Since traffic is really light on Sunday morning, I drove to work (15 miles away) and back to see how the 914 would handle.
Shifting was a real pain on city streets since the electric motor changes RPM very quickly during acceleration or regeneration. The RPM stays constant when I "coast" unlike a gasoline engine which tends to slowly drift back to "idle." This makes synchronization of the gears rather difficult.
As expected, power was rather lacking on the freeway. It took me 30 seconds to get up to 60 mph. After analyzing the AC controller logs, it turns out that I only took the motor up to 3000 RPM and it is spec'ed at 12000, so maybe I'll try a lower gear next time to get more torque at the wheels. I just have to get used to the concept of driving at higher RPM, since I got better gas mileage by keeping the RPMs low on my old car (which is 19 years newer than the 914 :).
If my ammeter from West Marine is correct, then just cruising takes about 50 amps and every time I accelerate even slightly, the current goes up over 200 amps. I'm not sure how much current these golf cart batteries are designed for. The battery voltage sunk from 152 volts at rest down to 132 volts after awhile during heavy acceleration. The controller cuts current to the motor if the voltage drops, so I definitely lost power on the uphill exit ramp off the freeway. I think people experience cognitive dissonance when they see a little red Porsche sports car being the slowest car on the road.
I'll be happy to e-mail anyone logs from the AC controller if you'd like to parse the data with Excel to see how the controller behaves. If I can capture a screen, I might even post a picture here.