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Posts Tagged ‘Batteries’

In one of my older posts, Nickel Metal Hydride batteries and chargers! I mentioned about some good rechargeable batteries and chargers. I have noticed that there’s still stores packed with alkalines. Some places like Amazon you could buy them in bulk for up to 5,000 batteries! That’s a lot of batteries!

Now I get why some people still use throwaway batteries, they get lost, stolen or you forget about them and you cant charge them anymore. Is that really that big of a concern though these days though?

Some guys happen to like the rechargeables though…

I remember when I first got into using rechargeable Ni-Cads they had some AAs that I used in a walkman for a period of time. I got maybe a year or 2 out of those batteries before they stopped working correctly but they managed to save me some money. I don’t really recall seeing replacements, as I thought they just came with the charger and you’d have to buy another charger to get the batteries so my collection of rechargeables were quite low.

Yes, over time they did stop working right and I went back to alkalines for a period and then I got some new Rayovac Nickel-Metal Hydride cells that worked quite well for awhile anyways. I got maybe 3 or 4 years out of those before they stopped working so I just quit using those. Got a friend into them as well since we both liked to listen to the same music. But again for awhile i went back to alkalines but I didnt really use them that often. It was until in 2005 I started using them again since Duracell and Energizer had them and they even sold the batteries separately. I still have working AAA Energizers and AA Duracells that gets used in string lights or those Duracell LED flashlights. I use a few in my noice canceling headphones still. And these are the batteries that lose their charge over a course of a month or 2. If they dont get used much they wont work as well either.

When those batteries were not working in a USB charging device I decided to check out what they had and found Eneloops. I also got into using more sophisticated chargers such as the Power Ex C9000 mentioned in the other blog, I posted in the beginning of this article. Because, well I like to get what I can out of these batteries.

The simplest and cheapest way to get into recharge AAs and AAAs is to buy the Panasonic/Eneloop charger that comes with 4 AA batteries. Find a device you use most often and use the Eneloop batteries right out of the package and you’ll see they work like regular alkalines (unless your device is weird and requires the higher voltage) when you need to recharge them keep a set of alkalines handy or if it’s a 2 AA or 1 AA you can cycle out the 4 AA Eneloops you have. This is a great way of starting out and you’ll see the savings within 4 or 5 recharge cycles.  I’m going to list a few problems people might have with rechargeables..

1. They’re more expensive than alkalines.

Yes they are, but after 2-6 cycles depending on what brand of batteries you get you might see savings sooner. Keep using them and you’ll see the benefits.

2. They don’t last as long and they won’t charge.

Most alkaline AA cells have over 3,000mAh but most of the time you can only get half that amount. It depends on your device but it may cut off before you use up all the energy out of your rechargeables. Don’t give up if it doesnt work well in one of your devices. That may require a higher voltage where your rechargeable batteries may not function as well. More devices these days are more rechargeable friendly and can operate on that 1.2v battery. You have to try a different device. Most flashlights will work on rechargeable batteries. That’s the easy way of seeing if your batteries are faulty.

Additionally you can always pick up a multimeter. If its 1.23v or higher you should be ok. If it charges normally in your Panasonic/Eneloop charger then it passed the internal resistance check and should be working well. If you are using a different charger than the ones I’ve mentioned there is no guarantee they’ll charge your batteries adequately.

If they appear to be charged and wont work well in your device, always try a different device such as a flashlight. Get a Fenix, Coast or Maglite. I’ve used rechargeables in those lights and they work well. The 1 AA or AAA lights are good to where you can check the batteries individually. A multimeter however is the best way to check voltage. Also check the contacts. If you are using a battery where the wrapper is blocking the negative terminals on some devices they wont work. I never seen any issues using Eneloops though.

Also, sometimes you just end up with a bad batch of batteries. It happens, sometimes the charger isn’t working correctly. You will have to contact the manufacturer or just get it exchanged where you bought them. Just make sure not to tell them you’re using a different charger. Don’t mention the charger you are using. If they ask for the model number, tell them you don’t have it with you, you are calling from work or you are out somewhere. If you are buying Eneloops and have the charger then it’s as easy as getting the batteries replaced.

