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Sir Forkenswift - an EV! · 16 October 07

Sir Forkenswift

Congratulations to Darin who now has a street legal EV.

You might remember Forkenswift from earlier appearances here, when even Darin wasn’t sure if the loose collection of parts would make the transition to a real EV.

But it’s official now: if you check out the before and after photos of the registration you’ll see that the little Swift has gone from a 3 cylinder “G” (gas) to a 0 cylinder “E”. A little more about the transition to legal from Darin:

Turns out getting insurance was the trickiest step to date. Several companies turned me down flat because it’s a conversion (despite having passed inspection). It took a while to find a company hungry enough to take the money and cover the massive risk of this 35 mph top-speed screamer!

The amazing thing is we managed to stick to our “beer budget” motto, and got the vehicle to this point for under $700 all in, thanks to some motivated scrounging for cheap used parts, a few generous donations (some cabling & hand-me-down floodies), discount machining by a friend, and a lot of pure, blind luck (we had no idea what we were doing when this all started, in case that’s not obvious).

Of course there’s still a pile of improvements/refinements to be made to the car (that goes without saying), but at least the subsequent test runs around the neighbourhood can take place without the threat of getting busted!

Here are some of the earlier posts and links to Darin’s web page and EVAlbum entry:

Comments 9
  1. Gavin Shoebridge    Oct 16, 2007 15:08 PM    #

    Congratulations Darin!

    Good on you mate, I’m very jealous! How did the inspection go? Piece of cake?

    Love to see some video of it cruising the local streets!


  2. darin    Oct 16, 2007 22:05 PM    #

    Thanks, Gav.

    Inspection was… yes, a piece of cake. My mechanic is good at scaring me into doing things properly (by telling me in advance he’s going to get out the proverbial fine-tooth comb).

    Videos… yes, I’m planning a few! Maybe in a week, give or take.

  3. — John Westlund    Oct 19, 2007 13:53 PM    #

    Congrats on getting that thing going.

    Do you plan to make any upgrades in the future?

  4. darin    Oct 22, 2007 23:14 PM    #

    Gav: shot some video of the car in action (in the wild) on the weekend. I’ll put something together in the next little while and post it.

    Thanks, John. Upgrades are part of the fun, so, yes. EG. depending on what turns up on eBay, possibly a 72v upgrade, or at minimum a better 48v controller with a higher current limit (>225A).

    But no rush, and even without doing that, there are a lot of small details that need taking care of. Plus over the winter I expect we’ll be de-installing everything to tidy it up, paint & make it pretty for show-n-tell purposes.

  5. — John Westlund    Oct 23, 2007 03:23 AM    #

    A 72V conversion could be made highway capable. Then you could experiment with aeromods on an EV; they’d be likely to have a much greater effect on efficiency than an ICE vehicle due to the different operating curves. Not to mention, the potential increase in top speed. Your EV is awesome.

  6. darin    Oct 27, 2007 17:08 PM    #

    Thanks, man. To tell you the truth, though, I don’t need/want highway speed capability – it’s just a town car. Though more acceleration would be nice…

    I’m going to save the aero mods for the ICE car. And now that the bulk of the ForkenSwift work is done, I’ll be able to return to that. Well, next spring anyway.


    For those following the build, I’ve posted another YouTube video to celebrate its street-legal status: Project ForkenSwift: it’s on the road

  7. Gavin Shoebridge    Oct 28, 2007 15:01 PM    #

    Woohoo! Thanks Darin, that’s awesome!
    Nice editing too!
    I’m gonna watch it again. :)

  8. darin    Oct 28, 2007 16:19 PM    #

    Don’t watch it too many times or the continuity errors will overwhelm you. ;-)

  9. GoGreenGeo Project    Apr 28, 2008 22:53 PM    #

    I will soon have a 1990 Geo on the Road all electric. I plan to use the Geo to Raise environmental awareness – The GoGreenGeo Project!