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Discussion Starter #1
For some time I have been supporting users of the Citroen C1 EVIE as converted by The Electric Car Corporation mainly between 2009 and 2011. This included the final Warranty work on behalf of the makers.
There are many issues with these vehicles, and I can provide solutions for many of the problems. I have posted many guidance notes etc on the UK Battery Vehicle Society Forum.
I hold an assortment of replacement parts and re-engineered solutions to cover where parts are no longer available, such as the motor to gearbox coupling, and the heating system. I have recently sourced some new (Old stock)Thundersky cells that are exact replacement for the 160AH used.
Much of my work has been for public Authorities who own the vehicles, as well as private users across the UK.
If you have a problem, do ask for guidance.

Jeremy Bloomfield (AKA Grumpy-b)
 

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Discussion Starter #2
A few things worth keeping an eye out for.

Uneven wear on the front tyres, with quite a lot of weight on the front tyres, pressure and wheel alignment is really important, if left un adjusted the tyres do tend to wear on the inside.

Check your main inlet socket. The small sleeve around the cable does split and let in water. I have seen many with rusted pins, if they fill up enough you may get a short. I replace with a really good version that seals by compressing a seal around the cable.

Mains inlet plug on the car. Check that the earth pin is at the botton, and the drain hole is free. Also check that you cant rotate the plug in the fuel hole. If you can check that the large plastic ring isnt moving in the rubber of the fuel inlet Its held by a jubillee clip behind the wing. If it is tight and still rotates, you have to drill a small hole in the slot between plug and plastic ring, countersink it and fit a small self taping screw to pin the two parts together.

Mains inlet socket and mains plug. Check the terminals are tight, I recently had a car come in with a melted socket and plug, likley to have been caused by loose terminals. Same with any13amp plug, but also make sure the fuse is held tightly and if the pins are loose in the moulding, if they are then get a new plug.

If your vacuum pump runs all the time, check the tube onto the servo is tightly fitted and has a jubilee clip on it.

Winter is coming, check your heater works. If not then a new hot water heater may be available at about £4to500 or I have a new PTC heater that goes into the old heater radiator position for around £240

Drivers side motor mount. The later cars have a one piece item that has a couple of folded bends, I have seen a couple fail in the fold, looks like the pressbrake used too much pressure and caused a potential weak point. This can be impossible to see if the powder coat is intact. So look for any flaking or cracking in the powder coating.
If this fails the motor drops and the driveshaft will fall out. The mounting plate can be welded, and I prefer to weld all of the bends inside and out to ensure no future failure.

Check that the DC to DC convertor, is functioning and that the 12v battery is in good condition. Do a simple Voltage check with out a load with a load (Headlights) and the ignition turned on.

Wiper blades, I am finding almost every vehicle has blades with the ends parting. So about 3yrs looks like the life of the blades. Cost about £9 for decent Bosch blades. Its not worth saving a couple of pounds for cheaper ones. But do make sure the clips hold the blade onto the arm, some dont seem to clip properly, so change the plastic clip from the old blade.

Rear number plate lights. The clear plastic cover to the bulb falls off, this is not available as a replacement, which is a complete light housing costing about £10 from a main dealer. If its at all loose prise it off and stick it back with superglue and a small silicone bead on the outside.

I have mentioned that the inlet plugs can be a problem, with no drain hole, and rotating. But today I came across one that had a poor earth connection. In fact no earth connection to the chassis. I knew it was connected to the chassis, but on taking the undrained plug apart, it was obvious why there was no continuity. Whoever made the original connection in the plug, tightened the screws onto the insulation of the wire, not only on the earth but live and neutral, the latter two having split the insulation and so made contact. Worth checking the earth contiuity.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I have now purchased all the remaing spares stock from ECC, and subsequently bought all the remaing BMS stock from the circuit board makers, so spares for these vehicles are not a problem. In fact I could just about build one from stock parts if anyone was interested (Or a Toyota IQ which shares the same transmission )
 

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Should you start off preferably with an automatic iQ?
Would it make a good retirement project?
And how much would the conversion kit cost please?
 

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Now enjoying my new Kia SOUL EV
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I've just read the 1st advert (private seller) who quotes there were only 180 Cygnets ever made. Is that true?

Definite collectable I would think if that was true, although not sure what Aston Martin purists think about the Cygnet?

