July 26th 2010 marks the first anniversary of the e-Protege. When I took the Electric Protege on it's first drive after the conversion in 2009, the odometer was at 203872 kilometers and today it is at 213464. That is just shy of 10,000 kilometers driven so far without any regrets or incident worth mentioning. I just recently finished making a metal sprocket like plate and attached it to the power steering pulley which is mounted on the CE shaft of the motor along with the original tach sensor (Crankshaft Position Sensor) mounted close by. This now allows me to re-gain the functionality of the car's stock tachometer. I am now happy to see where the Warp motor RPM are at while I am driving. Here is a small sampling of speed, gear and rpm:
80 kph / 50 mph in 3rd gear = 4000 rpm
90 kph / 55 mph in 4th gear = 3650 rpm
100 kph / 60 mph in 4th gear = 4000 rpm
Accessing the motor or compartment for maintenance is now much easier and quicker after the control box was built last November. Now I only need to unplug six connectors, remove six bolts and lift from both sides with a helping hand and voila, everything is exposed. The great thing is that it only takes about 10 minutes.
Here is the power steering pulley onto which a 35 toothed plate was mounted. This plate mimics the stock plate that was on the ICE crankshaft pulley. The final pulley assembly was painted black for rust prevention. For more info on this, you can refer to an older post dating back to April 2009 named "The Old School Approach".
This is the stock CKP sensor (tach sensor) mounted on the aluminum motor mount supporting the commutator end of the motor. The gap between the tip of the sensor and the edge of the toothed plate is approximately one millimeter. The pulley is not shown mounted on the motor shaft as it was drying after being painted and I forgot to take a shot of the final look.
This is approximately how much gas I saved this year by switching to electricity.
The 2000 Mazda Protege's published fuel economy is 25 mpg or 9.4 litres per 100 km for combined city and highway driving. This means that I would have consumed approximately 940 litres of gasoline worth approximately $1000 at an average cost of just above $1 per litre. I know that I have plugged in the car about 200 times and my total cost of electricity is about $200 ($0.02/km driven). This makes it an approximate net savings of $800 as an EV. Of course, no oil changes, tune-ups or combustion engine repairs which can really add up especially on used cars. What's important however is no CO2 emissions :-)
The only maintenance done on the car in the past year was replacing the front brake rotors and pads which I did myself. The discs and pads were barely worn down but an annoying noise had developed in the past few months due to the driver side disc/rotor being warped forcing me to replace them. The total cost was $100. The quality of brake rotors has noticeably deteriorated in recent history. With almost everything being made cheap in China from recycled metal, it appears that discs are now much more prone to warping. I've have even heard of discs being warped new in the box.
As I think back at the year that has passed, I often wonder about government energy and climate policy especially in the wake of the largest oil spill and mining catastrophe to hit North America not to mention the many other ongoing environmental catastrophes around the world that are barely reported. In reading and watching other sources of media for relevant news, one comes to learn why things do not improve or change fast enough. One key reason is that executives in the fossil fuel industry rotate in and out of government positions like a revolving door. The oil industry's government lobby is so strong (much like that of the banking industry) that any efforts to change the status quo or implement tougher regulations is practically impossible. So I guess that our politicians are working to serve the few huge corporations rather than the many ordinary people like us. Check out dirtyenergymoney.com for more on this topic and watch Michael Moore's latest film "Capitalism A Love Story". On climate change, it seems that Wall Street's involvement in the Climate Exchange will be the next financial bubble. From what we have learned about Wall Street, I think most will agree that this is shaping up to be another scam. What a shame!
I also recently became aware of thousands of dolphins that are secretly ambushed along the coast of Japan as they travel along their migratory paths. While watching the award winning documentary "The Cove", I was shocked to learn about the fate of the dolphins at the hands of humans involved in a multi-billion dollar industry.
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