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Old 11-13-2008, 01:29 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Aliso Viejo, CA
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Sharky - '08 Mitsubishi Lancer GTS
90 day: 25 mpg (US)

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Smile Hey, new guy here!

I wanted to introduce myself and give a bit of background.

I am 24, and Canadian. I have grown up in a home where using anything in excess was rude and a waste. My mother is extremely eco friendly.
I moved to the US (southern California) 4 years ago and somehow managed to get used to wasting half of my food (mamma mia!), buying SUVs and NOT RECYCLING!!!!

When I met my wife it got worse.

The guilt built for too long though and I started to get back to my roots. I now have us recycling, I've taught my wife how to hypermile and we no longer leave lights and electrical equipment on when we are not using them.

That leads me to our cars. I drive Sharky, my 08 Lancer (how I got it is a super long story, maybe another day) and my wife has a BMW 325i. She HAS to drive a tough car. She is a very poor driver and I don't feel safe with her in anything that can't act like a tank. However she uses that car to mull around town and go shopping and it is one of the most inefficient cars I've ever owned for that.

So my natural instincts kicked in. I am an electronics freak. I've been taking things apart my whole life. It only made sense to find a better option for her, and myself when we need to run errands. I couldn't figure out the best option though. Buying a prius made little sense. My wife won't drive an old beater and why would I want to put something that pollutes more on the road?

When visiting instructables and looking for a side project for ways to build cheap solar and wind generators I ran into a few EV projects and then it hit me... I need to build an EV. Not only because it will save money, but because I LOVE projects and as a bonus I can get the word out just by driving it around town that an EV is practical.

I'm very excited to get my project under way and implement a lot of the ideas I have into the car.

Status: Looking for a donor and keeping my eyes peeled for a cheap and dependable forklift motor.

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Old 11-13-2008, 02:04 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Welcome to the site braddd. EV projects are a blast. I just started my own recently. What kind of car are you looking to convert?
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Old 11-13-2008, 02:10 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Join Date: Nov 2008
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Sharky - '08 Mitsubishi Lancer GTS
90 day: 25 mpg (US)

Gusz - '06 BMW 325I
90 day: 24.11 mpg (US)
Thanks: 2
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I am contemplating a 1992 Miata Convertible for now. But we will see how that plays out.
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Old 11-13-2008, 02:38 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Blackfly - '98 Geo Metro
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Last 3: 70.09 mpg (US)

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90 day: 52.07 mpg (US)

Winter beater Metro - '00 Chevrolet Metro
90 day: 61.98 mpg (US)

Fancy Metro - '14 Mitsubishi Mirage top spec
90 day: 58.72 mpg (US)

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An EV can be a tinkerer's dream. After the major build is done... optimizing! It's a lot of fun.

I'd be wary of getting into an EV project to save money though, unless you're talking along the lines of getting out of a monthly car payment by switching to a budget conversion. Not saying it can't be done, of course.

My EV costs me money overall, because it's an additional car in the fleet, requiring maintenance, insurance and batteries that wear out. Even at record high gas prices this summer, the higher efficiency & comparitively lower operating cost doesn't come close to making up the difference.

But I wouldn't give it up! It's practical in its intended use, a total blast to drive (slowly ), a stimulating ongoing project, and a great conversation piece.

What are your range/speed targets for your vehicle? Budget?

And welcome to EM!
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Old 11-13-2008, 02:44 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Sharky - '08 Mitsubishi Lancer GTS
90 day: 25 mpg (US)

Gusz - '06 BMW 325I
90 day: 24.11 mpg (US)
Thanks: 2
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No, this isn't meant to replace anything. The goal is just to have a fun project. I am a Jeep guy, I've owned and rebuilt several and I enjoy playing. I figured this time I should build something a bit more eco friendly and different. So I consulted my wife and she said "Sure... I'd drive it. So long as it isn't ugly like a Geo Metro or something stupid like that!"

My DREAM would be to have it able to reach 50mph on a regular basis. Able to travel 50miles range (excluding idling at lights) and a 12 hour charge time.

I plan on building this car over a year and my goal is a $5k budget. I want to find most of the stuff to get me going very cheap. The donor car budget is 1k. My goal is to find as much stuff as I can at junk yards and donations, and by contacting local companies and having them donate parts in exchange for advertising space on my car.
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Old 11-13-2008, 02:57 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Vegan Powa! - '91 Honda CRX DX
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Welcome to ecomodder! Good luck with your EV plans, you'll definitely fit right in,
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Old 11-13-2008, 02:57 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: 1000 Islands, Ontario, Canada
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Blackfly - '98 Geo Metro
Team Metro
Last 3: 70.09 mpg (US)

MPGiata - '90 Mazda Miata
90 day: 52.07 mpg (US)

Winter beater Metro - '00 Chevrolet Metro
90 day: 61.98 mpg (US)

Fancy Metro - '14 Mitsubishi Mirage top spec
90 day: 58.72 mpg (US)

Even Fancier Metro - '14 Mitsubishi Mirage top spec
90 day: 70.75 mpg (US)
Thanks: 3,811
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$5k / 50 mph / 50 mi. Very... symmetrical.

Totally do-able, except the range target may be a stretch, based on my limited knowledge. You'd likely be able to reach that distance only on a spanky new set of batteries to very high depth of discharge, under optimal weather, road & traffic conditions.

Looking forward to the antics. I see you've got a domain ready to document it all - good stuff.
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Honda mods: Ecomodding my $800 Honda Fit 5-speed beater
Mitsu mods: Oops, I did it again! Bought another cheap, 3-cylinder Mirage. Mods in progress...
Ecodriving test: Manual vs. automatic transmission MPG showdown



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www.MetroMPG.com - fuel efficiency info for Geo Metro owners
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Old 11-13-2008, 03:02 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Aliso Viejo, CA
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Sharky - '08 Mitsubishi Lancer GTS
90 day: 25 mpg (US)

Gusz - '06 BMW 325I
90 day: 24.11 mpg (US)
Thanks: 2
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I appreciate the warm welcome guys.

Yes, I am a computer programmer by trade so I have the ability to do a lot online. That stems from my childhood. I just have a very functional linear mind - patterns and construction fascinate me.

My main focus here is going to be - as you said - batteries for my range. I need to look into what size motor I will need in conjunction with the battery pack for optimal use.

If I can get it to 55mph for 35 miles I can probably commute in the car. My drive now is 5 miles at 40mph, highway (can flasher at 55 in the right lane) for 25 miles and then 5 miles at 45. I need to find a way to easily calculate my needs.
That's a real dream, my focus right now is just to get something for short trips around town. Maybe a commuter is a second project?

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