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Petrolburner
Petrolburner New Reader
3/27/14 7:41 p.m.

I love the carpet mask, I'm definitely doing that next time. Some of those cones are pretty abrasive after they've been drug around the course. I have some permanent scarring on my Corvette bumper from a dirty cone. I was at that same autocross but I missed seeing your car. Were you in the AM or PM run group?

Javelin
Javelin MegaDork
3/27/14 9:50 p.m.

I can't wait to have you at the DSC Bryce, I think you will find a lot of seat time value there. I will be available for instruction in the afternoon.

bgkast
bgkast Dork
3/27/14 10:33 p.m.

Is the Saturday auto-x at the PIR paddock? If so maybe I'll stop by and take a gander.

Javelin
Javelin MegaDork
3/28/14 8:03 a.m.

Yes it is.

mfennell
mfennell Reader
3/28/14 10:43 a.m.
Nashco wrote: Oh yeah, I forgot to mention energy consumption. Since the onboard computer has an extremely accurate energy consumption measurement and I'm in new territory here, I thought I'd keep track for those that are curious.

I'm not so sure about that. The energy consumption numbers are a CONSTANT topic on the Volt forum because, while they present to .1 precision, they are really just informed guesses. This came straight from GM engineers, who regret adding the feature, I'm sure.

Since many people drive the Volt battery to exhaustion, they obsess over that number and think their batteries are failing, despite all evidence (range) to the contrary.

Nashco
Nashco UberDork
3/28/14 6:45 p.m.
mfennell wrote:
Nashco wrote: Oh yeah, I forgot to mention energy consumption. Since the onboard computer has an extremely accurate energy consumption measurement and I'm in new territory here, I thought I'd keep track for those that are curious.

I'm not so sure about that. The energy consumption numbers are a CONSTANT topic on the Volt forum because, while they present to .1 precision, they are really just informed guesses. This came straight from GM engineers, who regret adding the feature, I'm sure.

Since many people drive the Volt battery to exhaustion, they obsess over that number and think their batteries are failing, despite all evidence (range) to the contrary.

It's extremely easy to accurately measure distance traveled (miles), power (kW = current * voltage), and time (h) with the sensors on board. While the energy that is remaining in the battery can vary quite a bit due to many variables (temperature, discharge/charge rate, etc.), the energy used and created by the drive motor/inverter is drastically simplified in comparison. I think that you may be getting remaining energy in the battery mixed up with energy used to propel the vehicle. Until proven otherwise, I have to assume that the screen is displaying energy required for the powertrain and accessories (battery energy out minus battery energy in) and that it is ignoring battery charge/discharge efficiencies. To do otherwise would be far too complex. I'm not trying to discount your input, just saying there's a really complex way and a really simple way to do it, and I have no option to use the data any other way than what is presented to me.

Also, we'd all like to believe GM learned a thing or two creating the Volt...right?

Bryce

turboswede
turboswede UltimaDork
4/28/14 11:26 a.m.

It was great hanging with you at Station 2 yesterday. Congrats on your runs in the Spark, from what I could see, the course and the conditions were pretty well suited to the car, if only the traction control wasn't so dimwitted.

Catch ya next time!

bgkast
bgkast Dork
4/28/14 11:36 a.m.

Yeah, it really looked like the traction control was holding you back. I was stuck under the snack shack awning with the kids and didn't get a chance to introduce myself. That spark gets of the line rather quickly!

Nashco
Nashco UberDork
7/23/14 12:48 p.m.

It's official, the Spark is classed in STF by SCCA:

http://scca.cdn.racersites.com/prod/assets/14-fastrack-august.pdf

#13904 Chevy Spark Classing Proposal Per the STAC, add the following new listing to class STF in Appendix A: Chevrolet Spark Note: The Chevrolet Spark may run in STF if it meets the height/track requirements of 3.1. It may need to be lowered and/or widened in order to accomplish this. Also note: Per SR 3.1 this car is not eligible for the 2014 Solo National Championships in this class.

