When last we saw my electric car, I was showing it off to nearby elementary and high school students. The vacuum pump wasn't working (although I failed to mention that), and I had developed some sort of short from the pack to the ground -- but it was only detectable when charging, in the rain.
My charger broke not too long before Hannukah. I mailed the broken piece (the control board) via US Postal Service Express Mail, but the holiday packages held it up. They fixed the board and sent it back, saying something I had done to my regulators had caused the problem. Since I can't find anything wrong with the regs, naturally I'm charging without hooking them up to the charger, eliminating one of my safeguards against battericide.
So as 2010 rolls in, I'm running without power brakes, no tachometer, and a flaky charging regimen. Today it was below freezing outside, which reduces lead-acid batteries' range. Of course, my car didn't make it to work.
Essentially, freezing temperatures reduce my range to about 50% of the warm-weather range. (Stupid chemistry.) I got most of the way to work, draining practically everything out of my batteries to do it. I might have killed them. Again.
I stopped only when I realized that my foot was on the floor, I couldn't get more than 60A, and the voltage was below 96V (I had been watching the current). A few fellas at a nearby high bay let me plug in, and after a half an hour I was good for the rest of the trip to work, where I plugged in again. Of course, after a bit I had to go turn down the charger so the batteries wouldn't get overcharged. I'm going to turn up the voltage cutoff and charge continuously at low current, just to keep the batteries warm.
If I keep them warm, I should have no problems getting between home and work. But this just emphasizes the need for a new, bigger battery pack. Unfortunately, a Lithium Ion pack would cost around $6K, and I just don't have that kind of money.