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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I have always liked the electric car concept. I was always fascinated by electric motors and the many things that they could be used for. I have wanted to build an EV since I was 15 years of age. When I was 48 years old I finally got up the courage and the funds to put my electric car together. The first day that I was able to drive a few miles, I wanted everyone to see it. Since then, the car has been improved vastly. I have been to car shows and all over town. It does not matter that it was expensive to build or, that it can only go 80 mph or, that 62 miles is as far as it will go on a charge. As many people show interest and delight as do people who simply hate the car for what it stands for. Either way, I have learned that it really does not matter because, I built it for myself and I love driving it. I am an experimenter and a discoverer. I am not afraid of ridicule or of failure. I refuse to be practical because nothing new and exciting comes of that. I am always looking for the best batteries, the best motor, and the best methods of construction. I push the limits to the extreme and drive the car until the wheels stop turning and the battery caps pop off. If you are like me, I am eager to share information; the kind of information that makes the dream a reality.
 

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Congratulations! I think it's great when people realise a dream they've had for years. You didn't give up on it and that's fantastic!

I can relate to your story. I have a vivid memory of standing at the back of my father's car and looking at the exhaust pipe when I was a kid. It was a cold morning and I could see the fumes coming out. The engine was idling and yet there seemed to be a lot of smoke. I thought about how big the cloud would be if I gathered it all up from a drive all the way up to Yorkshire from London. We were going to visit my grandparents. The fumes smelt bad and I remember thinking it was wrong that they should be filling the air we breath.

Then I just got used to it like everyone else and didn't think about it much.

Finally, 35 years later I drive a car that doesn't spew out clouds of filth for others to breathe in. That feels good too. :)
 

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@Simon Forrest

The Elise EV on one of the RAC EV events. Built in 2008 and has a 16kWh capacity cell pack

lotus-elise-EV.jpg



This one is the Vortex GT EV kit car, built in 2012 using an ICE "kit" (not very!) made in Warwickshire. Has a 32kWh cell pack.

DSCF0976.JPG
 

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@Hairy Leafer
Time constraints have stopped me doing one at the moment .

It was a real ball breaker as the kit is hardly that and very basic. You have to source and install a mass of parts from Ebay and I lost a year or so out of my life just to complete it.

The motor is the same as the one in my Elise (ex Ford Ranger 30/45kW) with a Siemens 6SV inverter from 1995 actually built for EV use.
It is under powered for the Vortex but great in the light Elise which is my favourite car by far!

Plan is to use the more powerful motor, gearbox and inverter from the bankrupt Ford Connect EV van stock but unfortunately work keeps getting in the way.

The Elise has an out of date page at www.evalbum.com/1454
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
Pic`s please :)
I am building this 132v battery pack for my converted Saturn. This has 110 NiMh sub C cells in it. It will hold enough energy to move the car 2.9 miles. If this works out OK, I can easily install several of these packs in the car in addition to the primary LIFEPO4 battery. I only need to extend the range a few more miles to make my daily commute. Each pack holds 0.740kwh. It might weigh 10 Lbs. This is an experiment that I will need to handle carefully. Every 2 cells will have a power diode reverse biased across them. This will allow current to bypass any 2 cells that are weaker than the rest until they are all in balance. There are pictures of the car in another thread titled "Show us your EV" The sub C cells are a little too small to fit the plastic battery spacers that were made to fit a C size. I had to use gasket tape inside each pocket on the bottom end and some RTV Blue on the top to make the cells secure. There will be 2 circuit breakers and a diode network to protect this battery from discharging at too high a rate (15 amp) or, from charging at too high a rate (5 amp.) There might also be a thermal sensor somewhere in this pack. This might not look like much but, the battery is the heart of an electric car. In the background you can see an electric motor, don't worry, this is not the drive motor for the car.
PICT0090.JPG
 

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Discussion Starter #9
@Hairy Leafer
Time constraints have stopped me doing one at the moment .

It was a real ball breaker as the kit is hardly that and very basic. You have to source and install a mass of parts from Ebay and I lost a year or so out of my life just to complete it.

The motor is the same as the one in my Elise (ex Ford Ranger 30/45kW) with a Siemens 6SV inverter from 1995 actually built for EV use.
It is under powered for the Vortex but great in the light Elise which is my favourite car by far!

