• May 27, 2010
The plug-in aficionados of the Japan Electric Vehicle Club hit the track this weekend in a Daihatsu Mira Van with a 74 kilowatt-hour lithium ion battery to see how far they could go on a charge. The last time the crew attempted this feat in November 2009, they managed to squeeze out 345 miles before running out of juice.

This time out, the members reduced some mass with new features likes a carbon fiber seat and even lower rolling resistance tires from Toyo. The van used the same Sanyo battery as the previous record drive and continued rolling for an amazing 623 miles before running out of electrons.

Seventeen drivers participated in the 27.5-hour drive with an average speed of just under 25 miles per hour. While getting over 600 miles on a charge is certainly impressive, we aren't likely to see many 74 kWh batteries in production vehicles any time soon thanks to their prohibitive cost. Plus, the driving style on the closed course was doubtlessly extremely conservative, which doesn't bode well for real-world driving. Regardless, it's quite a feat. A tip of the hat to Paul!

[Source: Electric Vehicle News]


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  • 22 Comments
      • 4 Years Ago
      Was Kim Jong IL hitch hiking?
      • 4 Years Ago
      Now picture this technology 4-5 years from now, it will be possible to get a large family sedan that will be able to go 50-70 MPH for 300-400 miles.

      Articles says that in November of 2009 them managed to go 345 miles on single charge, not it is late May of 2010 and they can go 623.
        • 4 Years Ago
        @Sea Urchin: another comment, another fail
        1) there is no _scientific_ evidence CO2 is The Evil
        2) you know what word 'billions' means?
        • 4 Years Ago
        Well, there's our answer:

        "Toyota has a comprehensive battery recycling program in place and has been recycling nickel-metal hydride batteries since the RAV4 Electric Vehicle was introduced in 1998. Every part of the battery, from the precious metals to the plastic, plates, steel case and the wiring, is recycled. To ensure that batteries come back to Toyota, each battery has a phone number on it to call for recycling information and dealers are paid a $200 "bounty" for each battery."
        • 4 Years Ago
        I agree. Given more time this tech will become more and more viable. The only thing I've not seen addressed is the environmental impact of these batteries over time.
        • 4 Years Ago
        "environmental impact of these batteries over time."--can't be any worse than all that CO2 that is coming out of billions of cars daily.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Yo EV. I’m really happy for you. I’m gonna let you finish but Ford Fusion Hybrid travels 1,000 miles with 1/3 tank left!
      • 4 Years Ago
      I once went 600 miles at 25mph, ..my granddad was driving, and my grandma was screaming, "slow down George, watch that car you almost hit it, you're going to kill us all. Lord jeezus just let this mad man get us there in one piece". It was the vacation that went on forever. My grandparents would've loved this hot rod...
      • 4 Years Ago
      Great Leader develops record breaking electric vehicle, brings pride to DPRK.
      • 4 Years Ago
      The one thing no one ever mentions about these tests is that the tested vehicle is accompanied by a flat bed truck with a tarp (just in case), a van full of extra parts and a van full of mechanics. It's a regular caravan of people, parts, expediters, photogs and gofers..
      • 4 Years Ago
      this is a stupid at GM's 230 campaign. 25MPH seriously, who does that? FAIL.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Imagine driving cross country in your car, getting 400 miles away from home, and having to be towed because you ran out of power....but then again I'm sure the mechanic at the garage will probably let you use his outlet to power up, For a price of course.
        • 4 Years Ago
        That's not even the problem...Even if there's a charger available for a price, it will take up to 8-16 hours to fully charge depending on the voltage. What are you going to do meanwhile? The bigger the battery, the longer it takes to charge. Until battery/charge technology catches up, electric cars will still be niche vehicles.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Couldn't you need towed if you didn't find a gas station? Oh, right, gas stations are everywhere.

        And you don't need 8 hours, they already have quick chargers that can do 80% in ten minutes.

        So, solution? Get gas stations to invest in the concept, and install quick chargers. Problem solved.
      • 4 Years Ago
      A 25mph top speed is not all that great for distance testing. Make it 70 and see if they can get over 300 mpc
      • 4 Years Ago
      Now I am probably the last person to think of this but I havent seen it voiced anywhere. If low-rolling resistance tires are being used, and here even 'lower rolling resistance tires', mftrs have to be sacrficing safety in increased braking distance and poor handling through less traction.

      Personally, I'll do with a few less mpg knowing that when I brake, I'm not going to be skidding an extra 10 ft.

        • 4 Years Ago
        You're right, according to common sense, it doesn't add up. But with so many different raw materials in tire compounds these days, the ChemE's are finding a way to get the best of both worlds. Here's a good explanation from Yokohama:

        http://alternativefuels.about.com/b/2009/04/10/do-low-rolling-resistance-tires-hurt-hybrid-braking-performance-and-safety.htm

        They're using citrus oil there, but a lot of other companies are using increased levels of Silica with the same effect.

        Obviously you're going to make a compromise somewhere, but it doesn't always have to be in the form of performance. Ride comfort, treadwear, and longevity are three places that engineers can pull from as well. It all depends on what your priorities are...
        • 4 Years Ago
        common sense calls hogwash.

        at the end of the day, braking and traction depend on the amount of friction applied; either due to compound (hard/soft), tread, and/or the size of the tire patch.

        Reduce 1 or all of those against an otherwise identical tire, braking and traction will suffer.

        Unless you have a tire that can inflate/deflate based on driving condition (steady speed vs change in speed), then you cant have it provide low resistance for driving and high resistance for braking.
        • 4 Years Ago
        You're looking at the wrong LRR tires, then. Numerous tire mfr's these days have found a way to increase rolling resistance without impacting wet/dry performance.

        There is a lot more to a tire than you might think...just because you stiffen the tread compound doesn't mean you can't change the tread pattern or a multitude of other components to offset the trade-offs made with the tread.

        Goodyear already has the fuel-max tire out, which is said to give 4% reduction in rolling resistance, while maintaining all traction properties.

        http://www.autoblog.com/2009/04/16/soft-chewy-fuel-mileage-goodyear-introduces-assurance-fuelmax/
      • 4 Years Ago
      17 drivers.. seriously?
      36.6 miles/driver
      1hr 37 minutes/driver

      ... wimps
      • 4 Years Ago
      i know we are trying to elmenate gas but why hasnt the thought of a gas electric car similar to railroad locomotives been tried---a small 2 cyl gas or desil engin driving alternators to resupply power to batteries---dont want to start a bruha---just though it might be a logical step as an interem to help save fuel
        • 4 Years Ago
        Wow, so you really have no idea how the Volt works do you?

        Not a 2cyl engine to be sure, but pretty much exactly what you are wishing for otherwise.
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