EV Engineering ( http://evengineering.com.au/ ) is a company with six or so partners, like Bosch and Continental and so on, with the job of putting together an electric vehicle.
They chose the Commodore for the body because it required the least amount of work for a 'switch-in' battery system. I.e., you run out of juice, you roll into a servo and they swap your battery and you leave the flat one behind.
They took us for a 10min drive each. Vehicle was very good. Practically similar performance to the standard Commodore in most aspects.
Biggest expenses were the LiPo battery ($75k) and the motor ($25k) both of which were prototypes. Battery pack was put together by the engineering team, so that $75k only covered parts. Pretty expensive hobby.
Here's a pic from my mobs of the switch-in battery system in action:
It was quite effective. Slow as hell but they said there were ridiculous safety checks going on to make sure everything was correctly working and a real-life version would be a hell of a lot quicker once optimised.
Also the car was on a hoist because they were working in a concrete slab factory - IRL the battery stuff would be in a hole in the ground.
Overall, very interesting. The project ends this week and the seven EVs that were made all go to the partner companies who will put the EV in their normal fleet programs in order to get a lot of logged usage data. I specifically asked who owns the IP to that data and they said that the partner companies do, but there is a clause that the data is for Australia only - Bosch can't take it over to Germany, for example, without further negotiation.
I didn't mean it to derail the thread, Soz Pinky :\
ON topic, I think the battery tech is just going to be 'one of those hurdles' that is only solved by increased demand and production.
It's an interesting idea with the battery swap. I'd love to see how the change is done, and yet I doubt a system anything like what you saw Pinky would be installed. (Just thinking logistically about the way the 'dead battery' would need to be changed out for a 'fresh one', all below ground).
The engine seems pretty reasonable, and I like that instead of trying to leverage the benefits of an electric motor, they're simply aiming to make it a 'Commodore, that has an electric engine' nothing more, nothing less (y'know, in performance terms).
Dazhel, I'm not sure that argument really works. I mean consider the mechanics around Australia (and indeed the world) who are likely to be put out of work once fuel gets the 'bye bye'. SURE we CAN replace componentry to do with an electric engine, but with the way electronics manufacture is at the moment, I doubt it would take long before the answer would be, "Yea, the is shot. We'll just take the whole engine out, and hook up a new one."
I'm also intrigued by the concept discussed RE: 'speed limiting' "yeah the engine is software limited to 135kph". I can see a number of 'droid nutters attempting to jailbreak their engines and tweak away 'on the fly'. :P
It wasn't an argument, it was an observation and a question.
If Australian car companies are going out of business because they can't compete with foreign car companies then so be it, but it's in the best interest of the nation that those workers find employment elsewhere if that's the case. I was just thinking about the policy that Vash seemed to be advocating (ie. crash & burn, dog eat dog) and wondered how far it extended.
sLaps I agree with you on the dunnydore.... it's not what I'd call an 'ideal' candidate, but it's a known platform locally, and I think Aussie's can wrangle with the best in the world when it comes to engineering feats like this. (besides, if Holden backed said endeavours by sponsoring with a car (or subsidised car purchase) I'm pretty sure I'd take that on when an engine and 'fuel cell' cost 100k...)
On the Commodore thing... reminds me of the tag-line 'you can't polish a turd, but you can roll it in glitter'
EV Engineering chose the Commodore due to space availability for a swap-in battery system. They specifically didn't want a small car (which is what everyone else is doing). They wanted to look at a performance vehicle and try to match the performance with an electric system.
Vash's comments just demonstrate how any money going into the automotive sector (biggest manufacturing sector in Australia) are seen as a 'bail-out' while money going into anything else is an 'investment'.
I was standing next to a guy yesterday when one of the engineers asked him, "So what line of engineering are you in?" and his reply was, "Well, you're probably going to put us out of business - we make fanbelts."
I love the little blurbs about each car in GT5. A quick snapshot in history about each car is aweasome (and it covers all of the Group B rally monsters in pretty good detail.
It's a shame the driving model for rally is so F***ING horrible.
I'm only a recent fan of Renault and Peugeot, and it's not their little hatches that make me stop and rethink it; it's their motorsports histories. (Group B being one of the better examples. Other good ones include their input into LeMans or/and in Renault's case, their involvement with the likes of F1)
And sLaps 'fluence' just makes me think of the word 'effluent'
In other news, I just found this little endeavour from Renault (I recall the vehicle in GT1/2, not sure why I haven't looked this up in the past.)
The audio just doesn't look like it belongs to the video XD (it also looks whack watching two peeps in the front of a van in full racing gear :P)