Charger
Click to enlarge
The K & W Charger
Click to enlarge
The K & W Charger
Since there would be ample time to recharge, I use a onboard K & W charger. This charger charges the main 120 volt traction pack. It's mounted in the front compartment, passenger side on a panel. There is also a booster transformer mounted on the rear battery rack frame to allow charging to 150VDC from a 110 VAC outlet.

The second charger (pictured on the right) is for the 12 volt AGM battery. This automatically comes on when I plug the car in. So both charger are running until the 12 volt battery is finished, then that charger will automatically shut off.

You're probably asking your self how long does it take to recharge and how much. The answer, Depends. Just like a gas tank, it takes different amounts to fill it up. It always fully charges over night from a "dead" battery (which is technically only draining the batteries 50%, so I am not crawling home like a snail, still have full power). The charge is also ajustable from 1 amp up to 20 amp. So there is several different variables. From my daily 10 mile drive, it takes aprox 3 to 4 hours to charge at about 10 amps. What about the cost you say? Well that also depends. How far you drive and how much your electricity costs. This car goes about 250 Wh/Mile. So what does that mean? It takes 250 Watt Hours to go 1 mile. So lets say you go 10 miles like my drive to work and back. Thats 2500 Wh (10 miles X 250 Wh), also known as 2.5 KWh. Now just multiply your KWh ratting from your power company. Mine is 12 cents. So we take our 2.5 KWh * 12 cents = 30 cents. Of course there are some loss due to power conversions so lets add a few pennies and call it 33 cents. So it cost 33 cents to recharge for those 10 miles driven, that equals only 3.3 cents to go a mile. If you wanted to equate that to your gas car, 33 cents goes 10 miles, say your car gets 30 miles a gallon, so thats 3 times further than my 10 mile example so multiple the 33 cents by 3, thats 99 cents of power. A gallon of gas cost you $3.89 (as of 5/29/2008 in Texas). Some people's electricity cost is cheaper than 12 cents per KWh, I have seen as low as 6 cents per KWh, that 1/2 the price. So my 99 cent example for 30 miles is now only 50 cents. If you wanna see something scarry, look at the National Average for Unleaded Gasoline.

During the day, if I have an opportunity to plug into any 15 amp electric outlets, I do so. This is typically called "convenience charging". It will usually leave me with a near full battery pack every time I get in the car. So if you went shopping or at an event that allows plugging in, they are paying for your milage, not you. So that can bring your total driving cost down even more.


**** UPDATE ****
I just ordered a Zivan NG3 Battery Charger. This is a state of the art high frequency automatic charger. I am expecting it any day now but I will have to send it in to get it reprogramed for my battery pack. This charger is way more efficient than my K&W charger, I am guessing the K&W charger is about 50% efficient. From the wall I am pulling 12 amps but going into the batteries is only 6 amps. The Zivan is suppose to be about 90% efficient. With the programed charging curves and the efficiencies, this will decrease my charge time and better fully charge my batteries. Hopefully I can get that installed in December, it depends on how long it takes them to reprogram the charger.

Last Updated: