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Old 01-17-2010, 03:01 AM   #1 (permalink)
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New W/Conversion Questions

Hello all. You have an incredible forum here. I have been wanting to do an EV conversion for about a year an need some suggestions before I make some purchases. I already have a donor car. It's a 1992 Toyota Celica, with a blown 4cyl and a 5spd. I am a mechanic and fabricator, so all of the modifications I have seen seem well within my capabilities. I am going back to school to finish my degree in Mechanical Engineering and would like to have this as a commuter. From what I have been reading, it seems that I will run into problems with the distance I need to go. My budget is about $2500, and I haven't seen anyone do a conversion that can go the 90+ miles round trip at speeds of 60mi/hr for that price. I have worked with motors and controllers before also, so I have the basic understanding of what is necessary and why. I am not worried about being speedy, but I would like to drive back and forth without having to recharge, and also use my headlights at night. Is this an impossiblity? Please let me know what suggestions would be for motor, controller, pot, and batteries assuming I can do all the work myself without having to pay for any of the work to be done. I am a proficient welder and machinist, so making the mounts, conversion hub and adapterplate are not a problem. Thanks again, and I look forward to hearing what is possible.

P.S.
I'd like to add that I am in a rural part of northern California. The commute is flat with no hills and only about 5 miles of my 90 is stop and go. Sometimes I go twice a day. I am checking on the possibility of a recharge station on campus. If there is one, I would be on campus for about 3hrs then return home.

All of you will be happy to know the school I am attending is currently 60% powered sustainably, and will be over 100% by the end of the 2010 calender year.


Last edited by paule67; 01-17-2010 at 03:54 AM.. Reason: Forgot to add specifications
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Old 01-19-2010, 02:05 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Welcome to EcoModder. My name is Jimbo, I'm an EV mechanic from Minnesota. And now I'm going to be a jerk...

Not a chance in hell. Sorry Paule67. You can do a conversion for $2500, or you can do a conversion that goes 90 miles on a charge.
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Old 01-19-2010, 05:12 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Question

Hello, welcome !
I'm no expert in the field of conversions or advanced mechanics even but I'm thinking, did you consider finding a smaller donor car..I mean the smallest you can find, maybe do a bit of weight stripping to get it to a very low weight..I'm thinking maybe like 1200-1400 lbs and maybe, just maybe that might be able to go 90+ miles on a single charge...
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Old 01-19-2010, 01:02 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Seriously, there is only one car that can do 90 miles on a lead acid pack: The Solectria Sunrise. The most efficient production car ever, the GM EV1, couldn't do it. Unless you add at least one more zero to your budget, you don't have a chance.

If you're still interested, lets talk Lithium or Cadmium and AC drive.
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Old 01-19-2010, 01:31 PM   #5 (permalink)
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If I remember correctly 270-300 watt hours per mile is pretty common for an EV, lead acid batteries shouldn't go below 50% discharge, my most recent EV battery pack was around 6 watt hours per dollar of usable battery, or $50 per mile of range for battery cost for lead acid, the last sale Email that I got from foxx power their cost for lithium batteries is around 2.1 watts per dollar or $143 per mile of range for battery cost.
Even if you have a source for free batteries (scrap value is 12 cents per pound last I called so $8 per T105 battery) and can find the space for the extra batteries with your reduced capacity... at some point you are going to haul around so much lead it's not going to be worth it.
It's going to be cheaper to move, even at $2,500 budget it would most likely be cheaper to move.
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Old 01-20-2010, 08:31 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Thanks guys for your help. I am not ready to give up yet. I am moving over to the fossil fuel free forum. I think I can do it fairly close to my price. I am thinking of doing the standard conversion, that will give me about 20-25 miles, but having a small trailer to "plug-in" with the extra capacity of batteries for my commuting. I am figuring around the $2500 for the "conversion" and $1500 for the trailer. That way I woun't kill the drivability of the car and have the possibility of taking it for trips too. Does this sound better?
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Old 01-20-2010, 09:28 PM   #7 (permalink)
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NOW your speaking my language

25 miles is easily attainable, though you're going to end up with crummy batteries at that price.

I future project of mine is a Saturn Z-Block powered range extender. I'll be back with links!
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Old 01-22-2010, 03:49 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Here is a battery trailer for an old Chrysler van

1993 Chrysler TEVan - BEV
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Old 01-25-2010, 04:50 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paule67 View Post
Thanks guys for your help. I am not ready to give up yet. I am moving over to the fossil fuel free forum. I think I can do it fairly close to my price. I am thinking of doing the standard conversion, that will give me about 20-25 miles, but having a small trailer to "plug-in" with the extra capacity of batteries for my commuting. I am figuring around the $2500 for the "conversion" and $1500 for the trailer. That way I woun't kill the drivability of the car and have the possibility of taking it for trips too. Does this sound better?
Way to go! Stick around and post any questions, you will find everyone here very helpful.

When you start on your project make sure you post pictures so that you can encourage other EV conversions out there.

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