Plan is to use the more powerful motor, gearbox and inverter from the bankrupt Ford Connect EV van stock but unfortunately work keeps getting in the way.

The Elise has an out of date page at www.evalbum.com/1454
I know what you mean by work keeps getting in the way. I hope someday, I can make electric vehicles my work so that work never gets in the way of my passion. There is nothing wrong with developing interests into a business plan. I am not Elon Musk but, if I put as much energy into electric cars as I put into my day job, I could move the world with electromotive force. My boss started his business the same way and now I am working hard to fulfill his dreams instead of mine. I am a weekend warrior, slowly putting bits and pieces together of a car and a dream.
 

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The biggest issue I get with customers wanting parts for a conversion, is seriously underestimation / belief of costs, over expectation of range, and under specification of battery pack. Oh and a belief they will get it on the road ina couple of weeks.
Many people think a conversion is a cheap way of getting an EV, it isnt. If you want a conversion, you must want to do the conversion and must want the car. I have discouraged a few people who have a £200 car and gripe at spending £2k on a motor and controller, and wish to use old 12v car batteries to drive it. While expecting it to do 70mph with 100mile range. But I also go out of my way to help those who are being realistic, and actually listen to whats being said.
Its great to see people doing conversions, and it helps people like me who invest a lot in parts and time to engineer parts for them
 

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@Grumpy-b
I know where you are coming from!
My Lotus was a cheap buy at £7,000 for the car in 2007 which now seems to have gone up incredibly so. Should have bought more of them!
The motor was sourced via Ebay and the inverter was secondhand. Charger, BMS and batteries were new.
Total parts cost around £10,000 so it was a cheap Tesla copy but boy did I spend a lot of time tracking down and researching parts.

The Vortex I daren't even start to add up the costs :eek:

I have spoken to interested parties regarding conversions but as you say, they are looking for the cheap options all the time.

EV's are cheap to run but just remember how much the Tesla Roadster cost in the early days.

Cutting edge costs money and the availability of cheap EV parts is years away.
 
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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
I documented the conversion of my car in a Kindle book on Amazon and I have made it FREE for the next few days starting Aug. 04, 2016.
A few hundred people have read it so far and I hope others will have a look at it. I am not saying that this is the only way to build an electric car but, this is how I built mine. If you would like to see all of the pictures, diagrams and schematics that I used to create my electric car, take a look at "Creating An Experimental Electric Car At Home" while it is free to read.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
The biggest issue I get with customers wanting parts for a conversion, is seriously underestimation / belief of costs, over expectation of range, and under specification of battery pack. Oh and a belief they will get it on the road ina couple of weeks.
Many people think a conversion is a cheap way of getting an EV, it isnt. If you want a conversion, you must want to do the conversion and must want the car. I have discouraged a few people who have a £200 car and gripe at spending £2k on a motor and controller, and wish to use old 12v car batteries to drive it. While expecting it to do 70mph with 100mile range. But I also go out of my way to help those who are being realistic, and actually listen to whats being said.
Its great to see people doing conversions, and it helps people like me who invest a lot in parts and time to engineer parts for them
This is for real. If you could give everything away free and tell people that they could drive hundreds of miles on a charge and then charge it for free, you would have lots and lots of sales. When you explain the reality of electric vehicles some people think that it is simply negative. It is in fact very different with some pros and some cons. Much to blame are the TV commercials that are produced by activists and lobbyists that are selling the concept that electric cars are simple and cheap to drive. Simple? Mine is not simple! What most people seem to want is a car that runs endlessly on water or, a car that burns air alone. I am too aware that there are more than 10,000 leaking oil well heads in the Gulf including the leaking Taylor oil rig. The last big spill was enough to convince me that I should get busy and start building my electric car at any price. The cost in dollars is far less than the cost in environmental damage. So build it or, buy it and drive it, feel good about it. It is also important to promote the concept in realistic terms that are solidly founded on truth.
 

