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Electric Starion EV - Part 5 - at the Electric Car Show

The Electric Starion is now at a drivable state and we take her for a spin at the annual electric car show in Sydney. Some say that by international standards, the AEVA show is probably not a huge event, but conversely, for a small population, there is a high proportion of interest in EVs in Australia plus R&D attracting international attention, despite little interest from the government to date (although the recent Climate Ready initiative may change this). Many types of makes and models of new and old cars converted to electric drive were on display; regular daily commute vehicles, sports cars, classic cars, electric bikes, roadsters, hotrods and even a Formula 'E' race car. The 'H' word was well and truly overshadowed by 'full EV' and many people were interested in how to get their own fully-electric cars. There was one vehicle, a Prius with a K2 battery pack for extended range; these are small lithium phosphate cells up to 3200 milliamp hour, banded together into modules to make up the required voltages and they have a high energy density and handle a high charging current, ideal for regen braking. There's a test review which explains this better, at http://zeva.com.au/tech/K2/ and from there a link to the K2 Energy site where you'll find a video comparison of the cobalt and phosphate impact penetration test. As for my Starion, with an adjustment on the Curtis trimpots, it drove well, gear changing was minimal (we tried 2nd and 3rd starts (and not game for a 1st start test yet) and essentially we're convinced that I'll only ever need to drive in second or third gear as there is so much torque in the Kostov. Reverse gear exhibits a typically higher torque (not as high as first), and as seen in many EVs reversing will have to be handled carefully but further refinement will be looked into, and all in all, the Starion drove like a regular car - a regular Starion in fact with all the handling (including drift test) expected in a sports car. There was no noticeable increase in weight and the batteries delivered the power quickly as expected. We're still a little ways off completing the project as there is calibration to do, incline tests, road compliance and a couple of areas that need respray, some minor body fixes and so on. Overall though, very exciting. Apologies again for the shaky camera, there were so many people bumping around (and a Nokia N93 is not that noticeable compared to the larger cameras the media had), and I really should write a new piece of music (hope this old one's okay). Keep watching http://electriccarsforeveryone.com for updates and Nathan's http://www.converturcar.com website for news and info on upcoming vehicles to convert.


 


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Electric Starion EV - Electric Car Conversion - Part 7
Getting seasonal obligations out of the way, this video should be near the last we're doing as the car approaches completion. There's a brakes and air-con/pwr steering test, Nathan talks about water boilers used to cool engine bays in cold climate countries that could be used for cabin heating in an EV, I talk a bit about IGBTs and Nathan does a tacho send test using an IGBT. Sooner or later there may be motor speed controllers custom designed for EVs that use IGBTs. These things have freewheeling diodes, and from my limited understanding that means they're there to stop reverse current voltage spikes across the inductive load. When the current flow to an inductor is suddenly interrupted, the inductor attempts to maintain the current by reversing polarity and ramping up the voltage to maintain the flyback. Without the diode the voltage can go high enough to damage the IGBT. The diode allows the reverse current to flow through it and dissipate. IGBTs could be cool things to use for 'electric Boost' -just like a turbo Boost. From the video you can also see the BMS installed - these will be sprayed with conformal coating for protection. Most of the scenes in all the videos have been shot on a Nokia N93 which has been very handy. Thanks to Nathan, Linda and Christina for the filming. And sorry about the seasonal sillyness.





Electric Starion - Electric Car Conversion - Part 6
After successfully testing the drivability, it's back to the workshop to get stuff removed to paint the battery racks and sort the best place for the charger and finally add the tacho sender to the gearbox adaptor plate. The fuel port assembly is done now also; I cleaned up the inner rubber mount and gasket-sealed the hole with a rubber bung where the original fuel inlet was, and Nathan cut out the new hole for the power through to a new fascia plate where the 20A connector will be mounted. A shut-off switch is added which is essential when 'filling up'; some folks use micro switches like the ones in arcade machines in their EV fuel ports but we're using a brake switch which will be more durable and it's long thread allows us to fine-adjust the profile of the switch so that it triggers properly when the fuel door is opened/closed. An annoying short had to be traced under the dash (oops, I forgot to ground a 5W resistor), and you'll meet our little helpers at the end of the video. Cuuuute...





