Metron 7 Sets New Range Record At 513 Miles On Single Charge

AUG 4 2015 BY MARK KANE 41

Andrej and Jasna Pečjak next to Metron 7

Andrej and Jasna Pečjak next to Metron 7

During WAVE Trophy 2015 in June, Metron 7 (Mazda5 converted to electric drive by Institute Metron in Slovenia) once again raised the bar for electric car range.

Let’s look back at this interesting event.

Andrej and Jasna Pečjak drove 826.1 kilometers (513.3 miles) from Berlin to Karlsruhe in Germany, at an average speed of 72 km/h (45 mph), without use of AC. Their previous record from October 2014 was 457 miles.

Not bad for an electric car, huh? But to have 500 miles range Metron 7 was equipped with an 86 kWh pack, extended by a further 22 kWh in an external pack, for a total of 108 kWh. That’s significantly more than a Tesla Model S.

At over 100 kWh, electric cars are probably topping out, as longer range isn’t needed if cars like this would have Superchargers available along the routes.

The record breaking journey was reported by AutoblogGreen.

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41 Comments on "Metron 7 Sets New Range Record At 513 Miles On Single Charge"

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Pushmi-Pullyu

As I have often said: It’s not hard to get a long-range BEV, if you’re willing to sacrifice most of the interior space; all you have to do is stuff a lot of li-ion batteries into a compact car.

This is more of a stunt than an engineering achievement, and certainly is no sign that EV tech is advancing.

Oskar

Heya, just wanted to chime in, since I’ve been following the development of this vehicle.

From their website:
“Metron 7 has even a bit more luggage space then original Mazda 5 and is not filled up with batteries as somebody would think.”

Additional:
” One important part are batteries: 96 lithium polymer chobalt based cells stored in special light boxes under the car weighting almost 500 kg including boxes and connections. As you can see from the picture above trunk space is still same as at original Mazda 5 model.”

BTW, long time lurker, first time commenting, is there a registration mechanism on InsideEVs?

Pushmi-Pullyu

Hey, Oskar! Welcome to InsideEVs!

And thank you for your enlightening post. Okay, so this is a significant engineering equipment; my bad!

I’m amazed they managed to put the battery pack on the bottom of a conversion vehicle, and preserved the luggage space. The photo doesn’t look like they adjusted the suspension to raise the car to compensate. Did they just live with low ground clearance?

Oskar said:

“BTW, long time lurker, first time commenting, is there a registration mechanism on InsideEVs?”

Yes indeed…welcome. While there is a registration system hiding in the site code, we have turned it off.

We find most/many people want nothing to do with having to “login” or “sign in using a social media platform”. Individualization through the icons/gravatar is enabled, and we attempt to keep everyone’s community ID unique if we can.

Oskar

No problem, and a fine solution it is. 🙂

Is there a policy to posting links in comments? I don’t want to have them wait for moderation, so I avoid using them, but sometimes it might be handy in the name of discussion.

Let’s try with this one: http://www.wavetrophy.com/en/trophy/

No absolutely not. We don’t try to “pen” people in around here…lots of other great places to visit out there, so if you see something to link of interest – go for it!

Of note: the system will auto-hold any comment with 3 links in it for moderation, so just try to keep it to two and you are good, (=

Pushmi-Pullyu

The article says:

“At over 100 kWh, electric cars are probably topping out, as longer range isn’t needed if cars like this would have Superchargers available along the routes.”

In a few years, that’s going to look as short-sighted as the apocryphal quote “640K of computer memory ought to be enough for anyone.”

BEV pickups and minivans, and probably SUVs, are going to need appreciably more than 100 kWh of batteries. Large trucks are going to need a lot more.

Speculawyer

Well, the problem is diminishing returns because as you pointed out above, you lose lots of space. Increasing energy density helps but any time you do that, the safety seems to go down.

Very Large vehicles may need to be plug-in hybrids, CNG, or perhaps fuel cells can fill that niche.

BraveLilToaster

Except that fuel cells can fill no niche whatsoever.

Personally, I’d rather see trains powered by electricity for freight than big trucks running on anything. They’re far more efficient.

Pushmi-Pullyu
Speculawyer said: “Well, the problem is diminishing returns because as you pointed out above, you lose lots of space.” Once you put batteries on the bottom of the car, like the Tesla Model S or the BMW i3, then the amount of space they take up becomes largely irrelevant. All it does is raise the floor a few inches. “Increasing energy density helps but any time you do that, the safety seems to go down.” Even lead-acid batteries can leak hydrogen and cause an explosion. Do you have any statistics to back up your claim that higher ED batteries are more prone to fire or explosion? As I understand it, statistics show that overall, EVs have only about 1/3 the danger of fire as compared to gasmobiles, so it seems to me the danger of fire is more of a perception problem than anything else. Humans seem to be hard-wired to pay a lot of attention to newly recognized dangers while ignoring much greater dangers which are familiar. Certainly Boeing’s problems with battery fires in its Dreamliner do point to a problem with that specific type of battery chemistry, but I think that’s an outlier coming from a confluence of… Read more »

623 mile range record from 2010 still stand dispite the 513 mile range attempt in 2015. Perhaps this was a WAVE specific range record?