3. My family tosses these rechargeable batteries in the garbage.

Its inevitable. They’re AA or AAA batteries. Some people are used to toss these batteries into the garbage. The easiest way is to stop tossing out alkalines and get a bin to put them in. If your family does this then chances are they’ll do the same for rechargeables. If not, leaving notes on the devices or by the trash cans to not toss out batteries may be needed. If that doesn’t work then you’ll simply have to take the batteries out period and they’ll have to ask to use them. At least they’ll be charged ready to go.

Here are some other tips to get you started.

1. Avoid buying large quantities of rechargeables for your first time. There isnt any need to replace all 60 of your devices with rechargeables. There is the problem of alkalines ruining devices so if this is a common problem for you, buy a set of these EBL batteries.

16 Pack EBL AA 2300mAh Rechargeable batteries
12 Pack EBL AAA 800mAh Rechargeable batteries

They are a little too much for beginners and they may not work as good for you as they do for me but there are positive reviews for these batteries and I haven’t ran into many issues with them. The AAAs are a better deal where you could use them in an AAA to AA adapter. They sell those on Amazon as well. The batteries should work fine in the Panasonic/Eneloop charger as well. No need to charge them for first usage either. Just stick them in your devices and use them. One thing to note, the low drain devices such as a clock or tv remote they wont get much use. So to avoid premature death I suggest they get charged at least once every 6 months but you can do every 3 months. Just swap them out for another set.

They seem to be low self discharge but I’d buy the lower capacity cells just to be sure. Eventually though I suggest to replace every device with Eneloops.

2. No need to drain them fully before recharging. Just dont recharge them constantly. You can use them until the device starts showing signs of the battery dying or as I mentioned earlier, every 3-6 months. Also once they do show signs of being near death, quit using them until they are recharged again. Excessive draining of the cells can cause a waste of cycle usage and the cells can reverse charge or overdrain which can make the batteries permanently weak and potentially die.

3. The only reason for using higher capacity cells is for additional run time. If it’s not critical to get an extra 5 minutes of run time get the lower capacity cells. 1900mAh AA Eneloop batteries and the 750mAh AAA Eneloops are just fine for any device. You get more charge cycles and less battery waste.

4. Rechargeable nickel metal batteries can be recycled at most any place. Check your department or hardware stores. I have noticed its more difficult to recycle alkalines then rechargeables, as I’ve seen they have recycling in some stores. Usually I toss out the non working batteries in a container but I dont have many dead rechargeables yet.

Overall I hope this will encourage people to buy rechargeables again, if not for the environment but for your wallet and hopefully less stores will be selling 60 alkaline battery packs. I know some like businesses may be hard set in using alkalines, I know my job uses them but I put rechargeables in my lights so I dont use their alkalines. I’ve had people say that I dont need to use mine and I should use the company’s batteries but well, my light, my rules..  I dont use alkalines anymore. Theres no point when it costs less than a penny to recharge a pair of AA batteries.

Also, I forgot to add here are the best rechargeables you might get including some that are ok. In both AA and AAA size.

01. The best!

Eneloops 1900mAh/750mAh, Fujitsu; white, 2100 charge cycles – Made in Japan

02. Good

Eneloop Pro 2450mAh/900mAh, Fujitsu; black, 500 charge cycles – Made in Japan
Duracell; 300-500 charge cycles – Made in Japan
Energizer; 300-500 charge cycles – Made in Japan
Amazonbasics; same as white or black Eneloops may be made in China (not verified if same or similar quality as Japan)

03. Ok (may be Chinese and of lesser quality)

Tenergy is in the middle of the road as I haven’t tried their AA/AAA cells but I got 2 9V cells with their charger that so far has been running strong.
EBL, Goal Zero, Sunlabz, Rayovac, and some other brands I don’t have names for currently. Avoid AA batteries that claim higher than 2900mAh capacity and AAA higher than 1100mAh capacity. I haven’t tested the AAA EBLs 1100 mAh cells but the AA 2800mAh cells they have got came in around 2600mAh I think. I dont recall.

The La Crosse cells are terrible and haven’t been upgraded from the older high self discharge Nickel Metal batteries. I currently have a set of AAs and AAAs that come with their BC-1000 charger, they are ok but I wouldn’t buy them regularly. Avoid Enercell and RadioShack batteries, they don’t last long in storage.

