JESTER - Li-ion UK ELECTRIC RANGE RECORD - February 2004
Partners and investors sought - worldwide!
Jester record setting electric car - 70 mph and 200 mile range.
Steve, worked for the CEGB, Central Electricity Generating Board as an engineer. He says: "I have been road-trialing a set of Thunder Sky Lithium batteries in the car for more than a year now and they have been performing very well. I finally got the official testing carried out by AEA Technology so that we now have official urban cycle and extra urban cycle power consumption tests ( tested to BS EN 1986-1:1997). The attachment shows the car on the rolling road. The figures came out as:
urban cycle: 255 km/156 miles
Pretty impressive I think you'll agree. But we believe that with further investment and better state-of-the-art components we could go on to enhance the overall performance - speed, acceleration, range - by a further 10-15% and get to 250 miles per charge and 80 mph. For example, by using even more sophisticated regen braking and gearing and an even higher-spec motor. Then there's the possibility of using dual hub motors of course.
There are 27 Lithium ion cells mounted under the bonnet in 9 groups of 3. A further 75 cells (25 groups of 3) are mounted at the back of the car, making 102 cells in total. The total of 34 groups of cells gives 300Ah at a nominal 125.8 Volts (3.7 V per cell). The available power from the batteries is fed to a series wound dc motor via a 500 Amp controller. The controller and power relays are just in front of the batteries. The motor is beneath the batteries and drives the front wheels via a sigle reduction gear and differential to give an overall ratio of 5.45:1. Forward, reverse and regenerative braking are derived electronically from the controller. Also situated under the bonnet is a dc voltage converter to supply the normal car electrical systems and to charge an emergency hazard warning and lighting battery.
Under the bonnet
The Energy Saving Trust and Transport Energy, which are part of the Department for Transport( DfT), who were helping fund the tests seemed surprised by the results. They told me they couldn't really find anything to compare them with and, strangely considering the performance, they don't seem especially keen to help further. As most readers will know the DfT are very keen on hybrids and possibly they don't want to upset the big players, such as the petrochemical interests and more importantly, the Treasury, which relies on petrol taxes to float the economy and keep the whole crank and piston industry alive.
Steve reckons he could sell these cars - and a four seat version - particularly in London with the congestion charge weighing on people's minds. If only he could produce a reasonable quantity. At say 10-50 a year the price would really start looking good. It's difficult to say what the sell-price would be: I built this prototype for less than £6000 so a fair ball-park guesstimate would be somewhere in the region of £15k - allowing for labour, VAT, return to investors, a little profit etc. Anyway - that's around 10 Jesters for the price of one TZero !
The li-ion powered Jester
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