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Welcome to the Electric Car Weblog. In addition to links, news, and tips about electric cars and other forms of alternative transportation we are publishing an on-line diary of our current EV project. Started in August 2005 the chronicle follows the conversion of a gas powered Ford Probe into an Electric Car.

You will find articles organized by categories, along with recent comments, along the right hand column of the website. If you are just getting started with the idea of converting a gas car to electric be sure to check out Your First Electric Car

Welcome and enjoy!

Donor Countdown · 31 August 05

We’re heading out this evening to check out an ’89 Ford Probe. Last week I got an email from Ryan (who’s had 7 Ford Probes and is a moderator over at ProbeTalk.com) letting me know that the Probe models from ’89 to ’92 should have the same transmission as that on my Mazda 626.

If that’s the case then I should be able to pop most of the old EV parts into the probe without much modification. Hardest part will be choosing and locating the batteries.

I started checking out batteries, with a brief side trip into Lithiums. Wowsa, it’s not hard at all to drop over $10k on a set of those babies. Any other suggestions?

Comments 193
  1. — Hans    Oct 24, 2005 17:07 PM    #
    Hospitals change their self propelled xray machines’ batteries regularly whather they need it or not. Medical grade. Very nice. make a friend at your local hospital…
  2. Jerry Halstead    Oct 25, 2005 21:05 PM    #
    Thanks for the tip, Hans. There’s a couple good sized hospitals nearby. Which reminds me, when I worked for the FAA they used to regularly replace huge banks of UPS batteries (For backing up Air Traffic Control equipment) on a regular basis.
  3. — Kevin Powell    Dec 14, 2005 09:37 AM    #
    I’m considering an electric conversion. Where did you get your electric engine, tranny and batteries?
  4. Russ    Dec 15, 2005 17:30 PM    #
    Lithium-polymer batteries and brushless motors have REVOLUTIONIZED the Radio-Control hobby industy. Now electric planes, helicopters and cars as of 2005 EXCEED their polluting-fuel gas couterparts! Only drawback is yes, the darned cost of those magic batteries. And Li-poly cells only take 90-minutes at most to fully recharge, and the highest energy density of any battery known, except hydrogen-oxygen fuel cells.
  5. Jerry Halstead    Dec 16, 2005 22:54 PM    #
    Hi Kevin, I bought my original parts from a variety of places, some of which are no longer in business. Check out the resources page for a list of EV suppliers.

    Hi Russ,
    I think there are two challenges with lithium: price and battery care. When you are charging up one or a few cells it’s relatively easy for the charger to monitor things. But when you get into the business of needing enough cells to reach 144vdc or higher, then there’s a bunch of equipment to monitor each battery as it is charged. My understanding is that lithium batteries don’t like to be neglected or mis-charged.
  6. Tim    Jan 11, 2006 00:20 AM    #
    hey just wondering everything i see says to use a manual trans, has any attempted an auto conversion if so i would like some info thanks for your time
  7. Jerry Halstead    Jan 11, 2006 13:55 PM    #
    Hi Tim,

    Yes, you can make an auto-tranny EV. You’ll need to do a little extra work to keep the hydraulics pumped, either rigging the controller/motor to idle or installing a separate motor/pump.

    Most folks find it easier and cheaper to stick with a manual transmission.
  8. — James May    Jan 12, 2006 09:02 AM    #
    There’s the odd rare car like the Smart Car which have electronically controlled auto boxes. Presumably these are more efficient and easier to convert.

    see my supplier’s site: AVT
  9. — sid    Jan 25, 2006 07:51 AM    #
    hi, want to try the electrical motor.
  10. — amir tughral    Feb 09, 2006 15:12 PM    #
    i am in pakistan and want to convert a car into ev. have thought about it for long but cant find the parts over here and thr cost of importing would be too high , maybe a chinese contact will be helpful,can u help.
  11. — James May    Feb 09, 2006 15:58 PM    #
    Hi Amir,

    Is it possible to get the parts from India?
    I suppose Reva electric cars (Bangalore) get their parts locally.
  12. — Paul    Mar 20, 2006 14:45 PM    #


    Thanks for the website. The information and details are great. I have a ‘55 Willys Utility Wagon with a 6cyl. turning out a whopping 106hp. Recently been fighting a bout of gas engine problems, and thought this might be a great vehicle to convert to an EV. Plenty of space, simplistic construction, and no electronics. What I can’t find is what the magnitude of such a ‘conversion’ would cost.

  13. Jerry Halstead    Mar 20, 2006 18:38 PM    #

    Hi Paul,

    What’s the weight on one of those Willy’s? A little on the boxy side, but if you are sticking to slow speed driving the aerodynamics won’t be as big of an issue.

    Magnitude is determined by what you are looking for: low range low speed vs. high speed and/or high range. Also, some folks have done very well picking up surplus parts.

  14. — Marlowe Camello    Apr 29, 2006 21:21 PM    #

    As I understood it, it requires to plug in to a power grid from some eletric wall outlet to recharge an EV battery.

    Can the electric current of the same vehicle be recycled back by plugging from a power outlet in the vehicle itself to its battery for automatic recharging as the vehicle runs instead of plugging it to a wall outlet for recharging? If this can be done, there would be no more need to rely on hydrogen, methanol, ethanol, etc. to power a vehicle.

    There would also be no more limit as to how far the EV can travel.

    Pardon me. I know nothing much about electric technology except changing a burn out bulb if this question may sound like silly.


  15. — James May    Apr 30, 2006 13:07 PM    #

    Hi Marlowe,

    If I understand you correctly, you mean recharging the battery from the vehicle movement. Some EVs do this already when the vehicle is slowing down or braking. This is called ‘Regeneration’ or ‘Regenerative braking’. It doesn’t make any sense to recharge the EV battery when you are trying to accelerate though, it would just slow you down. I believe that you can only recover about 10 – 15 percent of the energy by regeneration. That translates to a maximum of 10 – 15 percent more range. Perhaps less in practice.

  16. — jim hurst    May 01, 2006 07:27 AM    #

    I think that one of the big advantages of regenerative braking is the ability to slow the vehicle down with out using your brakes. Unless you upgrade the brakes they will be working very hard with an extra 750 lbs of batteries added to the car.

  17. — Brian Osburn    May 09, 2006 18:56 PM    #

    I have to figure out how many batteries I’ll need for my EV Project: 87 Toyota MR2. How does one calculate this? OMG…this is total fun!

  18. — phil    May 10, 2006 17:11 PM    #

    I am just starting to look into converting a 1979 F250 4 wheel dr. I am not looking for distance it is only driven 15 miles a day to work and back But I am interested in putting a solar array in the bed to do the recharge any thoughts.

  19. Jerry Halstead    May 10, 2006 19:29 PM    #

    Hi Phil,

    Any reason to stick with a large 4×4? I’d suggest keeping it around the way it is for the times you need it and finding a smaller, lightweight vehicle to convert and use for your commute. You’ll save more energy doing that than you’d ever collect using solar panels. More thoughts on choosing a vehicle.

    As for solar panels, better to put them on a fixed rack at home or at the office. I wrote about this at the end of this article.

  20. Pete    May 16, 2006 17:22 PM    #


    I have an idea and I would like some advice. I am VERY new to the electric car scene; I am tired of being under the thumb of Big Oil.

    I have read that a lawn mower engine would not work as a generator. I see why and besides, they are not very fuel efficient. My idea is this: take a scooter engine, (the ones that get about 100 miles to a gallon and are street legal, like one of those Spree deals…) hook it up to a high out-put alternator, to power the DC motor of an EV, or use it in conjunction with batteries to reduce the amount of the batteries.

    I know there are very high out-put alternators available, would they be strong enough? I don’t know how much amperage/volts are required by the DC motors. I also know you can use more than one alternator. I think I would like to use a Geo Metro (egg car).

    I am not sure that this is considered a hybrid since the gas engine would be running at all times, (depending of configuration). This would give great gas mileage though. If you know of any other people who might give me some insight on this, please let me know. Any information you can provide would be greatly appreciated. Do you have any pictures of your conversion?

    Thank you for your time and attention.


    “Future Converter?”

  21. Jerry Halstead    May 17, 2006 08:10 AM    #

    Hi Pete,

    One of the reasons a scooter gets such good mileage is it is only pushing around you and the small scooter parts, instead of over 2,000lbs of automobile. Heck, look how efficient a bicycle is…no gas at all!

    Here’s a simple test to help validate these types of idea: can you pull a car with this engine?

    If you tied a rope to your scooter would you be able to pull the car around town? Because putting the scooter engine IN the car, and hooking it to a generator/alternator further reduces its usable energy. So if it can’t push/pull the car around on its own it will do an even worse job when trying to run the car’s electric motor.

    You could hook it up to augment the batteries, but it is going to take more than a standard alternator. Since the battery pack is typically 120-140vdc the voltage to “charge” will need to be even higher.

    Also, I don’t think they have any kind of environmental controls, so you’ll end up with a noisy, fumey, “electric” car hybrid.

    The best thing to do with the scooter engine is to leave it on the scooter and drive that around. Or remove it and put an electric motor on the scooter. The less weight you are pushing around, the better the efficiency.

  22. — mike    Jul 11, 2006 14:15 PM    #

    Thanks for your website. I’m new to the EV concept but eventually would like to convert a vehicle. Your website is a great tool for learning!

  23. — Jeff Atkinson    Jul 18, 2006 15:43 PM    #

    Hi Jerry,
    I have been doing some resourch on EV ideas and have some things to throw in the pot. Thanks for the opportunity.

    After running some numbers I believe it may be possible to gut a small car such as an old fiesta and use high output golfcart engine’s and equipment to power it. Its a little farfetched but if you can bring the weight down low enough without sacrificing stability I think it can work. My overall want would be to have a car with its better protection and inclosure that runs on electric.If the weight was the same and the upscale parts provided better distance and speed than an average golfcart, to me it would be ideal. And considering that golfcarts use less batteries you could afford to add more and get much greater distance.

    The other lesser idea is to turn golfcarts into cars somewhat. What I mean by this is yes a golfcart for the most part is not allowed on the roads (except in 35 or under).But if you take off the molded body and replace it with a lightweight fiberglass shell that looks like a car it would give it a bigger signature on the road. Some clever tire conversion to very light larger aluminum wheels and a few other mods and its no longer recognizable as a golfcart. As long as the weight is about the same the cart will run and act as normal. Since at this point it can no longer be called a golfcart to the authorities it must be a car. Get my drift? And electric cars are allowed on roads.

