Three Country Tour on an Electric Motorcycle – Georgia & Florida

JUN 20 2015 BY BEN RICH 7

ben2

Electric Motorcycle Tour

Spending the day on I-95 is not my idea of fun. Also, I believe the thermometer was at “Holy Heatwave, Batman!”. So it was very hot and I had to ride over 300 miles on the highway today. Fortunately the day was filled with good experiences and only a little mishap.

Starting at 7am I rode from my friend’s house in northern Charleston 20 miles to a Nissan dealership in southern Charleston. I had to do this because the next stop was 100 miles from southern Charleston and 120 miles on the highway is just out of reach.

Traveling from Charleston to Savannah, GA was uneventful and I was excited to have a charging station that was near shopping and food. Well, it was near shopping but not near food. The Tanger Outlets near Savannah have plenty of shopping, but no place to eat a meal. I ended up buying some Under Armour clothes to help deal with the intense heat, which turned out to be a great idea. Then I walked a mile to get some food. I find that having charging stations near food is the best place for them.

The next stop was in Brunswick, GA at a Nissan dealership that also has a CHAdeMO station. CHAdeMO stations are fast chargers and if my bike could use that it would have charged up in half the time. The folks at Jenkins Nissan of Brunswick were super nice and made me feel at home. While all was well inside, something was amiss outside the air conditioned dealership. It was so hot that the temperature sensor stopped the bike from charging. I didn’t find this out for about 15 minutes, but I had enough charge to make it to Jacksonville. I put the bike in the shade for a few minutes and doused the battery box with water to help it cool. This little setback cost about half an hour.

Florida Here I Come!

Florida Here I Come!

Riding to Jacksonville went smoothly and the charging station was near the waterfront where lots of restaurants are nearby. Had a delicious meal at Fionn MacCool’s and the waiter was both a Whovian and a browncoat. What luck!

Storm!

Storm!

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A huge storm system in central Florida cooled down the temperature, which helped me stay more alert and helped my battery stay cool. I left Jacksonville at 7pm, exactly 12 hours after my ride started to get to a Daytona Beach hotel to charge one last time. After charging at the Country Inn & Suites I made it to my parents’ house at 11pm.

Now it’s time for a much needed rest day. Riding is great fun, but it can be fatiguing and my body feels a bit beat up from fighting the wind all day.

Map Of Ride

Map Of Ride

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7 Comments on "Three Country Tour on an Electric Motorcycle – Georgia & Florida"

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A nice ride through the “Coastal Empire”. Used to live in the area courtesy of the U.S. Army. A very historical delta. Hey, Chick-Fil-A was up on Pooler Drive just outside the gate of the Outlet Mall, but you are correct, seems Johnny Rockets is still in the works and not serving yet, I am sure the little walk did the legs good. I used to ride two wheels but I developed an allergy to physical therapy and orthopedic surgeons, nice folks but it was a pain getting to see them, no pun intended. Keep your head on a swivel, stay alive. Had the last smash up in St. Augie, ouch, on U.S. One at night. Stationed there that time with the USCG, much nicer clan.

How hot was it when your bike stopped charging Ben?

Looks like ambient temps in the low 90s.

http://forecast.io/#/f/31.1498,-81.4956/1434643200

Zero says the stock charger begins to reduce charge rate at a cell temperature of 110F, and stops charging completely at 131F.

http://www.zeromotorcycles.com/owner-resources/Cold-and-Hot-Weather-Operation.pdf

In the sun and pushing 50 amps into the battery, battery temperature could easily have been over 110F.

Ben

Protomech is right, but the issue is that I am absolutely flogging this battery. It has only has a few hours rest since I began this journey.

I am riding at highway speeds all day, fast charging during the day, then slow charging at night. The battery is either charging or discharging 24/7. The temps have been brutal this week in the south with little respite. I have charged in those temperatures, and higher, many times but that particular day I had already traveled and charged once in the hot sun.

Yes. The battery has a lot of thermal mass – if it starts the day cool it’s unlikely to have issues unless you’re riding for hours.

Zero will likely need to adopt either a more heat-resilient chemistry or else add active cooling to their battery modules as the capabilities of the stock bikes expand to allow for the sort of all day riding you’re doing.

speculawyer

Rick Scott. Ugh. Not exactly an EV nor PV friendly governor.

Ben

Here is the video from that day:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=emkzdBKQC44