TheSmartDrive.com announces “EV Finder“, a way to visualize data about electric vehicles across the globe. Using Google Maps we have plotted out vehicles registered with the EV Photo Album in an easy to use point-click or searchable way.  Search a random area of the globe or type in a US zip code and radius to find electric vehicles near you.

Here is the URL:

http://thesmartdrive.com/evfinder/

For information on linking and other information visit:

http://thesmartdrive.com/evfinder_about

If you just want to cut to the chase and see all the vehicles and how they are dispersed around the globe, check out:

http://thesmartdrive.com/evfinder/index.php?evaid=1&limit=4000

In my opinion this is probably the sexiest electric car made yet:

http://green.autoblog.com/2011/11/18/rimac-automobili-concept-one-rolls-off-the-turntable-onto-the-r/

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DMQd5nGEkr4

I think most people in the world hear “Oil” and think “That’s just gasoline” and if cheap oil started to run out they would just drive less.  This is not the case, as presented in the documentary A Crude Awakening: The Oil Crash, the world is addicted to cheap affordable oil, and the bad news is, it’s not going to be cheap forever.

This film presents the idea that as peak-oil is reached the price per barrel is going to increase dramatically, affecting everything from transportation, to food, clothes, plastics, housing, everything.  After watching this I started noticing how addicted to affordable oil the world is.  Even coming from a background of energy conservation and alternate fuels, this film really changed the way I look at how much of society is built on petro-chemicals and what would happen if oil were to go away. I recommend everyone watch this film to understand the how people use oil and the importance of energy independance.

http://www.oilcrashmovie.com/

TheSmartDrive is not dead, just been on hiatus for a while and it’s time for a recharge!

Until things get back up and running check out Autoblog Green. This site is always updated with the latest news on green vehicles, electric, ethanol, hybrid, diesel, etc.


I have been offered a great opportunity, drive a Tesla Roadster without restrictions for 5 days. The opportunity to drive a $110,000 car for a week doesn’t come along very often for many people, so I thought I would share my thoughts on driving the current king of EVs.

Take a look at the full write-up here: http://thesmartdrive.com/electric-vehicles/tesla-roadster-review/

I just wanted to make a quick post about a new online video series that is just starting up.  “Fully Charged” is a weekly video series on YouTube and iTunes that aims to showcase plug-in electric vehicles.  The video below is the first episode/pilot, take a look at this EXCELLENT explanation of electric vehicles.

So I’m not the worlds most diligent blogger, but that doesn’t mean things aren’t going on.  First some explanation.   Last summer I started working at EeTrex, a startup company working on hybrid electric plug-in conversions in Boulder, Colorado.  I work on building battery management systems (BMSs) for lithium-ion batteries. Management systems for batteries is something that I have always been interested in and this is an absolute dream job.  Needless to say, with a job I enjoy, and working like crazy, the electric vehicle and other projects have slowed a little.

I live in Colorado and winters here are pretty cold and snowy, as a result I haven’t been driving the electric vehicle much.  However the winter has started to break and today is a beautiful day, perfect for a top down all electric drive.  Before heading out I decided to check the level of the batteries and add water to ones that were low.  For those who are wondering, when you charge flooded lead-acid batteries the chemical reaction in the cells separates water via electrolysis and the gasses escape.  Thus over time, the water that is in the cells decreases and it must be added back.  Here is a good page on PbA battery basics. Because the water that escaped was pure H2O the only water that should be added back into the cells is pure distilled water.  You can find distilled water at most grocery stores.  One of the best and easiest ways I found to water the cells is to put a gallon of distilled water above the car, then use a length of flexible tube to siphon the water down to the car.  Simply folding the tube over and holding it in one hand allows control of how much water enters each cell.  After the watering I took the car out.  On the drive today and drives over the winter I noticed some degradation in the range of the batteries since I haven’t been driving much.  I think this will improve with a few discharge-charge-equalization cycles.  Check out this page on battery balancing and lead-acid equalization for how to even out a EV pack.

That’s about it for the EV.  The next item on the list is to do the rear brakes on the car as I think they are about at the end of their life.  As things change look for updates!

Test vehicle: 1997 Geo Prizm with automatic transmission; 130000 miles on vehicle
Test tires:  Kumho Solus KR21; 175/65r14

The variable for this test was tire pressure.  For the control test, the pressure was set at the factory recommended 33 psi in each tire. The subsequent test was done with the pressure set at 45 psi. For each test, the vehicle was driven a total of 550 miles over the course of one week travelling back and forth between the same two cities via the same route.  The fuel tank was filled twice per week. Measurement of the quantity of fuel used was taken from the readout on a gas pump at each fill-up.  The number of miles travelled was taken from the vehicle’s trip odometer.

Results:  During the control period, the number of miles travelled per gallon of gasoline consumed was 27.  With the tire pressure at 45 psi, the vehicle travelled 30 miles per gallon of gasoline consumed; a difference of 11 percent.

It’s been a while since I have posted anything on here, sorry.  A friend of mine is interested in sustainable fueled vehicles and vehicle efficiency and is going to be contributing his thoughts to TheSmartDrive every now and then.  Doug is an avid supporter of sustainable fuels and has worked on battery electric, hybrid electric, and solar power vehicles.  I’m sure you will find his posts interesting.

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