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IssacZachary
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Re: Charging while driving

Wed Jan 18, 2017 8:44 am

I I've been interested in some sort of range extender for several reasons:

  1. I do live where places to charge from (as well as towns and fuel stations) are still far apart. Too far apart actually. And with the next generation of affordable longer-distance BEV's approaching fast I'm not too sure more Level 2 pubic charging stations will ever be placed on the long roads and highways between towns out here, let alone CHAdeMO stations.
  2. Yes I'd like to drive far once in a while. I got the Leaf to cover 90% of my traveling needs.
  3. Alternatives like renting have their disadvantages too. Hertz is only open from 9:00am to 1:00pm. Plus it costs $40-$50 per day so if I have to go somewhere far for a day every month I'd probably have to rent two days. By then I'm looking at $1,000 per year in renting costs. A V-twin engine costs that. A 240V inverter generator costs $3,000-$4,000, but can be as low a $1,000 used.
  4. Maintaining a whole second car for once a month is ridiculous.
  5. There's merit in having just one vehicle. You don't have to make sure if your wife grabbed all her goodies every time you change vehicles if you only use one vehicle.
  6. Changing the Leaf for something else is cost prohibitive. I drive very short distances around town all day long. So you know what that does to an ICE's fuel mileage and longevity? Before the Leaf I was getting 13mpg maximum. Yes I could meet in the middle and get a Volt. But that wouldn't give me the EV experience and economy and reliability all day long like my Leaf does. What I save in fuel and maintenance and repairs by owning a Leaf justifies renting on occasion. But a hardly used range extender that could potentially cost less than renting for several years would justify the range extender.

That being said I'm kind of going back and forth on two ideas for myself. I'm going to do one or the other, I'm just not sure which.

One is a pusher trailer. A Kohler Command Pro propane fuel injected engine with a sprag clutch and a one wheeled trailer. Projected cost: $3,000. I'd add some emissions equipment to lower the already low propane emissions.

The other idea would be a wrecked Leaf battery on a $300 trailer.
2013 SL 50,000 miles.
12 bars until 44,300 miles on June 2, 2017. :D
11 bars current. :)
The Nissan Leaf is the fourth best long distance car for highway driving. >>Best Long Distance Cars<<

sendler2112
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Location: Syracuse, NY USA

Re: Charging while driving

Thu Jan 19, 2017 4:00 am

Most of these guys think it's a joke to wish that Nissan had made an external gen set to go with the car so it could drive on trips like a Chevy Volt once in a while.
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viewtopic.php?f=10&t=20455&start=140#p481968
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EVDRIVER
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Re: Charging while driving

Thu Jan 19, 2017 7:03 am

IssacZachary wrote:I I've been interested in some sort of range extender for several reasons:


That being said I'm kind of going back and forth on two ideas for myself. I'm going to do one or the other, I'm just not sure which.

One is a pusher trailer. A Kohler Command Pro propane fuel injected engine with a sprag clutch and a one wheeled trailer. Projected cost: $3,000. I'd add some emissions equipment to lower the already low propane emissions.

The other idea would be a wrecked Leaf battery on a $300 trailer.


That $300 trailer is going to cost you more time and money than you ever considered to make a safe trailer extension. You would be better renting cars by a huge multiplier. These projects on paper always seem easier and less expensive than anticipated, including the generator.

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IssacZachary
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Re: Charging while driving

Thu Jan 19, 2017 7:58 am

EVDRIVER wrote:That $300 trailer is going to cost you more time and money than you ever considered to make a safe trailer extension. You would be better renting cars by a huge multiplier. These projects on paper always seem easier and less expensive than anticipated, including the generator.


A 1,000lb trailer costs $250 to $300. I'm not sure what a used Leaf battery would cost. Seems $2,000-$3,000 on eBay possibly sounds about right.

But just for comparison I am fortunate to have a car rental in town. But the cost is minimum $40 per day. Not only that, buy Hertz is only open from 9:00am to 1:00pm. That would make what could normally be a one day rental now a two day rental. So if I rented for one day a month: $960 per year. Probably closer to $1,000 with all the fees and such. So if I could make a $3,000 range extender trailer that would offset and be equal to car rentals for 3 years.

On the other hand, if I don't do a range extender I'm just going to keep my 1985 VW diesel with around 500,000 miles on it. I get 55mpg average on the highway in it and the thing just won't break down as long as I keep oil in it and keep it from overheating and make sure it has a good timing belt. I would like to get rid of it, but it's the most reliable ICE car I've ever seen. Plus I wouldn't be able to get much out of it if I sold it. I figure if I'm going to own an ICE vehicle to just sit there 29 days out of the month it might as well as be this one.

