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 - 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 ;-)
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 turboBoost. 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.
93 Eclipse Electric Car Conversion #1
The first video of the 1993 Mitsubishi Eclipse Electric Car Conversion
project. http://www.yorktownev.com for info on how to convert your car.
Don't pay big money for gas.
ELECTRIC CAR - Part 1
It isn't really a complicated process to do an electric car conversion, but
you will need to obtain certain specialized parts.
You will need: an electric motor, deep cycle batteries, a controller, a
battery charger, an adaptor kit, and various other small parts.
But first, you are going to need a vehicle that you can do your electric
car conversion with. Any vehicle can be used for this project, but some
work better than others.
Heading the list are small cars and trucks, as they are light and strong.
Your first consideration as shown in the detailed plans is to find the
lightest vehicle that will still do the job of hauling you and whatever
cargo you carry around.
Next, you will want a large DC motor that will produce power for your
electric car. The larger the motor, the more power your electric car will
Don't worry that it will be slow either. Many people have the wrong
impression of electric cars; they accelerate as fast as any vehicle on the
road and travel at least 50 mph.
What about batteries?
You will need to locate about 16-20 deep cycle batteries for your car as
well. The plans outline sources of batteries, even free batteries that you
can find with a little effort. The same source will probably have free DC
It's just a matter of asking.
Why do you need this many batteries? In order to achieve a range of up to
100 miles on a single charge.
A controller is needed to fix the amount of current flowing from the
batteries to the motor which determines how fast you go. The controller is
connected to your old gas pedal linkage for smooth control of the vehicle.
In order to charge your batteries between trips, you will need an on-board
battery charger. That way you can just plug it into any common AC circuit
and get charged up again.
Doesn't this sound like fun?
Isn't it time you got started on your own conversion project?
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
Kaylor Kit Electric Motor Demo
This is a video of our demo flick for our Kaylor Electric Conversion Kit
for the older VW platform. This is an older style Starter/Generator
Military Shunt DC motor with a custom made adaptor plate and flywheel from
Kaylor Energy Systems. These are no longer being made but can still be
found. We are testing a modern PWM electronic controller specifically
designed to run these special motor. They are able to do regen too. This
motor can push a stock steel bodied VW Ghia to 62 mph with 12 6 volt
batteries. It is a 72 volt system. It works perfect. Perfect for a nice fun
all electric buggy. Or Bug or Ghia.
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
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 Car Conversion 101 part 001
Converting a Dodge Neon to electric so you can too!
http://300mpg.org/projects/neon/ I you want a full step-by-step on how to
build an electric car, check out my instructional DVD at http://300MPG.org
006 Electric Car Conversion 101
Video 6 of converting a Dodge Neon into an electric car. In this video, Tom
points out how to remove the original gasoline engine.
150,000 uF Capacitor Bank for Electric Car
Here is a 150,000 uF Capacitor Bank that I am building for my EV. This
should help take out the high amp spikes from the batteries and increase
the performance a little bit and should make the batteries last a little
longer. Will have a follow up video of the install and testing.