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?

Saturday, July 17, 2010


This EV enthusiast is taking it home today. While I'm a bit sad to see it go, I'm starting to think about what I'll do next. After hearing something rattling in the motor we found one of the spring clips for a brush had fallen into the armature. After we pulled it out, the rattling stopped but the brushes may need to be replaced. The armature looked ok, which is good news.

He plans use it as a daily driver. His commute is 25 miles each way and he can plug in at work, which is a good fit for the range of the car.

Body repairs

These body repairs will neutralize the rust and can be painted later.