Maha/Power Ex chargers tend to be the best or the Panasonic/Eneloop charger. La Crosse chargers are not bad but do not have the internal resistance check that the Eneloop or Power Ex C9000 charger has. I have not tried any other charger and the Sky RC 3000 charger doesn’t keep the batteries secure enough for me.

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As if the fire hazard for EVs wasn’t bad enough we got Teslas with bad wheels…

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Seems scary right, well herehere’s more in a flicker collection, Tesla – Whompy Wheels

Go ahead and look, I’ll wait…

It seems like Teslas are just unsafe period. With the model 3 out it’ll be interesting what could be wrong with it, oh by the way..

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It’s kind of hard to see but you’d notice it right away if you seen it up close in person. The picture doesn’t really show it, well it does but it doesn’t show the other side which is claimed to be perfect.  It’s just another thing wrong with Teslas and why people should avoid them.

Tesla recently announced that they are going online only and that’s not good for a company that can’t even keep up demand like other auto companies can do. With the Tesla 3 out for a couple of weeks, the fanatics only had a theory on how much were sold or preordered which is like 500-1,000.

Unlike Ford which usually has vehicles ready to be sold in auto dealerships sold out the Ford Ranger within 2 weeks, The New Ford Ranger Is in Crazy Demand up to 300,000 people are interested in the 2019 Ranger and while it’s possible that like the article says, people can bail out at any time but already they’re being sold quite well,

Ford Ranger U.S. Sales
January: 2,153
Febuary: 2,899
Total: 5,052

That’s pretty impressive. It’ll be interesting how many will sell through the year but it’s already a strong beginning and that’s just for the U.S.

I was already considering one and since they got a diesel version, that’s even better, though it may be awhile I hope to find a used one that has been well taken care of. Anyway in comparison to Tesla, Tesla pushes delivery timeline for new standard Model 3 orders as demand soars “550 vehicles in about 2 days”
In 2 days isn’t bad but to say 5,000+ orders happened by Elektrek is a bit premature. You also have to remember that this model 3 started later and the reliability factor has been pretty bad for Tesla so they could have pushed back the timeline for better quality and oh there’s less workers as Tesla is downsizing so a month could mean 700 vehicles have been purchased but it’ll take that long to make them. Either way we need actual sale numbers, not predictions. The fact any EV sells 5k units in a month is a bit premature and these EV enthusiasts will try to make it sound like Tesla is doing well.

In fact CR has dropped Tesla 3 as reliable, Tesla Model 3 Loses CR Recommendation Over Reliability Issues

The fact is there really is no reliable Tesla. There are problems with them, as shown above and while they may sell quite a few units, if they do rush them out these problems will become worse. So I don’t believe that 5k+ will sell within a month, even though it’s already March most of these sales would most likely be from Tesla fanatics who want to see Tesla survive even though they can’t make a quality vehicle. This is expected with a major automotive company that produces an abundance of vehicles that need to meet the needs of millions of consumers a year. It’s normal to have defects but you don’t normally see a Camaro lose it’s wheels and the paint job is always superb. If not they’ll bend over backwards for you to get satisfaction out of your brand new vehicle, usually anyway. Bottom line is we’ll have to wait and see on actual numbers. While Tesla may have sold a lot of units 4th quarter, 60k units sold 4th quarter that’s abysmal for any automotive company. Dodge Challenger sales for an example is pretty low in general but Dodge cares about performance over sales and it may pick up a little before they release their hybrid models.

Honda for an example, Honda sales collapse should be worrisome from the company and its possible it’s less due to people shifting to larger vehicles and sales of EVs and performance vehicles are part of the lack of sales. It might change then it might not. All I know is anytime I think of Tesla I see this,

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

And I have to say Teslas are just no good, overpriced junk. Here are some reasons not to buy a Tesla or EVs in general.

Reason #1: The lithium ion batteries.

1. If the batteries overheat they become very dangerous. It’s only a matter of time before they start exploding due to faulty engineering or just that something stops working correctly or someone decides to try to DIY or modify a Tesla or other EV they’ll end up in an explosive fire.

