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back to article India's Reva to pitch 'invisible' e-car reserve battery

Indian car maker Reva will reveal two new all-electric vehicles at the upcoming Frankfurt Motor Show. First up will be the NXR, which the firm has billed as a four-seater, three-door hatchback for families. The NXR will go into production during 2010, Reva promised. Reva’s keeping the NXR’s technical details close to its chest …

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Battery Warrenty Issues

The batteries tend to last longer if you never let them fully discharge, so the real reason for keeping a reserve is to maintain battery life. Clearly it is good PR/customer service to let the customer tap that reserve rather than being stuck by the side of the road with a dead car.

I imagine the reason that they make it require a text message to enable the reserve it to stop people using the reserve every journey, and killing the battery would lead to unacceptable warrenty claims and a bad reputation for battery life time.

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First!

Idea partly stolen from David Wright who commented on :

http://green.autoblog.com/2009/09/07/frankfurt-preview-reva-to-show-next-gen-evs-remote-wireless-ch/

Remote Charging in the literal sense is obviously impossible using current technology so this feature will be equivalent to a 'reserve tank' on a motorbike.

Presumably the default setting for the level you're allowed to discharge the battery is put in place for a good reason (to avoid damaging the battery perhaps?).

An obvious comment would be "Why make us SMS for the reserve tank, why not just make it a big red button on the dashboard". I can think of a reason: To put you off using it too much.

Make it just slightly more complicated than pressing 1 button and people will use it less. That way, they won't be constantly using the reserve tank, and consequently won't damage their batteries unless strictly necessary.

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Grenade

Yuck...

Hideous visibility. Almost like someone tried their best to obstruct as much of your view as possible. No thanks (even if it passes crash tests, which I find a bit hard to believe).

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Silver badge

Why?

I agree with the Reg, it makes more sense to just let the users have access to this.

Unless of course, they believe that allowing the users to constantly run their batteries down to the minimum may damage the batteries and thus hurt the brand's reputation on reliability.

I guess its a good idea because people tend to not think about how much charge is left on the batteries or even look at the gass gauge.

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Anonymous Coward

Please do not press this button again

Give the customer access to it. It wouldn't be too hard to keep a count of the number of times the "reserve" had been used, and make increasingly unpleasant bleeps or whatever, to warn them of the consequences to battery life.

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Pls snd pwr. Batry mt.

txt POWERME to 54231 for unlock code. Text charged at Network rate + 10GBP.

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Go

Locking the reserve is a smart idea...

...because the car is going to be sold in India, where people pound the life out of their vehicles without really understanding how they work or why certain things are the way they are. If it doesn't work properly even due to their own mistake or abuse, they're just going to go to the dealership and start screaming. Believe me I know...it's my home country. Reva is doing this to protect themselves and the battery. By the way, it looks like a good vehicle.

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Reserve buttons

If the reserve really is to protect the battery, then I suggest sticking it under the bonnet, or perhaps in the boot (presumably where the battery is). Stick it under a cover with "FOR EMERGENCY USE ONLY" on it.

If abuse is a serious worry, stick a bright red counter next to it that decrements at every push. When the counter gets to zero, you need to take the car to the shop where they'll do some rediculously expensive "reserve capacity recertification". Until you do, no more reserve-tapping.

ISTR BMW did something like this with one of their models. They had a special "sport launch" mode you could activate while pressing the brake while in drive. Once you released the brake, the engine would rev to several thousand before the transmission would engage, hurtling you forward at levels of acceleration approaching acceptable. The mode could only be activated a fixed number of times (10?). I don't believe there was any indication of a counter, at some point it would simply become disabled. If it was possible to reset the counter, I imagine it was forbidden at a factory shop, and considered a warranty violation if performed elsewhere.

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TFk

Compromise

Both sides of the argument make sense here - realistically, putting aside battery life issues for a second, this 'reserve' tank is kind of like having a gasoline can in the back of a normal car - you don't want to use it all the time, but it's there for emergencies - you have to go through the hassle of getting out the can and filling up the main tank.

They could do the same here - put the 'big red button' somewhere inconvenient and out of the way (under the hood, or in the back say), so that people aren't tempted to use it all the time, but can still get their car moving if their phone dies at the same time as their car......

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The technology is out there

The technology is out there, and here is a demo of wireless electricity on TED.

Please search http://blog.ted.com/2009/08/wireless_electr.php for an available technology, alongside http://www.inhabitat.com/2009/09/01/japan-plans-21-billion-solar-space-post-to-power-294000-homes/.

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A bug or a feature?

Some cheaper Li based batteries get a SUBSTANTIALLY lower lifespan (factor 10 or worse) if they are regularly discharged below 50%. It may very well be that what we see here is the properties of a bad battery being sold as a "feature". Not something you want to give your customers regular access to.

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invisible power!

They tell you about the glass key that opens the floor. Yabba dabba do!

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Some inside info

REVive is a telematics solution for occasional usage. It is designed to reassure potential customers that should they not pay attention to the digital display telling them Distance to Empty and the worst comes to the worst, then we have a solution to help them on their way. Our research has identified 'range anxiety' as an issue, even though in practice our 3000 customers no more run out of electricity than they do petrol. It happens, but not a lot.

We hope you like the NXR and the NXG by the way. More News announced next Wednesday.

Best wishes

Keith Johnston

President, European Operations

Reva Electric Car Company

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