Monday, December 29, 2008


The net weight gain for the civic will be about 150 lbs. Here is how it breaks down. I took the ICE engine into recycling today and it was 130 lbs. for a grand total of $2.60. That brings the grand total for recycling to about $8.50. Wow!

93 lbs Misc iron
27 lbs Alum
10 lbs radiator (brass)
130 Engine iron
40 lbs. misc garbage (approx.)
324 lbs total

82 lbs. elec. motor
360 lbs. 6 group 27 batteries
40 lbs. misc. cables and parts
10 lbs. coupler and adapter)
472 lbs. total

168 lbs. net gain

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Adapter Plate

Jim and I spent an hour drilling the holes in the adapter plate. I marked the hole centers with a punch directly over a print out from the design. I'm still trying to work out how to cut a 3 inch hole in the center. The motor arrives soon so I can remeasure the mounting holes and try them in the adapter template.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Motor Coupler

This is a Lovejoy L110 jaw style shaft coupler body ($44 from I went with the L110 because the outside diameter (OD) is 3.32 inches and the slot on the flywheel is 3.1 inches. It will have to be trimmed slightly to fit. The L100 is only 2.54 inches so it would not have been wide enough to fit the flywheel holes.

The The center bore is 1.125 with a .25 x .125 keyway, which matches the L91 motor shaft. It has 3 "teeth" that would normally mesh with another coupler on the drive shaft. I'm planning on cutting the teeth off and drilling and tapping holes to match the flywheel. The flywheel will need to be skimmed down to fit inside the adapter plate in order to retain the "magic number", which I measured as .665 inches. The design program shows the magic number as .78 inches.

Coupler and Adapter plate

This is a lovejoy L110 connector for the coupler and a sheet of 6061 Aluminum for the adapter plate. I've printed out a plan from and traced it onto a plywood sheet for a mockup of the adapter plate. With the holes drilled, it only need a little trimming around the bellhousing mount and the transaxle. So I started in on the aluminum, which I got from a local welding shop for $75. I noticed a few metal shops on ebay selling the same thing for in the neighborhood of $15 plus shipping.

To cut the plate I used a hand held electric jigsaw and a 24TPI (tooth per inch) metal blade. The 24TPI blade created a really smooth cut and WD-40 worked great for cutting oil, very light. A friend has a drill press to cut the holes and center hole.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Nice and clean

After a trip to the car wash for degreasing this is the hole where the engine used to be. Now the fun part can begin.

"Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back."

Robert Frost

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Out with the old

This is the old ICE engine stripped down. I was able to lift it by myself so it can't be much over 100 lbs. We used a cable winch (come-a-long) to hoist it away from the transmission. Notice the 2 inch hole on the lower right side of the block. I guess a rebuild of this isn't going to happen anytime soon.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Removal of all the gas parts.

We finally got the engine out. The clutch and flywheel are still on the engine. There is a huge hole in the side of the engine block. I guess that's why the car was so cheap.

Tomorrow is degreasing the engine compartment and cleaning up the interior. I would have degreased the engine before beginning. Also, I would have removed the belt pulley first, which would have made getting the engine out easier.

With a little help...

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Towing it home

I intended to get a honda civic hatchback but it was a honda civic wagon instead. We towed it home anyway. It is 2400 lbs instead of 2100 lbs so a larger motor may be needed. On the up side, it is a 5 passenger and has lots of room for batteries in the back and is in good shape.

The disassembly has started.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

How fast, How far, How much

With a 72 volt system and 6 HP the top speed should be about 60% of the top speed of the original vehicles 80 MPH (guess), so 48 MPH. A guess at the sustainable speed between 25 and 35 MPH. With 6 12V batteries at 75 amp hours each, at 100 amps and only 80% of the battery capacity available before loss of power they should last 36 minutes. At 25 MPH that's 15 miles range.

A minimum budget of a very basic conversion of $2085. With a few upgrades like a larger motor and vacuum brake system the conversion should be $2621. There are a few other upgrades like a PakTrakr which will bring it up to about $3000.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


Minimalist Budget - This is a no frills budget for a very small car 1800 lbs and minimal performance expectations.

  • 72 V Cloud Electric Kit $1279
  • Shipping $88
  • Adapter plate $80
  • Lovejoy shaft coupler L110 $26
  • Soneil 72V 1.2A charger Electric Vehicle USA $120
  • Donor car craigslist $100
  • 6 - 27DC-6 batteries 115 amp/hr Walmart $372
  • Aux. Charger Black & Decker 12V 2A Home Depot $18

  • Total $2,084

"Realistic" Budget with motor and controller upgrades for vehicle extra weight (2400 lbs) and additional performance. This budget also includes machinist, heater, brake pump, and an aux. battery.

