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Old 06-08-2011, 09:39 PM   #3 (permalink)
EV test pilot
bennelson's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Oconomowoc, WI, USA
Posts: 4,435

Electric Cycle - '81 Kawasaki KZ440
90 day: 334.6 mpg (US)

S10 - '95 Chevy S10
90 day: 30.48 mpg (US)

Electro-Metro - '96 Ben Nelson's "Electro-Metro"
90 day: 129.81 mpg (US)

The Wife's Car - Plug-in Prius - '04 Toyota Prius
90 day: 78.16 mpg (US)
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Hey Guys,

Recently a couple of documentary film-makers came to visit me.

They are starting work on a feature length film about building an electric car, and driving it cross country.

They were in the area, and visited a few of my friends who have built electric cars. They spent a whole Sunday afternoon at my place. I even showed them my electric riding lawn-mower. We drove in my Electric Geo Metro to the old-timey drive-in burger joint and everything.

So here's the thing. None of them have ever even BUILT an electric car before, let alone one designed for a cross-country road trip!

They asked me to be the builder! I foolishly said "Yes". My only experience is that I've built one electric motorcycle and one electric car - just a short-range economy cruiser!

I have a fair number of friends who have build electric cars, including guys who are master mechanics and electric engineers - neither of which I am. I do have some experience with home-brew, open-source controllers, but have never worked with Lithium batteries before, which I think are nearly mandatory for this project.

If I have any regrets at all about my Electro-Metro conversion, it's that it's not a "cool" car. I always thought that if I did another conversion, I would want it to be a high-performance sports car, convertible, or muscle car.

For this project, they really want to do something "All-American" - whatever exactly that means - it's a little different to every person I think.

So here's the challege - build an electric car and drive it across country, as a summer project - GO!

If this is going to happen, I am going to need to call in every favor I have ever made for anyone. I'm going to need a lot of help from my friends, and every bit of moral support as I can.
Remember that whole Automotive X-Prize thing? Well, they had more than three months to work on it, and a bigger budget to boot. No million dollar prize either - just the pride in proving that a home-built electric car can do anything you need it to, including a ride down Route 66!

A "Trailer" for the film concept is at the top of this page. Keep in mind that the film doesn't exist yet. The car doesn't exist yet. The movie will be about the entire process and the people working on this project.

The "Trailer" is just a preview of what will come as long as we can get the funding and keep the motivation for what's required to make this happen!

In case you haven't seen my YouTube videos before, I'm the guy in the black t-shirt that says "Open ReVolt" on it under the jean jacket.

So, what do you think? Insane? Too ambitious? Not enough time, not enough budget for the goal?

See what you can do to help. Chime in here, or visit the official project web page at:

I think this IS totally do-able, but in only one way - as a MASSIVE GROUP PROJECT!

We already have right here on Ecomodder some of the smartest, handiest, home-brew, git-'er-done folks on the planet, right here.

So, what's the car need? A motor? Forklifts galore have already explored on this forum! Darin, weigh in here.

How about a high-power, yet inexpensive motor controller? I think the Open ReVolt will do nicely. AC or DC version to be decided, but I'm thinking high amperage....

How about air conditioning on an electric car? Well, lots of us have already designed swamp coolers - I even did a liquid-cooled seat for my truck during last summer's heat wave!

Aerodynamics? We have an entire FORUM dedicated to just that here.

And people to meet on the way? How about every one of you who helps out on the project!!?!? (Can I charge at your house while we're there?)

So WHO's WITH ME!?!?

We need to budget and fundraise for the battery pack, but otherwise we almost already have everything we need to make this happen!

Please weigh in with your suggestions and support!!!!!!
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