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Broken Reporting on a Broken Record

Recently, the Japan Electric Vehicle Club set a record for an electric vehicle (EV) by driving over 1,000 km on a single charge. The English version of the Asahi reported it as thus:

The Japan Electric Vehicle Club drove its test car 1,003.184 kilometers, far outstripping its own previous world record of 555.6 km.

The group will apply to register the new record with Guinness World Records.

The new record was set with the "Mira EV," a minivehicle made by Daihatsu Motor Co. and modified by the club. It was equipped with 8,320 cylindrical lithium-ion batteries produced by Sanyo Electric Co.

The minivehicle circled the 689-meter circuit at Tsukuba Circuit in this city 1,456 times in about 27 hours and 30 minutes from Saturday to Sunday.

The Telegraph also praised the achievement:

The achievement is timely: Japan and other nations are bracing themselves for an electric car boom as car manufacturers race to produce competitive versions of the environmentally-friendly vehicles.

However, the biggest inconveniences for many potential e-car owners relate to charging – from finding a nearby charger to making sure that the car does not run out of power during the school run.

The latest epic electric vehicle drive of over 1,000km effortlessly beat the previous world record of uncharged driving 555.6km, which was achieved last November by the same Japanese organisation.

However, there are gaping holes in both stories. The Japanese version in the Asahi shimbun contained far more detail, particularly this:







They fitted the car with ultra light seats for a weight savings of 40kg and used special tires to reduce rolling resistance. It started raining, which increased rolling resistance. To save power, drivers only switched on the windshield wipers two times per lap. Lap being a key word here as they were driving on a closed test track with no need to switch gears or touch the brakes. They also had a light touch on the accelerator to keep the car at a steady 40km/h.

For the Telegraph to call this an "epic drive" that "effortlessly" broke the previous record is pure BS. It's also bad that the Asahi whittled the English version down to be utterly meaningless. Sure, a distance record was broken, but the group went to great lengths to control the driving environment and modify the car. This isn't as big a deal as the newspapers are making it out to be. EVs may be sexy technology but their practicality is still very limited. l'll be impressed when EVs can drive 1,000km under real conditions: traffic jams, bad weather, uneven acceleration and deceleration, poorly inflated tires, a full passenger load, plus groceries and other assorted junk loaded in the back.


The Chevy Volt is FAR ahead in this field. It is the most practical and advanced electric-engine drivetrain in the world. Toyota actually dismissed the whole Lithium-Ion battery gamble and Volt powertrain a few years back, basically calling GM stupid for going ahead with it. The real reason was Toyota had no idea or skill to actually develop such an advanced eco option, so they dismissed in typical Toyota arrogance...Kind of like how they dismissed all gas pedal and other recall problems recently. Ah, Japan for sure...

Two great sites to see just how advanced this vehicle is, how much it saves the environment...Not all smoke and mirrors like the all-electric vehicles proposals out there...

Best oart: it comes out in the fall! like to hope all these electro cars will rock...but something tells me that we will be using gas guzzlers for a long while yet...

city driving would be OK..but..theres still something..less than romantic...less than manly about an electric car...i DO like the saving money aspect..but since i dont believe in anthropocentric-climate change (or whatever)..i dont give 2 shites if its "good" for the environment..

I still imagine it wil be like the old RED BARCHETTA song from Rush at some point in the future..with wussy plastic cops trying to stop my 73 'Cuda..or V-8 Mad Max Interceptor...

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