The Electric Car Evolution

Teacher Trish and Flagswamp Primary School pupils

We know a super intrepid, lovely lady who has been helping build her own electric car. Paul’s sister is a school teacher in the South Island, but has also studied in Antarctica and crams her time with skiing, mountaineering and the like. Hearing about her new project piqued our interest again in this industry – possibly a leap in sustainability and eco-friendliness was nearer than we thought. Since then we’ve been checking out the motor sections of two major Auckland newspapers. If they’re to be believed electric cars are a while away still and come with a myriad of compromises.  (the spotlight seems have been taken over by diver-less cars right now) Well, we kind of disagree. Trish’s car is up and running and costing a massive $4.40 (approx. 200km) every time she fills her batteries if she has to pay for it. Most of the time she is filling up from a wind power generator belonging to friends.
 
Here is what she had to say:
 
Two years ago I moved from Auckland back to Dunedin with the hope that I could live a lifestyle closer to my enviro-ethical aspirations than I was finding possible in the big city. In particular my conscience was nagging me about the high CO2 output I was responsible for with the daily high mileage I had to cover in my petrol-powered car. I was inspired by my friend, Hagen Bruggemann to convert to an EV (Electric Vehicle), after seeing his successful conversion of two of his own cars.
 
The purchase of a significantly smaller house in Waitati, enabled me to buy a second hand 1999 Honda Insight Hybrid (this was the latest model Hagen had converted).
 
Pulling everything out of the boot and bonnet was the first step out of my comfort zone. The Honda Insight motor, fuel tank, radiator, exhaust pipe, battery pack and electronic control ICM isn't needed for an EV. My intention is to sell these parts to donate all the proceeds to the Red Cross Syrian Refugee fund.*
 
Last winter saw me many a weekend in Hagen’s garage bending over the bonnet or crouched in the boot, learning to use tools I didn't even know the name of! The most challenging of which I found to be the angle-(or is it ankle)- grinder. I took on the unofficial role of the EV apprentice.
 
My car is now certified, registered and warranted.  It’s performance in terms of acceleration and driving comfort, is now better than it was as a hybrid (no kidding!).
 
The first long distance test drive happened two weeks after we had it on the road last November, driving all the way to and from ChCh for the ’Evolocity' Show. The car proved that it can comfortably do 180 - 200km / full charge. We drag-raced it during ‘Evolocity’ at the Ruapuna Race Course, winning comfortably against it’s original hybrid petrol car version.
 
However speed is not the motivation for this venture. More to the point is that I now can drive past petrol stations, drive past cyclists and pedestrians knowing I'm not polluting their lungs, and drive at least a little more at ease about my enormous ‘Western’ carbon footprint.  The electric Honda Insight is about 4x more efficient than its hybrid version. It uses the equivalent of 1L of petrol (9.3kWh) per 100km.  This means the EV is avoiding 13kg of CO2 going into the atmosphere/100km (which the hybrid version produced), compared to 23kg of CO2 emission/100km from a normal petrol car! And this doesn’t take into account finding the oil and transporting it to the refineries! The best feel good factor is when the EV is plugged into the solar and/or wind powered energy source at either my friends Hagen and Sabina’s place or the Blueskin Nursery.
 
As for financial savings per km driven (which is always the first question people ask me!), I'm spending about 85% less to fuel the car, compared to my previous petrol powered car, which works out at a reduction from $17/100km with my old petrol car to $1.86/100km with the EV (at 20c per kWh).  On top of this the maintenance budget is considerably reduced as we don’t need spark plugs, oil or air filters, plus there is less wear on brakes. It will take me a while to pay off the EV conversion (about 7 years with the mileage I do) but I think it’s worth the effort as it allows me to contribute in my own small way to saving Earth’s health for future generations.
 
As of the beginning of this year, I am driving the EV each morning to Flagswamp School where I teach. Because the children were curious as to how “Trisha’s strange, silent car” worked, I plugged in to show them.  They discovered for themselves what propels the EV and all the different components in comparison to their own family car. The Principal, Jason Benoit, and I plan for this to lead to some exciting ’Experiential’ (hands on) learning, as part of our Environmental Education programme, about renewable energy, clean transportation and science learning in our physical and natural world. Later in the year our term focus will be on 'Sustainergy' i.e. sustainable energy, where the children will learn to read the energy metre (attached to the charger in the EV), figure out the KWh used. They’ll also have the opportunity to compare $/km with petrol powered cars and lots more. But more importantly we hope to explore the possibilities of integrating alternative energies at our school and are looking forward to a fun building project involving some form of Electric transport ? E-gocart/  E-bike/ E-scooter maybe? (watch this space!)
 