    I have not begun gutting, stripping or modding a vehicle yet to see if these things will work but I do think its possible. Alot of extended and fabricated parts will have to be made to prove that these theory’s work. What do you think?

    Thanks for your time,

  24. Jerry Halstead    Jul 19, 2006 06:34 AM    #

    Hi Jeff,

    A few companies sell “glorified golf carts” (no offense), they are typically called NEV, for Neighborhood Electric Vehicle. They are limited to roads with speeds of less than 35 mph typically. Some states don’t allow NEVs, so you should check the local regulations first.

    You are right about reducing weight to reduce the need for batteries and/or higher power motors. Many of the EVs in the 70’s used aircraft starter engines. The issue, and this is true with every component you choose, is what kind of vehicle you need in the end.

    Greg has a short, low speed commute and got away with putting a small motor, and just a few batteries into his Yugo.

    Put the numbers in our EV Calculator and try it yourself.

    But remember, as you remove weight from a vehicle you may also be reducing its ability to hold more batteries. Nothing is free.

  25. — Jeff    Jul 19, 2006 14:16 PM    #

    Hi Jerry,

    Thanks for the quick response. Greg’s car is right in the area of what I am talking about.And this guy did it on little money. Thats awesome! Overall it looks like a great idea. It is running good and getting him around.

    To me the HP and the battery power is the area of interest. I noticed a company called “Baldor” has claims of higher HP electric motors. I believe a 20 or 25 HP motor would make a world of difference. As far as increasing the distance thats the other factor. Either better battery technoligy or another means of onboard charging is needed. I have thought before that there may be a way of using a generator to recharge the batteries by somehow connecting to the active motion of the rear wheels or axle? It is motion of course that produces electricity.

    I’ll throw this out. See what you think. What if you use two sets of batteries. Both connected but only one active at a time using a switch. Kind of like switching the fuel tanks in a truck. Both are charged to start off. As the primary loses power you switch to the other secondary charged set. The now resting primary set is charged via the generator while the secondary is used. This then of course switches over and over.

    I am aware that of course the big issues with this concept are the weight and the return power generated. I’m not sure it could return enough power to charge the batteries.I’ll look into this deeper.

    I have a friend who is very good with electric motors and equipment. I am going to talk to him about possibly custom building a higher HP electric motor. The Model T revolutionized the automotive industry and with only a 20 HP motor.

    I believe the EV concept is on the brink of exploding and that someone is going to work out the perfect solution. Its just a matter of time. Some disagree but I think the ultimate answer will not come with new electric cars from big manufactures but with converting the cars that are already on the road. This will be the bread and butter. The Wal-Mart of electric solutions. A set price to convert cars within certain models and weights against thousands of dollars spent to buy a new EV from the Big 3.

    Just throwing things in the hat.

    Thanks for your time,

  26. Jerry Halstead    Jul 20, 2006 07:32 AM    #

    You are edging onto the slippery slope of perpetual energy…come back!


  27. — Jeff    Jul 20, 2006 17:37 PM    #


    Well I guess this Wil-e Coyote needs to read the whole site first before he comments on such things. LOL! Back to the drawing board for me.


  28. — Chris    Jul 21, 2006 00:38 AM    #

    in respeonse to number 18, phil. I take the opposite stance as Jerry, a large truck is an awesome choice for an electric vehicle IF you know why your choosing it. the benefits are that a large truck can handle many more batteries, which translates to more range. and additionally if your driving only at slow speeds (45 and lower) you don’t feel much effect from wind, so you don’t have to worry about its aerodynamic handicap.
    A point to be wary about with using a large pickup is that your suspension will most likely never feel the same, so offroading won’t be something you’ll want to do with it after.
    Lastly, the idea of putting solar panels on your vehicle (i again disagree with Jerry) is a good idea, there is really no danger to the panels unless they are directly hit. and on a pickup truck even a large panel (say 500 lbs worth with support is nothing) I know of two vehicles that have successfully run large solar panels for years, both are participants in Nesea’s annual Tour de sol (more info at www.nesea.com), the St. Marks school has a ford ranger with a roughyl 500 watt array on the back which is permanently mounted. and the University of maine chevy S-10 has a carpenter lumber rack/ladder rack with solar pannels that is 1.1 kw that is even capable of tilting side ways to catch the suns rays! both great vehicles to check out if your thinking of building your own. (for comparison, the 1.1 kw array gets about 15-20 miles of free driving everyday according to the driver).

    Sorry to disagree with you on this Jerry. I think what your doing is great though, and good luck on your newest EV.

    p.s. are you considering a battery warming system to help offset the loss of range during the winter?


  29. Jerry    Jul 22, 2006 10:06 AM    #

    Hi Chris,

    You are more than welcome to disagree with me! Better yet go out and prove me wrong, by implementing your own design or providing us with real numbers. We love numbers and links (speaking of which it’s www.nesea.org, not .com).

    I agree that a bigger vehicle allows more batteries, but they also bring along their own baggage, so to speak.

    Phil asked about a large 4×4, which is not only a heavier vehicle (the 2005 model weighs 6,114 lbs) but also has a less efficient drive train (more components and more mass to spin). Sure it will be able to haul more batteries, but it will have to in order to make up for its own inefficiencies.

    As an exercise in comparisons I calculated the EV characteristics of two trucks: 1993 Ford Ranger vs. a 2005 F250. I used this site for the F250 specs and then extrapolated a bit to get the other values (erroring in favor of the F250). For the other end of the spectrum we can compare these to a GEO Metro conversion.

    One thing to note is that I don’t think you can get low rolling resistance tires for either of these vehicles, certainly not the F250, so I left rolling resistance at normal tire value for all of them (including the GEO, which you can get them for). For comparison I’m using the range and watt-hours/mile in 2nd gear at 30mph. I also added 500lbs to accomodate solar panels and mounting hardware (not on the GEO though).


    Right off the bat the F250 is eating up a pile of watts just to move it one mile. If you are indeed able to get 1.1kw of power from solar panels (and they magically don’t add extra drag) it’s only enough to move the truck 1.375 miles for each hour of full sun. The Ranger does better at 2.17 miles.

    Secondly I’m having a hard time figuring out how to get 1.1kw of solar power on a vehicle that you’d use to commute. These 85 watt solar panels, for example, check in at 39.65 x 25.67 inches and you’d need at least twelve of them to get close to 1.1kw output. That’s a surface area of 79” x 154.8” (6.6×12.84 feet), not exactly something most truck’s have room for. You’d need to do some creative folding for transport (so no power while driving) or angular mounting to make it fit. Angling the panels means less direct exposure to the sun, and less overall power output so you’d need an even bigger array to end up with 1.1kw of output.

    With 220lbs of solar panels and adding the additional weight of wiring, frames, and control electronics it’s probably being generous saying it only adds 500lbs to the conversion. Speaking of electronics don’t forget that there are losses in each stage of power conversion, even blocking diodes steal a bit, so 1.1kw at the panel does not mean 1.1kw into the batteries.

    As for “free driving” the cost of twelve 85w panels is around $5,000 (we’ll ignore the cost of interfacing electronics and mounting hardware). Let’s say the average price for electricity is 8 cents per kWh. If you used five thousand bucks to buy electricity for the GEO it works out to 62,500kWH or around 212,585 miles.

    Let’s say you could magically place the panels so they tracked the sun and generated 1kWH. A 15 mile commute in the F250 eats up 12,000kW, or 6,000kW each way. Phil drives to work, perfectly deploys the solar array, and it charges for the eight hours he’s working. Well, it charges for six hours or so, the batteries are full and the rest is lost. He drives home, perfectly deploys the panels again, and gets a few more kW before the sun goes down (unless it’s winter, when there’s next to nothing left).
    Let’s say he averages 8kWH from the panels each day, so 292kWH a year. At that rate it will only take 214 years to recoup the $5k spent on solar panels and the heavier vehicle conversion used to mount them.

    Use the $5k to convert a used GEO, keep the truck around for the times you need a 4×4 or sell it and rent a truck when you need one.

    Much easier to take the nice, big array and mount it in your yard. It can be optimized for solar power output, no moving parts, maximum efficiency. Sell it back to the grid and/or use to power your home.

    Obviously there are ways to mount solar panels to your vehicle and I don’t dispute that it will add “free” power during the day. My point is that you won’t get optimal use of solar panels by mounting them on a vehicle. Considering the price and efficiency of current solar panels the best thing you can do to optimize your return on investment is to use a fixed mount at home or work.

  30. — Chris    Jul 23, 2006 22:15 PM    #

    I Can’t argue with facts, without question the already heavier vehicle has to use more energy to get moving to the same speed down the road. and definetly if your goals are only distance and efficiency you’ve got it made with the Geo. I was just trying to (and i see now i did a horrible job at it) say that its possible to convert any vehicle and that you can still get a good economical vehicle even with a large truck. Sure it won’t be as fast or efficient, but it’d be great for running to the home depot for a sheet or two of plywood, if thats what you want your vehicle for. Naturally its up to you to decide if your uses warrant having an electric or if you’d be better off with your truck the way it is. Oh and another point, is that a truck conversion will definetly not have the same top end speed as a car would, don’t expect more than 55-60 mph out of a big truck like that. The Umaine black bear has a top speed of 65-70, and thats not a sustainable speed for it.

    I apologize for not giving any specs on the 1.1 kw array. they are the 85 watt panel as you described, made by BP. here is a link to a pictuer of the truck with the array tilted:


    their are twelve panels in the picture, i believe they have added one more now, for a total of thirteen, and i believe they are an 18v panel, all wired in series with a dc-dc converter to jump the voltage down to their pack voltage.

    and another link to their homepage

    i checked them, and these links actually work. really sorry about the bad nesea link, and by the way, nesea is the “Northeast east Sustainable Energy Association”, for anyone wondering, they do a lot of great things!

    Thanks for keeping me on my toes.


  31. Jerry Halstead    Jul 24, 2006 06:20 AM    #

    Thanks for the links, Chris. (I went ahead and made them clickable.)

    That’s quite the array! They should be able to get a good bead on the sun with that setup.