Derek
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
It all depends upon what you expect to get in performance and range. The C1s will do around 65mph (relates to 6500 Motor RPM) and get a realistic 40 miles to a charge. They could do 70 but there is little point. Some people who are determined to be light footed and live in flat country have got 50+ miles from them. The fixed gear ratio is based on second gear only, and actually works really well, with a bit of tweeking the take off is not bad at all. A lot of EVs are single speed with between 6 and 9 to one reduction being around the norm. On a small car there is little to be gained by using gears, unless you are desperate to get seriously fast acceleration. I did a load of work on my Smart 451, (Fixed in 3rd) and shed the motor drives to the gear selector , and in doing so shifted the gear selector. I ended up in reverse, and when rotating in the appropriate direction, the Smart would spin the wheels all the way to about 15mph. Yes a full set of gears would allow me to spin the wheels all the way to probably 40mph, but I just love the smooth take off and ease of driving. IN the case if the smart, the age it takes to change gear, is a disadvantage as well and not conducive to rapid take offs anyway.
I would guess the IQ auto is like the C1/ Aygo/ 107 and is a manual gearbox with electric selection and clutch . (Renowned for their problems) The clutch can be fitted but adds complexity and weight and requires more energy to get the flywheel moving and more to slow down. It also makes it harder to fit into the cars as the length of the motor/ coupling is longer.
The Mechanical and electrical parts would cost in the region of £3to5K with batteries in the same region.
I generally have used parts available as well.
Being AC the C1 does have Regen, but as a quirk of the controller logic, it only reads Current not its direction of flow, so although more regen does put power back to the pack, the controller continues to run down the % charge left, infact with high regen (Just reading as current flow) it actually appears to have less range. Very annoying and no easy solution since its part of the controllers hard programme.
Maldon isnt that far away from me, Im just north of Colchester.

I never did understand the point of the Small AM, apart from trying to get their corporate Fuel effeciency into a USA/ California acceptable level.
The AM is I believe also heavier, but would make a nice car, but the IQ is itself quite a nice vehicle.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
The early C1 Evies, were built with an Evil BMS that was largely set up by a separate multiturn pot for each cell, these drift over time and are a total nightmare to reset. As a result of the drift the cars can be brought to a halt by a cell being under read and so seem to be below the "oh deal we have a problem" threshold. The Bleed system to balance the cells was a separate board with a second set cables to the cells, this had a separate IC and circuit for each cell, and was also separately set up. These have the tendancy to eat cells, by constant bleeding.
I now have not only all the cabling, but the newer (New stock) BMS units which are fairly reliable, and hold around 6 months of data. (but need clearing at the end of 6 months). I have also sorted out a modified set of data to be uploaded to the Curtis controller to allow the units to work as they should. Other wiring changes also have to be made. So if you have an early vehicle, (Push the small button on the back of the centre console and you get 4 options on the small gauge by the speedo. there are also two leads to each cell) a conversion is possible and makes for a much better set up.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
If anyone wants an Evie to do more than 40ish miles, I have just all the new parts (Cables, battery mounts cells, power cables, rear springs etc etc) to do a conversion that adds an additional 7 cells or just under a 1/3 extra to the original pack. This seems to extend the range into the mid 50s.
A customer is busy installing a couple of extra chargers I supplied him so that he can go up to about 7kw power input from a public charge point and get nearly three times the charge rate. Not cheap but a doable conversion.

I have cars in stock and often sell them on customers behalf.
 

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Hi Jeremy.

With the lack of electric micro cars coming out on the market, I am toying with the idea of converting a Toyota IQ an EV. I have been looking at the Evie's - but they're just not small enough. I'm really looking for a possible upgrade to my G-Wiz which is ideal London car (albeit lacking in comfort and safety).

But reading what you are saying about gearboxes etc in the Evie - do you think there might be scope of buying an EVIE and strip it of motor and all electric gizmos and stick it into an IQ, including a semi used battery pack? Hopefully they could be squeezed in somewhere.
Looking at the very few photos online of the motor bay of an EVIE it looks like a similar sized space.

The top speed and range of the EVIE (60mph, ~50 miles) should be sufficient (especially with lion/lifepo) batteries (as opposed to the sad power loss experienced of weakening lead acid batteries after 50% discharge), although higher speed and range would be even better. Perhaps using 18650 type batteries like Tesla would allow for maximising every nook and cranny with batteries?

Furthermore - I'm not sure how the EVIE gearbox works - do you actually change gears - or is it fixed to one particular gear? I like it to be as automatic as possible - so do you think an automatic gear boxed IQ is a better choice as a base car rather than a manual?

Are any EVIEs equipped with AC? If so - how is the pump connected and where? (I appreciate that AC is a battery killer).

