This blog is the story of taking a 10 year old Twike that has been setting idle in a backyard in Portland, Oregon and restoring it to is former glory and getting it back on the road. It is Twike number 434.
Thursday, July 2, 2009
Daily Commute started on July 1, 2009
Starting yesterday, I am doing my daily work commute via the Twike. The missing piece was getting a second battery pack working well. I drove yesterday and today to and from work which for me is just under 8 miles. I don't yet have a good feeling for how much power it is taking to do my commute but today it only took 1.2Kw to charge it when I got to work (and that was after it ran the fans for a while to cool the batteries). The NiCads can deliver lots of power but they do heat up in doing so and right now we are having a heat wave in Portland which does not help. I got lots of thumbs up and waves today. One guy was keeping next to me and yelling out his open windows. "hey! really cool. Where did you get it? Did you build it?" that kind of stuff. Kind of hard to drive and answer questions in traffic. Work is cool about letting me charge there (used 12 cents of power today). I'm not sure, but I might have enough charge to go roundtrip without charging at work. Tomorrow I'm going to try a trip to someone's house that is 13 miles away so we will start to test the range a little more. Currently, my longest single trip is the 8 miles to work. Since I brought it home, I bought 3 new tires, had them mounted and balanced, and I installed them on the vehicle. I also did a lot of cleaning up in the battery compartment and on all the removeable panels (bottom and sides). With two reasonable battery packs, the car is pretty snappy on acceleration. I can keep up with traffic no problem and can even hill climb at a reasonable rate (not as fast as a car but at least I *can* accelerate uphill now). I have been taking a less direct route home to minimize the hill climb time (I climb the hill by winding through a neighborhood as this allows me to drive slower without annoying anyone). On the way to work however, I go straight down the hill with regen on full sucking amps back into the batteries. Tonight my odometer read 204 miles. Expect a lot more miles in the weeks ahead.