    Here’s a bit more information on their project. They report that it was driven for five months in 2000 without ever being plugged in. Very nice!

  32. — James May    Jul 24, 2006 07:55 AM    #

    I think there is an advantage in having a little bit of solar generation on an EV. Even though not as efficient as a fixed array. The two advantages I can think of are: 1. charge whilst driving extends range a little. 2. More importantly, there is a little bit of constant charging preventing lead acids from sulphating and saving you money on replacement battery packs. Better than parking up somewhere with a high DOD on a hot day and no charging.

  33. — John    Jul 27, 2006 10:51 AM    #

    I drive about 22 miles one way, sometimes in heavy traffic causing my commute time to be between 30 minutes to one hour each way. Most of the grade is 2%. My VW based kit car’s weight is about 1650 lbs currently gas powered. Is it possible for a do it yourselfer to get that kind of range with a EV conversion that costs less than $13,000? Anybody know of a great tried and true kit for a 1970 VW based chassis or a complete list of needed parts?

  34. — James May    Jul 28, 2006 08:26 AM    #

    I think you should look at beetle conversions on evalbum (example VW beetle) and get in touch with those people.

  35. — Joe Cooper    Aug 08, 2006 21:00 PM    #

    How much power/range is lost using a transmission? I thought a controller of some type would replace a transmission.
    As for batteries did you consider 48 V aircraft batteries?
    Thanks for taking the time to respond to all the questions. Joe

  36. — James May    Aug 09, 2006 17:41 PM    #

    Hi Joe

    I have done a quick search on the internet and I reckon that you lose abuot 10 per cent with a gearbox. Can’t provide any good sources though. The aircraft batteries may not be deep cycle. That’s what’s important in an EV.

  37. — scotty b    Aug 23, 2006 20:34 PM    #

    wow this sounds like lots of fun. I think 4 good sized tape drive motors would be very efficient at 97% and one could change power by switching a few of them off after accelleration. thus eliminating some gearing and weight. NOT TESTED AND PROVEN BUT JUST A THOUGHT. I love the the web sight and am obsessed with the the concept of free energy and E.V.s. Does any one know what the lightest car or truck on the hiway is? and whats wrong with using brake rotors and neodymium iron boron magnets, and coils cast casted into fiberglass as a stator. it would also act as a brake and dump load back into the batteries.

  38. — Nagorak    Aug 27, 2006 20:18 PM    #

    One of the lightest cars out there is probably the Geo/Chevrolet Metro (also known as Suzuki Swift and Pontiac Firefly in Canada). They are no longer made but you should be able to find a used one, and the good thing is they are fairly inexpensive. The straight-up lightest car might be the Honda Insight, but you’d end up spending a lot on the car even before conversion. If you go back to the 80s or early 90s, before the trend of monstrous cars you can find a lot of smaller sized cars. Early Honda Civics as well as the Honda CRX, for example. Personally I think a 96 or later Geo Metro is one of the best choices because it has good safety features (driver and passenger air bags and crumple zones). In a small car, consideration of such things is pretty important IMO. Although I still think anyone in the back seat will probably just die if you’re rear ended by an Expedition or other monster.

  39. — John    Aug 31, 2006 23:06 PM    #

    Great site.

    I’m trying to get in to electric car conversions but here in Australia it’s hard to find part/prices etc.

    One question I had, I know DC motors are not too good for regenerative breaking but has anyone looked at hooking a generator to the wheels, I’m not talking about perpetual motion here, rather just kicking the generator in during breaking. It could mean being able to use cheaper DC motors and controllers but still getting the regenerative advantage. Or would the cost and wait of the generator and charge cancel out the advantage? Or am I just plain wrong about not being able to use DC motors for regenerative breaking?

  40. — James May    Sep 01, 2006 08:54 AM    #

    My Zapi controller has DC regenerative braking. I don’t think you get the same efficiency as you do with an AC motor. But it has to be better than riggin up lots of extra hardware. My controller has to have extra contacters to throw all the wires to reverse on the motor for regeneration. I think later controllers don’t have to have this.

  41. John    Sep 25, 2006 22:34 PM    #

    Thanks, I found some of the info on the zapi after posting. Although what I came across didn’t look to good and implied that a lot of the Zapi’s died when using regen breaking. Do you know if this is still a problem with them?

    Also is there anyone here from Australia that can point me to some local resources or companies?

  42. — James May    Sep 26, 2006 07:34 AM    #

    Hi John. Mine’s been OK. The regen is really good on it and it’s probably about 10 years old. I think Jerry had problems with his on his first EV. If you seach for Zapi H2 and Jerry you’ll probably find things from this site. http://jerryrig.com/convert/step5.html , http://jerryrig.com/convert/step42.html I think some of the early units weren’t good. Maybe it’s how you wire them up.
    Read this: http://www.electrifyingtimes.com/bobwing.html This guy liked the Zapi very much.

  43. John    Oct 11, 2006 20:21 PM    #

    Anyone have contact details for someone that is willing to sell the ZAPI to Australia? I’ve been trying to get info about local distributors or people who will export to Aus but so far both Zapi head office and the UK site won’t return my messages.

    Alternatively anyone visit here from Australia who has a ZAPI? What does it cost here or how much does it cost to import?

  44. — James May    Oct 12, 2006 08:09 AM    #

    my supplier Robert at AVT might sell you one


  45. — James May    Oct 12, 2006 08:12 AM    #

    He won’t answer until Monday at the earliest, he’s away. If you are lucky you might find a 2nd hand one. The reason I am saying this is because it has crossed my mind to upgrade to a Zilla 1K. I expect other people have already upgraded.

  46. John    Oct 15, 2006 22:03 PM    #

    Is there much benefit of the Zilla 1K over the ZAPI? I like the idea of regen, not just for the power but the breaking assistance. Also looking at the Zilla site it implies quite a wait for the units or is that out of date now?

    My choices were basically a tossup between the Zilla and the ZAPI. I did not like the comments about the noise of the Curtis, personally if I go for EV I want to go for quite. Although I’m thinking of putting a sound system in with a pre recorded hotrod revving up just for effect :)

  47. — James May    Oct 16, 2006 07:12 AM    #

    Well I like the Zapi but I think that you can lay down a lot more current an low motor revs with a Zilla. There’s something funny about instaneous current which means you can draw more motor current that you are drawing from the batteries. Don’t ask me how this works. It just means that you can get better performance from a Zilla. My car is only 96V and runs a Zapi H2 set to 300A max. It only develops this full current over a fairly narrow rev range. I’d want to run a higher voltage with the Zapi ideally. I think it would work better.
    I don’t think the Zillas have regen. Do the latest Curtis controllers still whine? I’ll put up some links on these comments when I find them.

  48. — James May    Oct 17, 2006 13:22 PM    #

    I am currently thinking about putting in a bypass contactor for full throttle. My Zapi is governed at about 300A and if I do this I’ll probably have about 500A at full throttle. Don’t think it;ll do my batteries much good but it will be good to have a kind of “turbo mode” to get me out of trouble. I think it might be a good idea to put really heavy spring on so that I don’t activate it without really meaning to. Maybe a nice big light on the dashboard will help as well.

  49. John    Oct 17, 2006 23:08 PM    #

    Have you herd what the H3 is like? the specs show it as going up to 1000A but the zapi sites are a little low on details.

  50. — James May    Oct 18, 2006 08:11 AM    #

    The H3 is two H2s strapped together.
    My supplier says he thinks a bypass contactor can be fitted to my H2. Useful to know.

  51. John    Oct 18, 2006 21:59 PM    #

    Ok, I wonder if the two H2’s can be connected in parallel or if they have to connect to two different motors. I’m guessing though the unit would probably cost twice as much.

  52. — James May    Oct 19, 2006 07:16 AM    #

    The H2 comes in three physical sizes, I chose the 400A with reversing DPDT and braking SPDT contactors. This is the only one to fit in the space available in the MGA. There are also 500A and 600A models which are longer, both available for up to 96 VDC. There will be a 120 volt model coming out in August. The H3 is two H2s tied together which may be why the H3 is more difficult to set up. Greg McCrea specializes in H2s, Gary Flo does H2s and H3s.

    This is a quote from http://www.electrifyingtimes.com/bobwing.html

    No mention of how the two H2s are tied together. Maybe it’s 2 H2 power stages in parallel and one controller board

    There are some bits and pieces on evdigest http://www.mail-archive.com/search?l=ev@listproc.sjsu.edu&q=h3

  53. — Michael    Oct 21, 2006 14:20 PM    #

    Instead of having a manual or automatic transmission, couldn’t you just swap the volts for amps on the motor?

  54. — James May    Oct 22, 2006 10:28 AM    #

    Hi Michael. I am just going out now so can’t say much. I think some people change the circuit of their batteries or their motor windings from series to parallel to change the available power. Maybe someone else can answer with more detail.

  55. Travis    Oct 29, 2006 20:18 PM    #

    What about using a diesel generator on a trailer with biodiesel or vegi fuel for a few extra miles out of an EV? Ut’s kinda an on-demand hybrid type setup. Pros and cons?

  56. John    Oct 29, 2006 23:25 PM    #

    Well things are getting closer for me. Looks like I may have a little cash coming to get my project started. So far I’ve come up with the following components.

    Controller – ZAPI H2 120V 500A unit
    ZAPI H3 120V 800A unit
    Prefer the H2 due to cost and simplicity of regen, would prefer 144V but doesn’t look like the ZAPI can do that.

    Motor – Advance DC FB1-4001

    Batteries – Undecided leaning towards AGM but may end up with Trojan’s

    Charger – Don’t know yet

    Car – Hyundia Tiburon 2004 2.7lV6 6 speed manual

    Clutch –
    Clutch less

    Required regular round trip range –
    50km (not miles)

    Required speed –
    Occasional 100kmh
    Normal max 70kmh
    Average 60kmh

    Anyone like to comment on this setup so far? The donor car’s worth about $AUD30000 so I don’t really want to stuff this up. I quite like the car so would prefer to use it rather than buy another cheap car but may do so if there is too much risk that I can’t get the range etc. I need to get my wife a new small car so will just use her old one while the conversion is in progress (it’s a rather small Daihatsu Centro automatic so don’t want to use it for to long)

  57. John    Oct 29, 2006 23:28 PM    #

    Oh one addition to the above. Currently I don’t have access to charging at work but may do in the future so may be able to halve the range requirements.

