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James and the EV, III · 9 December 05

The Truth about Electric Cars!

Shocking isn’t it?

James sent along a couple folders of EV images and “accidentally” included this photo that exposes the sad, sordid truth about electric cars…

They are human powered.

When no one is looking we chuck the batteries into a dark corner of the garage, pile in a muscular buddy or two and push the car around town, Fred Flintstone style.

Truly sad, and you read it here first folks.

It looks like James has been very busy fitting in the batteries. As a reminder he’s using deep cycle, 6 volt T-6220. I think that’s a UK numbering system as I could only find it on this Barden’s page.


  • 20h rate – 220ah
  • Weight – 28kg (61lb)
  • Length – 264mm (10.4”)
  • Width – 181mm (7.1”)
  • Height – 284 (11.1”)

I can’t recall what the old batteries were (12v?) but these are larger and required James to do some creative metal and fiberglass work to fit them all in. The good news is that he should get good range and a much longer life out of them.

Out of his first set of 6220’s one showed lower voltage and wouldn’t hold a charge. He swapped it for a new one with the supplier and they all look good now.

Crimper and example crimp

James got to make up new battery cables for everything. Above is a photo of the crimper he used and one of the crimped cables. Crimpers are usually expensive or hard to find for rent, but I think they are worth it. Soldering this much wire and doing it well is difficult and you stand the chance of having a questionable connection that gives up the ghost at the worst possible time.

Front batteries

Here’s the battery setup in the front.

The silver box on the upper right is the Zivan DC-DC converter, which I believe he has since moved to the back.

He’s still working on the hold-down frames made from rolled iron corner channel.

James also plans to put a plexiglas lid over the batteries.

Five batteries up front, another eleven in the back for a total of 16×6vdc = 96vdc battery pack.

Back batteries

Not sure how much effort it took to squeeze the batteries in the back but there’s not much room left for luggage. ”:^)

As to expected performance, James reports:

I estimate the weight of my vehicle at about 1200 kgs (2,645lbs).
Expected range (guess) 40 miles
Expected max speed (guess) 65 – 70 MPH

The electric car will be powered by a Zapi H2 regenerative controller. I’ve heard of many folks using these and am looking forward to first hand reports from James. Maybe between the two of us we can come up with a system schematic.

Still left to do is rig up an electric heater and maybe trim down the flywheel a bit. By the way James has a ‘Propex’ propane heater available, if any EV’ers are within posting distance and want it. “Posting distance” would probably be somewhere in England?

Comments 2
  1. — Dan    Dec 10, 2005 00:58 AM    #
    How revolting… but I guess it’s the current thing to do. :)
  2. — James May    Dec 10, 2005 14:00 PM    #
    I would quite like to know the Peukert’s exponent and max current of my Trojan 6220s. I have a feeling they are now out of production. I haven’t asked anybody. Most new Trojans are brick red in colour and mine are black. They are also datestamped dec 2004 (and dry shipped), the acid having been added recently.