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?