2. Recharge time still takes too long and it’ll take you more time to find a charging station than it is to find a gas station to refuel a gas vehicle. A lack of garages also makes it difficult to charge overnight. A family with multiple vehicles, or you just have more than what your garage can take, recharging can be difficult and its both tacky and dangerous to run an extension cord.

3. Lifespan claims to be 500k or 20 years but real world averages need to come into play and it’ll be another 15-20 years to get proper results.

4. Lithium ion technology isn’t easy to mine or produce. Child labor for lithium mines is a problem and could get worse as demands for lithium will increase. The price will also go up.

5. They don’t like the cold, you lose over 40% of power in 20F or lower. Generally the lower the temp the less charge you have. Sure you can do some tricks and leave the thing plugged in but it uses more power and it will prematurely wear out the heater in your car. Most likely will end up not having heat on the worst day.

6. Batteries make used EVs more difficult to sell, the cost to replace one is over $10,000. Who would buy one even if it’s fairly cheap when they’ll have to fork out money that could go towards a good $10k Gas vehicle.

Reason #2: Reliability and longevity.

It just doesn’t seem like Tesla can get their reliability up and this was already mentioned in this article. Whether major automotive EVs such as GM will have reliable vehicles will be interesting but should avoid at all costs. The Nissan Leaf has terrible battery life and you’ll be replacing it in 10 years, maybe less. Frustrated buyers will go back to gas.

Batteries have a finite lifespan so it’s not the same as a gas vehicle engine that can potentially last 100 years if properly stored. It’s also difficult to find a recharging station so you have to drive around to find one. Not everyone has a garage capable of recharging an EV. Also you lose up to 40% of power in the cold climates. You could leave it plugged in with the heater running but as I said above, your heater will die unexpectedly. Gas vehicles you just start, let it warm up for a few and your ready to go. A full tank of gas won’t lose 40% overnight.

Reason #3: Resale value.

Resale value will continue to be extremely low and some like Teslas may be high but most people who buy preowned/used vehicles don’t have a garage. It takes certain dedication to wait hours for your EV to recharge, something that most people don’t have time for. So these vehicles will sit and deteriorate in used dealership lots. I doubt even the most dedicated Tesla fanboys will buy them when no one else will. It’s just financial stupidity.

Either way resale values for EVs will either continue to be extremely low or will plummet because used dealerships won’t sell them. While there is no real world data on this I talked to a few local used dealers who keep a few EVs in the back of the lot if anyone wants them but they dont sell so they get rid of most of the trade in EVs. No point in keeping them if they won’t sell. Used dealer won’t give you a whole lot and the depreciation of an EV after even several years is over 75% of lost value. Just imagine a 10 year old EV. It would be worth the same as a 30 year old gas vehicle.

Reason #4: You need electricity to recharge.

I don’t want a vehicle that uses the same power source as my fridge. Electricity costs are low and I like it that way. Mass EV usage will increase electrical loads and will artificially raising the price of electricity. Sure it’s cheap now and its cheaper than filling your tank up with gas but as demand goes up so will costs. Already companies are being coaxed into switching to more efficient lighting and raise up the temps of air conditioners so it runs less often. So we already are sacrificing comfort in the name of EVs. Pretty soon we’ll be told to turn off air conditioners throughout the day and limit our tv watching. Or we can stick with gasoline vehicles.


Reason #5: The future is not determined yet.

If you still haven’t been deterred from buying an EV yet consider the fact that electrical vehicles may not be the future. It hasn’t made a dent in vehicle ownership and will remain low for many years to come. In 10 or 20 years they may come out with a 0% emissions gas vehicle and find alternative fuels. A combustion engine is still far from total extinction and we may have them for years to come. Whether they are run on gas or some synthetic fuel they are still here to stay.

Lots of issues with EVs from unknown battery longevity, if many of them stay parked for years we’ll find out if they last 15 years or 50 years. Some batteries in EVs and hybrids have already needed replacing so it’s doubtful they’ll last even 25 years. Internal combustion engines have a 100 year lifespan. Of course usage is a factor and will reduce the life of that engine everytime you drive it to the store or drive 30 miles to work. But bottom line is they are proven. EVs still have to prove themselves.

