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Old 08-23-2008, 07:23 PM   #1 (permalink)
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electric Saturn SL1 to buy or not to buy

Up for question is a '97-'98 SL1, it has a Komatsu fork lift motor, an Alltrax 500amp controller (I think), it manual but the motor is directly connected to the tranny. it has about 20(can't remember) standard batteries not deep cycle, running at 48V(i think). The range was about 20mi but now it is only about 10mi. So it needs new batteries(what is a good choice? optima?), the motor is not very efficient, and it could take some heavier suspension. The gentleman said he thought about selling it on ebay,but would rather sell it local. He would sell it to me for $5,000, is it worth is?

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Old 08-23-2008, 07:41 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Given what darin's done with the forkenswift, I wouldn't pay that kind of money, but I don't know what the current market is and how much labor is worth to you.
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Old 08-23-2008, 07:41 PM   #3 (permalink)
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You're talking about a completed EV sans batteries! I would do some research and price some batteries for the range and performance you want and if replacing the batteries+labor+car<$10,000 I'd jump on it, but then again I've been wanting an EV just to nerd out in for a while.

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Old 08-23-2008, 08:23 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I'd maybe talk him down a bit, but you would have a chassis all set up for an EV. All you'd have to do is upgrade stuff down the road
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Old 08-24-2008, 10:42 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Just beware: I've seen some pretty poorly built EVs put together to sell to people since gas prices have gone up.

Find out if the car has an EV Album entry that lists its specs in more detail. Too hard to offer any advice without more info.
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Old 08-28-2008, 12:10 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Try to get in contact with your closest local chapter of the Electric Automobile Association.

All the members are super nice and helpful. They could give you some more guidence.

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Old 08-28-2008, 12:31 AM   #7 (permalink)
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you would be buying a car with an electric motor installed and some wiring done, from what I've been told about the 500 amp controllers they can cut out when you are asking for that amazing torque that electric motors can give, my 1,400lb electric car can draw over 500 amps at 48 volts while pulling away from a stop sign, so your controller will need an upgrade, battery and motor cables might need an upgrade to, you already said that you need new batteries, deep cycle traction batteries are what you want, something like Trojan T105 (6 volt, 210amp hour deep cycle golf cart batteries), but before you buy this car check out web sites that sell electric car kits to get an idea of what you are buying, compared to what you could do with an off the shelf kit, $5,000 seems high, $2,000 seems more reasonable if you can drive it home, if you have to tow it then $1,000 if the car is in good shape, if it was a beater then it's worth what a beater is worth.
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Old 08-31-2008, 06:44 PM   #8 (permalink)
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yeah ive thought about it and i dont think ill buy it for a few reasons 1. i have a car and dont need another, 2. I can drive my corolla for about for about the same cost(i know cost isnt everything but...) 3. I want to do some experiments with pulse motors(man i remember that someone on here has a rotor of one as their avatar) before i dump some money into something with low driving range. Ive have also been throwing the idea around for a air powered car. I would just love to enter the X Prize with something.

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