13 Below and falling

by admin on January 16, 2009

I am working at a local theater tonight and tomorrow night.

I knew I was going to be taking the electric car, so I plugged in the oil-filled electric radiator heater.

I let it get nice and warm in the car – hopefully heating the batteries too!

It’s negative 13 ℉ (-25℃) right now, so I really wanted to see how the car would fare.

The ride in to town was nice and warm – at least it’s sunny today.

I dropped off my equipment at the theater, and the theater manager gave me a hand unloading my Metro.

Her: “What a CUTE car!”

Me: “Thanks, it’s battery-operated.” I say right as I open to hatch to grab gear out of it. A nice view of the batteries can’t be missed with the hatch open.

Her: “Cool!!!”

She than laughed at the fact that I had an electric heater in the back seat. After I told her how my car is warm already when I hop it in, I have heat right away, and it stays warm for a bit after unplugging, she wondered if the same idea would work in her truck!

Once I had all my equipment set-up for the evening, I left for the ride back home. The interior of the car was now cold, so it’s back to cracking the window open to keep from frosting up.

The highest speed I could get to was 35 mph, which is fine for all but the last quarter mile to my house, where the speed limit goes up to 45, it’s uphill, and SUV’s are breathing down my neck.

With the pedal to the floor, the car was going 30 mph (uphill) for the last short bit right before my house. The ammeter read 200 amps. This is a 400 amp controller, so either my potentiometer has come out of adjustment, or I just can NOT pull enough amps out of my batteries when they are cold! I am guessing the later.

Once home, I put the car back on the charger, and plugged in the heater.

This is about a 5 mile round-trip, which I will repeat again this evening, when temperatures will be even lower, and the car will sit in the cold even longer.

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