Monday, April 2, 2012


My neighbor finally finished his EV, but it was worth the wait. The donor is a Subaru Forester and the new guts are an Azure AC motor/controller, custom adapter plate, GBS LifeMnPO4 cells, Elite Power BMS. He has maintained many of the original vehicle controls AWD, etc. Very nice! 

Eco auto & 
Article in the local paper


"The electrification of the automobile is inevitable." - Bob Lutz

While not quite as powerful and inspiring as the original title, there are some key bits of insight that make it worth the watch. I'm convinced we will soon reach a tipping point when the availability of easy to reach oil gets low enough, driving up the price of gas high, that driving/purchasing gasoline only vehicles will only be for situations that have no other choices.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Artificial Noise

Please, no artificial noise requirements for EVs. The quiet is a beautiful thing. The basic noise of tires on the road is enough to easily hear a EV.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Battery Monitors

It has been a long time but EV's are in the news more now than ever. For many, building your own EV is still viable especially compared to the cost of a new Leaf or Volt. I did a quick search for battery monitor systems from and here are some numbers, which by the way are not scientific but do offer some insite into what others are using.

  • Paktrakr 144

  • Curtis Fuel Gauge 74

  • Xantrex 30

  • Westberg 29

  • Evision 25

  • TBS E-Xpert Pro 25

  • Elite Power 22

  • Elithion 19

  • Trakr 16

  • Mini BMS 9

  • Victran 3

Friday, March 11, 2011

EV Dashboard for Android

Porting over the EV Dashboard code to Android went pretty well. Since I'm without a car, however, testing the code will have to wait. Here is a screenshot.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Free Drive

Congrats to a neighbor of mine who sold his Solar Bug company to W2 Energy. Here is a picture of him from a previous post.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Next EV

With a few lessons learned with the last 2 conversions I've been thinking thinking about and planning the next EV. This one to keep. Why a conversion instead of a Leaf? Our driving patterns are so limited that we don't need a new car with highway capability and the price of a leaf is way out there.

While the first car was aimed at low cost (40 MPH and 15 mile range), the second convertion, which did suffer a bit from the second-system effect, was mid-range performance (75 MPH and 40 mile range). Here are a few system requirements for the next car.
  • Donor - This time I can be really patient and wait for a donor that is in great shape (everything working), has good tires and fits our needs: 4 seater with a hatchback. Ironically, an '88 civic wagon fits.
  • Budget - I'm pretty sure I'll be constrained to under $4K, which could make things very interesting (i.e. it could take a while to find everything on sale).
  • Simple build - A donor with manual steering. While the end result of installing a manual rack in the del Sol was great, the effort was big. I'm also hoping to find a donor with manual windows to simplify things.
  • Batteries - I don't really want to battle bleeding edge BMS, charger and battery combinations (again). It will have to be something bomb proof. Perhaps Panasonic's acquisition of Sanyo will yield a bomber HEV or PHEV product that will also be cost effective.
  • Clutched vs. Clutchless - I throw up my hands because I really didn't mind driving clutchless but everybody says they need it.
  • 4WD - Ask me again in about 6 months. There are about 30 days a year here where you can't drive at all with out a 4WD. So, I guess I can ski...
  • Solar - Keep the solar panels at home (on the roof) let them collect while you drive.
  • Battery racks - They need to be versatile, to accomodate different sizes (future). Perhaps a pickup truck. Toss some lead in the back and replace them with LFP when the price is right?