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Bedias, Texas
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Discussion Starter #1
Anyone done it????

We were planning to convert my 85 Nissan Stanza hatchback as soon as our brains unmelted (rebuilding the farm, kids....kids will make your brain melt. grin. I SWEAR I used to not be so stupid! grin) and then I forgot to put oil in the engine and my car that was going strong getting 45 mpg after 200,000 miles died. Just died.

SO since it needs a new motor anyway.......why not go ahead and put in an electric one??? Any suggestions on where we should begin? What we should read first??? Etc???

Anyone started a conversion and gotten through it alive????

Now that the time has come, I'm scared....grin. PLEASE let me know that normal mortals have done it! giggle. (I LOVE my car! I want to drive it till the sun falls out of the sky!!! grin.)

Thanks!!!
 

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Rockin In The Free World
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I looked into a bit - Bottom line : if you're going to drive an electric converted vehicle, you're probably doing it to make a statement (save the planet, go green, whatever) or because you like to tinker - because cost and convenience wise, electrical vehicle conversions are not that practical. Eg. $8000 for a conversion kit + the base vehicle + your time to convert it.

A Geo Metro appears to be a popular car to convert to electric because of its extremely light weight and the fact that most were standard transmission - but the car can get 50+ mpg on gasoline with almost no modifications anyway. $8000 will buy quite a bit of gasoline.

What appears to be gaining in popularity are "hypermilers" - folks modifying Geo Metros, Honda Civics, Ford Festivas, Suzuki Swifts, etc. to get maximum fuel efficiency on gasoline.
 

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I thought hypermilers were those people poking along at 30 kph and taking corners without brakes etc. no modifications although its a logical next step.
 

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Rockin In The Free World
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Yup, they call that little exercise "pulse and glide" (or similar) where they shut off the engine and try to get distance.

A guy in Ottawa (or similar) runs http://www.metrompg.com - detailing his Metro modifications - and lots of neat articles on fuel efficiency, other folks and their cars, etc.

Another electric car interesting tidbit is the documentary "Who Killed the Electric Car" - all about electric cars, big oil companies, GM, the EV1, etc.

Ross said:
I thought hypermilers were those people poking along at 30 kph and taking corners without brakes etc. no modifications although its a logical next step.
 

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Lindsay publications has a couple of books concerning vehicle conversions.
Electric & hydrogen. Would inter-library loan first to see if that's what you're looking for.
 

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Hi,

There are a couple good links/books with lots of detail here:

http://www.builditsolar.com/Projects/Vehicles/vhehicles.htm#Conversions

the Jerry's Electric Car Conversion, and the "Build Your Own ..." book (I think) are very good. The book is available used on Amazon for $10.

I've never done a conversion (have been thinking hard about it) -- my tentative conclusion is that these kinds of conversions make for a good get around town or into town car -- but range is limited. To me, it looks like the conversion labor and cost can be fairly reasonable -- but, I suppose (like everything) it turns out to be more work than it looks like :)


Gary
 

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OK, so i know a fellow that is a teacher at a high school that builds one about every three years. he has settled on chevy s-10 pickups with manual transmissions. his favorite motor is a ge unit that is used in electric fork trucks. with in reason the weight of the auto is not a concern since it will have to be loaded with lead/acid batteries anyway. the s-10 is an easy application.

he modifies the tuck box to tilt up like a dump truck. (this allows access to the batteries). builds racks under this body and around the frame to hold batteries (eight i think).
keeps the manual transmission but locks out first gear. (electric motor has too much torque to use it). the end of the s-10 crankshaft (part that bolts to the flywheel) is cut off and bored and keyed to fit the ge motor (thats where my machine shop becomes involved in the project). i made a print of the s-10 transmission bolt pattern and boltpattern of the ge motor (somewhere?) anyway we make an adaptor plate of 3/8 al plate to connect the ge motor and transmission together. this plate acts as motor/frame mount also.

two batteries go under the hood for a total of 10 or 120 volts. other than labor the killer is the electronic controller that varies the voltage to the motor. range is around 55 miles.
 

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Rockin In The Free World
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For all those folks interested in an electric car on a "beer budget", checkout the $700 "ForkenSwift"!

http://forkenswift.com/

Basically, a combination of an old electric forklift and a Suzuki Swift (ala Geo Metro, ala Pontiac Firefly, ala Chevy Sprint, ala Chevy Metro).

I must say, I've seen plenty of older electric forklifts at auction which basically sell for scrap steel prices.
 

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Rockin In The Free World
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Here is something neat - these appear to be Kei knockoffs but are electric powered. Notice that the steering wheels are all on the "North American" side of the vehicle - unlike the Kei vehicles. Apparantly these are LSV (low speed vehicles), reaching only 25mph with a 75 mile range.

I suppose if you're going to build an electric vehicle - patterning it after the small/light Kei vehicles would be a great place to start.

I have no idea if these folks are legit.

http://www.southcoastauto.us/
 

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wouldnt it be simpler and cheaper to simply put a 20hp diesel in it and run it on veggie diesel .
electric cars themselves may not pollute but when the batteries die they do.
a conversion isnt going to be practical you wont get regenerative braking not proper gearing to be efficient
 

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Rockin In The Free World
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Although I'm not an expert, I would think that one of the advantages of 100% electric vehicles when compared to combustion engine type vehicles is that the "pollution" can be more controlled. I.e. batteries could be recycled properly whereas combustion engines just exhaust into the air, wherever they may be. With battery powered vehicles - we also cannot forget that electricity has to come from somewhere, and that somewhere may be a coal burning power station.

Canada has had the "Smart Car" for awhile - a small 3 cylinder diesel powered vehicle. Apparantly, demand has been lukewarm - it does not appear as if many Canadians would even consider a "Microcar".

Why not a 20hp veggie diesel vehicle - I think the government should really step in and start offering real incentives for non-polluting vehicles like a veggie car - ya, they offer little incentive here and there, but if they're really serious about pollution, they have to do much more than they're doing now.

PyroDon said:
wouldnt it be simpler and cheaper to simply put a 20hp diesel in it and run it on veggie diesel .
electric cars themselves may not pollute but when the batteries die they do.
a conversion isnt going to be practical you wont get regenerative braking not proper gearing to be efficient
 
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