  58. John    Oct 29, 2006 23:49 PM    #

    Another addition to the above, looks like I messed up my calculations somehow. Based on the calculator I think the Trojan 145’s are about the only real option for the range v cost, just have to find out if I can getthem here in Aust.

  59. — James May    Oct 30, 2006 13:58 PM    #

    Hi John

    I think your setup looks OK, but that’s probably because it looks like mine. I think AGMs have lower resistance so might get you better acceleration and better range (look up Peukert’s exponent) More money though!

  60. John    Oct 31, 2006 02:32 AM    #

    It would be really cool if we could use these motors for an EV conversion


  61. — James May    Oct 31, 2006 09:26 AM    #

    Absolutely! Mitsubishi are working on this design right now I think. Lots of redundancy, having 2 or 4 wheel motors. I think that even though braking by regen would be really effective, you’d still need to have friction brakes by law. but they need not be very big.

  62. John    Nov 01, 2006 02:33 AM    #

    Just think of all the extra space for batteries if you don’t need a ruddy great motor under the bonnet. I sent them an email asking for details and if they have distributors etc yet. I expect it’s going to be well and truly out of the price range or just not obtainable but you never know.

  63. John    Nov 01, 2006 20:28 PM    #

    Got a reply from them. Basically they are only looking at supplying OEM to car manufacturers and not to the general public.

  64. — James May    Nov 02, 2006 09:08 AM    #

    Yes, that’s the story with a lot of the new battery technologies as well (like A123 systems). It was nice of them to actually reply though. I guess we’ll have to wait for production vehicles to come out. Then we’ll have to wait for a few of them to come through the salvage channels.

  65. — michael    Nov 06, 2006 02:56 AM    #

    Hi Jerry,
    in post 29 you mention low rolling resistance tires for the metro, I havent been able to find any in the size for my metro conversion. which brand/ model fits the geo metro? do you know?

  66. — James May    Nov 06, 2006 08:35 AM    #

    Hi Michael

    I think you’ll have to find some pretty wide alloys to fit these!


    these might be better

    priced here in GBP



    I think these ones are low rolling resistance tyres

  67. — Bob Dispenza    Nov 06, 2006 12:12 PM    #

    I’m looking for some range information. I’ve got a 1986 Honda Civic wagon, and I’m wondering what kind of range I could expect from 8×12 v deep cycle batteries, 145 Ah. The original curb weight of the car was 2293 lbs. The batteries I am considering are the Interstate U1450/ U.S. Battery EV-145. Have synthetic lube in transmission and differential. The rolling resistance is low- it will roll on its own on even the smallest hills if I don’t apply the parking brake. I know that 8 volts may work better in the long run, but I need to know what I can expect for these 12 volts. Thanks.

  68. — James May    Nov 07, 2006 09:05 AM    #

    You need to try Jerry’s EVCalcultor. There’s a link on this page under EVTools. Choose your vehicle and component values or the nearest you can get. It gives you a range at each speed.

  69. — Larry    Nov 30, 2006 15:00 PM    #

    I just went through some various configurations in the calculator to convert a ‘93 Ford Ranger w/auto trans, and I’m not sure I got correct calculations. Most of the motor/battery/controller partnerships were averaging about 28-34 miles range 10 mph. However with the B&S Etek motor/Deka MK 8G31 battery/Zilla 1K controller the range comes out at 3672 mi @10 mph, over 750 60mph and over 200 @ 90 mph!!
    Below is the share calculation address. Can this be correct??


  70. jerry Halstead    Nov 30, 2006 16:18 PM    #

    Hi Larry,

    Well, first off since I copied those motor values from elsewhere I can’t claim that they are totally accurate or complete.

    But, that aside, I’m wondering why you have it set up with 144vdc for a 48vdc motor? Also, you are using a Zilla with a minimum voltage of 72vdc with the 48vdc motor. I’d try to stick to workable setups (sorry, it doesn’t tell you if something is set wrong)

    Also, you might want to change to an 80% (or less) depth of discharge (% DOD). While it’s true that you could probably do a 100% DOD a few times, it’s not something you’d do on a regular basis…unless you have a relative in the battery business!

  71. — Alan Gideon    Nov 30, 2006 21:22 PM    #

    I just started reading your tale. Thanks for posting it. I’m getting lots of good ideas. Somewhere (can’t locate it tonight), you talked about perhaps trying to remove the centerline floor hump. Please think twice before doing so. In addition to providing a path for the exhaust line, Ford may have also used the hump as a structural reinforcement bend, like the corrugations in cardboard.

  72. jerry Halstead    Dec 01, 2006 18:12 PM    #

    Hi Alan,

    Nope, no hump removal for Eve this time, but I understand what you are saying.

    Bob and James Hurst were up a while back to take a look at Eve and mentioned an interesting (albeit more complicated) way around this. Basically make your own under the car “sling” which has risers that connect to all four shock mounting columns. It takes over the reinforcement and lets you get more creative with floor boards and such. Of course you need to be a talented welder/metal person to pull this one off!

  73. jerry Halstead    Dec 01, 2006 18:31 PM    #


    Not to leave you dangling without an answer or to pick on you, here’s a bit more info.

    The whole motor table (as much as I understand it) is computed using a series of formulas and the curves for a given motor. For example, here’s the curves for the 48v Etek.

    You’ll note that the curves were calculated at 48v. Now if the motor is able to safely handle higher voltage then there’s probably a way to extrapolate the curves. I don’t know a whole lot about motors so I can’t really help there. But my point is that you ought to change all of the parameters (i.e. recalculate motor values) if you change something outside the saved values. Checking out the details for each motor you’ll see the voltage it is rated/computed for.

    Controllers can usually handle a wider voltage range, but they still have min and max ratings (check the spec sheet).

    That’s probably one of the dangers of the EV Calculator is that you can get some really GREAT numbers coming out of it that you’ll never see in real life.

    When I use it I tend to error on the low side: 60% DOD, regular tires, more weight, and so forth.

  74. John    Dec 04, 2006 01:42 AM    #

    Anyone had a look at this guy?



    Site looks rather dodgy but the concept of basically a custom made wheel motor looks interesting.

  75. Rudolf Bosnjak    Jan 23, 2007 00:56 AM    #

    Hi! here is my project, what I am doing. Please support my action:STOP BURNING OXYGEN IN COMBUSTION ENGINE

    See my car conversion from diesel to AC electric here
    to all from Rudolf Bosnjak

  76. — James May    Jan 24, 2007 08:52 AM    #

    Hi Rudolf.

    What type of batteries will you be using?

  77. — Simon Gibson    Feb 03, 2007 20:45 PM    #

    From what I’ve researched so far it appears that unless you have Lithium Ion batteries you just wont get the range – The energy to weight ratio simply isn’t in lead acid batteries.
    My first project is going to start as a very modest electric scooter or similar. This will be my 1.5 mile commuter vehicle and will eliminate starting and running a regular car for a very inefficient short journey.
    I am hoping that better battery technology and lower battery cost will encourage more people to ‘go electric’
    Regards to all from Simon

  78. — Gerry    Feb 28, 2007 00:31 AM    #

    Does anyone manufacture an electric “pusher” trailer containing batteries emotor and ...

  79. — Scott    Mar 11, 2007 03:43 AM    #

    Has anyone put any thought into using solor energy as a means of constant daytime recharging?
    Any thoughts or commets on this?

  80. jer    Mar 11, 2007 07:58 AM    #

    Hey Gerry, no one that I know of makes these for sale or as kits. One fellow started a company to make a high-end EV w/optional gas-gen trailer (Alan Cacconni (sp?)), but I haven’t heard much about it lately.

    It would certainly seem easier to “convert” your car to electric by hooking on an electric trailer, but I’m really not sure on the feasibility of it. You’d be adding quite a bit of weight.


  81. jer    Mar 11, 2007 07:59 AM    #

    Hi Scott,

    I talk a little bit about this at the bottom of my Free Energy article. Also search the site for Peter’s Van, which has both solar and wind to assist in charging.


  82. — James May    Mar 12, 2007 08:45 AM    #

    hi Scott, Jerry

    I have said this before I think, but I reckon PV panels would be a good idea for my vehicle and others like it, ie. low mileage, lead acid because it would trickle charge the batteries and this might work against sulphation and and make the pack last longer. I don’t drive far so it would offset the daily charging a bit. It’s just the enormous expense which has stopped me from getting PV panels so far.

  83. — Scott    Mar 13, 2007 23:29 PM    #

    Hi, another question…
    Was wondering if anyone could throw a few suggestions/ideas my way.
    For a conversion, im a bit in a stand off between converting a Chev Cavalier or an S-10 pickup (or similar types)
    Mainly what im looking for is to get a top speed of around 80MPH preferably 100MPH, with a range of at least 80 Miles, bonus if it can be pushed to 100 on batteries alone.
    Another thought train is to also to go the hybrid rout with a smll diesel engine set to run on veggi oil…(but thats an entirely differant story)
    does anyone have any resourse on that topic that i might brows through? I havnt had much luck finding much.
    At the moment though, i am mostly looking to find a battery configuration at the above specs.
    Any thoughts on a motor to start off on. would AC be the best way to go here?

  84. John    Apr 04, 2007 21:13 PM    #

    It’s been slow but I’m getting closer to starting my conversion. While trying to find sources in Australia I have had the following setup recommended by the local Zivan distributor.

    1x Zivan charger NG3 120V 30A
    1x Zivan 120V to 12V DC-DC converter
    10x Haze N200GEL 12V 230Ah battery
    1x Zapi AC-4 controller
    1x Best-Motor 20kW AC

    He recommends AC rather than DC.

    Anyone want to comment on the above? Looks like this is going to come to around 10K Australian, bit higher than I had hoped but I may be able to squeeze it down a bit. Going to get prices fro DC as well so I can do a cost v benefit analysis on the two. I’d really love to do two conversions, one DC one AC to compare but that’s out of the budget :)

  85. John    Apr 04, 2007 22:28 PM    #

    Ooops I missed a zero on the battery prices for the above. The cost has gone up to $17K+ so I’m going to have to rethink that one.

