Speak EV - Electric Car Forums banner

1 - 6 of 6 Posts

70 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
So I thought it would be fun to post a thread for those who have had more than one EV in their lives, partly to show how much cars have come on in the intervening time.

In the interests of getting us started, I'll go first.

Two Terrible Electric Scooters

Side of bike - with new pedals. by aminorjourney, on Flickr

It was early 2006. I'd just sold my 1.8-litre K-series Morris Minor Hotrod, my 1965 morris minor was being stripped down to be converted into an electric car, and we needed some transport.

So I got myself an electric scooter -- and my wife got one too.

They were the pedelec type -- you know, the ones with a limited top speed of 15 mph. They were awful, but they managed to get us the bug.

All finished. Yup - it really is that small... by aminorjourney, on Flickr

...And one wonderful bike

I also had a really love electric bike, but I can't remember where I put the photos. It rocked.

The Flying Banana

Built in 1998, this particular CityEl was used by Ffyfes as a promotional vehicle. When I purchased it in 2006, it had travelled less than 1,000 miles in its life. The batteries were shot, and it was in need of some TLC.

Front by aminorjourney, on Flickr

Over the two years I owned it, I converted it from 36V lead to 42 V lithium, added remote monitoring.. (yes, I'm that sad) and managed to tweak its top speed from 35 mph all the way upwards to about 50. (it hit 60 once on a hill...)

Remote charge status by aminorjourney, on Flickr

It also had the unique property of requiring no wheel jacks when it came to changing a tyre (which happened a lot because those tyres were high pressure).

Up with it's head! by aminorjourney, on Flickr

It was sold when I realised that I needed to do some body repair (the previous owner had used the wrong brake fluid and it was eating away at the bottom tub... and I didn't have the skills needed to fix it.

Velma, the plug-in Prius

Velma marked the move from slow electric vehicles to full-size plug ins. She rocked, and I converted her myself into a plug-in Prius.

Battery and charger from above by aminorjourney, on Flickr

(Don't panic about the insulation tape -- that was just part of my colour coding process, so I knew which pack was which (The rest of the pack was in the spare wheel well)

Sadly, I omitted the whole 'thermal management' system and she died in 2009 after a battery thermal runaway on a particularly hot July day left the batteries popping like popcorn.

She lived with Daphne, our other Prius. (Yes, we're sad. Yes we were a two-prius household. Smell our farts...)
Twins... Velma and Daphne by aminorjourney, on Flickr

It was the day before Tesla opened its UK store, and I remember going to the launch event a little woozy and off-piste due to inhaling battery fumes the night before. Not good.

Yes, I was an idiot.

Tigger, the CityStromer EV

I was approached by someone in 2009 with the opportunity of buying a really rare CityStromer Golf. Essentially a 1985 Golf built by VW to be an electric vehicle from the factory, it was (I learned a lot later) one of only three made in RHD.

Two vehicles charging by aminorjourney, on Flickr

You'll note that Tigger is next to Velma in this photo. That's because I decided not to buy Tigger, and a friend did instead. He then sold me Tigger when Velma went to the scrap heap in the sky.

Rear end ;) by aminorjourney, on Flickr

Tigger was my wedding transport, but sadly blew her motor (for the second time) shortly afterwards. With no money to fix her, she sat on my driveway looking quite forlorn for a number of years. Then, after mentioning to Volkswagen at an EV press even that I owned her, I was begged to sell her back to Volkswagen for full restoration.

She's now back to the original white, but hasn't got moving yet due to some missing power train components. And no, I didn't make any money on the sale: I sold her to VW's heritage fleet for the same price I paid for her.

Here is what she should look like when she's finished:
VW Heritage Electric Car Fleet by aminorjourney, on Flickr

There's still the free G-Wiz, scary, scary scooter (which I owned for three days) the Renault Twizy, Nissan LEAF and Chevy Volt to go. But I have to take the kids to school.

So perhaps I'll pick this up later?

3,462 Posts
Looking forward to the update....

My introduction to electric motoring whilst doing PR for Exide batteries (motive power). They used to supply them for a lot of record attempts eg milk float, drag car (e-motion) and speed boats. Unfortunately my involvement was limited to photography and not driving.

Super Moderator
7,941 Posts
One day in 2010 I watched "An Inconvenient Truth" and about three days later swapped my thirsty petrol vectra for one of these.

I loved the "EV Mode" but wanted MORE! It didn't stay standard for long, grilles got blocked, the engine coolant temperature was spoofed and 4kwh of lithium batteries went under the boot floor. The results were good!

Not pictured was a screen full of 99.9MPG tanks (it couldn't count any higher!) with a best tank at 835 miles, some maths told me the real MPG was about 102.

Of course I still wanted MORE. EV mode topped out at 31MPH, pseudo EV mode at 46mph.

I tried the imiev

It was a bit of fun, but driven the same way as the prius I only got about 50 miles of range. It was also a bit small and cheap feeling, yet very expensive to buy.

I tried the Leaf

And that was much better. Bigger, comfier, slightly better range, but still SOOO expensive.

I tried the Fluence in LHD prototype form.

It drove nicely, I liked the size, the interior was nice, but with the battery rental it would have cost more to run than my plugin prius and no rapid charging...

I tried Toyota's own prototype plugin prius

And it worked well, but was super expensive.

Winter came, and I proved a PHV can charge fine in all weathers :rolleyes:

I used the location feature of Twitter to hunt down the first Ampera in the country

I pestered the local council to install EV charging and got myself in the paper

I wondered if Cedric Lynch's EV was for me

I sold my house, got divorced, downgraded to a rubbish petrol car.


Then finally, I got to see the Model S

But I still couldn't bloody afford one :mad:

Still I soldiered on, and pestered my company to install some charging

I watched @Kevin Sharpe spank all sorts of people at Santa Pod

He even beat the Sinclair C5, which managed 53mph. 53!

I spent the day with a prototype range extended EV made by Mahle Powertrain

And finally, eventually, once they came down to £10k, and a little bit begrudgingly, I bought a Leaf.

It's not the EV I want, and the temptation to upgrade it is large. A 22kw charger under the bonnet, and more batteries under/in the boot. Who knows. But I'll still be lusting after that Model S...

2,397 Posts
A late runner for this one....!

First remember an interest in 1999. Obsessively followed the EV world website. Joined the battery vehicle society. Researched batteries. Considered a Thunder Sky conversion. Realised I couldn't afford it.

Then, 2002, stumbled on the Citroen Berlingo Electrique van on the web. Phoned up a saleswoman. Who somewhat surprisingly agreed to sell me one. It was about 11,000, with the grant then in place called Powershift being worth 3,500. Battery rental on top was 90 a month roughly. But crucially no mileage limit.

Drove a LOT of miles in this car - 96,000 in the end. Despite Citroens disastrous build quality and servicing. Thanks in no small part to my Scottish friend Ewan who kept it on the road. At one stage drove it from Shropshire to Fife to get fixed....60 mile range, no rapids, 10 miles charge an hour....:)

Citroen eventually realised quite how many miles I did and wrote to me offering to give me ownership of the batteries...which I did.

But finally could patch her up no more. Though is now homed with another forum member who has her going again after a couple of years standing idle.

A couple of tortuous years back in ice cars...hated hated it.

Then 2013 realised that the finance available meant I could afford a Leaf

36,000 miles later very happy with her. All those years of Berlingo driving keep me seeing this EV glass as very half full now...!
1 - 6 of 6 Posts