I've contemplated chopping it in half and using the front end to be a pusher trailer. But I'm not sure what people would think of a 2013 Nissan Leaf powered by a 1985 non-turbo diesel engine. A battery on a trailer just seems to make more sense.
2013 SL 50,000 miles.
12 bars until 44,300 miles on June 2, 2017. :D
11 bars current. :)
The Nissan Leaf is the fourth best long distance car for highway driving. >>Best Long Distance Cars<<

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EVDRIVER
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Re: Charging while driving

Thu Jan 19, 2017 8:49 am

I was not aware you could just but a trailer and used battery and they just worked with no other parts or fabrication:) I guess it has a safe wireless connection to the car and it is self charging? If you do the project make a spreadsheet on every single item you buy to do this safely and also track your hours. My guess is that if it ever gets completed you will be shocked at the dollars spent in total and the incredible number of hours spend building, researching, and sourcing the parts. Presently you are missing just a few parts on your list.

jjeff
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Re: Charging while driving

Thu Jan 19, 2017 1:33 pm

IssacZachary wrote:
EVDRIVER wrote:That $300 trailer is going to cost you more time and money than you ever considered to make a safe trailer extension. You would be better renting cars by a huge multiplier. These projects on paper always seem easier and less expensive than anticipated, including the generator.


A 1,000lb trailer costs $250 to $300. I'm not sure what a used Leaf battery would cost. Seems $2,000-$3,000 on eBay possibly sounds about right.

But just for comparison I am fortunate to have a car rental in town. But the cost is minimum $40 per day. Not only that, buy Hertz is only open from 9:00am to 1:00pm. That would make what could normally be a one day rental now a two day rental. So if I rented for one day a month: $960 per year. Probably closer to $1,000 with all the fees and such. So if I could make a $3,000 range extender trailer that would offset and be equal to car rentals for 3 years.

On the other hand, if I don't do a range extender I'm just going to keep my 1985 VW diesel with around 500,000 miles on it. I get 55mpg average on the highway in it and the thing just won't break down as long as I keep oil in it and keep it from overheating and make sure it has a good timing belt. I would like to get rid of it, but it's the most reliable ICE car I've ever seen. Plus I wouldn't be able to get much out of it if I sold it. I figure if I'm going to own an ICE vehicle to just sit there 29 days out of the month it might as well as be this one.

I've contemplated chopping it in half and using the front end to be a pusher trailer. But I'm not sure what people would think of a 2013 Nissan Leaf powered by a 1985 non-turbo diesel engine. A battery on a trailer just seems to make more sense.

And it's not just the cost of gas for your VW, it's insurance and tabs and upkeep. Now tabs for such a old vehicle in my state would only be ~$50/year but insurance is getting crazy expensive, like $1+/day liability, to just use for a possible 1 day?? out of the month in your case. No I agree a trailer/generator might be nice and I've also toyed with the idea, but in the end it just got too expensive. In my case I wasn't going to power the car while in motion, that would be far too complicated and expensive, I was just going to use a 30a 240v generator to charge my EV while parked along the way. With 30a I gain about 30%/hr so for a 1hr lunch or 2hr stop I could probably gain another 20-40 mile range, not a continuous solution but would help extend the usable range of my Leaf.

I kind of like the idea of your "pusher" ICE but it sounds difficult to make work and very unsafe, IMO in your case it sounds like the Volt is really your best bet. EV for 40 miles but you have the ICE backup for longer trips, too bad it's so cramped(IMO) as I really like the idea. The i3 is also a nice idea but overpriced and overall has some serious design issues(IMO).
2012 SL purchased used 2/'16
2013 S w/QC purchased new
Juicebox Premium 60a L1/L2 EVSE, Ebusbar 16a L1/L2 EVSE
'12 EVSEupgrade'd 20a L1/L2 EVSE, '13 EVSEupgrade'd adjustable 6-20a L2, 6-13a L1 EVSE
Zencar 13, 20, 30a L1/L2 portable EVSE
GE Durastation 30a

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IssacZachary
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Re: Charging while driving

Thu Jan 19, 2017 2:28 pm

jjeff wrote:And it's not just the cost of gas for your VW, it's insurance and tabs and upkeep. Now tabs for such a old vehicle in my state would only be ~$50/year but insurance is getting crazy expensive, like $1+/day liability, to just use for a possible 1 day?? out of the month in your case. No I agree a trailer/generator might be nice and I've also toyed with the idea, but in the end it just got too expensive. In my case I wasn't going to power the car while in motion, that would be far too complicated and expensive, I was just going to use a 30a 240v generator to charge my EV while parked along the way. With 30a I gain about 30%/hr so for a 1hr lunch or 2hr stop I could probably gain another 20-40 mile range, not a continuous solution but would help extend the usable range of my Leaf.

I kind of like the idea of your "pusher" ICE but it sounds difficult to make work and very unsafe, IMO in your case it sounds like the Volt is really your best bet. EV for 40 miles but you have the ICE backup for longer trips, too bad it's so cramped(IMO) as I really like the idea. The i3 is also a nice idea but overpriced and overall has some serious design issues(IMO).