  86. — Nick Smith    Apr 05, 2007 02:30 AM    #

    Hi John

    Something to remember when pricing up your systems is that apart from the motor and controller everything else is DC! I don’t know about Aussie but in NZ anything DC costs a mint.

    I am going cheap on my first EV with a 144VDC system with wet cell batteries with an eye to upgrading batteries and controllers etc. once I know what the heck I am doing. I have determined a budget of NZD15-16K (AUD14K or USD10K). I have managed to spend about 2K just on things like electrical boxes, fuses, wire etc. The 2 largest items to date are the pot box and the circuit breaker. I have found that it will be the “little bits” that break the budget.

    When the time comes to progress to AC and LiION (oohhh that would be nice) I don’t think there will be any worries selling the DC stuff off to other first time builders.

  87. John    Apr 15, 2007 22:25 PM    #

    Well I just knocked my price down by about $2k by going direct to zapi in the states so I think I will scrap the AC path and go with a Zapi H2, probably a 12v 600A unit although the 400 or 500A might do.

    Does anyone have any good wiring diagrams on the H2, the guy from zapi suggested that the setup can be “confusing” for an ev conversion and while I do have a background in electronics and computers I think something from a live setup would be a good idea to cross reference my plan.

  88. — James May    Apr 16, 2007 08:01 AM    #

    Hi John

    I use this controller, mine is a Zapi H2 96V / 500A.
    I can put you together the diagram for my car. I don’t have the original documentation though except a contactor wiring diagram. It isn’t very complicated.
    The regeneration feature works very well, it gives nice engine braking and braking support.
    I recommend this controller except that it doesn’t deliver all that much power. On the internet I see that early units sometimes had trouble with setting up the regen, but I have never had trouble and my EV supplier doesn’t indicate that he has had any trouble. I will answer any questions for you on my setup.

  89. John    Apr 17, 2007 00:45 AM    #

    Thanks James, a diagram would really be appreciated is it isn’t too much trouble. I’m trying to decide between the following 3 units.

    120v x 400A @ $US548
    120v x 500A @ $US676
    120v x 600A @ $US772

    I’m leaning towards the 500 or 600A unit with an ADC LP91-4003 $772 @ $AU1995

    Batteries have been quoted at $AU3580 plus $AU725 postage for 20xT105’s which is a bit higher than I wanted so I’m trying to keep the other costs down as much as possible. Everything is so expensive here in Australia.

    If you want to email it to me my address is johnw AT therentertainer DOT com DOT au

  90. John    Apr 17, 2007 00:49 AM    #

    EDIT – Sorry typo. should have been

    I’m leaning towards the 500 or 600A unit with an ADC LP91-4003 @ $AU1995

  91. Gavin Shoebridge    Apr 17, 2007 15:56 PM    #

    Go for the 600 amp one John. :)
    Do you plan on having a website or a page on AustinEV?
    I’d be keen to see your progress.

  92. John    Apr 17, 2007 20:24 PM    #

    Yep I’m going to have a website. In fact I’m looking at going all out and trying to get some media exposure as well and try to set up a full resource. Not to compete with sites like this but more to try and promote the concept of EV here in Australia. It looks like I may already have some sponsorship with a fairly major car dealer chain looking at donating a vehicle for the conversion.

    I just have to work on the site design a bit, I’m very good at technical web work but my graphics skills are rather ordinary.

  93. John    Apr 17, 2007 22:17 PM    #

    Has anyone used the ADC LP91-4003 for a conversion of a fairly light car?

    If so how does it perform? I was originally going to use the FB1-4001 to get some raw power but at an extra $1500 I think I’ll settle for a little less if the performance is going to be reasonable at 120v
  94. — James May    Apr 18, 2007 07:23 AM    #

    Hi John

    I’ll email you that diagram tonight. Sorry I haven’t done it yet.

  95. Duncan Potter    Apr 23, 2007 19:47 PM    #

    Has anyone tried a commercial AC Inverter drive such as those available from Hitachi, Allen-Bradley, or GE? It seems like you could jump the rectifier stage and hook batteries right to the DC bus. Most have regen braking available. Prices seem much cheaper than EV AC inverters.

    I’m quite interested in building an EV from a kit car, but just starting to research


  96. — Lance Neibauer    Apr 26, 2007 14:23 PM    #

    Does anyone have comments on Tesla Motors car? It hits the performance numbers for success but what about the 6,831 Li batteries? You guys have been into this a lot longer than me; what do you think?

  97. — Lance Neibauer    Apr 26, 2007 17:36 PM    #

    Also has anyone any insight into Altairnano? They supposedly have a vastly improved Lithion-Ion battery and package it in 13.8V / 1.2Kwh packs. But VERY spendy. It supposedly solves all the LI problems. New as of Fall 2006

  98. — James May    Apr 26, 2007 18:53 PM    #

    My EV supplier says: “There are liars, dam’ liars and battery salesmen!”

    Lots of hype around the subject. Usually the technology doesn’t quite live up to the claims.

    Here’s hoping though! My bet is on Firefly lead acids but they have been pretty quiet recently.

  99. Rudolf Bosnjak    May 02, 2007 01:38 AM    #

    Dear intresting people. Here is what I done with OPEL COMBO CADDY car. It is based on Nikola Tesla work. See, read and maybe will find what still missing. Car running very good with OLD BATTERIES what will be with NEW if I have them.

    I will make kind of hybrid car for testing, petrol engine running 3 phase generator who charging batteries.

    Regards to all Rudolf Bosnjak.

  100. — Matthew    May 22, 2007 13:49 PM    #

    I dont see any talk about the NiH batteris the ford EV used

  101. John    May 24, 2007 03:07 AM    #

    Ok that’s it I have finally got suppliers for all the major components sorted. As of tonight I will have gone past the point of no return and ordered the first component (the ZAPI H2).

    Wish me luck guy’s.

  102. — James May    May 24, 2007 07:04 AM    #

    Remember that that’s the controller I’m using! It does seem to has survived a long time. If you have any questions…

  103. John Williams    May 24, 2007 07:56 AM    #

    Yep will do and thanks for the offer and your plans are going to be really useful.

    Did you get the handheld console for it? I’ve ordered it assuming that it will be useful and I might find someone else who wants to borrow/hire/buy it later.

    There is actually a 14 week lead time on the order which is going to drive me nuts but I guess it gives me time to get everything else in order and the motor installed.

  104. — James May    May 24, 2007 13:39 PM    #

    No, I had my EV supplier come over with his handheld console. It’s quite an expensive item, isn’t it! He won’t lend or hire his out after someone damaged it once.
    The console does give some interesting readings such as motor volts and amps. It comes with a long curly cord so you can plug it into the controller and use it in the car – at a stretch.

  105. John    May 24, 2007 19:32 PM    #

    It’s about US$300.

    I thought I’d get it as there is no dealer or anything for them here in Australia so no idea where I could borrow one from.

  106. — Brad    May 25, 2007 10:04 AM    #

    I am interested in a conversion for a full size van. Would it be feaseable? I have an idea to install a generator and make it shaft driven (PTO or 4×4 transfer case). 110/120 v AC are plentiful and most can be converted to 240v ac. Control the generator with a volt regulator based on needs of battery. Wire this to the plug in converter and make in theory the van unlimited range potential.
    I am looking foward to hearing from you

  107. — BobC    May 30, 2007 23:54 PM    #

    For reasons that I have yet to understand, I’ve become intrigued by the notion of creating EV cars of my own.

    I didn’t see an answer to the question of which is better? 3ph AC compared to DC motors.

    The neweset of Li ion batterys seem to be the same ones that Lotus is planning to use in their EV rendition. Plus, you can charge their pack in 10 mins or so(per Lotus)with the right charger.

    The new Li-ion batterys also won’t suffer from thermal run-away & possible explosion like their older counterparts.

    In #106, the pto’d generator won’t give you the perpetual motion machine you think.

    To perform that miracle requires the generator to put out as much or more than you’re taking from the battery(s).

    If I read correctly, your cruising current in a dc system might be in the 75-90amp vicinity. This equates to aprox 10kw-12kw at a battery voltage of 140dc. That’s what your generator will have to come up with to continuously replace the cruising current draw.

    Someone mentioned using a regular automotive alternator as a charging source but questioned the 14vdc regulated voltage.

    You can take an older non-internal regulator type of alternator (like a chrysler), break it open, remove the diode packs & install 2 more output lugs where the diodes got their juice from.

    Now you have a 3 phase ac generator that’s capable of the same or more current as the stock ratings. However, it’s going to be at 400 cycles or so depending on rpm. Also, you’ll need a custom regulator created to energize the field winding. Not hard to come up with.

    The 400hz output will actually cause the transformer to be more efficient so it won’t need as much copper to do the job.

    You can get a custom made transformer from Peter Dahl to take that 3 phase ac & convert it to whatever voltage you want in a single phase output.

    There are external diode packs available to rectify this higher voltage ac to a dc voltage.

    The higher frequency ac pulses from the transformer will be easier to filter & just a couple capacitors will do it.

    It’s still not a panacea because it still requires horespower to turn a “loaded” alternator.

    You’re still at the mercy of Mother Nature in that 746 watts output is still equal to 1 hp.

    100 amps from the alternator, at 140vdc(after transformer & rectifiers) will still cost you close to 20hp to turn under full load. That’s assuming you can get 100amps from the alternator & little mechanical loss in turning the alternator.

  108. — Dan P.    May 31, 2007 02:47 AM    #

    To BobC,

    I think your answer can be found at this link. “”http://www.metricmind.com/qa.htm””

    Brad’s contraption also needs to take into account for the increased weight and drag on his primary battery pack and motor as it not only moves the vehicle but also turn the 4×4 transfer case gears and or PTO.

    The more batteries you carry, means more weight or “Mass”; more weight translates to more “Energy” needed to move the weight. Increasing the energy would be done by adding more batteries… Hmmm what was it that Einstein said about E=M something?

  109. John    Jun 11, 2007 00:31 AM    #

    Well it’s all starting to happen. The motor arrived on Friday, I’ve got the DC-DC converter, the Charger is ordered and should be here this week. Just waiting on the Car & Controller then I order the batteries and all the other smaller items.

    Starting to get quire excited about every thing :)

  110. — David    Jun 18, 2007 21:52 PM    #

    Hi all fellow EV builders !

    I am planning on building an EV based around a Mazda Presso.