I've never caused a rulebook change in SCCA before...not sure if I'm part of the problem or part of the solution, now!

Unfortunately, they also issued a new rule recently that specifically hurt the potential of an EV/hybrid in street touring as well:

http://scca.cdn.racersites.com/prod/assets/14-fastrack-april.pdf

Street Touring #11982 Lexus CT200H Classing Proposal The following rule change proposal is recommended to the BOD: Change the first sentence of 14.10.F to read: “The engine management system parameters and operation of internal combustion engines may be modified only via the methods listed below.” Note: in conjunction with this change, the STAC has recommended a Tech Bulletin to class the Lexus CT200H (see elsewhere herein).

This was kind of a bummer, as modifying the ECU for more power is totally common and capitalized with the gas cars...so they get a performance adder allowance that I'm not allowed with my EV. Apparently SCCA is worried about hybrids and EVs stealing all of the trophies...ha!

I've got a lot of updates (that I'm behind on providing) on the car, races completed, and modifications. I was on a motorcycle adventure to Alaska this month, which was a great adventure but distracted from this project. In the preceding months I was REALLY busy, so I chose to cram as much racing and modifications in as I could and ignored documentation. Hopefully in the next couple of weeks I can get the build thread back on track!

Bryce

Petrolburner
Petrolburner Reader
7/23/14 3:51 p.m.
Nashco wrote: I was on a motorcycle adventure to Alaska this month, which was a great adventure but distracted from this project.

Jealous!

GameboyRMH
GameboyRMH MegaDork
7/24/14 7:40 a.m.
Nashco wrote:
Street Touring #11982 Lexus CT200H Classing Proposal The following rule change proposal is recommended to the BOD: Change the first sentence of 14.10.F to read: “The engine management system parameters and operation of internal combustion engines may be modified only via the methods listed below.” Note: in conjunction with this change, the STAC has recommended a Tech Bulletin to class the Lexus CT200H (see elsewhere herein).
This was kind of a bummer, as modifying the ECU for more power is totally common and capitalized with the gas cars...so they get a performance adder allowance that I'm not allowed with my EV. Apparently SCCA is worried about hybrids and EVs stealing all of the trophies...ha!

Looks like my prediction was almost right:

http://grassrootsmotorsports.com/forum/grm/first-hints-of-ev-dominance-in-racing/88673/page1/

camaroz1985
camaroz1985 Reader
2/10/15 2:08 p.m.

Any updates on this. Seriously considering picking one of these up now that they are going to sell them in Maryland.

Nashco
Nashco UberDork
2/11/15 12:42 a.m.

Yeah...I'm way past due for an update! I'll try to make time soon, as lots of people have been asking. Rest assured, I've made time for wrenching and racing, just not documentation.

Meanwhile, here's a spoiler...

Season one goal of prepping the car to compete successfully at Maryhill hillclimb was completed! Next up, solo nationals???

Bryce

bgkast
bgkast UltraDork
2/11/15 1:30 a.m.

I sat in one of these at the Portland Auto show and wondered how yours was doing. I really need to make it out to Maryhill this year to spectate.

camaroz1985
camaroz1985 Reader
2/11/15 10:41 a.m.

Now even more interested.

Nashco
Nashco UberDork
12/28/15 10:31 a.m.

I should probably copy/paste a bunch of this info here, but for now here's a link to a huge pile of updates:

http://mychevysparkev.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=10&t=3656&p=14218#p14218

Bryce

Flight Service
Flight Service MegaDork
1/5/16 10:40 a.m.

this is cool, need to find one of these used...

Nashco
Nashco UberDork
8/5/16 12:58 p.m.

Unfortunately for me, I have to put my Spark EV up for sale because I've taken a job in Europe and can't bring it with me. Fortunately for you, the coolest Spark EV in the world could now be yours!

http://portland.craigslist.org/mlt/cto/5717883701.html

Bryce

crankwalk
crankwalk Dork
8/5/16 6:18 p.m.

