 with no engine. We've put about $4,000 worth of parts into it and a lot of blood, sweat, and tears.

We got the actual body from a local mechanic. I bought the parts online and from Ace Hardware.

The gasoline engine that was removed had a little over 100,000 miles on it.

Electric motors will generally last around a million miles. (They only have one moving part) This battery pack (12 golf-cart batteries) will last between 500 and 800 cycles (about 3-5 years) if I treat it well. I'm hoping that by the time I replace it, Lithium Iron Phosphate batteries will be more affordable. They should increase the range into the hundreds of miles and last longer than the vehicle will. They're about 4-5 times lighter that Golf Cart Batteries too. Any more questions, just ask.

www.potsandpins.com said...

I am seriously impressed and green with envy! Congratulations on your new arrival - and to find out that your hubby gave birth to it is truly amazing! Good hair and brains...a rare combination!

msjvd said...

When can you make your old Auntie one?

laceeJ said...

I must say that Alex's DO is equally awesome as the electric car! Alex--have you looked into hydrogen powered engine stuff? My hubby & his buddy put a kit together but they kept running into problems with fuses blowing...then after a while they had other things going and put that on the back burner,,,But have you looked into that?

champy said...

Laceej, I'm assuming you're referring to the electrolysis units that some people are putting into their cars to create "Brown's Gas" and increase the octane of the fuel getting burned in their engines. If that's the case, it's important to remember that the electricity necessary for that reaction (electrolysis) comes from the alternator/battery combination in your vehicle. Any additional load (especially one large enough to be blowing automotive fuses) will increase the resistance that the alternator presents to the engine, which runs it. Generally speaking, it takes more energy to extract hydrogen from water (electrolysis) than you would get from the extracted hydrogen in terms of energy density. Hence, a kit that creates "Brown's Gas" using the electrical system of your car should, in theory, lower your gas mileage. Having said that, I've never seen one in action and there are people out there who swear by them.

If you're referring to Cars burning hydrogen as fuel, the above extraction problem still applies, although not as badly. Generally speaking though, the numbers don't work for hydrogen yet. Whether it's a combustible or used in a fuel cell (which, by the way, is also a form of electric car), hydrogen only looks "economical" when the government subsidizes it. I hope that won't always be the case. A fuel cell, by the way, is a very complicated and expensive device, but in principle, it's a battery with a disposable/refillable electrolyte. Hydrogen works really well in fuel cells, but other chemicals can be used as well.

msjvd: I've enjoyed this conversion enough that I'd give consideration to doing another one for someone.

Hey It's Di said...

That is really AWESOME! I'm so impressed! Alex is not only the brainy inventor but he also looks like he just got finished performing on Grease. Is he a performer too?

Loving the idea of NOT using gas:)

Amy said...

sign us up for one of your cars, alex! we could probably give you the body to our almost dead altima!

Angie Lewis said...

by the way, the blog list I have is a new function on blogger - it's nothing I did personally...you can customize your list by uploading them and then you don't have to look at every blog all the time (it's definitely a time saver!)

Brittany said...

Wow! Congratulations big brother. I wonder if I inherited any of the same genes. I only hope so.

amy said...

i am so unbelievably impressed by this entire conversation that my head is going to explode. i am also feeling very inferior, which is good for my generally swollen ego. too bad neither my spouse nor i knows how to tinker; we could have saved ourselves some trouble this past weekend. congratulations times one million.

Dansie Family said...

way to go alex! i am trying to convince tom to make one now. you up for helping us?

Heidi said...

Okay Alex, I totally thought I had commented on this, but I guess not. I remember seeing this post and thinking that is Alex for ya. I don't know many who could or would spend the time to do this. I think your awesome! Good Job!