Saturday, March 21, 2009

Miles Electric Vehicle

We've had the Miles for about a week now, and are starting to explore its' benefits and challenges as it arrives stock from the store. Overall, we like it. As an around-town car, it does what you need it to do....

However, the below lists our challenges thus far.

1) Range - I observe the range is at best 50% (downhill, tailwind) of 40 mi. Example - this morning I arose, discovered a drill was missing, and went journeying to replace it. I visited True Value Hardware over at the Junction, the Black&Decker factory store over at 2100 Airport way, Home Depot on 1st Ave, Sears on 1st Ave, and finally Target over at Westwood Village. I left the house with a 100% charge, and returned home with a 40% charge. I am hard-pressed to believe that I traveled more than 10 miles.

Explanation on Dealer Contact: The 2009 model employs the new DeltaQ charger which has not proven to work out well in conjunction with the current battery set. Miles is developing a new charging algorithm, and requests that affected users log critical information to assist in diagnosis. The charge measurement instrumentation is suspect. Ongoing, but hopeful.

2) I am not observing any benefit, charge-wise, from the regenerative brakes.

Explanation on Dealer Contact: resolving the possible instrumentation issue may resolve this issue. Ongoing, depending on resolution to issue in (1)

3) Intermittent Creep Mode - On ignition, following the "Enter car, place key in ignition, place foot on standard brake, release emergency brake, turn key in ignition" sequence I am observing intermittent "creep" mode where forward and reverse speeds max out at roughly 3mph until I stop the vehicle, express my sincere frustration, turn the key off w/ my foot on the brake, and remove the key, and then turn the key back on. After completing this ritual 1-3 times, all returns to normal.

Explanation on Dealer Contact: "I'll look into that - it sounds like a programming or manufacturing issue."

4) Rust - I am observing initial rust signs around the charge port, under the port door and around the door open detection switch and screws.

Explanation on Dealer Contact: This is a common issue, resolved normally with a bit of Rustoleum. I suggested switching out to brass screws, as well, as they are not noted for rust.

A general design suggestion, I would *gladly* pay to have the proprietary charging socket replaced with a standard male grounded three-prong power jack that I could simply ram the female end of an extension cord onto - it's rather nervous-making to leave an $80.00 charge cord dangling at curbside at night in less than ideal neighborhoods.

Dealer response: They can make this change for $190.00 total, or I can buy the part for $30.00 and do it myself. I anticipate doing it myself.

Mom is beginning to drive the Miles with caution, and I am using it when she's not, in order to avoid burning gas. We like it, the both of us. So far, I'm happy with dealer responses, and proposed resolutions.


Drang said...

So, do you get a discount for Beta Testing for them?

SordidPanda said...


What brand/model of batteries are you using?

One of the tricks of electric storage systems is to use 6V golf cart batteries in series to get 12V's. The anode/cathode plates are reported to be thicker in the 6V batteries. I don't know how much of a tinkerer you are, but a swap of batteries may give you more roaming range between charges :)

Gay_Cynic said...

12 Volt, Lead-Acid, Deep Cycle marine style batteries. :) I'm looking at a big battery swap (and charger swap to go with), but would rather put that off until the dealer has made a game try.