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Old 08-17-2009, 10:10 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Location: 1000 Islands, Ontario, Canada
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Blackfly - '98 Geo Metro
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A golf cart motor and 48v would work, yes. Being a smaller motor, it would be more succeptible to heating up, but if you're only using it for intermittent duty, it would probably be OK.

The biggest challenges are:

1) the motor may not have a drive end bearing - many golf carts use the differential to hold the end of the motor shaft in place. So you'd have to fab something up with a bearing in it

2) where would you install it in your car? What would it drive? Options are: 5th gearset; drive shaft (either sprocket onto a FWD axle, or inline or sprocket on a RWD shaft); 5th wheel; chain/belt drive off one of the rear wheels

3) Series DC motors (assuming that's what you're considering) aren't ideally suited for regen. Perm magnet motors (Etek) would be better, but still require either a special controller, or some custom circuitry.

It's not impossible. Mike's Honda Insight 5th wheel is running 48v with an Etek motor, and Coyote X's Metro is running 72v with a small motor as well. (Search for details)

Remember the 2070 lb ForkenSwift is also 48v/400A and can get up to 40+ mph on the level (eventually).
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