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Old 01-09-2009, 01:38 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Electric Vehicle Information - Start Here

There is currently great interest in electric vehicles. Start here to learn what it's all about, and how to build one yourself!

General EV Information:

Thrifty EV Conversions:
ForkenSwift
Electro-Metro
VW Bug

The "Cheap Electric Cars" Blog Series
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5

EV Cycle Conversions:
Ben's Kawasaki
Voltzilla/Forkencycle
XB-600 Scooter

Other pages and forums:
EV Photo Album: Our Electric Cars on the Web
DIY Electric Car Forums - Electric Vehicle Build and Conversion Community

Controller Info:
Alltrax Document Depot
Curtis Controller Sheets

Conversion Manuals:
EL-Ninja Motorcycle Conversion
Convert It
BUILD YOUR OWN ELECTRIC CAR - CHEAP (Instructional DVD)

Also, yes, electrics can go fast.
You don't need to start anymore threads about either the Killacycle or the White Zombie, as we have heard of them already!


Please add other links and information you think would be useful for "first-timers" to learn more about electric vehicles.

I will add and organize it to the begining here, so we can "sticky" it as a resource.

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My YouTube Videos

Last edited by bennelson; 09-23-2010 at 07:23 PM.. Reason: added links
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Old 01-13-2009, 03:32 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Hi,

Here's a homebuilt EV that I just came across:

Jason Bloomberg's 1993 Eagle Summit Wagon

The builder wrote this on the Talk of the Nation comments on the second part of the show today, which is on EV's:

Quote:
Not only would I buy an electric car, but I actually already have one and intend to get another. Mine is 15 years old, goes up to 70 mph and can travel up to 50 mile. I drive it about 30 miles almost every every day. It is not a hybrid. It is 100% electric. You can see it at: Jason Bloomberg's 1993 Eagle Summit Wagon It is time that we as a nation stop being mushrooms (kept in the dark and fed manure). We should have told GM that they had to put the EV-1 back into production as a condition of their getting any taxpayer money! I bought this car and started driving it because I wanted to be putting less pollution in the air. I am working finding a way to set up solar panels and a wind-charger to offset my electrical usage (about $3.00 / MONTH) to further reduce my "carbon footprint." But, even if this was powered by the dirtiest coal plant in the U.S. it would still be generating 1/16th the pollution of the cleanest hybrid on the road.
Looks pretty good!
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Old 03-11-2009, 01:22 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I play with this site sometimes when I'm feeling the itch to convert a car to electric.
EV Calculator

I like this one too for battery comparisons.
Battery percent of discharge comparison
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Old 04-28-2009, 04:18 PM   #4 (permalink)
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EV net efficiency flow chart

Yesterday,there was a discussion about the "actual" efficiency of a plug-in EV,from"wheeling" the power onto the grid,to the power delivered to the road surface from the traction drive in the car itself.I went into my records and found the following.The data is from GM Research Labs and Electric Power Research Institute.The numbers aren't current but may give some insight.

(1) Electric utility generation plants are given efficiencies from 34-50%,with a combined-cycle unit scoring the highest.

(2) Power transmission losses delivering the power over the grid to the household give an efficiency of 93-94%.

(3) Battery chargers are given a 90% efficiency.

(4) Storage batteries on board the car are given 80% efficiency ( this has nothing to do with it's power density).

(5) Controllers are given efficiencies as high as 98% ( Alan Cocconi's AC Propulsion using MOSFET and IGFET power transistors){his CRX loses 2kW in heat loss during full acceleration}.

(6) Electric motors are given a range of efficiency,from 75% for a conventional DC device,to 92% for a GM MagnaQuench,and 96% for Unique Mobility in Colorado.

(7) If the EV uses any type of powertrain from the motor to the drive wheel,it might be conservatively estimated at 95% efficiency.

Considering the chain of events to power down the road in my home-built Ghia EV,if I use coal-fired electricity from a conventional power plant,I might expect an overall thermal efficiency on the order of 15.4%,compared to the chemical energy of the coal.With the combined-cycle plant,overall efficiency would be 30.2%.

For a comparison,an IC-powered car,operating at constant speed at max BSFC can achieve 40% efficiency.This is why the Chevy VOLT is configured the way it is.Alternate,renewable forms of power wheeled onto the grid obviously get around the fossil-fuel CO2 challenge,however its important to realize how much energy is lost moving it around and from transforming it from one form to another.

