Requesting feedback for a big change in storage batteries and electric motors

This a proposal for making a substantial change to how the game handles storage batteries and electric motors. I’m soliciting feedback, and won’t implement this before October.

Background: Weak storage batteries

A vehicle power unit is 373 watts over 6 seconds.
A storage battery contains 40,000 vehicle power units.
That works out to 4.14 kW-hrs.

Current real-world storage batteries range from 6.5 kW-hrs (2019 Toyota Prius) to 60+ kW-hrs for a Tesla roadster.

So our storage batteries are somewhere between 1/5th and 1/12th the size they should be.

Background: Impossibly efficient electric motors

A standard electric motor consumes 5 kW of electric power to produce 37.3 kW of motor power.
A large electric motor consumes 40 kW of electric power to produce 149 kW of motor power.
An enhanced electric motor consumes 60 kW of electric power to produce 186.5 kW of motor power.
(by way of comparison, a truck alternator consumes 2.2 kW of motor power to produce 1.3 kW of electric power.)

So our electric motors are 7 to 3x as efficient as it is physically possible to be.

Two problems, one solution

Make the electric motors 80% efficient (possibly 85% for the enhanced), so their numbers look like:

Type epower drain motor power
Electric Motor 46.625 kW 37.3 kW
Large Electric Motor 186.kW 149.2 kW
Enhanced Electric Motor 215 kW 186.5 kW

Increase storage battery size to 300,000 vehicle power units (roughly 30 kW-hrs).

Net effect is that electric vehicles drain their batteries roughly 3x or 4x as fast, but the battery is 7.5x as large, so the effective range is doubled. But since the recharge rate isn’t increased, it takes 7x as long to recharge a full discharged battery (via solar power or whatever), and the range from one day’s charge is reduced by a factor of 3 or 4.

It will be a substantial nerf to pure solar vehicles. Hybrid electric vehicles become much more attractive.

On the plus side, stationary craft rigs get a slight boost, because a fully charged battery takes 7x as long to discharge. A single mini-fridge should take roughly 30 days to discharge a single fully charged storage battery, so powering a survivor’s house through the winter should be much easier.

Alternate Solutions

This would be a substantial change to the game. It’s not strictly required, but the fact that electric motors are 300+% efficient is deeply weird.


Those changes seem alright. I’d just hope there is no solar panels nerf planned for the near future since it would make solar vehicles a tad too weak. Anyway, that’s some nice work there.

I like it and i think hardcore/realistic player would enjoy it the change. Most lives by early-mid game, i have more power than i know what to do with and almost 0 reason to use light frames(real electric cars are super light weight). Is the weight of storage batteries already what they should be? if not, will these numbers change?

Storage batteries are HEAVY right now. I’m pretty sure someone modelled them on the weight of real electric car batteries, but nobody bothered to check if their capacities matched.

I’m down for this change, my main game is based on a solar/diesel hybrid giant RV, but I used to park it for the winter early on and that was fine. I haven’t had to do that since I got so many quanum solar panels, but this should make it necessary again during the dark and rainy periods, which is not really a big deal.

Sounds good to me, I always felt that the mini fridge drained batteries to fast so anything that fixes that is great.

I agree, this sounds like a great improvement to the game. A little extra challenge to balance your power generation/consumption, but the pros outweigh the cons. Thanks.

I like this change. I thought it odd when I was swapping out the battery on my hybrid IRL I realized it would be way more efficient than the CDDA medium storage battery. So I think this is one of those realism changes that’ll benefit gameplay as well.

Plus now for my own neuroticism I don’t need to cover the bottom of my rig in large storage batteries.

Will you also bump up the energy storage of the medium/small storage battery appropriately? Or just change the recipes?

All batteries will probably get a storage increase. Anything else seems like too much work.

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As of 2018, the efficiency of the most advanced solar cells is closer to 23%, while average solar cells for residential use are around 18.7% efficient.

As of 2018, a typical solar panel produces around 320 watts of power

this is for a 2500 square inch panel.

I’m guessing CDDA’s solar panels need to be tweaked for today’s levels of efficiency, there’s an efficiency increase graph that could be charted over time from 1954 to 2018 to 2050 for the quantum solar power. If solar panels haven’t been tweaked since 2014 for power output levels, it would be awesome to bring them in line with modern efficiency standards.

Thank you for all the work that you are doing!


The part you’re missing is that they were never tweaked for real world production rates, their efficiency is closer to 100% right now.

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Sounds okay to me, I know many people will like the mini-fridge part.

I do not think there’s a problem with solar panels and batteries and engines being superior to modern versions. Also, I think you’re making a mistake in balancing purely around what players will do(making a wondrous frankencar), versus the extant designs in-game. For verisimilitude, you should consider that many people in this theoretical future time are using solar vehicles as their main mode of transit.

Those would be plug-in solar, it would be absolutely nuts to try to do a pure solar car.


Then charged(and uncharged) storage batteries should be generally more common /outside/ of solar vehicles. They might be useful, but they’re also very heavy, and thus would likely be deprioritized by looters(which I assume is the general explanation for a lot of scarcity)

Storage batteries are common outside of solar vehicles: electric car, electric SUV, atomic sports car, RVs, and luxury RVs all have them off the top of my head.

Solar vehicles are still viable for short-range commutes, though less than they used to be.

A post was split to a new topic: Area lighting options

It all seems legit. I am all for it.

Try it first and see who and how many of us get pissed off lol

That aside. Trying it out seems more legit than just assuming it would make everyone happy.

I for one would be happy being able to have my flippin battery not scale in weight with the charge…this is ridiculous to say the least. I cannot lift a 400lbs battery unless it drains? Wtf? grumble grumble

Looks at code. Huh, that’s weird.
So currently electricity is handled internally as batteries, and a storage battery is just a very large magazine filled with batteries. Which is silly.

I could change it to be actual electric charge with weight 0, volume 0, but that’d be a huge change and would need to be made very carefully with lots of testing.