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Old 07-10-2012, 02:22 AM   #1 (permalink)
EcoModding Lurker
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Posts: 17
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Hi From Melbourne, Australia (looking to build EV runabout on a student budget)

My name is Tom, I'm on here because I purchased a host vehicle today for an EV conversion. I found a heap of inspiration on here for building an EV after coming up with the idea recently. I talked a lot with like-minded friends and have something of a team assembled to help with this one, and then hopefully convert their own vehicles. The first step was finding a host/donor vehicle (is there a preferred term for this?), and now to strip it of all the ICE parts and start sourcing parts.

The plan is:

Electric runabout car for less than $1000AUD (not sure if it's been done in Australia yet, I have read a lot about 'Forkenswift' and similar budget conversions). We're going with the tagline 'Electric car on a student budget' which is exactly what it is. I am primarily doing this because I want to have a car. After going without for several years, mostly for enviro reasons, I decided the best option was an electric runabout. We're aiming to use recycled parts where possible.

Host vehicle (1981 Daihatsu 'Handivan')
DC series wound motor from a forklift
Any batteries we can find without paying (much)
DIY controller

To be practical for regular use in my case, the car should be capable of travelling at 70km per hour, and have a range of 60km. I calculated this based on a round trip (and the highest speed limit on the way) to my girlfriend's house

The car ($200, plus $100 for a tow to get it to my house) will need a little panel beating and rust removal, which I believe I am capable of. Otherwise, it is a perfect host vehicle. It is small and light (570kg curb weight with ICE), and has a decent amount of space behind it for batteries. A friend has promised to mount the motor and machine an adapter plate for a case of beer, we're going to hold him to it.

At this early stage it looks like the most expensive part of the conversion will be registration ($700), a road-worthy certificate and engineer's certificate if necessary. These costs mean the project has already exceeded the budget, but we'll see what we can do to get around them.

I am setting up a blog to document the conversion, I'll put details on here ASAP.

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