I like Ed Begley Jr's rooftop PV array-charged EV. This is along the lines of what Hunter and Amory Lovins were advocating a couple decades ago.
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Old 04-28-2009, 05:47 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Since Aero posted the EV chain I'll do the fossil

Out of a 43 gallon drum 19 gallons become gasoline

drum contains 6.1x10^9j and 6-7 gallons form diesel so 26x 1.3x10^8j/(61x10^8+energy consumed in coal to refine(29.8x10^8j))=37.5%

transmission cost of 7%=34.9%

ICE efficiency typically ranges around 30% but we'll say its the max on any gasoline engine system(40% efficient) =14.0%

Transmission cost 10%=12.6%

very generous efficiency of 12.6% for the total ICE system
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Old 04-28-2009, 07:11 PM   #6 (permalink)
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plus the electricity used to crack the crude as you noted.
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Old 04-28-2009, 07:14 PM   #7 (permalink)
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fossil

Quote:
Originally Posted by theunchosen View Post
Since Aero posted the EV chain I'll do the fossil

Out of a 43 gallon drum 19 gallons become gasoline

drum contains 6.1x10^9j and 6-7 gallons form diesel so 26x 1.3x10^8j/(61x10^8+energy consumed in coal to refine(29.8x10^8j))=37.5%

transmission cost of 7%=34.9%

ICE efficiency typically ranges around 30% but we'll say its the max on any gasoline engine system(40% efficient) =14.0%

Transmission cost 10%=12.6%

very generous efficiency of 12.6% for the total ICE system
Generous indeed!With respect to the VOLT we have to consider 70% of the gasoline would be lifted,refined,and loaded in a foreign country,then transported(under US NAVY escort) to U.S.'shores,where it would be off-loaded and make it's way by truck transport and pipeline,stations receiving their fuel from tanker,via a bulk-fuel terminal.Then the electricity to lift it through the dispensing pump into the vehicle.For crude oil transports,total refining energy would have to be factored into the energy expended by the NAVY, Coast Guard,Marine Corps,Seals,ARMY,Air Force,Delta Force,CIA,NRO,NSA,FBI,etc.,would not be reflected into the pump price nor "street" energy balance.In 1991,these costs were estimated at $2.31/gallon.I have no idea how one could arrive at the amount of energy this activity absorbs.So one kinda turns a jaundiced eye towards gasoline an Diesel when contemplating the big picture.
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Old 08-16-2009, 12:54 AM   #8 (permalink)
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is anyone right?

Good thread. Good arguments. Statistics can be skewed any way you want.

Which is cheaper? No one really knows, now do they?

aereohead - i suppose there are no security costs for the magically produced electricity. Let's not forget that some US power plants run off oil. The nuke plants might also have a security cost? The natural gas? The coal industry? Naa, that's just free and has nobody looking over it.

The EV people should keep up the good work. Just remember that when you pound that green drum about what a good citizen you are, you have only moved your carbon footprint to somebody else's back yard. Guess that means you don't give a flyin f about your fellow human or the world in general.

There seems to be a lot of the NIMBY syndrome going on world wide. "I need power for my (insert here whatever, in you cases, cars) but no more generation plants or transmission lines. At least not near ME.

I singled you out because you chose to bring up

Quote:
For crude oil transports,total refining energy would have to be factored into the energy expended by the NAVY, Coast Guard,Marine Corps,Seals,ARMY,Air Force,Delta Force,CIA,NRO,NSA,FBI,etc.,would not be reflected into the pump price nor "street" energy balance.In 1991,these costs were estimated at $2.31/gallon.
The highest average gas price for 1991 was $1.169. So that means the actual price should be $3.479? At an average price of 9.08 cents per kWh in 1991, what do you suppose the actual cost of security on the generation, transmission and distribution was? And what agencies were involved? Now in 2009 what security do suppose might be involved?

Focus on your objective, developing electric vehicles, and stop arguing about who is "better" All vehicles use too much energy and we need to address that. We are way too dependant on foriegn sources of energy and need to address that. Just stop always having to be right or wrong!

Last edited by taredog; 08-16-2009 at 12:57 AM.. Reason: moved decimal point on 116.9 to 1.169 lest someone focus on that instead of the rest of the post
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Old 01-06-2010, 04:35 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Commuting in electric cars, regenerative braking, and ultracapacitors

Here's an excellent video to watch, all about EV's.



