That would be almost trivial to do... buy why? If you're thinking of keeping the motor at the same point in its performance map, and thus at constant efficiency, it's not likely that this one point will be more efficient than ramping the power up and down to maintain constant speed (except for allowing speed to pick up on steep descents rather than regenerative braking).As I'm driving my Leaf, I am really wishing that there was a way to set a fixed amount of power being delivered to the motor.
This way there would be a gradual acceleration down hill, and a gradual deceleration uphill. Maybe even better would be if there was a way to specify the efficiency that we wanted to achieve?
Not really, because in the Star Trek world "Warp 2" is a set speed (Warp 1 is the speed of light and higher warp factors are faster, on a non-linear scale), not a set power level. The equivalent of Picard commanding Warp 2 is a driver pushing the "set" button on any cruise control.Think Captain Pecard: "Warp 2 - Engage."
Star Trek's model of ship control (for the starships, not shuttles and the like) resembles a traditional oceangoing ship (or even better, a submarine) rather than an aircraft. The captain's commanding of speed is an update to the traditional ship practice of calling for an engine speed, which effectively meant a power level.
Yes, aircraft use power levers (or push-pull knobs like an old choke control), but in the case of a basic piston engine they are just like a car's accelerator pedal, except that they stay where they're put rather than springing back to zero when released. In practice, advanced aircraft are flown most of the time on autopilot, which controls speed like an automotive cruise control.It would function more like the throttle on an airplane. . . why am I feeling like this would be more appropriate for an EV? And potentially inspire a more efficient mode of driving? It's not so important exactly what speed your going this second. . . what's more important is how much power are you using as you get there~
I don't see how constant-power (rather than constant-speed) driving is any more appropriate for an EV than for an engine-driven vehicle. It actually seems likely to be the other way around, since a modern high-voltage AC motor in an EV has a reasonably broad range of efficient speed and load combinations. Yes, "hypermiling" enthusiasts drive at constant power and let the speed increase, then shut off the engine and coast, then repeat the cycle - this is incompatible with safe and effective driving.
I do like the idea of "soft" cruise control (allowing some speed variation with road grade), with sensible limits, but it would be less valuable for efficiency to a typical EV than to a typical automatic-transmission engine-driven vehicle.