If you’ve been following Elio Motors for any length of time, you know that our goal is to produce an economical, fuel-efficient and safe American vehicle. Additionally, as a collection of automotive aficionados, we strive to design and produce a quality vehicle that we look forward to driving. To accomplish all our goals, our team has constantly looked at various components and areas of the vehicle for improvements. Recently, observant supporters asked a few questions regarding one of our recent improvements: the location of the battery in the Elio. This week’s Momentum is a comprehensive look at the Elio’s battery and its location.
Johnson Controls Inc. (JCI) is our supplier of the battery. The battery itself is a top post, 660 CCA (cold cranking amps,) Group 26 battery which weighs 26.6 pounds. The battery will have the traditional red boot to cover the positive terminal and all battery wiring will use retainers for securing to the vehicle to prevent BSR (Buzz, Squeak, Rattle), NVH (Noise, Vibration, Harshness), and chaffing of wiring. The battery is a critical aspect of the power management and usage in the vehicle, the electrical budget, and this battery meets our rigorous requirements.
The battery will be located in the rear of the vehicle, enclosed under the trunk floor and is accessible through a metal access door in the trunk of the vehicle. The metal access door will have a simple handle and locking mechanism, allowing for easy entry. The battery sits on a metal battery tray and will have a tie down.
There are several factors that led to the placement of the battery in the rear of the vehicle. First, moving the battery is important in the weight distribution for the vehicle. One important part of the weight is the transfer of weight in a braking situation, moving the weight back provides benefits in emergency braking. Secondly, the move allows us to free up more space in the engine compartment which is always needed, especially in a vehicle such as ours. Additionally, housing the battery in its rear location reduces heat, enhancing its performance and battery life. Finally, it helps with our weight distribution, giving us approximately 65% of the weight in the front and 35% in the rear.
Of course, as is the case with every decision we make regarding the vehicle, safety is of paramount importance. We have conducted rear impact tests and the battery is in an ideal location for crush impact. In addition to safety testing, we will conduct additional testing for the electrical budget of the vehicle. These tests will include Electric Load and Charging Systems Tests, which will test the charge margins at extended idle periods, as well as night and cold starts. We will also test the vehicle’s key-off loads for storage, battery drain, and jump-start effects. We are confident that we have chosen the ideal battery for the Elio.
Each component of the Elio has been exhaustively analyzed with the aim of improving the vehicle. The battery of the Elio is but one example of the significant improvements we have made on our journey to produce the best possible vehicle.