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.
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.