    I am living in NZ.Interested in meeting up with any Kiwis who already have similar projects underway. emails to davidfitzmaurice@yahoo.com

  111. Guido Crespo    Jun 23, 2007 21:18 PM    #

    Hi EV builders !

    I am planning on building an EV based around a Honda Civic 4 door 1986.

    I live in Buenos Aires, Argentina and would need some tips to get the correct AC motor, controller and if to adapt it to the stock A/T gearbox or to go to a direct drivetrain box.

    Also i still don’t understand if there is a way to use normal deep cycle batteries or must use expensive lithiums ones.

    Guido Crespo
    (sounds crazy but a bit tired of Noisy Racing Engines)...time to start a new life project!!

  112. — James May    Jun 25, 2007 07:18 AM    #

    Hi Guido

    It looks at if you already have a lot of car experience. Have you looked through evalbum? There are over 1000 EVs here and you can get a very good idea of the parts people are using. There are often websites attached.

  113. — James May    Jun 25, 2007 07:27 AM    #

    I’ve always liked Victor’s Honda CRX. He uses an AC motor and has done lots of interesting things. You can see them if you follow the link to his website.

  114. — Derek    Jun 26, 2007 23:54 PM    #

    Hi, Great website!

    Just a newbie to the EV scene. Has anyone considered using capacitors in EVs? They come in all shapes and sizes.

    I found the following: Maxwell Technologies BMOD0063-125V Ultracapacitor.


    I am not sure what it costs or it’s weight.

    Are they of any use?

    I do not know much about electronics so cannot yet interpret it’s specs.

  115. — Derek    Jun 27, 2007 00:12 AM    #

    A few more details…

    It weighs less than 50 kg and measures 315 mm x 425 mm x 744 mm.

    According to this article at the link below, it has been used to capture energy from braking in hybrid buses, trucks and EV trains and also provide extra torque.


  116. — Derek    Jun 27, 2007 01:02 AM    #

    Just did a bit of searching and according to this article:


    a company called EEStor has developed a super capacitor designed for EVs.

    “To put this in perspective,” says Paul Scott, co-founder of Plug In America, “I drive an electric Toyota RAV4 with a 1,000-pound battery that is capable of holding 27 kWh (kilowatt-hours) of power. I could replace my battery with three EESUs, weighing a total of only 300 pounds, that are capable of holding 45 kWhs of power.” The additional power and reduced weight would more than double the vehicle’s 120-mile range and it would recharge in a matter of minutes off 220 volts, slightly longer when using household 110 volts.”

  117. John    Jun 27, 2007 03:26 AM    #

    The ultra capacitors look interesting although using the design wizard on the maxwell site suggests that I need 968 of their BMO500-E016 units for a 120V system, sounds expensive to me. The BMOD0063-125V doesn’t seem to come up in their calculators at all.

  118. — James May    Jun 27, 2007 08:09 AM    #

    Victor’s Honda CRX uses the ultracapacitors. See here at his website. Click on “ultracapacitor” stack on the left hand side. I think he got a good deal on them. He uses them in parallel with this batteries.

  119. — John Jackson    Jun 27, 2007 20:59 PM    #

    So far as anyone knows, unless I am missing something, the EEstor’s are still vaporware. They won’t let anyone test their claims. Here are some comments from Zenn Motor Company who I believe have rights to the Ultracap.

    Ian Clifford:
    Hello all,
    I am happy to answer any non-confidential specific questions you may have related to my presentation at the Roth Conference.

    I’ll pick a few from the posted comments:

    RE: EEStor Prototypes.

    Based on EEStor’s press release from January 16th, (and I quote) “It is anticipated that the relative permittivity of the current powder will-either meet and/or exceed 18,500, the previous level achieved when EEStor, Inc. produced prototype components using its engineering level processing equipment.”

    So EEStor confirms that the components were prototyped and that the prototypes achieved the claimed permittivity. This was a very positive confirmation.

    My comment on prototyping had to do more with delivery of Energy Storage Units (ESU) to ZENN. Since EEStor has prototyped, they are going straight to production, so ZENN will receive production, not prototype ESUs

    RE: The ZENN at the conference.

    The ZENN we were demonstrating at the conference had our standard gel lead acid battery pack.

    RE: Conversion of ICE to Electric

    You did hear correct that ZENN has the exclusive worldwide rights to EEStor technology for the conversion of any type of used passenger vehicle from internal combustion to electric.

    RE: Power Electronics.

    It is correct that EEStor will supply production ESUs to ZENN specifications. And as I mentioned we have had discussions with the company doing the power electronics for EEStor and we are very comfortable with their ability to meet out requirements, now and in the future.

    RE: Mixing EEStor with other battery technologies

    When EEStor delivers an ESU with the performance specifications claimed they really render existing chemical battery technologies obsolete. So we don’t imagine a need to mix. All ZENN vehicles are being built “EEStor ready” and we anticipate putting an ESU in to a ZENN LSV later this year, if EEStor stick to their delivery schedule.

    RE: Economies of scale

    While the automotive applications for EEStor are huge, markets such as grid load levelling and renewable energy are also enormous. To ensure that we benefit from EEStor’s growth we have guaranteed supply and best customer pricing built in to our agreement.

    Ian Clifford

    Chief Executive Officer

    ZENN Motor Company

    Perhaps Mr. Clifford can update us one of these days. JJ

  120. — Kippnidaho    Jun 29, 2007 16:40 PM    #

    I know this is not the forum for this but I am going to ask.
    Can I connect the motor directly to the axle. Example: rear wheel drive mid engine car a motor drives each wheel. Reverse the polarity to get reverse. No loss of power through the drive train = more effecient?
    Also more info on these super capacitors would be interesting…..

  121. — EV Pioneer    Jul 04, 2007 20:42 PM    #

    I’d like to talk about axle-less / drive-train less vehicles.

    Instead of a single, large electric motor, why not four smaller electric motors, one at each wheel ?

    Has anybody prototyped or sketched out a car like this ? I am fairly sure there were industrial vehicles that have a continuous diesel powerplant running at a constant RPM that provides current to four individual electric motors, one on each wheel. Big earth movers for mining, if I remember correctly… not sure if they were “axle-less” though.

    How ridiculous would it be to attempt to convert an existing IC-engine car to such a configuration ?

    In my mind, the benefits would be a true four wheel drive vehicle, and no loss of power anywhere – no axle loss, no drivetrain loss … just straight power right to the wheel.

    Any comments ?

    Is it less efficient to drive four electric motors of size X/4, or is it more efficient to drive one elctric motor of size X ? (or is it about the same ?)

    Any comments ?

  122. jerry Halstead    Jul 05, 2007 10:19 AM    #

    Yes, everyone would love something like this.

    I think the main issue is finding and/or affording such motors. I’ve seen some for electric bikes, but they were custom designed and quite expensive … and not suitable for a car of course.

    Still, it’s probably just a matter of scaling to make something that can be put on a car. But here are the issues to consider:

    * what car: most vehicles do not have standardized wheels, even front to back is different: how does a company make a motorized wheel to fit the plethora of designs?

    * what controller: an in-wheel motor most likely means an AC controller(s), which in itself is typically a high cost item. Now imagine a controller that is able to manage four motors.

    You’ll probably see something like this in a custom made vehicle, perhaps from a major manufacturer, or in a high-cost item like a Tesla. There’s a lot of R&D and custom work/electronics to pull it off.

  123. — John Jackson    Jul 05, 2007 12:57 PM    #

    Hi guys,

    I’ve been watching a company out of Britain named PML Flightlink for a couple years now. They have a modded Mini with four hub motors. More power than most people need and it is a hybrid. As I understand it, the controller electronics are built directly into the hub and constantly communicate with a central controller. Here is a link. http://www.pmlflightlink.com/archive/news_mini.html

    Also I seem to recall reading that someone—possibly Mercedes or Porsche built something like this with gas powered motors way back in the early days of cars.ie..one engine for each wheel.

  124. — joe levey    Jul 06, 2007 12:02 PM    #

    to ev pioneer,
    I’m pretty sure I seen that on an episode of junkyard wars. one of the engineers working with them found a bunch of golf carts and pulled the motors and then went on to say that each motor would produce little horsepower but up to 500 ft/lbs of torque and since they were building a rock crawler it was perfect. now there is one small problem , no two motors (or four in this case) are built alike. so you may need to add tachometers on each motor to balance speed b/w each one. now most industrial controllers have tach feedback. some controllers i’m most familiar with are allen-bradley, cutler hammer. there are quite a few more and i’ll see if I can pull some of my old Michelin (previous employer) stuff out and repost. so keep an eye on this page if your interested.

  125. jerry Halstead    Jul 06, 2007 12:05 PM    #

    Thanks for the link, John.

    I couldn’t find a page which actually said that they’d completed making it yet, just the one you point to with specs (from a year ago) and another couple from this year on battery and display thoughts.

    I does look like a fun project!


  126. — John Jackson    Jul 06, 2007 21:32 PM    #

    Ah! See if you can open the BBC link below. More explanation is there. The car should be test worthy by late Summer.

    Mitsubishi is doing something similar.


    Following is a link to info about early wheel motor inventors.


    Have fun.

  127. — EV Pioneer    Jul 08, 2007 12:08 PM    #

    Thanks so much for that interesting information.

    So the motor-in-wheel that I see on the mini cooper is not axle-less, but it is quite interesting regardless. I’m not sure where I got the idea that a four-motor’d car should be axle-less, but …

    Anyway, the next question pertains to four/all wheel-drive systems. It is my assumption that if I use a traditional conversion that simply replaces my ICE with a single electric motor, then I do not need to worry about my AWD system – because the AWD system does not know the difference between the two power sources. As far as it is concerned, nothing has changed, and the existing AWD system/logic will remain unchanged. Is this a fair assumption ?

    So for my first conversion (most likely a late model Audi) I will just do a single motor swap-in and make my life easy (friction brakes, axles, one motor, etc.)

