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Old 04-11-2009, 11:16 AM   #1 (permalink)
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My first electric "vehicle"

As promised in my intro post here are the details of my first electric vehicle build:

Not a car or motorcycle ... a train. I belonged to a club called Pioneer Valley Live Steamers we have ride-on trains that can pull as many as 40 people. Most are gasoline or steam powered but some are battery electric. They can cost thousands to buy, I build my engine for around $300.

While it's not exactly what this site has in mind the principles are the same: move people under alternative means.

The engine has two large 12V deep discharge batteries, a 1/3rd horsepower permanent magnet motor controlled by a wheelchair controller. (At least that's what the guy who sold it to me said.) The range was never reached even after hours of riding. It was a bit over powered for three people I had to be careful not to start too fast or the wheels would spin. Top speed was limited to 10 MPH, the track speed limit.

The engine was overbuilt, the frame can handle it's own load plus my 200 pound body without flexing a bit. Mostly square tubing welded to 1/8" steel plate. Weight was actually an advantage for traction on the track. I would estimate it weighs around 150 pounds. Oh, the radiator in the front is purely aesthetic.

The controller included regenerative braking so my hand control consisted of one button for forward, one for reverse, and a speed pot. Press the forward button, turn the knob and go. The buttons were momentary switches for safety. You had to keep them pressed to move.

Pictures show my kids riding with my brother-in-law.

First run picture

Bottom of engine

Batteries and motor


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Old 04-11-2009, 11:38 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Not a car or motorcycle ... a train.

Excellent! When people say it is like riding on rails, some really DO mean rails! That is great getting enough long time use out of 24 volts. I have 4 deep cell batteries - 48 volts only carrying 1 person; and I can almost hear the "oh no you don't" when I press the throttle.
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Old 04-11-2009, 08:32 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Electric Cycle - '81 Kawasaki KZ440
90 day: 334.6 mpg (US)

S10 - '95 Chevy S10
90 day: 30.48 mpg (US)

Electro-Metro - '96 Ben Nelson's "Electro-Metro"
90 day: 129.81 mpg (US)

The Wife's Car - Plug-in Prius - '04 Toyota Prius
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