Category Archives: Electric Car Technology

Elevation Graph in Google Maps

As mentioned in a previous post Team ElectricBlue will visit Rheinfall and Munot on day one. It may be of interest when make the decision which route is the most energy efficient one, to consult with the new route elevation feature provided by google maps. Although the feature is currently available for the bike tab only, it also might be of interest to electric car drivers. Our example:

elevation graph home - Schaffhausen

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Did You Know? – Electric Cars Are Quiet But Not Silent

Ear-1Electric vehicles are most certainly not silent. At car park speeds they make as much noise via various fans, pumps and tyre noise as most modern internal-combustion engine vehicles. At high speeds the wind and tyre noise is comparable to any car. And like so many other issues surrounding the EV, this “problem” was addressed years ago. The EV1 had a back-up warning, as well as a pedestrian alert that could be activated by the driver when needed.

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Recovering Energy

Technical Jargon: Regenerative Braking

One of the reasons electric cars are so efficient is that when they are slowing down they do so by using the motor instead of the brakes. The motor acts as a generator and recharges the battery as it slows recovering the energy that would be lost to heat with normal brakes.

This is called regenerative braking, or regen braking. It is the same kind of system that is used in Formula 1 motor racing.

One of the benefits of regen braking is that the mechanical brakes are not used much and so they do not wear out and it is not uncommon for brake pads to last the life of the car!

Open Vehicle Monitoring System on Board

Team Electric Blue has the Open Vehicle Monitoring System ( OVMS ) on board.

Tesla Motors has made all car data available on its CAN-bus. An app e.g. for the iPad, iPhone or any Android phone can make the data visible at any time by contacting the OVMS server. Using GSM, the car delivers the data to the server.

The data-stream covers information such as:

  • battery status ( percentage )
  • remaining range
  • temperatures ( PEM, motor, battery )
  • car location ( using google maps )
  • charging points ( e.g. directions, locations, addresses, plug types )
  • and much more