    But in the future, if I wanted to do four motors-in-wheels, what are the ramifications for an AWD system ? Wouldn’t it require a complete re-implementation ? I can imagine a scenario wherein the logic of the existing AWD system could be intercepted early enough in the system to make it translateable to the four electric motors, but that seems awfully ambitious…

    Comments ? I am especially interested to know if I am correct that a single-motor swap-in will be painless for an AWD system…

  128. — joe levey    Jul 08, 2007 12:16 PM    #

    hey guys,
    don’t know how much it would help but if you check out youtube and do a search for stanley meyer you’ll find several videos. he apparently has come up with a way to create hydrogen without using more energy than you create. it seems he is using a wave generator to step voltage through the electrodes. if thats true you may be able to use the controller on your ev (pulse width modulated) to create just enough hydrogen to turn a small motor and gen. to extend you milage. going to run some tests to see how this works. wish me luck hydrogen is kinda dangerous.

  129. — Jeff M    Jul 08, 2007 16:58 PM    #

    Hi Joe,

    1st don’t believe everything you read :) See this wikipedia page for info on this “perpetual motion” invention.

    Do note from reading that the wiki page that this is not new, it’s over 18 years old news, and the guy was sued for fraud.


  130. — joe    Jul 10, 2007 16:02 PM    #

    hey jeff,

    I’ve been looking into the whole stan meyer thing. conspiracy of death, if his invention actually works, etc..
    plus the fact that you have to use high voltage (i think somewhere in the tens of thousands of volts) so that wouldn’t work on an ev. so never mind it was just a cool theory. I still want to play around with different types of voltages and frequencies to see if anything happens that would be unexpected.

  131. John Harding    Jul 10, 2007 19:29 PM    #

    Regarding the mini with in-wheel electric motors. These guys are working with Lotus Engineering and Zap to build the Zap-X – the specs sound way too good to be true. But who knows?

    Check out: Zap-X

  132. — James May    Jul 11, 2007 07:23 AM    #

    I have been dreaming of a car which works like this, computer controlled AWD and in-wheel motors. So simple in concept. It would be better for the future if these cars were small, low power EVs or series hybrids but I suppose you need to sell the high performance vehicles with the margins in order to make money and develop the technology.

    I think my dream car (whilst cars are still being used) would be open source, standard parts vehicle which a simple empty frame and 4 in-wheel motors / wheels bolted on the corners. If your car gets rusty or damaged, you just replace the body or the wheels or whatever’s damaged. It would be updradegable like a PC.

    I think the motor manufacturers would never make a car like this, it’s ceding too much of their control and profits.

    If I had in-wheel motors, I would make a car like this.

  133. John Harding    Jul 11, 2007 15:52 PM    #

    I wonder if you could use four of these pancake motors ?

    It delivers 8hp continuous and 34hp peak at 72V. You’d need 288 volts but you’d get 136hp peak. Perhaps put this in a truck (more room for 24 12volt batteries)...

    It would be costly though – because wouldn’t you also need 4 separate controllers and a centralized computerized motor management system?

    This is way out of my league – but it sounds theoretically possible…

  134. — James May    Jul 11, 2007 16:36 PM    #

    I’d wire them all into the same controller I think, in parallel. They are DC arent’ they? You’d get approximately the same torque at each wheel, but the inside wheels would still be able to turn slower on the curves. It would be like a limited slip diff without the power wastage. It’s a dam’ good idea, John!
    The only problems might be wheel bearings and friction brakes. You need friction brakes for redundancy and parking, not to mention regulation. I don’t know if the 1:1 gearing for direct drive would be right for these motors.

  135. — James May    Jul 11, 2007 16:50 PM    #

    My EV supplier does things with pancake motors. He gears them down. See the second picture and the third paragraph. AVT Tranmission page

  136. jerry Halstead    Jul 12, 2007 12:23 PM    #

    Man, I gotta put together a forum for you guys, this comment thread is going stratospheric!

  137. John Harding    Jul 12, 2007 14:37 PM    #

    Jerry – How about a wiki instead? ;-)

    James – if you did one controller then you wouldn’t get the benefits of independent control. Smart AWD, ABS, Stability control.

    Just think about all that you could do with independent control of all 4 wheels. Of course you’d need a PhD in closed loop control. Hang on a sec – I know (actually used to know) someone with a PhD in closed loop control!! Hmmm – I wonder if I can find out how to contact him – he works for the “enemy” – Ford Motor Company ;-)

  138. — John    Jul 27, 2007 04:28 AM    #

    For anyone that’s interested the LiIon batteries are starting to come down in price a bit. Thundersky have them for about US$2/Ah. By my calculations it would be a bit over $8K for 120v 200Ah pack.


  139. josh    Jul 28, 2007 01:00 AM    #

    i’ve just bought a 1995 s-10 reg. cab truck for conversion. i’ve got a Warp 9 motor to go in it. i’ve been looking and am getting really concerned about the cost of the controllers, does anyone have any suggestions?

  140. John    Aug 29, 2007 22:54 PM    #

    Hurray!! My ZAPI arrived yesterday from the US and I picked up a car on Saturday.

    Now I have the Motor, Charger, DC-DC converter and Controller. Time to start putting things together. I’ll pop up a website as well soon.

  141. jerry Halstead    Aug 30, 2007 05:17 AM    #

    Great news, John! We’d love to hear and see how things go. Send me a link, pictures, whatever you have and I’ll post them.

  142. John    Aug 31, 2007 00:32 AM    #

    Has anyone used the Exide batteries? I was just about to put in my order for 15 x Torjan T875’s when I came across these

    They show as 1500 cycles down to 80% and are 12V 200ah. 10 of them is only slightly more than the 15 T875

  143. Gavin Shoebridge    Sep 01, 2007 17:44 PM    #

    Hey congratulations John!
    It’s such a great feeling getting that donor car in your driveway.
    You can sense it’s fear as it sits there trembling, awaiting it’s heart transplant.

  144. — amir hossein    Sep 02, 2007 05:09 AM    #

    how can i calculate the distance that my car can drive if i have information about motor and airodynamic factor,batrry,weightand etc..?

  145. — James May    Sep 02, 2007 16:22 PM    #

    Hi Amir, You could start by picking the closest vehicle from the evcalculator link on this page. It’s under EVTools on the right side.

  146. JohnW    Sep 07, 2007 03:41 AM    #

    Quick Question about Contactors. My ZAPI can handle 600A. If I can only get 400A Contactors should I use 2 in parallel?

  147. — James May    Sep 07, 2007 07:58 AM    #

    Hi John: Just a guess, but it’ll probably be OK. The contactors are probably designed to survive with that 400A breaking/making current but I think that the Zapi is gentler than that. It preloads the contacts to the correct voltage to avoid arcing and also doesn’t try to put the current through until it knows the contact it made.

    Please don’t take this advice on it’s own though as I am not a contactor expert. Get further advice. I only have a 400A H2 Zapi. I am running Albright contactors. No hint of a problem.

    Also note that the Zapis have a 0-9 setting for maximum motor current. Mine is now set to 9 but you can set yours lower and then you won’t be running the maximum 600A. It might make your batteries last longer to do this.

  148. JohnW    Sep 07, 2007 09:37 AM    #

    Year I was going to set the max current SOME of the time :) no point having a 600A controller if you can’t show it off once and a while :)

  149. — Max A.    Sep 07, 2007 15:11 PM    #

    Hello everyone
    has anyone made an electric conversion on a boat?
    I don’t mean a little 10 ft dinghy, but a 30 ft 9000 lb boat with 2 engines and outdrives.
    I am in the middle of overhauling the engines, (4.3 V6 GM type, 190 hp ea.) and curious about possible conversions.
    Any suggestion would be appreciated

  150. Gavin Shoebridge    Sep 07, 2007 18:47 PM    #

    Hey Max, what a fascinating idea!
    I remember working with yachts at Auckland’s waterfront and there was a small electric lake-boat there a few years ago. I later found out it runs on the same motor I have in my EV!
    I’m sure it can be done, and the benefit of an EB (electric boat) is weight’s not as big an issue as with a car. Load that girl up with lead. :)
    I thought of electrifying a kayak/canoe for fishing off the coast here in NZ. I mean why paddle? That’s so 80’s!

  151. — James May    Sep 08, 2007 04:56 AM    #

    3 Electric boats on EVAlbum:




    I love EVAlbum

  152. JohnW    Sep 16, 2007 22:39 PM    #

    Well I’ve finally gotten off my backside and started putting a site together for my conversion. Everyone’s welcome to have a look and give me some feedback.
    Still very much a work in progress and I’m trying to approach it from a slightly different angle, might seem a little corny or possibly just plain stupid so feel free to give constructive comments like “are you totally mad!” :)


    I’ll be putting in a links section shortly so anyone that wants to can send me some links to their sites, commercial sites are welcome. (you can send to me via the Contact Us page on the site or to johnw at therentertainer.com.au)

  153. JohnW    Sep 27, 2007 20:04 PM    #

    Hi Guy’s. I was hoping I could ask a favour, particularly of people how have a working conversion.

    I have been asked to write part of an article on EV’s for a mainstream electronic magazine here in Australia and I need some figures to back me up. If anyone has done some measurements and would like to pass them on I would greatly appreciate it. Ideally I need watts per km, range carrying capacity, charge time and anything else you can think of. Figures on commercial cars, past and present, would also be very useful if anyone has them or can point me in the right direction. Basically I have to try and show that EV’s have an overall lower Carbon footprint than hybrids AND that they are practical. The co author is a sceptic and believes there are better things to invest in so I have to really have a point to prove.

    You can get me on johnw at evaustralia.com.au

  154. — James May    Oct 01, 2007 07:50 AM    #

    Hi John

    See Shaun’s excellent website, I think is shows that the advantages are rather marginal for coal produced electricity in Australia. I think any other electricity in an EV has a carbon footprint advantage over equivalent sized petrol vehicle (I think you can just scale for a hybrid). I’m still looking for other sources for you.

  155. JohnW    Oct 01, 2007 20:52 PM    #

    Thanks James,

    Interesting but the figures seem to be out compared to my calculations. This is similar to an article done by Silicon Chip in Australia that I have been having a large debate about and we have re worked the figures down quite a lot from that. In fact that is what generated the request for me to write the article in the first place. One thing I noticed, 5 sets of batteries for 100,000km how’s that sound to you guy’s who have been running EV’s for a while? That’s only 20,000km per battery pack, I was hoping to get something like at least 30,000 – 50,000 from one pack.

    The CO2 levels are based on fairly high levels, in WA our figure is currently 0.89kg/kWh although Victoria is about 1.385kg/kWh so maybe 1kg/kWh was an average.