Ref: 623 mile range record from 2010 accomplished in Japan.
http://www.greencarreports.com/news/1047993_what-range-anxiety-daihatsu-ev-does-623-miles-on-one-charge

>623 mile range record from 2010 still stand dispite the 513 mile range attempt in 2015.

The Mazda traveled at a practical average road speed. The Daihatsu did not.

Daihatsu -27mph

Mazda – 45mph

Ambulator

For me, 45 mph doesn’t seem very practical either.

Nick

That’s average speed.

mr. M

This seems like a normal average if you drive not on the Highway, only rural roads. Most of the wave participant did drive at those to increase range.

The speed limit for rural is 62.5 mph (100kph) in germany. With driving trough town (speed limit 31mph/50kph) from time to time 45mph seems almost like normal driving. I would expect 45-53 mph average for rural roads.

108 kWh useable? Did they drive until deep discharge, because they didn’t need to care about battery durability for this one time drive?

Oskar

The SOC indicated 5% left, with cell voltages min 5.517V and max 5.575 and pack voltage at 341.2V. Best I could find the pack voltage when full is 356V, though the info is a year old by now. Make of the numbers what you will.

Pushmi-Pullyu

“Counter-Strike Cat” asked:

“108 kWh useable? Did they drive until deep discharge, because they didn’t need to care about battery durability for this one time drive?”

A DoD (Depth of Discharge) of 80% is standard for BEVs, and for an attempt at pushing the range, 90% or perhaps very slightly more (maybe 92-93%) is probably typical. I know Tesla reserves 5% on the top (that is, batteries are never charged to greater than 95%, even for maximum range setting) and they reserve some amount on the bottom, too. I’ve never been able to determine what Tesla’s bottom reserve percentage is, but if the bottom reserve is 5% like the top, that wouldn’t surprise me.

If they didn’t care at all about battery durability, they would have driven it to 0% SoC (State of Charge). They didn’t.

Was that in 1 shot, or did they stop for bathroom breaks?

If they used 100kWh, that’s an average of 5.13 miles/kWH. Not bad.

Oskar

Since they achieved this run during WAVE2015 EV rally, I assume they stopped often as the event required competitors to engage in various activities such as spreading awareness in schools and community centers along the way.

I don’t have any hard evidence for this, though. They might have skipped it? And went to the loo in the car? 😀

ModernMarvelFan

The efficiency isn’t all that impressive at 5.1 miles/kWh

I think most PEV owners have done somewhere around that at least couple times in their ownership experience…

Pushmi-Pullyu

5.1 miles per kWh, in this distance achievement, isn’t impressive by what metric?

A BMW i3 has an EPA rated range of 81 miles, using a 22 kWh battery pack. That’s 3.68 miles per kWh, which is better than any other production BEV.

A previous distance achievement, using the Tesla Roadster, achieved 313 miles, with a 52.8 kWh battery pack. That’s 5.93 miles per kWh, driving at a near-constant speed of about 35 MPH.

I’d say 5.1 miles per kWh at an average speed of 45 MPH, achieved over such a long distance, was pretty good. It’s especially good if they didn’t try to maximize distance by driving at a constant speed, as the Tesla Roadster distance achievement did. Perhaps an extreme hypermiler could have done slightly better, but I doubt anyone could have done much better at an average speed of 45 MPH under the same general driving conditions.

Bill Howland

The supercharger comment the article writer made assumes huge additional supercharger installations. The main supercharger available for me personally is the one near my house, and most of the time, where I really need one, along the trip, there aren’t any, since I rarely travel the interstates, or at least the most popular ones.

The article may be ok for a place saturated with them such as California, but we still have a dearth of them in my parts.

A large battery will still be very welcome.

Pushmi-Pullyu

Bill Howland said:

“A large battery will still be very welcome.”

Indeed!

Until such time as we get long-range BEVs which can be recharged in 10 minutes or less and a nationwide (or worldwide) network of ultra-fast-charge stations capable of such charging, larger and larger capacity battery packs will continue to be wanted and needed.

Tesla’s Supercharger network is the best currently available support for long-range BEVs, but let’s be realistic here: That still doesn’t make BEVs fully competitive with gasmobiles and gas stations for long distance driving.

Brian

I dont know if I could call that a “single charge” when they used a external pack…. I can drive a tanker truck for a really really long time if I had a tube leading into the diesel tank.

Oskar

I won’t vouch for the information, but my understanding is that they consider only the 86kWh under-floor pack as integral, whilst the additional 22kWh “external” pack is an addition in place for record runs, which still compromises no trunk space (or at least it did not last year when they had a 736km run).

