At last, I got a chance to fix the EV. I found that the inertia switch was incorrectly wired. I must've pulled out the leads while I was disconnecting the vacuum pump. I rewired it, and the car was moving again!

I drove it over to a friend's house, and he was impressed. But he's a friend, he has to be. I was still concerned about the 900Wh/mile measurement I had made during its first runs.

The big question still remained: could it make it all the way to work?

So I measured again today. The kids raced me to the stop sign; I punched it and took off with surprising acceleration for 2nd gear. I got out on the main road and drove down to Riverside Park, almost a mile. The park is situated slightly lower than my house, so this was a downhill run. I turned around, merged into traffic, and started back home.

I happened to check my odometer exactly at 1.0 miles. The e-Meter register 400wH, which is not entirely surprising for a vehicle this size.

I cruised on home, pulled into the garage, and checked again. 1.7 miles, 580wH. Running the numbers, that's... carry the two... 400wH/mile for the first mile, 350wH/mile for the whole trip, and 260wH/mile for the uphill part.

But... that's less than the downhill run! What the heck?

Well, maybe it was the jackrabbit start at the beginning. Or maybe I was keeping the motor revs too low. Let's use 400wH/mile for estimation.

I've got 10 batteries, each 12V and 55Ah. Assuming I damaged them a little when I drained them, let's assume I've only got 50Ah left in them. That's 12 * 10 * 50 = 6000Wh.

Let's also assume that I can only use 80% of that without damaging the batteries. That's 4800Wh usable.

If I need 400Wh/mile, that's 4800/400 = 12 miles of range. That's all the way to work and back! I can make it to work!

Those numbers are awfully suspect, though. I think I'll drive down to the gas station tomorrow and fill up my tires. That'll give me two more good measurements.

Where should I shift? Well, I couldn't get the tachometer working, so I'll have to estimate from gear ratios. The Honda Civic Wagon RT4WD transmission 2nd gear is 1.950, 3rd gear is 1.275, and 4th gear is 0.941. The final drive is 4.428, so that makes 2nd an overall 1.950 * 4.428 = 8.635, 3rd = 6.646, and 4th = 4.167.

I want to shift when the motor is running around 4500RPM. So in 2nd gear, the wheels would be turning 4500 / 8.635 = 521.135RPM; in 3rd, 677.099RPM; in 4th, 1079.914RPM.

The stock tire is 175/70R13. That's 891 revolutions/mile, so that's what my speedometer expects. So when the wheels are turning 521.135RPM, I'm going 521.135/891 miles per minute, or .585 miles/minute. Over the course of 60 minutes, that would be 35.093 miles, or about 35 mph. That's when I need to shift to third.

Similarly, I need to shift to 4th at 45.596 mph, and to 5th at 72.721 mph. But since the roads I travel are all 35 mph, I should never get that high.

Of course, 3500 is probably a better cruising speed. So I'd like to cruise at 27 in 2nd, 35 in 3rd, and 55 in 4th.

I'll keep those in mind when I make my measurements tomorrow.