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The following is a list of features or options we would like to see changed or added to the EV1, based on over 7000 miles of driving and 6 months experience. Please note that this is OUR list. Other EV1 drivers would probably at least disagree on our prioritization of the list (There is a composite list maintained on the EV1 club's web site). Items we consider important or highly desirable are marked in red.

State of charge and range

  • Digital readouts of battery charge (%) , both for the pack and for the individual modules- Currently this information is available only for the entire pack and is only available from the 220V wall charger.
  • Digital readout for the auxiliary battery state.
  • Digital readouts of power use (e.g. amps) vs. 11-bar nonlinear display. This would help our awareness of power use by the different car systems and allow us to train ourselves in optimal driving techniques.
  • An explanation of how the state of charge is calculated - In addition, perhaps a "min" and "max" range envelope display would allow us to get a better estimate of how much further we could go based on our knowledge of what is ahead (e.g. freeway vs. surface streets).
  • Cruise control modification to allow the EV1 to automatically maintain constant power instead of speed (to be used in very light traffic on freeways).
  • An indicator showing when regenerative and friction braking is being used - This would allow us to train ourselves to brake efficiently as well as make it unnecessary to use the coast-down feature when it would be safer to indicate to drivers behind the car that the car is slowing down.
Controls and switches
  • Move some of the controls on the central console elsewhere to make it unnecessary to look down at the console when selecting a control. For example, the window controls could be put in the more traditional place (on the respective doors).
  • Replace the shift lever with a button select to improve the driver's access to the controls currently blocked by the shift lever. Note: I was told that the shift lever was actually ADDED based on feedback during the GM Preview program, but apparently this is NOT correct. The shift lever actually engages a pawl which locks the front axle when in "Park" so it may not be so easy to implement this suggestion.
  • Convenience charger redesign - Move this into the car under the hood so that charging from 110V just requires plugging an extension cord into the car. A male 3-prong outlet could be built into the car to allow a standard power extension cord to be used as is done for electrical tools such as hedge trimmers. This would eliminate the following problems:
    • Charger power cord is too short for most situations.
    • The charger needs an extra cable lock because it can be easily unplugged and stolen.
    • Extra work is required to remove and stow the charger.
    • The charger takes up extra room in the trunk.
    • The fan noise of the charger would probably be less obvious if it were buried under the hood.
  • "Precondition now" feature to allow manual turn-on of the preconditioning cycle regardless of state of charge and the time of day previously set for preconditioning (for those of us with irregular schedules).
  • Related to the above point, a suggestion from a couple of EV1 club members- remote control to turn on preconditioning from inside your office or home!
  • Better internal (ventilation) air flow.
  • As noted earlier, we would like some indication of how much power is being used by these systems.
Displays, Indicators & Warnings
  • Momentary override for warning tones , e.g. door ajar (but also for reversing). Also, the door ajar warning need not be constantly sounding if the car is not in motion or is in the "park" setting.
  • Alphanumeric display- Ideally a generic CRT-type (or LCD) display could present more information to the driver and lend itself to incorporating electronic maps for the future.
  • Security code- Provision should be made for optionally accepting a longer code. Placing the security keypad in a less visible location is also very desirable for more privacy while keying in the access code.
Windshield Wipers
  • The windshield fluid spray pattern needs to be improved. The lower part of the windshield does not get cleaned, especially when the car is in motion and the airflow is carrying the spray to the top of the winshield.
  • The way the windshield wipers tuck away under the lip of the hood makes it difficult to wash the exterior windshield. A "cleaning" wiper switch position which moves the wiper arms out fully would be handy.
  • Internal storage- a glove box or shallow lockable storage hatches where the shelf behind the seats is currently located (look at the Honda Del Sol for an example).
  • Creep feature- replace or augment this with a mode which holds the car motionless no matter what kind of slope the car is stopped on (e.g. uphill or downhill traffic lights).

Copyright 1997-1999 by Dave & Jean Kodama Email: kodama@alumni.caltech.edu