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The biggest issue I get with customers wanting parts for a conversion, is seriously underestimation / belief of costs, over expectation of range, and under specification of battery pack. Oh and a belief they will get it on the road ina couple of weeks.
Many people think a conversion is a cheap way of getting an EV, it isnt. If you want a conversion, you must want to do the conversion and must want the car. I have discouraged a few people who have a £200 car and gripe at spending £2k on a motor and controller, and wish to use old 12v car batteries to drive it. While expecting it to do 70mph with 100mile range. But I also go out of my way to help those who are being realistic, and actually listen to whats being said.
Its great to see people doing conversions, and it helps people like me who invest a lot in parts and time to engineer parts for them
I'd like someone to engineer some low rolling resistance ceramic wheel bearings for my Tesla roadster. Is £1000 realistic for a set?
 

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I'd like someone to engineer some low rolling resistance ceramic wheel bearings for my Tesla roadster. Is £1000 realistic for a set?
My Elise has very light aluminium ceramic composite disks which were only fitted to the first two years production as they cost more to manufacture than the manufacturer was paid.
Note these are not the same as ceramic disks.

I spoke to the manufacturer once in the US who said that Tesla did look at using them but declined in the end.

They are so light you can hang four off one finger. About the same weight as a dinner plate and they don't wear out or rust!
 

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My Elise has very light aluminium ceramic composite disks which were only fitted to the first two years production as they cost more to manufacture than the manufacturer was paid.
Note these are not the same as ceramic disks.

I spoke to the manufacturer once in the US who said that Tesla did look at using them but declined in the end.

They are so light you can hang four off one finger. About the same weight as a dinner plate and they don't wear out or rust!
I know I've considered MMC discs in the past. I posted about them on the Tesla roadster pages. Very light weight. They won't fit the roadster though as it's 5 stud fitment.
 

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I recall EVTV fitted some staggeringly costly Ceramic wheel bearings to a VW conversion, only to see them fail badly due to the need for lubrication, and the car being so lowered that the oil would have run up hill through the torque tubes to get to the axles.
Bearing technology is a real black art. As an example the motor bearings used in the HPEVS motors (and most others) seem slightly loose at rest. They are , deliberately so, as motors wind up to several k RPM the heat casues the balls and the races to expand, so seizing normal clearance bearings. With these motor bearings once in use they lose the slop and run perfectly. The problem is with a loose bearing the load is applied to fewer points at rest, and can cause rutting in the outer races. Hence why wheel bearings have a relatively tight feel so that the load is more evenly spread around the races and through more balls/ rollers.
In the street rod market, the mustang 2 front suspension (a lot like the Cortina/ granada set up) is popular and you can get converted hubs to take ceramic bearings and the kit exchange in the USA is well over $1k against probably less than £100 for std parts.
Many makers of bearings are coming out with eco versions, that have lower rotational resistance, but at a cost and availability premium. SKF offer a low friction grease which is supposed to reduce frictional losses by 9% on a std bearing .
Where people wish to use a flywheel and clutch on a conversion, apart from trying to put them off, I would always recommend never changing gear using the clutch/ end thrust on the motor at rest.. Because of the point load issue I mentioned above. Only ever use the clutch when the motor is running. If at a standstill just dont use the clutch. On the HPEVS motors, I modify the drive end bearing retainer as the original is three simple tabs and not too clever under end loads / clutch use.
As with all Automotive parts they are a compromise, in this case effeciency v cost v life. Hence why few makers go this route by choice.
 

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Where people wish to use a flywheel and clutch on a conversion, apart from trying to put them off, I would always recommend never changing gear using the clutch/ end thrust on the motor at rest.. Because of the point load issue I mentioned above. Only ever use the clutch when the motor is running. If at a standstill just dont use the clutch. On the HPEVS motors, I modify the drive end bearing retainer as the original is three simple tabs and not too clever under end loads / clutch use.
Personally, I would always argue about not leaving the clutch and flywheel as an electric motor has no need for a flywheel as it has no power pulses and why have a clutch at all as the motor does not rotate at standstill.

If gear selection is required at all (I find third is a good compromise) then it is simply selected at a standstill for scary rip the gearbox to shreds acceleration in second or stressless in third! (y)
 

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Building flywheels to take a clutch is a pain, but you cant use the originals as they normally have lots of inbuilt balancing to suit the original power pulses. I really try hard to disuade people, as a fixed gear is normally adequate. On one of my Smart rebuilds I lost the gear selection and had to work out the position of the two rotating gear sets that change gear. I got it in reverse at one point. You could have laid rubber for about 30m until it ran out of rpm at about 20 mph. Its normally in third and works well. To save space the gear selection motors have been removed.
 
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