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(Al-Bail 24): There is a power outage, an unusual situation for us with electric cars. But the truth is that for those of us electric vehicle drivers, a power outage isn’t the same as what people think of fossil fuels—the power outage is dead.
No, if you talk to one of the many recovery drivers, you will get the truth. Most electric cars that run out of power are standing there with a flat 12-volt battery, because even electric cars have a “starter battery” like all petrol and diesel cars since early morning.
Because electric cars don’t have a large starter to pull—even when it’s very cold—there’s no need for a large 12-volt battery. After all, only a small computer is needed to power up, and then the high-voltage battery takes over.
But a small starter battery can often cause problems, because electric cars become very weak if something is left to draw power. The small battery runs out quickly.
Example: An editorial staff member has an Opel Ampera-e that has parking lights that come on on the side where you put the turn signal lever, when you get off the car. It’s easy to come across this when you accidentally get out of the car. The result is that the front and rear parking lights will remain on while you are away. It draws this power from a 12-volt battery, which is very likely to be empty when you return after the end of the work day.
Cars have different ways of dealing with situations like this, but in most cases you either have to get help from others, or a tow truck.
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Elbil24 is in talks with, among others, CTEK, which makes a number of different equipment for charging car batteries, both electric and otherwise. They also have a battery bank – a power bank – with which you can power an ordinary fossil car. In other words, it’s so powerful you could power a fossil fuel car with it. This is why it is also expensive. Our advice to CTEK was to make a much smaller version, but still suitable for starting electric vehicle computers. For this you need a power bank with a much smaller capacity, and therefore it will be much cheaper to buy. Many of them will simply buy it and thus save themselves. Then it remains to be seen if CTEK sees the need.
Once we got to CTEK, they also have a smart product they call Battery Sense. This is a tool that you connect between the positive and negative poles of a 12 volt battery. This reads the state of your 12V battery at all times, and then gives you the updated health status of that battery through an app on your phone. The gadget and your phone communicate via Bluetooth.
If the tool notices that something is out of the ordinary, you’ll get a notification on your phone, saving you from something that could turn into a crisis situation. Unfortunately, there is no SIM card in the device that monitors the battery, so it must be within Bluetooth range to receive notifications. But notifications also come when the battery itself starts to run low, and you get graphs showing the battery’s progression. If you do a lot of short trips, it is not certain that the battery will get the necessary maintenance charge it needs, depending on the vehicle you own, this way you can ensure maintenance in a more controlled manner than leaving it without. power. And, as is well known, those situations arise when it is least convenient. Just ask the rescue crew the next time you need help.
We have now driven this tool in one of our cars for a while, and it works as intended. Unfortunately, at the time of this writing, it has gone out of production, but there are still units available to purchase online. The technology is also not advanced, and there are other devices that do the same function that can only be purchased from an unknown manufacturer. But, as I said, voltage measurement is not an advanced task, nor can it be reported to an application. It’s really cool, so you never run out of energy. The recommended price for the CTEK CTX is NOK 698, but many places are now selling it for NOK 498. Good trip!
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