They catch fire if punctured, the cold climates reduce range and power output by 40%, lack of overnight charging for many and the resale value is what is keeping most from buying one. I have the money and the means to buy one, however I don’t want one for the above reasons. I am familiar with lithium ion technology and I don’t trust them to power my car. I don’t want an unreliable Tesla with crappy paint jobs and terrible suspension and handling components. Not to mention the price and the lack of range when cold and I don’t want to wear out my heater by leaving it run all night causing the electric bill to go up higher. I like the low cost of electricity. I don’t have to worry about how much electricity im using by watching tv or how many times I open my garage door. Mass EV adoption would change that.

Also lack of maintence of a mass EV adoption will lessen jobs all over the globe. It’s already happening with GM closing factories. Those people lost their jobs most likely due to a few thousand EV adopters. I don’t know this information first hand but it’s a little interesting that an EV adoption rate will lower sales of the Chevy Cruze.

So with this in mind, just avoid aknd ignore EVs for now. It hasn’t become the future, considering you can still buy gas cars I’d focus on that. While Teslas model 3 might sell those sales will drop once the fanboys get their fix.

Edit: One thing I forgot to add, Tesla crashes into river, owner claims it accelerated on its own
I wouldn’t be surprised if this really did happen, but it’s hard to say whether the Teslas do accelerated out of control. It might be a good idea to avoid them for now. Most Tesla owners wouldn’t be lying about it though, most of them are Tesla fanboys who would still say Teslas are great cars. To say it accelerated out of control shows that maybe there is a problem with them. Whatever it is, it doesn’t matter wheels falling off and exploding batteries are enough to keep away from them, EVs from major manufacturers are just cheap and I wouldn’t buy one. Once the craze ends and there is not a chance for EVs to take over the U.S. then maybe if they were under $500. I probably wouldn’t keep one for long though.

Actually not, this guy had his foot off of the pedal and the Tesla software for the car claims he had hit the gas when the driver claimed he didnt, Sudden Unintended Acceleration – Forum the computer must have been falsely detecting pedal movement. I don’t trust EVs even more now. It sounds like to me that Tesla doesn’t even care if it was a software glitch. Either way something is off with this. It may just be the soft braking of these vehicles are not completely safe. At this point I really don’t want an EV and I don’t recommend them.

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Yes another EV post but this one should be taken seriously as there is a fire risk with the batteries.

Tesla driver dies in horrible crash and the battery won’t stop burning

There is Teslas on the road who get into accidents and survive. Internal combustion engines (gas vehicles) do also catch fire some are defects others are from poor maintence and some are just freak fires.

EV batteries, lithium ion do not generally cause a fire or explode. Usually that happens due to defects, improper battery replacements or using an incorrect cord. EV batteries also store a ton more energy so recharging them would require an outlet that is capable of handling that sort of power.

However the biggest threat is that if the battery is punctured, the battery can explode. Tesla does use materials to protect the battery in an accident but they can still be punctured. Look up lithium battery explosions on YouTube and you’ll understand how dangerous these batteries can be.

Until they can come up with a safer method for a futuristic cleaner vehicle it’s best to stick with gas vehicles. An EV enthusiast will try to claim otherwise that they are safer but the fact the batteries reignite the fire they are a major hazard. Don’t let these people try to force you into buying an EV.

There are a few hybrids that use nickel metal batteries, these are far more safer. Whether they are good for vehicle usage is another story but avoid any vehicle using lithium ion batteries. Not only they are a fire hazard, the gas released from them are toxic.

I’m waiting on hydrogen that will work on existing internal combustion engines.

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Remember when I wrote about how EVs or electric vehicles are not the future? Yeah well more car makers are investing a lot of money in being optimistic about EV adoption. A few countries have heavily invested in replacing gas with EVs. California is pushing EVs but isn’t exactly pushing when much of the state already would embrace this newish technology and Colorado wants to do the same.

Illinois governor JB Pritzker recently signed off on the Paris Accords so now Illinois has to reduce its carbon emissions by 28% and that deadline is 2025. That means reducing the amount of gas vehicles and coal plants.

Now I’m all for cleaner energy but not at the expense of spending more money, or affecting what I can or cannot buy. I don’t know what will actually happen because really this carbon reduction goal is way out of reach. Especially when many people already purchased a new vehicle.

