Gavin Shoebridge – an electric vehicle nut, a keen environmentalist

                Electric Car Conversion Blog By Gavin Shoebridge

July 2nd, 2011 at 12:41 am

Yet Another 770 Kilometer (480 mile) Road Trip in an Electric Car!

2011 Nissan Leaf

So the Top Gear-inspired myth that electric cars are only good for short distances has been busted again. Another electric car has completed a long distance road trip without even breaking a sweat.

Once more we’re shown that electric vehicles are a suitable replacement for the Victorian-era Internal Combustion Engined (ICE) vehicle for most households – yet again.

The car used for the road trip was a Nissan Leaf, which like most electric car conversions has a range of 160 kilometers (100 miles) or less. These shorts of cars are the ultimate solution for zero-emission, zero-cost commuting, but they’re not the first choice for most long distance trips!

Most EV owners wouldn’t dare drive the 770 km (480 m) journey from San Diego, California to Tucson, Arizona. The Leaf, although a factory-produced electric car, still has a similar range to typical home-converted cars.

However this didn’t prevent an American army veteran Jerry Asher from setting out on the epic road trip.

Not surprisingly, the trip took Jerry Asher seven days to complete with all the recharging stops required. Although getting there quickly wasn’t the point for Mr Asher.

Instead, Jerry intended the journey to be part leisure trip, part goodwill tour for the Leaf. If he wanted to do it quickly he could have, by using a $109,000 USD all-electric Tesla Roadster, which has a range of 385 km (240 m) per charge – requiring just one stop mid-journey to top up his batteries.

Alternatively, if he had his own home-converted car he could have done one better, by installing a range-extending trailer (simply a generator on a trailer) for long trips.

Sadly, no factory produced electric cars have this option yet, so it’s still better to build or convert your own electric car if true flexibility is required. Well done Jerry Asher for giving it a go though!

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  • Crazy Al
    9:13 pm on July 8th, 2011 1

    Hi Gavin,

    I agree it is better to do your own Electric Car Conversion. It’s also cheaper.

    Isn’t interesting to see how the car makers are announcing that they are going to release an Electric Car in 2012 or beyond.
    In 2009, Chrysler said they will release the Chrysler Circuit EV in 2010, but it never got released.

    I did an Electric Go Kart conversion and I tell you, I don’t want to go back to gasoline. I don’t worry about oil leaks or carby issues and it is quiet so I don’t annoy my neighbors.
    I found your book helpful when I did my conversion (I got it going successfully on my 2nd attempt – on my 1st attempt, your book was not yet published) as your book helped clarify a lot of concepts & the videos are great, too.

    Crazy Al


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