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I’ve posted the April 23rd Friday Show. We had a lot of wind noise I had to filter out so forgive Brain and I in the opening segments. We hadn’t been breathing helium or anything, I just had to lose the low frequencies to make the wind more or less go away. We’re still learning this video game, and most of it seems to be audio actually.

We did do a walk around of the newly reassembled Mini Cooper. We talk quite a bit about the Speedster Part Duh heater assembly. This is actually a kit from Canadian EV that we used and Brain and Trace did a marvelous job of installing it. It is just factory in operation and fit.

We ground off the fiberglass around the frame in the engine compartment. And I did a bit more in-depth review of the Xantrex LinkPro/TBS E-Xpert Pro instrumentation. It is cheesy looking. But it actually works quite well. It is quite accurate. And it is much more flexible than I realized when I dismissed it out of hand initially. At $250 it appears to be THE extant solution in EVland for the very necessary counting of AH to determine state of charge.

I’ve since done a bit of testing on the 2009 Mini Cooper Clubman. Yesterday I drove it to Perryville and back at as constant a 60 mph on the Interstate Highway as I could manage. It was 78 miles roundtrip with a consumption of 75.1 AH. It took 42.9AH to get there and a little over 32 to get back, indicating Perryville is mostly uphill from here.

At 60 mph, in the Getrag’s 6th gear, I’m loafing along at about 1400 rpm. We did NOT get the Tach on the Mini working yet, but we did install a Summit Racing tach temporarily and the output of the TIMS600 controller seems to drive it admirably using the TIMS default and the 4 cyclinder setting on the tach.

We average about 60 amps at 60 mph on the straight and level, not even breaking a sweat for the 100AH SE cells. I DID mash the accelerator a couple of times – ZOOMING over 85 almost immediately. This drew a maximum of 372 amperes and dropped the cell voltage to a saggy 2.79volts for a total power of about 116kva (nearly enough kilowatts). I took this as a VERY good sign. It’s hard to zoom anywhere with such an overdrive gear. The TIMS 600 is SUPPOSED to have a 300 amp limit.

I stopped in Perryville to do a Marine Corp temperature check of the motor and controller. They were at about skin temperature. In fact, the transmission was hotter than the motor. Our AN-8 sized cooling system, using the MIni radiator and fan, do indeed seem to be doing a superb job of keeping things cool and allowing MAX POWER out of the TIMS600 without stress. Probably a combination of the high flow rate and huge heat sink relative to what is normally used with this.

Finished the drive at ostensibly 75% Depth of DIscharge (DOD). However, the average cell voltage was 3.278. This is a bit of a puzzle. The SE discharge curve is quite flat. But I can’t imagine it being THAT flat. We did do one measurement when the cells were first installed at 111 amp hours out of these 100 AH cells. It is quite likely, we have much more capacity than it appears. That would somewhat explain such a high resting voltage after the drive.

In any event, though I’m always looking for a bugger in the potato salad, the EV grin is starting to widen. The weight and coilover springs make the ride almost stately – like an Escalade. The performance is quite beyond the ICE engine which was already perky as you recall. The steering is stiff in local quarters but actually pretty good on the road. And with NO regen really on the highway we seem to be doing about 0,96 amp hours per mile. This indicates a “no regen” range of about 80 miles at 80%DOD.

The drive shaft issue (fingers crossed, eyes skyward) seems to be solved for the moment. I’m growing more confident in shifting and driving without fear of throwing a drive shaft. And the EV grin is starting to come on. This is a marvelous car. We have plenty left to do, but it is shaping up as an all weather all season ride with bluetooth and IPOD. Good performance. Good economy. Good creature comforts. And the Getrag transmission verifies our selection of this car. We take off in 3rd and road cruise in 6th for a good solid 4 speed experience.

Jack RIckard