Every time I drive my wifes Prius C, I think how much fun it would be at AutoX. Seeing this Spark doing it while looking good is so cool. Good luck with the sale and Europe. Depending on where you're going to in Europe, I'd say it would be a pretty perfect car in a lot of ways if you could take it with you.

Vigo
Vigo PowerDork
8/7/16 1:30 a.m.

Sorry to hear you're having to get rid of it, but it was a fun project to read about.

Can you clarify this from the ad:

This car is literally the quickest electric car you can buy (that isn't a Tesla), even faster than the BMW i3

i3s are fairly quick for what they are, <8s 0-60 and <16s 1/4 mile. Did you ever generate any hard acceleration numbers from this car? 0-60 vids i have seen on youtube from the Spark EV don't even seem close to the i3's acceleration.

Nashco
Nashco UberDork
8/7/16 2:44 a.m.

I never took it to the drag strip like I wanted to, but according to my phone accelerometer app it was around 6 seconds to 60 and about 15 in the quarter in race trim. Keep in mind that race trim in my Spark EV is about 200 pounds less than a stock Spark EV and with sticky tires. The i3 can't lose that much weight or gain that much traction. I never finished the race seat install, but that was going to save another 40 pounds or so.

There's also a technique to getting maximum acceleration out of the Spark EV. If you instantaneously mat the go pedal, torque limiting is much greater than if you roll into the accelerator. I'm sure those internet videos on EV acceleration were awesome, but I suspect subtleties like this are missed when you don't have an ass in a seat.

Bryce

Knurled
Knurled MegaDork
8/7/16 10:08 a.m.
Nashco wrote: Unfortunately, they also issued a new rule recently that specifically hurt the potential of an EV/hybrid in street touring as well: http://scca.cdn.racersites.com/prod/assets/14-fastrack-april.pdf
Street Touring #11982 Lexus CT200H Classing Proposal The following rule change proposal is recommended to the BOD: Change the first sentence of 14.10.F to read: “The engine management system parameters and operation of internal combustion engines may be modified only via the methods listed below.” Note: in conjunction with this change, the STAC has recommended a Tech Bulletin to class the Lexus CT200H (see elsewhere herein).
This was kind of a bummer, as modifying the ECU for more power is totally common and capitalized with the gas cars...so they get a performance adder allowance that I'm not allowed with my EV. Apparently SCCA is worried about hybrids and EVs stealing all of the trophies...ha!

I.. er... may have played a part in that. The subject of hybrids/EVs in RallyCross came up around that timeframe and I did some research, talked with some engineers, and submitted to the SCCA that the factory-engineered HV systems are extremely robust and fail-safe, so they should be legal in all categories provided that the HV systems are not modified from stock.

Sorry?

Nashco
Nashco UberDork
8/7/16 1:17 p.m.

It doesn't make any sense. Software mods are allowed for gas cars but not for hybrids or EVs. Raising the rev limit on a gas engine could blow up the trans, sending shrapnel into the passenger compartment. But that doesn't happen, just like removing low speed software torque limiters designed not to shred econo tires on EVs also isn't going to cause any harm. Sure, no modifications to the high voltage hardware, just like no modifications to the fuel system on a gas car, makes sense in a stock class. But no ECU mods?!

I'm an engineer. Sounds like you asked the wrong ones if NO modifications was the only way they could imagine safely racing them.

Bryce

Knurled
Knurled MegaDork
8/7/16 2:31 p.m.

The PCM is where the failsafes lay. That is the kicker.

Nashco
Nashco UberDork
8/7/16 2:40 p.m.
Knurled wrote: The PCM is where the failsafes lay. That is the kicker.

Yes, just like on the gas car that relies on the rev limiter to remain unmodified within the control module to prevent exploding the engine and trans (as a single example, I can think of lots). Soooo...I'm not seeing the difference.

Bryce

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