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Old 07-08-2011, 02:54 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Smile Looking for a Car for EV conversion

Hi All, I am starting my search for my first conversion. I am looking for a very light car. So far I found ford Aspire, Civic hatchback, civic crx. Any other suggestions for a car?

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Old 07-08-2011, 06:46 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Provided you can find a place for all your batteries I think the CRX is the lightest in your list. IIRC My 89 DX was like 1,800 lbs curb weight.

What are your requirements, goals and preferences? You can convert almost anything to electric provided you have the will and budget to do so. I would start with your goals and requirements first.

Mine for example are it has to be big enough for two adults comfortable, a dog, and shopping bags, and ideally a 4 door.
My goals are a range of at least 20 miles, expandable in the future to 50+. 50MPH speed capable now, expandable to freeway speed.

With those goals any vehicle large enough is fine from a big old bus, to a little Saturn SL2. I'm leaning towards the Saturn because of its aesthetics, and price point and local availability.

I would prefer it have a running motor, be a manual, and I won't buy it without power windows, kudos for a sunroof. Under $1,000. I can afford more but I choose not too.

I need the car to work as is for about 6-12 months from the look of cash flow, and I don't plan to do much more then keep it on the road in the meantime. It all comes down to requirements/goals/preferences.
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Old 07-08-2011, 08:21 AM   #3 (permalink)
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have you looked at EV Photo Album: Our Electric Cars on the Web to see what others have done?
The CRX would be my last choice unless I could afford lithium batteries, that car is not built for much weight, when I was doing construction work I learned right away that I could not set my tools to far back or it would lift up the front end and make it unstable above 50mph.

I would go for a vehicle like a Kia, they are common and the engines have timing belt issues so they die early and often.
http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ELECT...#ht_500wt_1021

This one on Ebay someone already started and is selling as a part done project.

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Old 07-08-2011, 09:23 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I'd suggest basically any compact or sub-compact. If its an around town car focus on keeping the weight down. If its going to be a high speed car you should focus on finding a car with good aerodynamics. A great place to start is the wiki that has cDa for a lot of cars.

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Old 07-08-2011, 11:10 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Initial Goals

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Originally Posted by Daox View Post
I'd suggest basically any compact or sub-compact. If its an around town car focus on keeping the weight down. If its going to be a high speed car you should focus on finding a car with good aerodynamics. A great place to start is the wiki that has cDa for a lot of cars.
Initially I'd like to get a car that gets me around town (40mph) with a 30-40 mile range. However, I'd like to also get it to highway speeds with maybe a 60-80 mile range. A 2 seater would work for me. Therefore, I want to spend around 1000 initially.
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Old 07-08-2011, 12:07 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Thats quite a bit of range. Also, even at 40 mph aerodynamics are very important. I'd take a look over that list and choose a vehicle that has a low cDa.
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Old 07-08-2011, 12:20 PM   #7 (permalink)
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The lightest easily found vehicles tend to be the Subaru 360 line including the sedan, sambar van and pickup. The pickup and van are the easiest to convert and weigh between 920-1050lbs with the motor and gas tank still in place.

The next lightest include the old Honda n360 & 600 and many of the old Japanese cars from the 60/70's era. Don't forget your spiders, fiats, triumphs, yugos etc as they are all lightweight.

My commuta is small but not aero, modify one to be aero and you would have a winner and best yet its already electric.

If you want something more modern the Miles ZX40 which already is an EV can be found as rolling chassis for very low prices and also weigh in under 2k and are narrow enough to be somewhat aero. You also only pay $19 every 2 years for NEV plates.

If you can fab sheetmetal well an old Sambar van and boattail the roof and rear end, this would get you something light, small and moderately aero due to the very small frontal area.

Otherwise you are stuck with standard sub compact hatchback cars from the 80's and 90's like the metro and again a boattail does wonders above 25mph. The insight (gen 1) works OK as well.

Good Luck
Ryan
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Old 07-08-2011, 03:52 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Best aerodunamics

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Originally Posted by Daox View Post
I'd suggest basically any compact or sub-compact. If its an around town car focus on keeping the weight down. If its going to be a high speed car you should focus on finding a car with good aerodynamics. A great place to start is the wiki that has cDa for a lot of cars.
Looks like the crx is a great choice. Thanks.
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Old 07-13-2011, 08:02 PM   #9 (permalink)
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How about a 81 VW Rabbit diesel pick-up, with a shell that is almost aero. as is. Plenty of room in the bed for batteries, and I think it would be easy to modify the body to get great Cd numbers.

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