  • $1,649.00 - Kit w/ADC L91-4003 and KD72500 (Cloud Electric)
  • $88.83 - Shipping
  • $75.00 - Adapter plate (local shop)
  • $44.00 - Coupler Lovejoy L110 (
  • $150.00 - Machinist
  • $148.00 - Chargers 6 Soneil 12V 3A (Electric Vehicle USA)
  • $17.76 - Aux. Charger, Black & Decker
  • $58.00 - Aux Battery
  • $100.00 - Donor Honda Civic Wagon (with blown engine)
  • $74.76 - Towing expenses
  • $372.00 - 6 x 27DC-6 115amp/hr Walmart
  • $16.00 - 12v Ceramic heater
  • $110.00 - Thompson vacuum pump
  • $30.00 - Vacuum brake parts (
  • $2,935.35 - Total

Monday, November 17, 2008

Justy research

To get some scope on the requirements a little research on the Subaru Justy will help. It was built with 2 engines.
  • 1 liter = 47 hp @ 5000 rpm
  • 1.2 liter = 66 hp @ 5200 rpm
ICE and Electric motors do not have the same HP ratings but there are many references that suggest a 3-4 X relationship. A 72 V system at 100 amps and .85 % efficiency would be about 8.2 HP. At 96V 10.9 HP and 120 V 13.6 HP. With a peak of 400 amps they would be 32.8 HP, 43.6 HP and 54.6.

So, a 72V system would be a little under powered compared to the original engine and a 120V setup would be a little over powered. More modern ICE engines have higher HP ratings for the same displacement.

Selecting a Donor

An AWD or 4WD EV would be handy when it gets nasty out. I think the HP required by the the additional differential would probably add up to more voltage or even a larger motor. Plus there are only a few really small AWD like the Subaru Justy and the Honda Civic AWD Wagon. So those are at the top of the list.

Commonly found on craiglist, with an approximate curb weight.
  • Subaru Justy '89 -'93 : 2000 lbs.
  • Ford Festiva : 1800 lbs.
  • Geo Metro : 1600 lbs.
  • Honda Civic '87 - '91 : 2200 lbs.
Less common and or heavier vehicles.
  • VW Rabbit
  • VW Bug : 2700 lbs.
  • Honda CRX : 2100 lbs.
  • Ford Focus : 2600 lbs.
A Mini Cooper would be great, but those are very expensive and relatively heavy.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Build vs. Buy

A good question during planning is do go the distance and build it or just buy one from the lot. There are not too many stock EVs and they are mostly Neighborhood EVs with a top speed of 25mph. Here are some of the options.

Available now:

Soon to be available:

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Tax credits and rebates

The Qualified Electric Vehicle Tax Credit (Form 8834) which expired in 2007 was for 10% of the vehicles cost up to $4K. This was replaced by the Alternative Motor Vehicle Credit (Form 8911) for hybrid and natural gas cars. There are no electric vehicles listed and no apparent place for EV or NG conversion vehicles.,,id=157632,00.html

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

MPG vs. KWH/Mile

Do Electric Vehicles really save energy and/or energy costs?

Let's do some math.
  • ICE: With a 19.8 MPG US fleet average at $3 /gallon for gas, that is 6.6 miles per $ or $.15/mile.
  • EV: At 3 miles/kwh average at $.10 / kwh, that is 30 miles per $ or $.033/mile.

Even with conservative numbers for gasoline and electricity, the cost of driving an EV is 22% of the cost of an ICE.

Additionally, a kwh has 3413 BTU so at 3 miles/kwh that's 1,137 BTU/mile. A gallon of gasoline has 114,100 BTU so that is 5,757 BTU /mile. Again, EV is about 20% of ICE.

EV Conversion, Why?

To begin it is important to ask why. Why do an electric vehicle conversion? Why are electric vehicles important? To what end will an EV conversion bring us?

So, I'll start with some basic stats.
  • 83,607 K barrels/day - World Petroleum Consumption (2005)
  • 20,802 K barrels/day - US Petroleum Consumption (2005)
  • 9,159 K barrels/day - US Finished Motor Gasoline (2005)
  • 13,714 K barrels/day - US Total Petroleum Import (2005)

So, the US consumes about 24% of the worlds petroleum. About 45% of that is for motor gasoline. And about 65% is imported. About 3000 K barrels/day or 23% from Canada and Mexico.