Category: Test drive

Ev1 Is Just The First

Ev1 Is Just The First
Ev1 Is Just The First



Anatoly FOMIN

“This task is as difficult as if you were to create a modern passenger car, but with one condition - the fuel tank should be no more than a liter,” one of the creators of the EV1 electric car began his speech to reporters. This unprepossessing abbreviation is decrypted directly with regal simplicity: "Electric Wikel 1" - "Electric car first." Its appearance is not a fad, but a necessity: according to California law, manufacturers who want to be on the market of the richest state of America are required to supply 2% of cars with zero emissions into the atmosphere of total sales. Therefore, the company General Motors since 1997 begins to sell the EV1 - a mass-produced mass-produced electric car. Note that this is the first experience of this magnitude - the French La Rochelle program has not gone further than several dozen experimental Renault, Peugeot and Citroen machines. Here we are talking about tens of thousands of copies.

What does it take for a spoiled American consumer to want to buy an electric car in addition to the regular gasoline? General Motors reasoned as follows: an electric car in all respects should not be inferior to gasoline cars in comfort, driving performance and reliability. Marketers added to this that a potential customer of such a car - middle-aged, shares concern about environmental issues and earns about 125 thousand dollars a year. And so, he is able to buy almost any of the cars on the market, with the exception of supercars and top models of Mercedes and BMW.

Hence the task is to keep the price of the car within 35 thousand dollars. For the sake of this, I had to abandon the effective, but very expensive nickel-cadmium and silver-zinc batteries in favor of cheap lead-acid ones. However, even with them, EV1 travels 150 km to recharge on the highway and 120 km in the city, accelerates from standstill to 96 km / h in 9 seconds and develops a forcibly limited speed of 129 km / h. Such parameters are quite enough for everyday use - trips to work and shopping. If an ordinary car consumed energy as economically as the EV1, it would require less than one liter of fuel per 100 km.

The author managed to drive a couple of miles on the EV1. This, of course, is not enough, but the following can be noted. The two-seater has a sufficient boot space (275 liters), a comfortable lounge with electric windows, door locks and exterior mirrors, with air conditioning, electrically heated rear and windshields. She has cruise control, power steering, ABS brakes, traction control and, of course, a stereo radio with a C-Di-player. One of the few differences from conventional cars is the lack of key locks for doors and ignition, their function is performed by code panels. The outer serves to open the car, the inner acts as an anti-theft device. After entering the codes, just press the “RUN” button, and EV1 is ready to move. The controls of the electric car are the same as for ordinary cars with an automatic transmission, so I did not have to get used to it. The only feature is the “Coast Down” button on the transmission selector. It switches the modes of coasting and engine braking (while recharging the batteries) - this is convenient on the highway and in the city, respectively.

To achieve the most efficient use of battery power, losses must be minimized. Engineers brought the drag coefficient of the car to Cx = 0.19 - a quarter lower than that of the best production cars; the shape of an electric car resembles a drop - the most aerodynamically perfect body. The car is narrowed to the rear and has a completely smooth bottom - this cannot be achieved on ordinary cars because of the exhaust system. The rolling resistance is minimized by the rather narrow (175 / 65R14) Michelin-Proxima tires with increased internal pressure (345 kPa - 3.5 kgf / cm2), designed specifically for EV1.

One of the main problems faced by the creators of such machines is the mass of the electric car. This is the case here. Twenty-six 12-volt batteries store 1378 A.h of electricity. The whole battery weighs 533 kg, which is more than a third of the total weight of the machine. A special system oxidizes the hydrogen released when charging the batteries into water and “refills the cans”. The curb weight of the EV1 is 1350 kg, about the same weight as a modern middle-class passenger car. In order to provide good dynamic qualities, a powerful engine is required - a three-phase AC electric motor develops 102 kW / 138 l. with. in the range of 7000 to

14, 000 rpm The torque on the driving wheels when starting off - 1640 N.m. It keeps at this mark until the engine spins up to 7000 rpm. Of course, this machine does not need a gearbox, since the speed characteristic of the electric motor is ideal. Instead, there is a two-stage gearbox that slows down the rotation of the electric motor by 10.946 times.

Many new technologies have been embodied in the back of an electric vehicle - a spatial welded supporting structure made of aluminum alloy weighs only 132 kg. Outside, it is lined with molded polyurethane panels. Doors, bonnet, trunk and roof covers are made of fiberglass reinforced thermoset. The panels are weatherproof and easily restore shape after a light blow. The technology allows the manufacture of the body so far only in three colors - red, dark green and silver.

The suspension of the machine is mainly made of aluminum alloys, and traditional in design: in front - an independent double-lever, and in the back - a whole beam on four trailing arms with Panar traction. The brakes are another matter. It does not need huge ventilated discs, much more important is the coordination of the braking force between the engine and the brakes themselves. When the driver presses the brake pedal, first the engine switches to generator mode, then the front hydraulic disc brakes and the rear electric drum brakes come into effect (!). The feedback and reactive force on the pedals is provided by a hydraulic mechanism.

It is known that air conditioning and heater “eat up” a lot of energy. Therefore, the EV1 has an air conditioning timer. It allows you to warm up or cool the cabin while the electric car is charging from the mains, so that then you do not waste precious battery energy on it. Naturally, the drive of the air conditioning compressor is electric, as well as the power steering, and … an oil pump that supplies lubricant to the engine and gearbox.

Now a little about the charging process. When you have to take a high-voltage electric wire with your hand, everyone asks an almost childish question: "But not … fucking?". General Motors states: “Should not.” During charging, the EV1 holder does not have to deal with connectors - current is transmitted inductively. A reliably insulated inductive coil at the end of the charging cable is inserted inside another coil in the front of the electric vehicle, so that direct electrical contact is eliminated. The charging process from a stationary device takes about three hours. The portable charger fits easily in the trunk, it can be connected to a regular household outlet of the American standard 120 V / 60 Hz, but charging takes 10-12 hours. A high-voltage device for industrial charging is also being developed, which will reduce its time to 40-50 minutes.

Another fact is curious - an electric car does not require maintenance for 160 thousand kilometers. The only thing that may be required during this period (presumably two times) is the replacement of batteries that can withstand only 450 charge and discharge cycles.

We can say that the efforts of all General Motors divisions created an electric car, which is almost as good as conventional cars in terms of ease of use, use and driving performance. This is the first product of the corporation, released not under the brand name "Chevrolet", "Pontiac" or "Cadillac", but under the general brand name "GM". By the way, while cars will be sold within the metropolitan areas of Los Angeles, San Diego, Phoenix and Tucson. As for the price, for this money in the USA you can buy a fully equipped latest Cadillac Cutter, a huge Chevrolet Tahoe, the prestigious European Mercedes-C220 or BMW-328i. Adding another three thousand, you can even get a sports Chevrolet Corvette. Honestly, it is hard to believe that the American will prefer EV1 to them. However, in Los Angeles, the West Coast Air Purity Authority subsidizes the purchase of the EV-1. Those who wish to purchase an electric car will have to pay $ 480 per month without a down payment. In the remaining three areas, where the state does not help in the purchase of EV-1, installment payments will be $ 640 per month for a car and 50 for a three-phase charger. 25 dealers in Arizona and California have already begun to call buyers.

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