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MetroMPG 02-06-2008 09:37 AM

Video: electric Saturn SL1
This is a good video. A pretty thorough look at a well done conversion, including commentary on the key issues & a nice on-road demo.

But holy smoke, there's a lot of lead in the trunk!


Daox 02-06-2008 10:23 AM

Nice video. Too bad he didn't mention the cost of the conversion. That is a LOT of batteries haha.

NoCO2 02-06-2008 10:39 AM

Wow, that's awesome! He is actually doing a decent, road worthy speed! As soon as I live somewhere that has a garage so I can plug it in at night, I would love to build one myself. Until then, however, I'm left to building my E-bike and taking it easy on the petrol burner.

MetroMPG 02-06-2008 10:43 AM

And you can bet he didn't include the replacement cost of those batteries in his "2 cents per mile" claims either!

(Neither did I when talking about the ForkenSwift's 3 cents/km, but I've got three packs worth of used batteries to swap around.)

NoCO2 02-06-2008 10:53 AM

How much does each of those battery packs cost roughly?

bennelson 02-06-2008 12:59 PM

Talk about a "lead-sled"!

He needs to ditch that roof rack!

Great looking conversion overall. Cockpit looks really nice - didn't go too crazy with instrumentation.

Gone4 02-06-2008 04:41 PM

This is the sort of conversion I was interested in trying eventually. Big batteries at a high voltage for some real distance and highway speeds. This place has forced me away from these and looking more into supplementing bicycling with hypermiling and ecomodding a gasser instead (or a scooter/motorcycle with a gasser if the area I land in after this May doesn't permit daily bicycle riding). This big conversions don't do anyone a favor for the wallet right now and are quite the time sink in comparison.

Still, this car is wicked cool :D

igo 02-06-2008 06:12 PM

This may be a beginner question: Why does his tachometer work? Does the electric motor spin at the same rpm as a conventional engine or is the tachometer read off of the transmission?

MetroMPG 02-06-2008 06:34 PM

He probably rigged the tach to read off the motor shaft.

One revolution of the electric motor will turn the transmission's input shaft once, just like the gas engine that used to be there.

WaxyChicken 02-06-2008 08:36 PM

I'd be more than happy driving that. :)
It looks like he did some good work on it.

cfg83 05-07-2008 12:14 AM

Hello -

I can't see the YouTube from where I am, so I might be posting the same :

A Jolt For Your Wallet?

They call it a glorified golf cart.

"The motor runs off 18 batteries."

An electric car that could give your wallet a jolt.

"This is a huge, huge money saver for people."

Tom Nicholls has partnered with a manufacturing company to create an all-electric car that costs just 3 cents a mile to run. Compare that to nearly 20 cents a mile with gas and you've got some extra cash.

So far, mechanics have put 500 man hours into converting a 1995 Saturn into an all electric ride. They've already bought a few more older cars, hoping interest will peak. ...

Found it by accident here :

Video: Michigan Company Converts a '95 Saturn SL1 into an Electric Car


Arminius 05-07-2008 12:26 AM

I wish they would include the cost of the batteries in the cost per mile.

MetroMPG 05-07-2008 09:41 AM

Me too. It's likely to be still less expensive than gas in a conversion like this, but still.

MetroMPG 05-07-2008 09:47 AM


all-electric car that costs just 3 cents a mile to run. Compare that to nearly 20 cents a mile with gas
More fudging!

20 cents per mile at $3.50/gallon = 17.5 mpg

They should at least compare apples to apples. IE - what was the cost per mile of the gas version of the Saturn they converted! The only way one of those could get 17.5 mpg is if you were driving around with the parking brake on. :)

Arminius 05-07-2008 06:03 PM

Deep-cycle batteries typically get 750 - 1000 charges before they die. That would probably mean replacement of all batteries every 2 to 3 years.

FX2.3 05-07-2008 09:05 PM

I would remove the roof rack.. and maybe get some cleaner rims..

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