Electric EJ1 Jeep
by John Norbeck
(Fairview TWP, Pennsylvania,USA)
The Electron is a 1998 TJ that is fully electric. The drive train from the transmission back is all Jeep but the power comes from 130v lithium ion power pack. The motor is an HPEVS 80HP AC motor that puts out 180 ft/lbs of torque at 50 rpms. That is not a typo, 50 rpms. The torque curve is pretty flat up to around 3200 rpms.
I use it as a daily driver to and from work. To drive it, it feels like somewhere in-between a 4 cyl. and a 6 cyl. but I rarely have to use first gear. Generally I start out in second and go directly to fifth gear. Driving around town I put it in third and drive it like an automatic.
It has a belt drive on the front output shaft that runs the power steering pump, vacuum pump for power brakes and the AC compressor (which I never use). The range is 65 miles spring, summer and fall. In the winter, the range drops to somewhere in the high 50s. It can get pretty cold here and the batteries are not as efficient when they are cold.
It has been on the road for over 3 1/2 years. The only maintenance thus far has been replacing a Chinese made main fuse for a US made fuse and each Spring and Fall I check the tightness of the battery connections. That takes about 20 minutes.
It does have regenerative braking so my brakes get a light workout as the motor creates the resistance slowing the vehicle and charging the batteries at the same time.
Folks do ask how it performs off road. Well, it operates like a TJ on 31's with much more torque than the 6 cyl. However, I have a CJ that is my wheeling Jeep.Editor's Comment
: Very nice, John!