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Old 05-27-2008, 11:13 AM   #15 (permalink)
EV test pilot
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Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Oconomowoc, WI, USA
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I was thinking that converting an all-wheel drive vehicle to engine powers the front - electric powers the rear, could work well.

I don't know enough about how four-wheel drive systems work to know all the specifics of actually doing it.

A "relay" to control the electric motor is called a contactor. You can have multiple contactors that will switch a pack of batteries so that all batteries are used at the same time, but rigged either in parralel or serial. All batteries drain at the same rate this way, but you can make the motor go a couple of speeds. This is a very old-school way of doing it, and it makes loud "clicks" as the contactors turn on and off. Check out a Commuta-Car/Citi-Car to see how those work.

There are a lot of Geo Trackers out there that seem like they would be a good vehicle to experiment on for this type of a project.

I would simply control both the motor and engine manually. Run on electric only around town, then turn on the engine for highway driving.

The biggest downside is that you are carrying the weight of the engine and motor and batteries at all times.
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