(*If you are interested in purchasing the above mentioned Honda Insight motor etc., you can contact me on 0277123222)
 
You can read the article on her in the Otago Daily Times here
http://www.odt.co.nz/news/dunedin/374329/teacher-walking-talk-electric-car
Teacher Trish and Flagswamp Primary School pupils

We know a super intrepid, lovely lady who has been helping build her own electric car. Paul’s sister is a school teacher in the South Island, but has also studied in Antarctica and crams her time with skiing, mountaineering and the like. Hearing about her new project piqued our interest again in this industry – possibly a leap in sustainability and eco-friendliness was nearer than we thought. Since then we’ve been checking out the motor sections of two major Auckland newspapers. If they’re to be believed electric cars are a while away still and come with a myriad of compromises.  (the spotlight seems have been taken over by diver-less cars right now) Well, we kind of disagree. Trish’s car is up and running and costing a massive $4.40 (approx. 200km) every time she fills her batteries if she has to pay for it. Most of the time she is filling up from a wind power generator belonging to friends.
 
Here is what she had to say:
 
Two years ago I moved from Auckland back to Dunedin with the hope that I could live a lifestyle closer to my enviro-ethical aspirations than I was finding possible in the big city. In particular my conscience was nagging me about the high CO2 output I was responsible for with the daily high mileage I had to cover in my petrol-powered car. I was inspired by my friend, Hagen Bruggemann to convert to an EV (Electric Vehicle), after seeing his successful conversion of two of his own cars.
 
The purchase of a significantly smaller house in Waitati, enabled me to buy a second hand 1999 Honda Insight Hybrid (this was the latest model Hagen had converted).
 
Pulling everything out of the boot and bonnet was the first step out of my comfort zone. The Honda Insight motor, fuel tank, radiator, exhaust pipe, battery pack and electronic control ICM isn't needed for an EV. My intention is to sell these parts to donate all the proceeds to the Red Cross Syrian Refugee fund.*
 
Last winter saw me many a weekend in Hagen’s garage bending over the bonnet or crouched in the boot, learning to use tools I didn't even know the name of! The most challenging of which I found to be the angle-(or is it ankle)- grinder. I took on the unofficial role of the EV apprentice.
 
My car is now certified, registered and warranted.  It’s performance in terms of acceleration and driving comfort, is now better than it was as a hybrid (no kidding!).
 
The first long distance test drive happened two weeks after we had it on the road last November, driving all the way to and from ChCh for the ’Evolocity' Show. The car proved that it can comfortably do 180 - 200km / full charge. We drag-raced it during ‘Evolocity’ at the Ruapuna Race Course, winning comfortably against it’s original hybrid petrol car version.
 
However speed is not the motivation for this venture. More to the point is that I now can drive past petrol stations, drive past cyclists and pedestrians knowing I'm not polluting their lungs, and drive at least a little more at ease about my enormous ‘Western’ carbon footprint.  The electric Honda Insight is about 4x more efficient than its hybrid version. It uses the equivalent of 1L of petrol (9.3kWh) per 100km.  This means the EV is avoiding 13kg of CO2 going into the atmosphere/100km (which the hybrid version produced), compared to 23kg of CO2 emission/100km from a normal petrol car! And this doesn’t take into account finding the oil and transporting it to the refineries! The best feel good factor is when the EV is plugged into the solar and/or wind powered energy source at either my friends Hagen and Sabina’s place or the Blueskin Nursery.
 
As for financial savings per km driven (which is always the first question people ask me!), I'm spending about 85% less to fuel the car, compared to my previous petrol powered car, which works out at a reduction from $17/100km with my old petrol car to $1.86/100km with the EV (at 20c per kWh).  On top of this the maintenance budget is considerably reduced as we don’t need spark plugs, oil or air filters, plus there is less wear on brakes. It will take me a while to pay off the EV conversion (about 7 years with the mileage I do) but I think it’s worth the effort as it allows me to contribute in my own small way to saving Earth’s health for future generations.
 
As of the beginning of this year, I am driving the EV each morning to Flagswamp School where I teach. Because the children were curious as to how “Trisha’s strange, silent car” worked, I plugged in to show them.  They discovered for themselves what propels the EV and all the different components in comparison to their own family car. The Principal, Jason Benoit, and I plan for this to lead to some exciting ’Experiential’ (hands on) learning, as part of our Environmental Education programme, about renewable energy, clean transportation and science learning in our physical and natural world. Later in the year our term focus will be on 'Sustainergy' i.e. sustainable energy, where the children will learn to read the energy metre (attached to the charger in the EV), figure out the KWh used. They’ll also have the opportunity to compare $/km with petrol powered cars and lots more. But more importantly we hope to explore the possibilities of integrating alternative energies at our school and are looking forward to a fun building project involving some form of Electric transport ? E-gocart/  E-bike/ E-scooter maybe? (watch this space!)
 
