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Old 02-04-2013, 10:50 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Classic EV

Soooo. I'm the guy building the biodiesel 1955 Buick. As I near the finish line I have my next project in mind. I have a source for a 48v electric forklift motor and used batteries. :-) Anyone see where this is going? HA HA HA Soooo I have a basic concept. I want all electric, flat (ish) roof for solar panels, and some room for batteries. I don't need distance, looking to build a "city" car. I dont like much beyond 1965. Thinking for weight advantage and battery room.... 1920's or 30's pickup, but I want to survey folks.... What should my first classic vehicle EV conversion be????

P.S. keep it budget friendly, and no drop tops. so.... no dusenburgs etc... LOL (although if I found a free Bugatti type 57 I wouldn't be angry)

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Old 02-04-2013, 11:08 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I wouldn't bother with the solar panels on the vehicle, put them on the roof of your house facing the sun at the correct angle, pointing them straight up on the roof of a vehicle will give you very little output, covering the bed of a pickup truck might give you a mile range per day and cost you $1,000 while those same solar panels on the roof of your house will give you 2-3 times the output and be at a lower risk of being damaged.

If you want to go with lead acid batteries a truck wouldn't be a bad choice.

Everything you need to know about making an electric vehicle work is pretty straight forward, there is no real guess work in how fast or how far you will go with a given setup, it's just some basic math and a lot of EV web sites have calculators to help you figure this stuff out so you can take the guess work out of it.
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Old 02-04-2013, 11:11 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Ryland,

thanks for the suggestion about the panels. Luckily I have access to many fellow engineers and tools at work to help with my crazy ideas. However none of them are as eco-obsessed as I am.
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Old 02-05-2013, 01:32 AM   #4 (permalink)
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A car that would be interesting to electrify is the Nash Metropolitan. They weighed 1750lbs, front wheels partially enclosed, kind of aero, and can be found fairly cheap.
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Old 02-05-2013, 02:41 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I'm not too much into the electric cars scene, actually I still have some objections to them, which I have to admit are based in some stereotypes associated to its owners.

But if you'd going to perform an electric conversion I'd tell you to get a station-wagon (plenty of space for batteries and a large roof that can be covered with solar cells if you really want to have it on-board).
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Old 02-05-2013, 11:07 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MTXA View Post
A car that would be interesting to electrify is the Nash Metropolitan. They weighed 1750lbs, front wheels partially enclosed, kind of aero, and can be found fairly cheap.
That might be a good choice if you wanted to spend the money on Lithium batteries, but filling a little light car like that with lead acid batteries would be pointless and not many people want to do a budget build then put lithium batteries, unless of course they do the math and see that in the long term lithium is cheaper then buying a new set of lead acid batteries every 3-5 years.
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Old 02-05-2013, 12:26 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I might be the odd duck here but might I recommend converting something as small and light as possible. The lighter you go the less voltage, batteries, maintenance and expense there is to do your conversion and the more range you likely can get.

So the "best" (in my mind) vehicles to convert are

1. Subaru 360 (900-1100lb truck, car, station wagon or vw bus lookalike) 40 miles on 40ahr of lithium is very impressive indeed, regardless of voltage. These are rather common and easy to repair.

2. most any Renaults from prior to 1960

3. Certain peugots

4. Japanese Kei cars (which include pickup tucks up to 1 ton but small) prior to the government ban (aka you can legally get pre Regan ban 1985 year and older imported and on the road, normally)

5. Bubble cars, like the BMW Isetta

6. HMV freeway (sorry I had to)

7. King midget (some folks really decorate these things up beautifully, they are a true hobby lobby kit car erm jeepster)

8. If you do some F glass work perhaps a model T or any 30's era pickup, once the big iron block is out of there they would convert nicely, you may wish to streamline fenders sort of like the old buicks though and lower since they aren't aero friendly but better for in town driving.

9. VW Dune buggy or VW Ghia

10. Random old honda n360, toyota and other classic japanese cars and trucks which are very light D1000 comes to mind.

11. Various MG's

12. Citroen 2cv

Good Luck and remember to also ecomod the body since you will likely be replacing panels anyway.
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Old 02-05-2013, 03:47 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Right, if you can keep it small then buying lithium batteries will be on par with buying lead acid batteries for a larger vehicle and the all around performance goes up as well, but it doesn't sound like you want small, it sounds like you want an old classic look, right?
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Old 02-06-2013, 08:58 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rmay635703 View Post
If you do some F glass work perhaps a model T or any 30's era pickup, once the big iron block is out of there they would convert nicely, you may wish to streamline fenders sort of like the old buicks though and lower since they aren't aero friendly but better for in town driving
That sounds to be the best option, a custom-made replica. With those fiberglass body kits you can save weight and avoid rust.
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Old 02-08-2013, 02:46 PM   #10 (permalink)
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How about something like an old BMW, they tend to be small solid cars, rear wheel drive with some classic styling.

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