Ya. There's no perfect solution yet. As far as a cramped Volt I need room for a wife and three teenagers. Renting is a viable option. It's just the pride of taking a Leaf out of town.

I think first things first, I need to run that ad and see if people are willing to let me charge at their place, provided there's an outside 240V outlet. I wouldn't mind taking a while on long trips at charging stations, even 240V ones. But it's just too far in between to make it.

Say I have to go to Grand Junction. There's a place to charge in Montrose 60 miles from here. I might make it in the Leaf, but then again I might not with the mountains. I wouldn't mind spending 4 hours in Montrose. My wife likes to shop there anyway. But then it's another 61 miles to Grand Junction. That should be easier because it's usually warmer between the two and much flatter. Not so many mountains.

If only there were something that served to charge in emergencies. Or a place to charge in Cimarron and Delta. That way I could spend an hour in Cimarron and make sure I'll make it to Montrose. Then another in Delta and have plenty to make it to Grand Junction.
2013 SL 50,000 miles.
12 bars until 44,300 miles on June 2, 2017. :D
11 bars current. :)
The Nissan Leaf is the fourth best long distance car for highway driving. >>Best Long Distance Cars<<

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IssacZachary
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Re: Charging while driving

Thu Jan 19, 2017 2:42 pm

¡Ah! I forgot to mention something. A cheap idea could be simply add an aerodynamic tail to the car.

A good example of what can be done is the Aerocivic. For $400 in materials that's not bad:
Image
According to my calculations, if the same coefficient of drag could be achieved in a Leaf as in the Aerocivic it would make the Leaf go the same distance going 65mph as it would with its current 31Cd at 45mph.
2013 SL 50,000 miles.
12 bars until 44,300 miles on June 2, 2017. :D
11 bars current. :)
The Nissan Leaf is the fourth best long distance car for highway driving. >>Best Long Distance Cars<<

jjeff
Posts: 1487
Joined: Wed Jan 13, 2016 9:10 am
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Re: Charging while driving

Thu Jan 19, 2017 3:08 pm

:shock: :o apparently you don't have a WAF to contend with ;)
Well if your willing to wait, and you have the 6.6kwh Leaf charger and similar sized EVSE then the small trailer w/7kw 240v generator might not be all that bad. I believe you can get a new decent generator for <$700 and add your $300 trailer and if you already have a 30a EVSE it would cost ~$1k, oh and I guess you'd need to add the cost of a trailer hitch, unless your Leaf already had one. You'd also have the advantage of a nice large generator in case of power outages in your house or you'd have the ability to charge your Leaf during any such outages.
I really doubt you'll find anyone along the way with a 240v outside outlet although you might find someone with a welder or air compressor outlet in their garage but often times they are hard wired(without an outlet) and the issue with that is you'd have to charge so long it might get to be inconvenient for them, a generator would make you self-sufficient.
Glad I'm not the only one put off by the size of the Volt, what were they thinking making a 4 passenger car :? although it sounds like the new Volt has fixed that I'm still thinking it might be cramped, and expensive for a newer car like that.
2012 SL purchased used 2/'16
2013 S w/QC purchased new
Juicebox Premium 60a L1/L2 EVSE, Ebusbar 16a L1/L2 EVSE
'12 EVSEupgrade'd 20a L1/L2 EVSE, '13 EVSEupgrade'd adjustable 6-20a L2, 6-13a L1 EVSE
Zencar 13, 20, 30a L1/L2 portable EVSE
GE Durastation 30a

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IssacZachary
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Re: Charging while driving

Thu Jan 19, 2017 5:12 pm

No, I wouldn't mind the wait. Obviously if it were much longer than 4 hours every 60 miles it might be a bit too much. But driving nonstop is killing me. If there were level 2 charging stations all over I'd be in paradise!

By the way, what's a WAF?

Also, doesn't the Volt have to have it's engine running in order to use the heater? I wouldn't want a car that for 6 months out of the year it's an ICE car with a large battery that it lugs around for no apparent reason.

Anyhow, I just thought of this:

Take:
Image
And add:
Image

That way the generator would be covered by the tail and out of the sight of critics. I would have to open the side or something to get air to it when I needed to pull over and run it. A propane conversion could help lower some of the emissions. Maybe a catalytic converter and air injection. I've got an oxygen sensor and AFR gauge kit I could use to really tune the thing. Personally I'd want a detachable tail though so I could park on around home.

Do you think the Leaf could charge OK from a regular generator though? Some seem to think that it has to be a pure sine wave inverter generator, which sounds about right to me. Those are a bit more pricy. Still, I might be able to find a used one for around $1,000 instead of $3,000 to $4,000 new.
2013 SL 50,000 miles.
12 bars until 44,300 miles on June 2, 2017. :D
11 bars current. :)
The Nissan Leaf is the fourth best long distance car for highway driving. >>Best Long Distance Cars<<

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