Monday, May 4, 2009


When I started seriously thinking about converting the Cavalier, I thought about how I was going to use it. If I was going to be using it to go up to New Jersey every couple of weeks, then the design decisions would have to take that into account. I thought long and hard on this. I ran calculations. Lithium Ion were the only batteries that had any hope of getting me up to Jersey on a single charge. A battery pack would cost thousands. Thousands and thousands. My early guesstimates were between $8000 and $16,000 for the batteries alone. The Cav isn't worth much now, possibly $3000 if it was in primo condition, so the idea of stuffing $16,000 in batteries into it didn't really appeal to me.

After I finally retired the Cavalier from service, I realized that the new car (A Mazda5) and the Ford Escape would be better for any long distance trips. The Mazda is actually more comfortable and has more storage than the Cavalier...

So, I then thought the best job for the ECav would be for my wife to drive back and forth to work as well as other errands around the area. My wife works roughly 4 miles from home. She could park the Escape which gets crappy gas mileage in such a short stop and go commute and drive the ECav. That would allow me to get away with Lead Acid batteries which might cost $1600 at most and give me a range somewhere between 40 - 100 miles.

My daily commute is two trips to preschool on weekdays (2 miles each way - on sunny days we bike there), dialysis three times a week (3 miles each way), other errands (grocery store, Costco, hardware store, etc.), the farthest I might go on a trip is 10 miles one way. My in-laws live 36 miles away. If I plan for a range of 100 miles, then the only trips that I'll need a gas powered car for are the trips to New Jersey.

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