And I’m looking to buy a new car but still not enough money saved and most likely won’t have it until 2021. Between now and 2021 this gives this dumb governor enough time to come up with moronic laws or regulations pertaining to what kind of vehicles you can get. In which I hope not because I’m looking for a new Dodge Challenger. Yes, but the V6 option which has more than enough horsepower to drive during the summer. Hopefully by then I’ll have some way to fix the rust underneath my aging Grand Am that I want to keep on the road for awhile at least until I can get a truck or SUV. The Grand Am will be for winter driving and eventually be retired in a barn somewhere so when I’m an old geezer I can still take the car out to drive if I want some nostalgia. Most people wouldn’t hold onto their vehicles for very long and generally because they don’t take extra care with them. That’s another subject matter though.

I don’t know where this JB Pritzker guy is making Illinois heading towards but with a couple of states already pushing EVs out and 11 other states considering this, I worry what’s going to happen. I’m a firm believer in people spending the money they earn on what they want and need. A car can be both, you need one and you might as well buy one that you can enjoy.

The reason for me wanting the V6 Challenger and not the V8 isn’t for the sake of the environment or for trying to avoid an EV so if I use less carbon emissions it might be ok it’s mostly because I wouldn’t need all that horsepower, if I could even handle 500+. 300 hp is enough for now and I save money at the pump. 30mpg highway is pretty good and that’s what im looking for at the moment. I get about the same with the Grand Am but it’s possible that I may get more than 30mpg with the Challenger saving even more money since I’m not really a leadfoot and mostly stick to speed limits. We’ll see what happens there. On a side note Dodge is implementing a mild hybrid which is an advanced stop and start system. If you let off the gas to coast the car shuts off while the 48v battery takes over basic functions like power steering, brakes, A.C. or heat, lights and radio. Sounds interesting but is fairly expensive. I doubt the 2020 will have it and may not be employed until 2025 when car companies have to meet certain emission deadlines.

Now like I said I’m all for cleaner emissions saving the environment, blah blah blah. However that doesn’t mean changing to a Tesla or other EV because this is relatively new technology and there’s a big paradigm shift in the way these vehicles are refuled. Most people who don’t own a garage will never see the benefits in owning an EV. And the costs may not drop down anytime soon although Tesla and the other major car makers are trying very hard to make it possible.

They got many issues ahead and I don’t really have anything against EVs. It’s that they’re not ready for prime time because of the different fueling methods and the additional costs that come with them. There’s also a lack of options making it less appealing. It shouldn’t be rushed because we’ll still be here in 50 years still trying to change for the sake of the environment. There’s a lot of theories going around. Yes we should cut our pollution and dependency on fossil fuels but there is plenty of time. There really isn’t any need to toss away billions of dollars all at once or jobs as if everyone switched to EVs there’s going to be a lot of lay offs. Less moving parts is less maintence, less parts being produced and sold in part stores. It’s going to cause another recession. For me I would prefer to keep driving a gas vehicle, there’s always alternative fuels for gas that hasn’t been discovered yet. So I wouldn’t want to own an EV because the technology is too different for an expensive vehicle. And it’s powered by batteries. So it wouldn’t be a very good idea to toss away billions of dollars towards junking gas for EVs.

EVs are good in the sense that not everyone wants to maintain a gas vehicle and it’s an alternative fuel source but for right now, it’s not a replacement for gas as the technology is different and takes longer to refuel, not everyone has access to a charging outlet rated for EV charging. I don’t want an EV and shouldn’t be forced into it and neither should anyone else. This also includes hybrids.

One last thing to note while Tesla has shown that it has incredible acceleration the Dodge Hellcat and Demon (both Challenger trims) is still faster due to more horsepower. The only reason Teslas are quicker in the 0-60 tests is they are heavier, all wheel drive and this reduces wheel slippage. Their stock tires are most likely better as well. Dodge doesn’t put proper racing tires on. There’s a couple of videos on a Tesla vs a Hellcat or Demon where the rematch shows the Dodge winning after some proper tires. So while Teslas are quite impressive in launching power it’s really just dumb luck the massively heavy battery is actually a benefit. Most other EVs don’t have this sort of power.

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