95 Chevy Corsica, Electric Vehicle - EV (fully electric car)
Vehicle Description Ive been working on this project for almost 1 year and spend a lot of time and money with it I was planning to add another 6 batteries in the trunk, however, I am really short on money right now and cant afford it. But the vehicle has a lot of trunk space and would be very install the batteries to increase your range. The 6 batteries located in the engine compartment are new; I bought 6 Dual purpose Deep cycle marine batteries from AutoZone. The batteries are in VERY GOOD CONDITION, LIKE NEW and should last many years. I drove this EV and was able to get it up to 55 MP/H (or 88 KM/H). It drives very nice and smooth without any problems. When this car was in its early development stages, I had to make a decision between performance and range, so I tried to balance it. This 72V system was designed to work with 12V batteries (six in the front and six in the back) but I havent added the 6 in the back. Most people choose manual transmission for their EVssince I didnt have a donor car with manual transmission I designed everything to accommodate that. I kept the original torque converter in the transmission, but the new owner can pick new torque converter that requires less spin of the motor to lock it making the acceleration better. But for me it drives fine as it is. This is only optional. I am sorry, but I dont have any other information on the motor. I measured about 7 inches diameter and about 14 inches long. (Not counting the shaft) Its an Advanced DC Series Wound Motor. I havent driven this car until the batteries are drained so I really cant tell how far it will go. I got about 15 miles and the 72V bank was reading 72.1 Volts. I started with the reading of 78.3 volts. The batteries are not broken in yet, it will increase overtime. There is only 6 batteries right now, once the new battery bank is set in the trunk, range should increase dramatically. (the battery bank in the back should be connected in parallel with the front battery bank, increasing the amperage capacity, but keeping it at 72V) Charging Time: 2-6 hours (depending how much you drove before charging) the battery bank is small, and if you drive down a few miles only, it charges up in about 1 hour or so. Top Speed: 55 MHP (on straight road) Ive had this EV as high as 55 MHP, but I live in the city and only drive around 30-35MPH  All the electrical parts, such as headlights, blinkers, stop light, reverse light, high beams, etc are working properly. The instrument cluster was completely re-done to fit this EV. I wanted to give a factory look so I kept everything as factory as possible. When you look at the car and even when you get in You wont notice the difference until you start driving it. Ive added 2 digital meters to monitor the two 12V batteries and 72V battery bank. I custom made the new dash to incorporate the words System Engaged when the vehicle is turned ON and also put a charging indicator in blue letters (lit when plugged) so you dont drive away when the car is plugged in) they are very visible even in daylight. The interior is very nice and clean (but please, expect normal wear and tear), the mats and seat covers are new. The back seat could use a seat cover as well, but its not bad. I never drove it with more than the driver and one passenger. But I am sure it can take 2 passengers in the back. I drove this EV for more than 100 miles so far, it drives really nice, but there is a little difference while driving an EV. For example when you stop, the electric motor stops as well, so if you are on some type of incline, you have to either keep the motor running at low speed (which is not recommended at all, waists energy!!!) or press the breaks while you accelerate a bit so the car wont start moving back. But you get used to it after a few miles. The tires on the EV are ok, with about half life on them. The body of the car is in very good shape for a 1995 car. There are some fading in the rear bumper, a ding in the passenger side door and a dent on the drivers side door right by the mirror. The drivers side door mirror is off, looks a little bent, I dont want to pop in place because I dont want to break the plastic around it. Its working just fine and you can adjust without problems. I added two 12V fans on top of the controller to keep it cool during driving. Both fans come on and off as the car is turned ON and OFF.





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