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    I am pleased to announce the entry of my electric vehicle, Silent E, to the ranks of daily drivers. We've driven to work two days in a row.

    Today I went to get a new license plate decal, because I lost the old one. $17, including the $1 credit card fee (I always thought that was illegal). Since I was out in such ideal light, I took pictures!

    Continue reading "Judebert's EV Conversion Diary: Introducing Silent E"


  • Last night I made it to the UCF car club, at the top of the parking garage nearly 4 miles away. That's the longest trip I've ever taken in Silent E, and I even with the lights on it still had plenty of juice to spare.

    They were a very nice bunch of guys. They helped me find an electrical outlet, they were polite and enthusiastic, and they didn't mention anything about the generally ugly condition of the car. All their questions were the inquisitive kind, not the nasty leading questions you get from some people. I was particularly impressed with Ryan, who made me feel quite welcome.

    After about an hour's charging at 8A, I headed back home. The whole trip was 7.75 miles, and I forgot to check how much energy it took.

    After that success, I decided it was time to take E-chan to work.

    Continue reading "Judebert's EV Conversion Diary: Sharing the Grin"

  • Yesterday I figured I was ready to take Silent E to work. But she really needed a bath. So I went to the wash-it-yourself place down the street.

    Besides the cleaning, this would also give me another chance to check energy consumption, and a chance to check for leaks.

    Good news! No leaks! Well, okay; a minor leak on the sides of the hood. I expected that, since the hood has been bent and needs to be replaced. None of the sensitive components are there, and they all stayed bone dry. And energy consumption was 315Wh/mile downhill, 323Wh/mile uphill. (These are very minor slopes we're talking about here. Maybe 40 ft in almost two miles.)

    Bad news! The clearcoat has separated from the paint on the bottom driver's side corner of the hatch. Water gets stuck in there. I pricked it with my keychain screwdriver, but I couldn't squeeze all the paint out.

    Continue reading "Judebert's EV Conversion Diary: Bathtime"

  • I woke up early this morning, and Eri convinced me to make my measurement run to the gas station (irony!) in the morning instead of the evening. I took Melissa along, and we stopped to fill up the tires.

    The trip was a delight, and a much better test of real operation than the jaunt to the park. After all, this time we were driving with the morning traffic, and we drove at speed much longer. I also used the gear-shift points I figured out yesterday.

    The gas station air hose registered about 10 PSI too low (good thing I bought a tire pressure gauge I can trust). Melissa hurt her finger trying to work the hose, so she measured all the tires for me.

    The only other problem was on the way home. A big 'ol pickup pulled out in front of me. A few seconds later, Melissa went, "Eww! What's that smell?"

    Gasoline exhaust! For once, it wasn't the EV's fault. :D

    Continue reading "Judebert's EV Conversion Diary: Crunching the Numbers"

  • 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?

    Continue reading "Judebert's EV Conversion Diary: Grinning Again"