    The other figure I’m querying is the 36kWh per 100km, I came up with figures more along the lines of 12 – 20kWh/100km. But this is why I’m after some figures from you guy’s, basically I only have figures for the Tesla and the old EV1’s as my conversion isn’t finished yet. I’m working off between 110W and 200W per km.

  156. — James May    Oct 02, 2007 07:35 AM    #

    Hi John

    I calculate my EV does around 20kWh/100km normal driving back-of-the-envelope. It isn’t refined and I have hills and stop start town driving to do.
    Some cars on evalbum like this one which quotes 354kW/mile which is around 21kW/100km without careful driving. I wonder if Jerry could add to this site so you could get listings on things like kW/mile, top speed, weight etc.

    I am thinking abot implementing battery balancing on my pack which has around 10000 kms on it so that I can get at least 20000kms from it (plain old 6V golf cart batteries) some one round here said that they got 18000 miles which is 30000 kms. Very good for a cheap flooded lead acid pack. Other chemistries last much longer I think but are more expensive.

  157. JohnW    Oct 02, 2007 19:32 PM    #

    Ok thanks James, looks like my kWh/km isn’t too far out but I might have to review my battery life a bit.

  158. — Marlowe Camello    Oct 10, 2007 23:09 PM    #

    Have you heard about the firefly battery? I think it is more promising than all other vehicle batteries now in use. You may read more on it in the website below:

  159. — James May    Oct 12, 2007 18:50 PM    #

    Hi Marlowe.

    I have been following these batteries for over a year now. Its my favorite vaporware. It looks like the military has first dibs on it. After that they’ll ship as OEM batteries in Electrolux products. I suppose eventually we might see standard 12V batteries and various deep cycle batteries replaced by these. I Probably wouldn’t hold your breath though.

    The most attactive thing about these batteries is that they are a drop-in replacement for existing lead acid batteries with much higher charge density and hopefully better cycling. I’d love to buy some Firefly replacements for my 6V golf cart batteries.

    Maybe there are still some technical problems to be overcome.

  160. — James May    Oct 12, 2007 18:57 PM    #

    Hi John

    There are some energy and carbon dioxide figures showing the calculation on the GWiz website FAQ page.

  161. darin    Oct 12, 2007 22:56 PM    #

    I’m holding my breath for Firefly.

    They’re saying they will be entering the “drop-in” Group 31 commercial truck battery market in 2008. Source

    Not that I’ll be able to afford them, but if this comes to pass, I bet there will be some EV owners who will jump at the chance to put truck batts in their EV’s.

  162. — James May    Oct 13, 2007 04:30 AM    #

    Wow! Good catch Darin.

  163. JohnW    Oct 14, 2007 20:41 PM    #

    Thanks James. According to a pommy friend if you have one of those you don’t have to pay the congestion charge or for parking when you go in to the centre of London. Be nice if they gave EV’s that sort of support over here.

  164. JohnW    Oct 16, 2007 19:36 PM    #

    PS, Sorry about the pommy remark, it was meant as a term of endearment and not meant to cause offence (forgot that not everyone is used to our Aussy slang)

  165. — James May    Oct 17, 2007 05:55 AM    #

    Hi John. No offence taken. It didn’t register as offensive to me. Must try harder!

  166. JohnW    Oct 29, 2007 07:18 AM    #

    Hey guys.. I’ve finally got a motor in my car !!!!!


  167. jerry Halstead    Oct 29, 2007 07:45 AM    #


    Doesn’t the tranny look like overkill when hooked to an electric motor? “:^)

  168. JohnW    Oct 29, 2007 08:41 AM    #

    Yeah it does doesn’t it. But I know a guy who’s blown 2 already with the talk of the electric motor, still I think he was a bit prone to showing off ;)

  169. Gavin Shoebridge    Oct 29, 2007 14:43 PM    #

    Hi John, I couldn’t see the photo in that link – has it been moved?
    I did see your adapter plate though – nicely done!

  170. — James May    Oct 29, 2007 15:24 PM    #

    Great pictures John!

    I’d like to know how the coupler works for you. I have a flywheel/clutch.

  171. JohnW    Oct 29, 2007 19:47 PM    #

    Hi Gavin, Looks like some problems linking directly to a picture. The following link is to the main album you can see all the pics from there.


  172. JohnW    Oct 29, 2007 20:04 PM    #

    Quick question. How do I post a link properly here?

  173. JohnW    Oct 29, 2007 20:08 PM    #

    James, I’ll let you know once I get some more mounting brackets on the motor and get some power to it. One thing though it wasn’t cheep, cost AU$180 and that was “mates rates”. It’s almost impossible to get any machining done here in Perth at the moment.
    The coupling was made welding part of the clutch plate to a chunk of metal and then machining out the motor side. Unfortunately I forgot to take pictures before it was machined up.

  174. jerry Halstead    Oct 29, 2007 20:10 PM    #

    type a quote (”) some text, another quote followed immediately by a colon (:) and the url. Click the Textile Help link right below the comment form for examples.

  175. JohnW    Oct 29, 2007 20:12 PM    #

    Never mind about my link question, I should have read the help ;)

    BTW if the above album link didn’t work try this

  176. Gavin Shoebridge    Oct 30, 2007 03:25 AM    #

    Ahhhh, now I’ve got it!

    That splined gearbox shaft to motor shaft adapter looks identical to mine. I see you made good use of the old clutch disk.

  177. JohnW    Oct 30, 2007 07:36 AM    #

    Yep, from memory I picked that tip up somewhere here, or at least on one of the sites I visited.

  178. — Greg Coleman    Nov 05, 2007 01:19 AM    #

    Hi Jerry, the motor is fine and the car is doing well @ 72 volts.
    How is Eve coming?

  179. darin    Nov 06, 2007 09:12 AM    #

    Great news, Greg! Your Yugo set the bar for the ForkenSwift, after all.

  180. — Pat    Nov 30, 2007 00:19 AM    #

    Im gonna be 15 soon which means I need to start thinking about what car Im going to get when Im 16. Im in high school so I dont have too much money but I should be able to make/have at least 4k by the time i get there. Bottom line is Im on a budget and need to be able to go 25 mile on a single charge. the donor car is a 914. thanks, P Cash

  181. — Pat    Nov 30, 2007 17:16 PM    #

    in case case anyone does read this and feels like responding, I checked the distance from were I live to my job, and it turns out that I would need to be able to go a least 45 miles to get there. This includes the need to get on a highway and traveling at 60 mph per hour for abou 75% of the way. I am not sure if I will be able to plug it in there so I also have to look into solar panles to drip charge it. and also it is a Porsche so I would like to keep some of the legacey behind it. I know its a tall order but I think it me possible.

    Thanks, P Cash

    P.S. Nice Yugo!

  182. — Pat    Nov 30, 2007 17:55 PM    #

    One more question:

    Is their any possibility that these will work? if not, sorry, I’m battery illiterate ( But I’m trying to fix that).


  183. jerry Halstead    Dec 01, 2007 21:06 PM    #

    Hi Pat,

    Well, where to start…

    Cheap and more range always comes down to lead acid batteries. If you need the most range then 6 volt batteries should do the trick. Toughest challenge is where to put all of those batts, especially in a smaller car.

    Solar cells are not cheap. You might be better off trying to talk to your company about installing a charging outlet. You could install quite a few of those for the price of equivalent solar panels, and they’ll work every day, not just sunny ones.

    Not sure which battery you are talking about on that page of xray batteries. Do you have a chance to get some used ones?


  184. — pat    Dec 02, 2007 15:22 PM    #

    So Lead Acid it is what I would need? I figured that but I wasn’t sure. If I need more space, then I do have another car I could use; A 1996 Jetta GL. Not only is it alot bigger in size, but based on my research (if this is right) the Jetta’s curb weight is about 150 pounds lighter. I don’t know if I could get a charger at work though… My job is more of a high paying internship with NASA @ Wallops Flight Facility.

  185. — pat    Dec 02, 2007 15:28 PM    #

    By the way I do have ties with the local hospital that I might be able to re-establish. I’ll let you know.

    Thanks again; P Cash
  186. — pat    Dec 02, 2007 15:39 PM    #

    What abouts amps and amp hours? I don’t know anything about that. Like I said, I’m Battery illiterate.

  187. — pat    Dec 02, 2007 15:44 PM    #

    No more comments, I Swear. Would any of these batteries be good? I think they might be.

  188. jerry Halstead    Dec 04, 2007 13:42 PM    #

    Have you read the articles on batteries yet?

    Drop me an email, probably be easier than going back and forth in comments.

  189. — Pat    Dec 06, 2007 10:34 AM    #

    can do. Yes I have read it.

  190. — Bryan Wells    Dec 12, 2007 20:12 PM    #

    Hello All,

    I have a 1990 Jeep Cherokee, which is a 4×4 with an automatic transmission. I know that almost all of those factors are frowned upon for an EV….But this vehicle means a lot to me since it was handed down by my Grandad and I’m a Jeep lover….. not to mention the body/frame are in great shape.

    However I’m feeling more guilty with each passing day since it’s a gas guzzler….not to mention the amount of cash it seems to burn up.

    The Cherokee base weight is only 3090 lbs and 550 of that is the weight of the engine itself. I can easily change the transmission over to a manual. Removing the front drive shaft makes it a all time 2wd vehicle.

    This vehicle our secondary vehicle that we use primarily for picking up stuff too large to pick up in the car….or for transporting cardboard etc to the recycling depot etc.

    I’ve already removed the rear seats, carpet and underlay, which leaves tons of room for extra batteries.

    For a 4×4 vehicle the Cherokee is actually quite light.

    Besides wind drag I can’t see any big setbacks from using this vehicle for conversion.

    What do you guys/gals think?

    All feedback is welcome.


  191. — jim hurst    Dec 12, 2007 20:32 PM    #

    It has been done before:

  192. — chris    Dec 16, 2007 12:56 PM    #

    would it be possible to convert a Saturn SL2, 1994 model into an EV. What considerations do I need to make on this and how could it be done?

  193. jerry Halstead    Dec 17, 2007 07:50 AM    #

    Jump on over to the FAQ for more info on this and other questions. Also check out the article Choosing an EV.

    This comment thread has become quite large and rambling and it is time to close it down for comments. Lots of other entries and articles, see you there!