Hardly hauling an additional fuel tanker along, wouldn’t you say? 🙂

Pushmi-Pullyu

Right. Presumably the “external” pack was still being carried by the car, somewhere. If it wasn’t, if it was being carried by a support vehicle, then that would negate any validity of the claim for a distance record.

Oskar

It was definitely carried by the car.

The Metron guys also manufacture and sell additional battery packs like these, which they somewhat unfortunately call ‘electric range extenders’.

So far they seem to offer them for the iMiev/C-Zero/iOn triplets and the E-Golf. Neat idea, though the triplets do give up 20cm of trunk depth for 60-80km of extra range @ 8kWh, while the Golf’s trunk goes allegedly unaffected and the range is bumped up to 200km @ unspecified kWh. They don’t specify whether this is a bump from EPA’s 134km, NEDC’s 190km or practical 130-190km for the Golf.

Ken

Even with lithium, i’m pretty sure that a Mazda 5 would be over the GVWR with that many cells on board. I’m guessing at least 1300lbs of batteries added? I don’t think the car could legally hold more than the two people it carried. The 21st Century Automotive Challenge at Penn State that i compete in every year weighs the vehicles to make sure they don’t go over the gvwr and thats there is also enough weight left for the number of passengers it is supposed to carry. My Geo Metro Convertible has about 800 lbs added and is only legal to compete with one person onboard. I thought europe was even tougher than the US on vehicle inspections?

Pushmi-Pullyu

I don’t know what the laws/regulations are in Germany, but in the USA, the NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) is fairly lenient in certifying “experimental” vehicles. The safety standards for cars sold as “new” are much more stringent.

mr. M

Checked data sheet of madza 5. 640kg loading allowed (ex driver). Driver is already included in vehicle weight in europe regulation.

They removed the ICE and some related parts, so they gained some 50-150kg compared to normal.

Battery is said to be 500kg. This leads to allowed loading of ~240kg. Seems pretty ok.

mr. M

Checked their Website. They state empty weight is 1700 kg. So they are alowed to legally load at least another 345kg.

Oskar

Here in Slovenia, where the vehicle was built, homologated and registered, you do have to keep the GVWR within limits specified by the manufacturer when converting to electric drive. Should you exceed that weight, you are required to remove seats and literally destroy the mounting points for them, until allowed weights can be met. At least that’s what the muppets at our equivalent of DMV/tech inspection have told me.

As for the rest of regulations, they require all kinds of certificates and engineering evaluations for everything from battery boxes to EM interference for the motor, all the gauges and lights must be in working order, etc. There used to be a big fuss around A/C as well, since they claimed there was no legal way to drive the compressor. Our bureaucracy is second to none. 😉

Phr3d

I really am Not this guy, as I would always argue the billion-to-one odds against it actually happening, but I can’t help but shudder to think what kind of media-frenzy would have occurred had their home-brew been involved in an accident during this event.

I tend to think cell-safety/protection might not have been high on the list of abilities, and if unforeseen cooling issues can be missed on a project the size and scope of the solar plane, a wreck could have been hideous.

Pushmi-Pullyu

By that same reasoning, you’d better never get up from your bed. Certainly you’d never want to expose yourself to the danger of actually riding in a car on public roads!

A bit more seriously, I’m very glad we’re descended from ancestors who were not so timid. If we were, then we’d still be huddling naked and cold in caves. Better not bring fire inside — somebody might get burned!

Phr3d

generally agreed, but you may have missed my flamboyant point? “by that same reasoning”.. errr, not so much – 100kWh+ of cells at best semi-protected in their lightweight containers won’t take much punishment and could produce a spectacular difference from your analogy.

Things Happen-oh well, but the press-maggots would re-run it for a decade.

jamcl3

Well this was lithium polymer, known to be one of the more “nervous” chemistries. I think there is only one major OEM who has been willing to put that in a passenger EV. It is usually the stuff of remote controlled small aircraft.

I drive a 2014 LEAF in mostly B/Eco mode and over the last year’s distance of 6,000 miles of mostly in-city use I’m averaging 5.2 miles/kWh. I maximize motor regen by anticipating my stops using the brakes as little as possible and reduce aerodynamic drag by traveling the speed limit. To further minimize the Peukert effect (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peukert%27s_law), I try to accelerate slowly, but must admit it’s fun to ‘floor it’ on occasion!

Priusmaniac

It is good to have that kind of records because it will push for further improvements in the range of electric vehicles. Range still remains the main element to improve at least up to 400 miles at 80 mph in winter temperature with an aged battery. Roughly still a doubling of the present 90 KWh in the Model S.

Joe

Cool record. The gas/petrol Mazda 5 sold in the USA has always been a gas hog for its relatively small size. This article makes me interested in converting older vehicles to electric! We generally get 4.6 m/kWh in summer with heavy AC up to 5.2 in milder Spring/Fall weather with our 2015 Nissan Leaf driven in eco/B mode in the city.

Aaron

28 MPG on the highway is far from a gas hog. That is without the SkyActiv engine either.