(*If you are interested in purchasing the above mentioned Honda Insight motor etc., you can contact me on 0277123222)
 
You can read the article on her in the Otago Daily Times here
http://www.odt.co.nz/news/dunedin/374329/teacher-walking-talk-electric-car
Teacher Trish and Flagswamp Primary School pupils

We know a super intrepid, lovely lady who has been helping build her own electric car. Paul’s sister is a school teacher in the South Island, but has also studied in Antarctica and crams her time with skiing, mountaineering and the like. Hearing about her new project piqued our interest again in this industry – possibly a leap in sustainability and eco-friendliness was nearer than we thought. Since then we’ve been checking out the motor sections of two major Auckland newspapers. If they’re to be believed electric cars are a while away still and come with a myriad of compromises.  (the spotlight seems have been taken over by diver-less cars right now) Well, we kind of disagree. Trish’s car is up and running and costing a massive $4.40 (approx. 200km) every time she fills her batteries if she has to pay for it. Most of the time she is filling up from a wind power generator belonging to friends.
 
Here is what she had to say:
 
Two years ago I moved from Auckland back to Dunedin with the hope that I could live a lifestyle closer to my enviro-ethical aspirations than I was finding possible in the big city. In particular my conscience was nagging me about the high CO2 output I was responsible for with the daily high mileage I had to cover in my petrol-powered car. I was inspired by my friend, Hagen Bruggemann to convert to an EV (Electric Vehicle), after seeing his successful conversion of two of his own cars.
 
The purchase of a significantly smaller house in Waitati, enabled me to buy a second hand 1999 Honda Insight Hybrid (this was the latest model Hagen had converted).
 
Pulling everything out of the boot and bonnet was the first step out of my comfort zone. The Honda Insight motor, fuel tank, radiator, exhaust pipe, battery pack and electronic control ICM isn't needed for an EV. My intention is to sell these parts to donate all the proceeds to the Red Cross Syrian Refugee fund.*
 
Last winter saw me many a weekend in Hagen’s garage bending over the bonnet or crouched in the boot, learning to use tools I didn't even know the name of! The most challenging of which I found to be the angle-(or is it ankle)- grinder. I took on the unofficial role of the EV apprentice.
 
My car is now certified, registered and warranted.  It’s performance in terms of acceleration and driving comfort, is now better than it was as a hybrid (no kidding!).
 
The first long distance test drive happened two weeks after we had it on the road last November, driving all the way to and from ChCh for the ’Evolocity' Show. The car proved that it can comfortably do 180 - 200km / full charge. We drag-raced it during ‘Evolocity’ at the Ruapuna Race Course, winning comfortably against it’s original hybrid petrol car version.
 
However speed is not the motivation for this venture. More to the point is that I now can drive past petrol stations, drive past cyclists and pedestrians knowing I'm not polluting their lungs, and drive at least a little more at ease about my enormous ‘Western’ carbon footprint.  The electric Honda Insight is about 4x more efficient than its hybrid version. It uses the equivalent of 1L of petrol (9.3kWh) per 100km.  This means the EV is avoiding 13kg of CO2 going into the atmosphere/100km (which the hybrid version produced), compared to 23kg of CO2 emission/100km from a normal petrol car! And this doesn’t take into account finding the oil and transporting it to the refineries! The best feel good factor is when the EV is plugged into the solar and/or wind powered energy source at either my friends Hagen and Sabina’s place or the Blueskin Nursery.
 
As for financial savings per km driven (which is always the first question people ask me!), I'm spending about 85% less to fuel the car, compared to my previous petrol powered car, which works out at a reduction from $17/100km with my old petrol car to $1.86/100km with the EV (at 20c per kWh).  On top of this the maintenance budget is considerably reduced as we don’t need spark plugs, oil or air filters, plus there is less wear on brakes. It will take me a while to pay off the EV conversion (about 7 years with the mileage I do) but I think it’s worth the effort as it allows me to contribute in my own small way to saving Earth’s health for future generations.
 
As of the beginning of this year, I am driving the EV each morning to Flagswamp School where I teach. Because the children were curious as to how “Trisha’s strange, silent car” worked, I plugged in to show them.  They discovered for themselves what propels the EV and all the different components in comparison to their own family car. The Principal, Jason Benoit, and I plan for this to lead to some exciting ’Experiential’ (hands on) learning, as part of our Environmental Education programme, about renewable energy, clean transportation and science learning in our physical and natural world. Later in the year our term focus will be on 'Sustainergy' i.e. sustainable energy, where the children will learn to read the energy metre (attached to the charger in the EV), figure out the KWh used. They’ll also have the opportunity to compare $/km with petrol powered cars and lots more. But more importantly we hope to explore the possibilities of integrating alternative energies at our school and are looking forward to a fun building project involving some form of Electric transport ? E-gocart/  E-bike/ E-scooter maybe? (watch this space!)
 
(*If you are interested in purchasing the above mentioned Honda Insight motor etc., you can contact me on 0277123222)
 
You can read the article on her in the Otago Daily Times here
http://www.odt.co.nz/news/dunedin/374329/teacher-walking-talk-electric-car
 

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