Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Parts Pitfalls

While trying to keep this blog just helpful comments about EV conversions, I've tried to stay away negative comments about parts suppliers. Because of my experience with EV Components, however, I have to suggest that you stay clear of them to keep your conversion on track. It is possible that you could have a problem free experience with them, but that is not my case.

I ordered LFP cells from them in June, was as promised delivery in August and didn't get them until late October. Same thing with the charger, ordered in September, was promised delivery in October and didn't get it until late February. Even then it was not the charger I bought and it was programmed for 120 Ah cells not my 100 Ah cells. I tried to reprogram the charger and exchanged several emails with them with no luck. So, I tried to return the charger (for either replacement or refund), expecting them to pay for the return, I was told by the CEO, James Morrison, "I'm done with you".

I've found EV Components to be extremely disfunctional, hard to get information from and downright rude. This is not the kind of company you want to buy parts from for a project that is supposed to be fun.

[Note: Apr 18]
Adding insult to injury, EV Components charged me a 10% restocking fee, for a non-working charger. And charged me for the return shipping of the loaner, which covered the lack of stock they had in the first place. Beware folks!

Thursday, March 4, 2010


I drove the del Sol to Honda yesterday and it kept up pretty well with traffic, yet it was still a little rough handling. The alignment went well. All 4 wheels are now within original specs. Only the front left and the rear right are still off by a little. The tech at honda said the ball joints (upper control arms) didn't need replacing because the alignment tool wouldn't allow the alignment if the ball joints were bad. That will save me about $360 and some sweat, yeah!

Driving it home today was great, like butter! After remembering I was driving an EV I got the EV grin for the first time with this car. It still has a bit of a choppy startup and the charger needs programming but its starting to feel almost finished.

Monday, March 1, 2010


In September I ordered a Chinoz 144v/8a charger for LFP from After it didn't arrive for a couple weeks Dave Kois sent me a loaner Manzanita charger. I've been using that since but still wanted an onboard charger. Finally last week a charger arrived. On the website the charger I bought was listed as 10.2"x10"x5" and the one that showed up was and Elcon 144v/8a with the dimensions 14"x7"x5.5". So, it wouldn't fit in the bracket I had built for it a few months ago.

So I hunted around for a place to put the charger and found one in the battery rack. When the charger was finally hooked up to the pack I got a "Battery Disconnected" error from the charger. Dave Kois said the charger wasn't programmed for my cells and he eventually sent me another manual with instructions shown below. When I pushed in on the LED/button, it went into the case of the charger and didn't effect the programming. So this one's going back to whence it came.

Choice of Charging Curve (curve 1~10)
1.The LED will flash red several times when AC is first connected, then the LED will flash green once. The number of red flashes denotes the present curve. E.g. If the red flashes three times, it means the present curve is curve 3.
2.To choose another curve, please cut off the power supply first, then unpeel the label, pressing the button while connecting the power. If you want to choose curve 3, release the button after the 3rd LED Flash. Now the selected curve (e.g. curve 3) will be recorded in memory. If you want the charger to work with the selected curve (e.g. curve 3), cut off the power and reconnect it.
3. Factory customizes 10 charging curves before delivery according to customer demand. These are 10 combinations of voltage and battery size for the same battery type.