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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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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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Welcome to the third installment. It's taken a bit of preparation time, which is essential rather than diving in to find something we've done is not quite right - both Nathan and I have been guilty in the past of making stuff only to discover a better way of doing it. But parts availability has been the biggest issue; delivery time has been long delayed for many reasons too complicated to discuss here. In this video we re-assess engine bay mounting; most of the battery racks are welded up now and the battery management has arrived (except the master unit, d'oh!). We discuss battery management, the most efficient use of space in the engine bay, as well as the AC motor we received that will drive the air-con/power steering. (btw, the AC motor and BMS come from www.bev.com.au where they are custom-made). Also an older previously unused segment stripped in about removing weight, as this is crucial in gaining mileage. Oh, and a mention of power cabling which we will try to get through some of the sub-frame rather than running under the vehicle or lumping under the carpet (as the power cable sits inside a plastic flex conduit roughly an inch diameter), so long as it's legal which we'll check with someone who knows (guessing it's something like 600mm distance between u-clamp affixing). The Zivan will sit in trunk/hatch area to the left near the charging 'fuel' port; not sure about tire placement yet, but it looks like we'll keep our back seat which is good thing (and did you know that there is an under-seat sub-frame area roughly two inches high? Hmmm... possibilities....). As for the battery tank at rear, we're looking at ducting hot air from it using PC fans and 'Exhaust' steel piping. It'd be nice to get them through the side vent follies on the pillars, but this would mean a lot of work (they'd probably be part-exposed in the interior, angled down rather like roll-cage bars). Overall I would have loved to have progressed a bit more than we have but there have been circumstances beyond our control and parts supplies have been an issue all the way along - which in a sense is a good thing so we don't rush too-obvious solutions that would otherwise cost in time/energy to undo (in a circumlocutory sort-of way ;-) ). I'd like to thank Christina for her camera work during the making of these videos, shot on a two-year old Nokia N93 still going strong, as well as Linda for filming the air-con motor, without them I'd be stuffed for making videos about this car.

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Electric Starion EV - Electric Car Conversion - Part 4
Most of the hard part of cabling through the sub-frame has now been done. The car's been pretty well stripped to the bone but all this work should be worth it. While a lot of EV builders get their cabling to run under the car, protecting it in the sub-frame is my preferred option and this has been checked by the road-legal engineer and so far so good. Metal saddles are used to clamp the conduit flex where exposed, so nothing is loose. The main issue has been space in the engine bay, making sure the batteries sit comfortably under the hood and trying to fit the ancillary stuff. With the laser-cut mounting plate for the AC air-con and pwr steer driver motor etc, orientation had to be decided upon, and the battery placement largely dictated this, so its placement may appear odd at first, but will be very secure when completed. Battery balancing was also performed prior to installation and now we're on the road to re-assembling everything, dash, final wiring etc. I bought some Electrolube DCA200H conformal silicon spray for the BMS PCBs but we'll install and test everything first. Some BMS modules such as the TS-90 have all components protected in a resin block and maybe BEV who build the modules in Australia will integrate moisture protection in a future version. Nathan has done an excellent job welding up the supports for the ancillary drive components and the pulley part I supplied (which I happened upon by chance in my big box of junk in the shed) should do the job well for control. Also, the trunk/hatch area is painted and ready for battery installation. The next video will show the batteries installed with their BMS and the car will be (fingers crossed) basically drivable (with cooling system installed later if time runs out (but we've both got jobs to bring in da regular bux so time has been tight)). Despite some other issues with the car, it should be mostly ready for our annual EV show in Sydney (while down the road the bigger money Motor Show shows off the rip-off complicated hybrids and guzzlers - and we wonder if anything will really change and if governments will really listen (it starts by replacing greed with need but convincing them is a difficult thing)). Check out www.electriccarsforeveryone.com for updates, and I'd like to thank you all for your great support and comments (even the naughty ones are appreciated ;-P ). Oh, sorry re miscount on episode version (working on cars and video's and doing jobs means we're both need a hell of a lot of sleep!)

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.

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