Long Distance Runner

Posted in Road Test at 9:53 pm by Administrator

This week has been quite something. First I rolled all the way to Merced and back at night. Second I installed the new Speedhut Speedometer, Third I had an adventure. You see, I thought I would drive my car to Jamestown and charge it there. I figured since I can drive to Merced and Back (61mi) I should be able to make it to Jamestown (61mi) and about 1200ft elevation. The car is a slug. Although we took home bronze and the Laguna Seca TT I am very disappointed with the performance I am getting from this AZURE AC24LS set up which I purchased from Electro Automotive. I would have been better of with a DC motor. That said I have three choices with which to make it better. Choice One: Finish bottom balancing the pack and by doing so create more overall capacity. This is what I will try prior to any of the following choices. Choice two: Add more batteries. By adding more batteries I can Increase the voltage thus increase the speed (you also increase the weight). Choice two is very expensive. Choice three: Get rid of the Azure set up and get a AC50 set up.
The AC50 setup is what I would like to use in my Porsche 914. It doesnt take as many batteries and has superior performance. Or I could go to a DC set up with an EVnetics controller. Whichever way I choose, It is going to cost money. This brings up a point about RESEARCH and how important it is to do your homework. When I started, I was just a little nieve kid in a big pond ready to take the EV world by surprise… It wouldn’t surprise you then, I am becoming acutely aware that I should have studied harder. A lesson to all you young budding EV enthusiest. Since I purchased my Azure AC24LS many new and well engineeered products have hit the market. The Warp 9 electric DC motor has had some major improvments. Evnetics has built a controller that can handle 1000Amps and another one that can handle 2000 Amps. This of course would not be conceivable if it were not for the innovative devolpments and advancments in battery technology. LiFePo4 chemistry has allowed even the garage builder to be able to build an EV with a servicable range which could be successfully used for a daily driver. With so much innovation and development happening and at such a rapid pace it is no wonder my car is behind the times. (did I mention Azure Dynamics filed chapter 13?) After all I started with a 1974 Beetle Pan and chassis in March of 2008. When I took her for her first drive I had lead acid batteries. I never would have thought it even possible to drive to the foothills from the valley AND IT WASN’T. I started building the car because there weren’t any production electric cars available NOW THERE ARE. I guess the EV movement (pardon my pun) is akin to the development of the personal computer. It seems to be changing just as rapidly and with just as much innovation as the PC. I hope the cost come down appropriately and aquisition of EV parts and systems reflect the now availibility of PC parts and accessories. Even though my EVIE is a Slug right now, I know she can with just some minor changes on my part because of some major innovations on many other EV enthusiast parts, She can go faster and further with less number of batteries in the future.


  1. Walter Koeller said,

    August 7, 2012 at 11:13 pm

    Hi Mark,
    I told you it would be a slug because you have less than a 30Kw system. The AC50 is definately a possibility but with 36 batteries (which is max) would give you approx a 70HP (52KW) system, with 20% less range.
    My AC24LS is a 64KW system, but I have used 114 batteries (60AmpHr) weighing 210Kg, which easily gives me a 90 mile range. Last weekend I went on a 58 mile drive to a valley which has a 1600 foot mountain in the way. When I got home the batteries were only 2/3rds down. (all my range calcs are to 90% DOD)
    I still think that replacing your 44 200AmpHr batteries with 88 100AmpHr batteries would have been the way to go, if you could swap them. This should have given you approximately 110mile range, with an approx 60HP (45KW) system.
    By the way, I still think the bottom balancing technique is a lot of crock.

  2. M Albert said,

    August 19, 2012 at 6:33 pm

    I have a bradley GT II electric (not working) and I have been monitoring your BLOG. I appreciate the information you have posted. My Bradley is unchanged from the original 1982 electric configuration from the manufactor. I have been planning to upgrade to an AC system with Lithium batteries. Your comment on the bankruptcy of AZURE is helpful. I was hoping on your next Blog you will give the exact size of your battery box (44 battery configuration) in the front and in the back. Also, I wonder if you think that 88 batteries would fit in the bradley.

  3. Mark Bush said,

    September 18, 2012 at 12:12 am

    EDITORS NOTE: Walter has since changed his mind about bottom balancing. After doing some research and talking to Jack Rickard.

  4. Mark Bush said,

    October 2, 2012 at 10:27 am

    M Albert,
    I designed my subframe using the same dimensions as the original. Our frame dimensions are identical. as for 88 batteries… that would depend on what size batteries and how much room you are willing to sacrifice. If you want your batts in the cab (which I chose not to do) you could easily fit 88 100AHA LiFePo4 cells. You may even be able to do it if you stacked them in the back on their sides. What ever you decide send me some pics and I will post them or if you have one send me a link to your website.
    Keep On Pluggin

Leave a Comment