A Kiwi EV · 7 November 07
Our New Zealand friend Gavin Shoebridge has been making steady progress on turning his 1987 Mitshubishi Tredia into a full-blown (uhm, maybe not the best word) Electric Car. He’s got the green light (i.e. money) to buy batteries and most if not all of the parts are now in and ready for construction.
The best source for info on Gavin’s EV, of course, is his website: http://www.kiwiev.com/ where he not only chronicles his progress using lots of pictures and descriptive text, but he throws in ample YouTube videos which give you an up-close view into what he’s working on, as well as exposure to his lovely accent and wry humor!
Let’s take a look at some of his progress shots. As usual clicking the thumbnails opens up a larger version.
Here’s the culprit, Mr. Shoebridge, you appear to have a black hole under the hood, relentlessly sucking high priced petrol (or is it gas in NZ?) in return for merely twenty percent of that energy for the dread commute. Out with it!
Fully liberated from the ol’ gas guzzler and sporting a new electric motor (Advanced DC FB1-4001a) it looks rather lonely in the engine compartment. This place needs a few batteries to spruce things up, along with sturdy racks to anchor them.
Here’s the view from the driver’s compartment. Other than this small control panel and a nifty new on/off switch on the climate control panel it looks pretty clean and neat. What you aren’t seeing is the electric heater Gavin mounted inside the dash, which I think he mounted in a very unique way (be sure to watch video).
Here’s the control box. In the upper left are solid state relays (KSI and heater control, great idea!), a traditional mechanical relay for the high voltage, high current use, along with a current shunt, main fuse, and circuit breaker. It’ll be a bit cramp once there’s some wiring running in and throughout, but the nice thing is all of it is enclosed and protected from the elements (and curious fingers).
When you show someone your EV the first and most dramatic step is to pop open the “gas” cap to reveal an electric jack or plug. That’s when they know you are serious and it never fails to surprise most folks: “Whoa, you mean NO gas?” That’s when you pop open the hood and really blow their mind…
This section talks about the off-board charger setup that he’s going to use.
It’s all looking great and I can’t wait to see the battery and controller wiring go into place next. Thanks to Gavin for sharing his EV progress, both on his site and in the comments here.