And finally - any ideas of how much of the original electronics could be retained? I assume light, radio etc. is easy - but for instance will the speedo still be functional? Could the petrol gauge be converted to a charge gauge? Will Airbags still work? Etc.

This way I look at some £3K for a IQ and something similar for an EVIE (?). Perhaps you have or know of written off cars you might want to part with?

All the best, Roland
 

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Roland, have you looked at the Renault Twizzy?
 

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Discussion Starter #15
From what I have discovered the iq shares the same gearbox and engine as the c1/aygo.
There is really little to be gained by having gears. The c1 works really well with a fixed second gear. If set up right even initial take off is reasonable. Never going to set the world alight, but then it just keeps pulling so no need to change gear. They run out at the motor top speed which equates to about 65mph. With a fixed speed there is no gear change system and no added complexity of fitting a flywheel / clutch. That is not trivial. The c1 isnt much larger than the Iq, but why not go for a smart. I have a converted smart (Although off the road at the mo having a battery upgrade) and its brilliant. I also have adaptor plates for the motors to the smart 451 gearboxes. The auto box on c1/iq is a manual with an electric gear change system mounted on the side, so more complexity and more issues with failure. Just not worth it in my opinion.
No ac in any of the evies, and I make conversions to the original heater turning it into what is in effect a big fan heater, the hot water system being fairly unreliable.
In the C1 the std electris are retained, including the speedo, airbags etc, abs, but the UK cars did not have the stability control , which the eu versions did, and this needs some extra code and cabling to integrate this. I have the code and I know the connections but I have never had to retrofit this option.
As for doners, I have a Isle of Man reg car , but it has no battery pack or usable BMS (It was an early version and the BMS was unreliable) But has motor gearbox, controller, charger etc etc . Thats worth at least £1500 if stripped, and then I have the value of the C1 parts.
I may have a 10 reg 3 door coming in, ex local authority, and probably functioning. Likely to go for £3.5k+ in a working condition. I have 5 door vtr and vtr+ for about the £4k mark.
I would suggest that if the 3 door comes along that you have that in a working condition, use it and see if you really need to convert to an IQ. The conversion will take quite a lot of work, even with the similar / shared platform, the worst part being finding places for the battery pack in the smaller car. Its tight in the C1 but also does not impinge into the interior of the car.
 

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Morning and thanks for your answer.

Sorry - I should have added that I need 4-ish seats as I use the car as 'school taxi' for my kids, and when we go into town - all 4 of us squeeze into the Wiz. I have been looking at the Smart, but it only has 2 seats. But only a few days ago realized that the IQ is a four-ish seater and also!
Parking is crucial for London streets, and for that the G-Wiz is unbeatable and I love the fact I can park head-on to the pavement. I believe I still can (borderline) with an IQ - but with an EVIE I think the parking attendants would give me the evil eye.

I understand now on the gearbox Q. Very helpful. 65mph is blinding speeds (if you come from a G-Wiz) and I'm sure take-off is good enough. So to reverse the car - do you reverse the electric motor OR do you stick the gearbox in reverse? If the latter - do you think it would be possible to reverse the motor instead? I like the idea of removing the gearstick and maybe just have a sexy dial like in modern automatic luxury cars to change between D and R? Or perhaps have a solenoid pushing the gear lever back and forth under electric power.

I think you are right though - getting an EVIE if nothing else then to see how it drives, and then if and when I come to strip it - I can move things over bit by bit, this way I will have a good idea of where things go (rather than having a Box of parts and trying to work it all out).

Just looking at my options - should I need to - do you offer such a transplanting job? Or do you know anyone that would be willing and able to take on something like this?
 

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I don't want to speak out of turn, but have you considered an I-MiEV / iOn / C-Zero?
4 seats, 4 doors, narrow, very tight turning circle, but not as short as an IQ or a G-Wiz.
Just a thought, as they do come up for well under £10k secondhand....
 

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Hi Keith.
I have but it's just too long. If I was going larger - then I would probably look at Zoe, e-Up. But I'm looking at an as close as possible size to the G-Wiz but with the added benefits of airbags, more comfortable, wider wheel stance (to be able to straddle speed bumps rather than to have to go OVER them every time), and some more modern electronics like radio, speakers, possible satnav/bluetooth compatibility. In the future i would possibly look into if it would be possible to somehow re-program the sat nav to incorporate charging points (unless i would lift another satnav from a car that has this already - anyone knows which cars have this?)
 

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Hi Keith.
I have but it's just too long.
fair enough - it is shorter than a C1 by an inch or so, but definitely longer than an IQ or G-Wiz. And I know what you mean about speed bumps, definitely not wide enough to straddle them.
 
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