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Well, we have posted our first show of 2011 and it is pretty good, if I mention it myself. An hour and 48 minutes.

We had recently posted a couple of photos of a horrific electric vehicle fire that occurred on an Oslo Ferry, burning up the car, the car next to it, and extensively damaging the ship they were on.

It was an almost suspiciously serendipitous occurrence then that a couple on an around the world tour in an electric car, just happened to be passing through Cape Girardeau Missouri the very next week, and in an identical car from the same company. As such, we got to both examine the car in detail, and put our shop at risk by allowing them to charge there overnight and unattended. Living dangerously.

Predictably enough, the car features a REAP Systems BMS controlling two Brusa NLG chargers. I found it odd that with sufficient chargers to be running at 20 amps, the car only charged at 9 amps. The laptop Hjalte hooked up to the BMS actually had a MARVELOUS and very informative display – if it were not for the part about burning down cars, buildings and battery packs, I think I would like this REAP Systems thing.

I found it EXTREMELY interesting that they noted that two of the cars had burned up and that the company, who could program their car remotely, had set it to this 9 amp value because of the fear of the fires. Second clue, they also noted that the company was very unhappy with this BMS and would be changing to a new system from Lithium Balance.

So it appears Soren Ecklund’s public pronouncement of an adapter cord being the cause of the fire on the Oslo Ferry was a bare faced lie to cover his embarrasment, and he KNEW FULL WELL the real cause of the fire was the REAP Systems BMS. He already has plans to replace them, and to TRY to preserve life and limb on this world tour vehicle, he’s remotely programmed it to cut the charge current in half – unnecessarily DOUBLING the charge times for this poor couple’s journey.

The irony of course is that the Brusas, well able to charge this system at over 20 amperes, would pose no fire hazard at all if they could just put them in automatic mode, which Herr Ecklund could easily do by satellite if he had a clue.

Splendidly poor behaviour by a conversion shop on all fronts and I might as well publicly decry it as a sterling example of cowardice in the face of very nearly nothing.

But the visit with this lovely couple was very uplifting and we had a great time. They joined us at the house Sunday evening for dinner of Beef Stew which my wife actually does extremely well.

We also received 50 of the CALB LiFePo4 180AH cells this week and 30 of the 100AH cells from their new CALIB facility in Pomona California. Notably, we ordered those on December 23, received them on January 6, didn’t have to do squat about shipping/import duties although of course we ultimately paid for it, and paid on American Express. Keegan Han has been a delight to work with and we can recommend this battery source quite enthusiastically. You can pay easily with recoverable funds in the event of mishap/nondelivery, we got them in two weeks, and they are direct from manufacturer.

It also provided us an opportunity to compare a brand new cell fresh from China to our existing stock of 180AH cells which we received in October 2009 – some 15 months ago. Voltage of the new cells: 3.300. ALL of them are at exactly 3.300. Voltage on the cells that have been stored for 15 months: 3.298. ALL were 3.298 or 3.297. The myth of self discharge and all you need to do to care for these cells in storage: BUSTED. If you see someone online going on about charging and equalizing and so forth to preserve these cells: note as moron and disregard all future postings.

Brain and Matt have been struggling to make my dreams of Porsche Speedster Belly/Battery/Box come true. They won. It projects a scant 1.75 inches below the existing frame of the car, is quite secure, holds 11 cells, and is essentially invisible. I had plans for the cables to and from: unnecessary. Our wiring tunnel bisects the box – an obvious fact I had mislaid mentally of course.

So we are at 171 volts and 51 cells on the Speedster rebuild. I haven’t mentioned it to Matt and Brain yet, but I have an idea about mounting the Soliton1 on top of the motor, freeing the rear shelf for another six cells, which would bring us to 192volts and a pack size of 34,560 wH. We would undoubtedly have a shot at a 150 mile drive on a single charge.

AND about 175kw of power to the motor, including sag, for 234 HP to the wheels. This is OVER THREE TIMES the power we recorded on the dynomometer in this car previously. It provided exhilarating acceleration and top speed then, so I’m not sure what the point is. Perhaps will take on Tesla at Monte Carlo in April????

We also mounted a J1772 connector in the car, our two rear battery boxes holding 11 cells each, and are just generally making famous progress on this rebuild. It will be grossly overpowered and a bit overweight to my tastes, but with a very different level of range for bragging rights.
Really more of a can we instead of a should we, I do fear.

We’ve also started a new Texaco Fire Chief charging station for the 601 Morgan Oak facility, with J1772-2010 plug in this case. We’re going to have a couple of Kilovac contactors for the phases, a 12v power supply to control them, a NEMA 14-50 in addition, a power meter, etc. It should be good for giggles – a better thought when drinking heavily of course.

But that’s what we like to do – get liquored up, play with high voltage, and then drive our cars. Not PC, but whatever.

Jack Rickard