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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.


 


More Videos...


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...





Electric Starion EV - Electric Car Conversion - Part 3
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.





Electric Starion - Electric Car Conversion - Part 2
It's been a long wait, but the Thundersky lithium 144v 160Ah batteries finally arrived! Now we have to set about determining the best configuration for the batteries in the engine bay and rear tank using info from convertyourgasguzzler.com. A bit annoying the BMS modules haven't arrived yet as a confirmation measurement of the height of these would help in determining the battery rack height dimension. We could arrange the engine bay battery racks as a typical square-finish configuration, or perhaps angled around the motor for a cool effect, and then as Nathan suggests place plastic clear Perspex sheets over the top for a neat finish, and tinted perspex surrounding the Curtis terminals too perhaps - we want a neat engine bay! Nathan mentioned someone who had Thunderskies mounted on their edges (sides) but the efficiency was greatly deteriorated and batteries leaked! I don't know if those were the LiCoO2 (we're using LiFePO4), either way we'll install close to vertical anyway and a crude animation is included to show possible mounting. Another 'fun' part in this video was removing the dash so we could access the ventilation system box and put in the heater core (I know, could have gone with a water micro boiler unit but budget is getting tight; maybe later); biggish job but not too hard for two people working on it (Stephanie did it once, alone, and it was a pig of a job she said). I'll help Nathan get it back together later as he moves on to the charging setup and we'll the need the BMS master unit as well (which also hasn't arrived yet). The Curtis will have a water cooling block underneath where all the FETs are positioned inside (and block secured tight with thermal compound between surfaces) and maybe a fan box on top, if there is room, but the water cooler alone should help keep the thing under 75 degrees C (a Zilla would be better; can't get our hands on one for now and they're expensive). The very crude animation of possible engine bay layout will probably change as we decide the best location for stuff (pwr steer/air con drive components and compressor, pump motor, hoses etc) and final battery count front and back. The reservoir for water block coolant may stay in its original place if the hose length is not too long to be impractical. Slowly but surely we are getting somewhere now. Sorry about the shaky camera, some of us have been sick with flu. Sorry about the boobies too, but hot fiddling with cars ;-)





#4) Project ForkenSwift electric car conversion: it's legal!
http://www.ForkenSwift.com - Overdue (but waaaay under budget) the car is now registered as an EV and is legally on the road. Project ForkenSwift is an electric car conversion made using parts from a Suzuki Swift, Geo Metro, Baker electric forklift and a golf cart.





Electric porsche, Skyelectric's electroconversion
EV, Electric sport car, zero emissions porsche, electric porsche





Electric Car Conversion Motor Installation
Interested in building your own electric car or how about converting your gas-guzzler into a 100-mile per gallon equivalent (referred to as MPGE) electric? Watch as John and Xander install an electric motor in a dune buggy. John also explains about adapter plates and motor couplings. For more information please visit: ElectricCarConversions.biz





Starion production car racing Amaroo Park 1986
Starion production car (GroupE) racing from Amaroo Park in Australia 1986. I used to prepare the silver Starion (No64) owned and driven by Des Gibbs. Note: Amaroo Park no longer exists it is now a housing estate.





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.





Prius EVMODE Electric Only Option
A must have Prius Accessory. Prius owners, improve hybrid mpg: activate the factory ev mod option for electric only mode. Known as EVMode or EV Mod allows you to switch to electric-only mode for increased fuel efficiency and performance up to 34mph. Easy installation with no wire cutting necessary. www.juicedhybrid.com





COMPANY CAR VS STARION
COMPANY CAR VS STARION IN A STREET RACE IN NYC





2007 KDM Starion Car Meet
2007 KDM Starion Car Meet





Chevy S-10 Electric Vehicle
Robert Green of DIY Electric Car interviews Craig Dusing about his Chevy S-10 EV Conversion. Specs: 144v Trojan Battery Pack 9" ADC Motor Curtis Controller Filmed on 9/19/2008. For more info, visit: http://www.diyelectriccar.com





Electric Car Conversion using Siemens AC motor and home made 3 phase controller
Driving my Electric Car with my home made 3 phase inverter running a Siemens Ford Motor.





Smashin' Lancer
My partner Rod is a rally driver and here is a little roll, ahem, two rolls into a gully on a recent rally event, recorded using his el-cheapo dash-mount camera. With such damage all looks lost, but fear not...




Which car is faster? Which Car is Faster?





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