James May's Metro EV · 11 November 05
A month ago I got an email from James May. James lives in Coventry, England and was getting ready to purchase a second hand Electric Car conversion from a local EV supplier.
It’s a 1991 Rover Metro. I’m not sure if that’s him sitting there or not.
The EV needed a new set of batteries and according to James the supplier wanted to fit the EV up with gel/fibremat sealed batteries (AGM). After doing some research, here and elsewhere, he decided to stick with regular lead acid batteries.
Here’s the new pack: 16, 6v 230Ah Trogjan T6220 wet lead acid cells. Looks like he’ll need a larger car to squeeze all of those in!
The following pictures were taken when he first started looking at the EV, before ordering the batteries.
First off the EV currently has a propane heater. Here you can see the small propane tank nestled in with some of the batteries. (click thumbnails for larger images)
James said that he’s investigating a replacement for the propane heater.
Here’s a view of the dash. I’ll forego the “it’s on the wrong side!” jokes for now. In the instrument cluster are a couple nice, analog meters: voltage and current. Off on the right is an E-meter.
On my first EV I just had the E-meter and it was a little bit out of the direct line of sight. I think that having a couple of analog meters is a great idea, you can quickly scan and assess the vehicle’s status. Like flying an airplane you establish an order of things to scan in between views out the window.
The E-Meter shows current and amps, but it’s digital which takes the brain a little bit longer to process.
Here’s a look at the brake area. Not quite sure what everything does here, there’s an obvious vacuum pump off to the right. That might be the acceleration/potbox there on the left hand side. A couple plastic “kit” boxes most likely hold relays and/or fuses.
The plastic in the lower right is part of the battery enclosure.
The charger (not shown) is a Zivan K2. The car has a large aluminium plate which couples the motor to the original gearbox via the original clutch and unlightened flywheel (and starter ring).
The million dollar question, of course, is where to put all of those batteries?
Why not hide them under the back passenger seat? So, maybe the passenger sits a little higher…all the better to view the lovely England country-side on a Sunday afternoon drive.
Best of luck to James with his new EV. Hopefully he’ll be checking in with more details and first hand experiences.