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Guide to maintain Electrical Vehicles (EV)

kanagadeepan

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During August 2019, for office staff daily use, I bought one second hand (BSA Green - very old model, but well maintained) EV for trial (but with new Lead Acid battery) for 20k (battery cost Rs14k at that time). At that time, our office vehicle TVS XL Super Heavy duty (2 Stroke) gulps petrol of minimum Rs2800 to Rs3000 every month. Satisfied with its usage after 3/4 year and battery health has NOT at all degraded (well maintained), but the age old charger died. So instead of buying new charger for Rs1000, I bought Oreva (from Ajanta clocks / Orpat calculators) Aarieyana (not sure about spelling) and used the battery of old vehicle for Rs17000 (incl the new almost smart charger and exchange of old EV body). The advantage of this new EV is, it can carry loads like XL Super. With coming August, 2 year is about to complete for the battery, which is still going super strong.

Last week, for checking purpose we used the TVS XL for 3 full days and it has upgraded its gulping capacity (actual thanks to Petrol price) to Rs150 per day. So it comes to Rs3800 to Rs4000 per month. Man, I have already started savings. Reg the power bill, we have one small service for office light (single phase), where just two tube light and one fan is connected and all others are in 3 Phase factory service. I pay around Rs500 every bi-month (thanks to Pandemic - usage is very less) earlier and then I paid Rs550 bi-month after charging this office EV. Now I am paying Rs725 (bi-month) for charging 2 EVs. So extra electricity bill for 2 months is less than what I pay for one day petrol (mostly due to my low usage single phase service).

Reg maintenance charges, I have spent Rs600 in 22 months, mainly for door pickup and door delivery of vehicle for quarterly service. Vehicle service is nothing but checking wires, polarity, changing battery position (Lead Acid), etc.. All you need is discipline in EV maintaining...

Some EV maintaining tips:-
[01] Use Voltage Stabilizer for the charging point, if your area has voltage fluctuations or living near transformer. Since we are in Industrial area and transformer is near, the voltage fluctuates in range of 226V to 265V and I use one V-Guard stabilizer (for the 2 points of charging).

[02] Use some rat repellent (Kurunai Marunthu in my case), if your area has rat issues. Rats love the tiny wires in light / horn. Thank me later.

[03] NEVER EVER OVER-CHARGE your EV. Read it again. And once again read this point. Occassional over charging is OK (I have mistakenly done twice in 22 months). If you can't avoid this, AVOID Lead-Acid battery and go for Li+ or Li Ferro-Phospate batteries.

[04] Don't charge your EV, immediately after long usage. Always give 15-20 mins rest before charging.

[05] Same applies to discharging, don't use EV immediately after charging. Give 15 - 20 mins rest. This is also important point for battery health.

[06] Use SealIn (not sure about spelling) puncture proof solution in the rear wheel (with hub motor) or go for tubeless tyre straight away (still sealin is recommended). Reason, no road side mechanic will have experience in removing and re-assembling the wires in hub motors during puncture.

[07] Use the EV in the range of 25 to 80% of battery (smart charger helps here) for excellent battery health.
=== (a) Do not dry the battery frequently (occasional OK - I've done once in 22 months) - If possible don't go below 25%.
=== (b) Do not FULL charge the battery frequently (occasional OK - I've done 7 times in 22 months) - If possible don't go above 80%
=== (c) The battery level indicator in EV display (based on Voltage in most cases) is a bad joke. That's why go for some level of smart charger.

[08] Always buy EV, if the 40%-50% of advertised range (or 75% of real world range) is your MAXIMUM daily usage. The real world range promised in my EV is 50KMs and our usage is 30 to 35 KMs per day average.

[09] Obvious point (i) If you drive slowly, battery discharges slowly. So I removed the boost option (25kmph is top speed, with boost it goes to 35kmph) in OREVA EV. If your EV loses most charge, you can still drive 5 KMs, if you have patience to drive @ 10kmph speed, before battery getting dry.

[10] Obvious point (ii) Range depends on Load as well. Going doubles will significantly reduces range than singles. Keep this in mind when calculating range (Note point [07] as well).

[11] Low cost EVs, need some user level usage adjustments.
=== (a) U can't make fast sudden turn, like in IC engine vehicles (especially in low cost EVs). So try first with patience.
=== (b) Most EVs stop battery supply on braking and hence stops faster than you think.

[12] Service your EV every 3 months without fail, even if it is working great.

If friends are interested, I can post the pics of my EV, charging point, charger in pics here.

Another EV is converted one and I don't want to discuss about that here. It is for personal and educational purposes. of course, It is not at all illegal to own one for personal / educational use, but the process to make it fully legal is still in Govt proposal. I will share that xp (very very long one than this) here, once Govt OKs that. It is strictly not at all recommended, if you don't know what you are doing.

Final NOTE:- No, I am NOT an EV dealer or related to EV manufacturing in any way. Just an average, but some-what better educated customer (thanks to almost 2 years of experience).
 
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