Quote:
Carnegie Mellon Robotics Institute professor Illah Nourbakhsh presents the CREATE Lab project ChargeCar, a community approach to electric cars.
The lecture is part of the Sustainability and Computer Science Seminar, a forum for discussion of ways in which computer science can and will contribute to sustainability, energy, and the environment, and to foster greater consciousness, conversation, and collaboration in this area.

For more on CREATE Lab, visit: CREATE
If you have any interest in EV's at all -- you should watch this video!

What the professor (in the video) is saying is that using a supercapacitor in conjunction with the battery, you make huge gains in getting more regenerative braking, and you unload the batteries in city driving in particular. The batteries "see" as much as a 40% decrease in load.

Directly related to this is something called "split-pi" which lets you use the supercaps with batteries that run at a higher voltage.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Split-pi

Apparently, high voltage capacitors are very expensive, and unless you use low voltage batteries and drive motors (and the associated heavy cabling), the cost becomes prohibitive. So, if you can raise the voltage using the split-pi power converter -- which is 2-way, then you can use higher voltage batteries and motor, and use smaller gauge cabling, too.

Here's a video demonstration of the split-pi -- it is software controlled, and can double the DC voltage in one direction, and in the other direction, it can cut it by up to half.

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Old 05-08-2010, 05:18 PM   #10 (permalink)
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statistics

Quote:
Originally Posted by taredog View Post
Good thread. Good arguments. Statistics can be skewed any way you want.

Which is cheaper? No one really knows, now do they?

aereohead - i suppose there are no security costs for the magically produced electricity. Let's not forget that some US power plants run off oil. The nuke plants might also have a security cost? The natural gas? The coal industry? Naa, that's just free and has nobody looking over it.

The EV people should keep up the good work. Just remember that when you pound that green drum about what a good citizen you are, you have only moved your carbon footprint to somebody else's back yard. Guess that means you don't give a flyin f about your fellow human or the world in general.

There seems to be a lot of the NIMBY syndrome going on world wide. "I need power for my (insert here whatever, in you cases, cars) but no more generation plants or transmission lines. At least not near ME.

I singled you out because you chose to bring up



The highest average gas price for 1991 was $1.169. So that means the actual price should be $3.479? At an average price of 9.08 cents per kWh in 1991, what do you suppose the actual cost of security on the generation, transmission and distribution was? And what agencies were involved? Now in 2009 what security do suppose might be involved?

Focus on your objective, developing electric vehicles, and stop arguing about who is "better" All vehicles use too much energy and we need to address that. We are way too dependant on foriegn sources of energy and need to address that. Just stop always having to be right or wrong!
taredog,great post!
I'm in town and don't have all my materials with me.As usual.
From my memory,I recall an estimate to cover escort costs,Desert Shield,etc.,to get Middle East crude to the U.S.,at around $5.00/gallon at the pump.
Another estimate was over $25/barrel.
I think all production infrastructure incurs security costs.I'm also given to understand that certain industries receive extremely lucrative taxpayer-funded subsidies which are never reflected on a ledger sheet or mentioned at a stockholder meeting.
Personaly,I have no qualms about doing whatever it will take to get our troops back home without the body-bag.
If the United States needs to run a pipeline near me ( they just did two 36-inch Natural Gas lines within a quarter mile ) ,or run an electric grid to connect Wind Turbines,fine by me.It would be zero sacrifice on my part.
I've worked at nuclear facilities and weapons plants.You don't just walk in there.Shipments are 'supervised'.
Power stations are 'gated'.
So far,My EV experience is limited to home solar-PV-charged gell-cell Pb technology.Not much more than educational 'toys.' I haven't used grid power yet.I lived off the grid for 10-years.
If I can mimic the California couple I met at the 1993 Solar races in Phoenix,with a home-charged PV-EV for local commuting I'll be satisfied to some extent.The donar car is a '70 Ghia,chopped-top,with bubble canopy,and some aero.Just low-tech for immediate future.
Perhaps those who will charge their EV,off-peak,with grid power will remember where that power originates and what and who it takes to make that happen.They're not lost on me.
I have no control over what others have, or will do.They're the boss of that.
If I have in anyway,dis-respected the unsung many,who make everything happen for my convenience,then I hope they will accept my apology.
I've attempted to walk the walk, dance the dance, and give something back since 1973.I only can hope I'm on a proper path.

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