Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Tires, Signs and Fines.

Well last week was tough but ended on the upside. Last week, I was turning left onto I-5 North at exit 109 when I hit something. It was 4:45 AM and dark and I was the 4th or 5th in line so did not see anything, just heard it as I ran over it.   Being completely unprepared for whatever it was, I swerved and hit the curb. Result; two flat tires.  I got a tow to Oly Nissan where I got a pair of Dunlap Fierce Instinct VRs put on.  Definitely not low rolling resistance but that was the best they had and I did not really have the time to be picky.  I then left for work and found out on the way home that there was a big hit on my range. I ended up doing 50 mph home and stopping for a 10 minute quickie charge at Fife for good measure. 

The next morning, I checked and sure enough, my tire pressures were all set to 36 PSI, so I jumped them back up to 42 PSI. There is always a very active discussion on what PSI's should be and its a near even split and both sides are pretty adamant that they know what is best.  Well, my brother when he was alive was the manager of the Les Schwabs in Bremerton and did talk about tires a bit (well, ok that is all he talked about besides the Mariners)  and he did say that you should run your tires at or near the max tire pressure printed on the tire for long life and better handling. The max pressure on the Dunlaps were the same 44 PSI as the Ecopias so I figured 42 PSI was good.  Per my brother's recommendation, I also rotate my tires every 5,000 miles. 

The range was a bit better but still shockingly short. (roughly 70 miles. before I could stretch it to near 80...)  I then decided that maybe the new tires should go on the back. Maybe if they are off the drive wheels, that might help performance.  When swapping them, I did notice they were heavier than the ecopia's. I had a hard time finding any real details about the Dunlaps (tirerack never heard of them...)  but did finally find a shipping weight of 23.8 lbs at walmart.com so going with that which means the ecopias cant weigh no more than 15 lbs which seems awfully light.

After putting the Dunlaps on the back, naturally life and work combined forces to prevent me from being able to get a decent range guesstimate until today.  I took off this morning with temps about 36º and put on 32 miles then in the afternoon put on 36 more when it was about 45º. I did cruise control at 60 mph and minimal CC only using defrost enough to clear the windows. The afternoon, although not sunny did provide more than enough radiant heat that it was very comfortable. In the morning, fresh out of a hot shower with coffee in hand, I rarely feel cold then either. ( I use heat VERY sparingly in the blast furnace as well, believe it or not...)  But my projected range turned out to be about 74 miles with about 9 miles of the 68 miles driven at street speeds of 35-40 mph.  So, I guess if I need to stretch it a bit, I can still just drive slower. 

Now for the upside! Remember SB 5849? the bill that would create a $250 fine for ICE'ing a charging station?  Well, its still a long way from being enacted (crossing fingers!)  but it looks like it might be a great idea and now there is proof!

The DCFC at the Totem Lake Fred Meyer is situated in front of the store in a very prime parking area in front of the sidewalk that surrounds the building. Needless to say, its ICE'd nearly all the time despite being very well labeled as to its purpose. 

Well a Seattle EV'er put up a "$250 fine" sign just below the "No Parking except to charge" sign which had been completely ineffective and guess what?? 

Now, the charging stations are NEVER ICE'd anymore. The sign was put up last weekend and since that time there have been nearly a dozen reports of no ICE'ing!

Just goes to show you that people would undoubtedly being parking in handicap parking as well if not for the threat of a fine.

Thank you **** for the sign idea! (not sure he might not get in trouble so he will remain anonymous for now)

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  1. Sweet, so just a sign is all it took to melt ICE.
    Thanks to {anonymous}. :)

  2. The sign is a brilliant idea, yet so obvious… why didn't we think of it before now?

  3. I love that solution.

  4. Perfect solution. I just twitted your picture and article. Hope it catches on.

  5. This really illustrates the psyche of Mankind. There is no doubt that the fines for handicap parking violations are the only reason they work so well. Really bums my opinion of the Human Race, so I choose to believe we honor handicap parking because of our concern for our less fortunate fellow man??

    Actually, I should not say its Mankind, just Americans. After my trip to Japan and seeing a culture that has true respect for its fellow countrymen, I cant say ICE'ing is as much of a problem there!

  6. Peter;


    "ICE'ing" is a term to describe when a gas powered car parks at an electric vehicle charging station blocking access to an electric vehicle. This is done usually because some businesses to reduce the installation costs of the charging station will put them in prime parking spaces next to the building.

    Although most spaces are well marked as charging stations (plus the unit is sitting there in plain sight!) many people choose to ignore the signs. The addition of the $250 parking violation fine stopped this practice immediately. As soon as the sign was removed, ICE'ing picked right back up where it had left off.