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  #1  
Old 04-13-2009, 11:00 AM
stevesnj stevesnj is offline
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Default New Company Help!! Startup here in NJ

Hi, My name is Steve and I from New Jersey just about 5 min from Philadelphia. I am a Special Education Instructor at a Trade High School and assist in the Pre-Engineering Shop. I not only help the Special Ed Students but I interact with the regular Ed students. I have always been talented with the mechanics of cars and motorcycles and I LOVE being able to help the Pre-Engineering students learn mechanical engineering.

Anyway, a few sophomore students of mine started their senior project of creating an electric go-cart here is their WiKi WesTTechEV so this gave me the jump start to work with a few graduated and current seniors that have the same interest in EV's. So one of my last year seniors and I purchased a 1990 Mazda Miata and we have removed the engine and trans. and are in the process of removing the gas tank (not easy).

We decided to make this a Demo Vehicle for a local conversion company. We would take in customers vehicle to be converted and convert it to EV. Though this may not happen for another year until we convert our first 'customer' car we have the ambition but alas not the start up money. We are committed to use the best quality parts for the customer for long term use and reliability. I have contacted AC Propulsion but they were not even interested in talking to me. I therefore will be piecing the parts together from research of what to use as far as Motor, Transmission, Batteries, AC, power Steering etc. A few of the seniors are experienced from our Electronics Shop so I am happy about their help and their possible permanent employment.

I understand that I have a lot of hurdles yet but here are my main stopping points and hopefully someone here can help me out. So here are a few things someone can help me with.

1. Government Grant, Tax Credit, or Loan for starting an EV Conversion Company...is there any available?

2. Motor Type - Azure Dynamics AC24 with Forward, Reverse, neutral buttons. Programable Regen. and Economy and performance mode.
Wanted to use AC Propulsion kit but may not happen they don't deal with the common man.

3. Transmission -Going Direct Drive

4. Batteries - Thunder Sky Batteries 200Ah

5. Marketing to convert customers ICE vehicle to EV. - A big hurdle if not the biggest.

What do you think? I know the controller isnt on there I am still looking but ideas are appreciated.

I will have more updates on the company progress...wish me LOTS of luck!

EDITED - Using Azure Dynamics and Direct Drive and TH 200Ah batteries

Last edited by stevesnj; 01-24-2010 at 01:16 PM.
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  #2  
Old 12-05-2009, 10:57 PM
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Default Re: New Company Help!! Startup here in NJ

Hi, Steve, First let me say the best of luck to you on an EV startup in the current economic climate.

Regarding a Government Grant for a startup, My negative experience has been even though I incorporated as a Non-Profit, I was told until you are in successful business for two years no Government agency will give you a Grant. However, you may be able to share a grant with your local "State employment agency" as they are given lots of grant opportunities to share with several "Sub Grantees" who provide employment and "On Job Training" for their workers. So talk with the "Grant" person at "Workforce"

If you look at the thread for Electric Vehicle Technical Institute Inc. I am Dennis, that is my startup and I've been working at fund raising for over a year. We need to share positive and negative experiences and help each other as our locations make us non-competitive, And as a former Secondary Special Ed and both secondary and Adult Vocational Instructor for 20 years I am sympathetic to your cause. I DO WISH YOU LOTS OF LUCK!

Check out my website at http://Home.RR.COM/ElectricVehicle My contact info is there too. I think I can save you some "Dead Ends" also.

Answering your other questions,A few AC systems are available thru dealers and they sell controller and motor as a matched design pair. However Series DC is much more common, economical and well proven.

Manual transmissions have been the favorite as some modifications need to be made to the automatics and they are heavier and use "some" Hp. to control the transmission shifting. Using NO transmission can be done but a more powerful motor/controller is necessary.

Batteries, ThunderSky has had a bad reputation in the distant past, many others are available with a more reliable customer service reputation. Some report improvement...

The "Best" business plan (IMHO) is to have people bring you their drivable auto/p-up for conversion, pay for the kit and labor to install at $9,000 + $5,000 and when you complete the job in two weeks or so they drive their EV home! And your $5,000 is already in your Bank! Where as building a complete conversion and then attempting to sell it at a profit can be impossible.

Package Marketing has been done with SOME success on E-Bay and Craig's List, and even in local newspapers! That is where the customer pays, then a vehicle is purchased and Converted, and Delivered in a time frame of about 30 days.

So Steve, contact me, You may want to Franchise my Institute and use your conversion shop to teach EV Service, Repair, Building and Conversions. I think we could help each other...

Best Regards,
Dennis Miles, (Director)
Electric Vehicle Technical Institute Inc.
in Tampa Bay Region of Florida
---Phone: (863) 289 - 0690 ---

Last edited by Electric Car-Nut; 12-14-2009 at 05:19 PM. Reason: missed some grammatical errors.
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  #3  
Old 12-06-2009, 04:25 AM
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Default Re: New Company Help!! Startup here in NJ

Quote:
Originally Posted by stevesnj View Post
3. Transmission - some say Auto is the way to go some say Auto won't work. I believe that the trans fluid in an Auto needs to be pumping at all times to work. So I may need to buy a manual trans?
On THIS question I can give you some feedback at least (the rest not so much). Dimitri, our happy(?) Guinnea pig, run our controller in a car with automatic transmission. He jury rigged up a resistor that made the motor run at low rpm at all times which worked fairly well although the RPM increased when the fluid got warmer. I also think he did something to the shifting point of the tranny so it shifts at higher RPM than it did with ICE since electric motors are more efficient at higher RPMs.

Now we've added an idle rpm-function in the controller to be able to support not only automatic transmissions but also servo pumps, AC etc. Sure, it probably cut down the range a few percent to add stuff like that, but I, personally, believe that most people out there DON'T want a Beetle stripped to the bones.

Manual transmission is probably the most efficient choice though, but I wonder if the difference is that huge with a modern tranny.

Direct drive is cool, however that doesn't go for the motor (being cool, that is). Since voltage over the motor follows RPM (more or less) it means to get the same amount of power you need to raise the current as RPM drops. This means you need a bigger controller but it ALSO means that the heat generated in the motor increases (since losses are proportional to current), which is the reason efficiency drops. This also means that you need better cooling of the motor. For a car that has to be able to do >100 km/h this might still mean that, for example, going slowly uphill will overheat the motor unless you choose a seriously over dimensioned motor. Probably not a practical solution for a commuter.

Quote:
Originally Posted by stevesnj View Post
I will have more updates on the company progress...wish me LOTS of luck!
Good luck! There's a lot of things to keep track of and tons of annoying details that can go wrong. Read a lot before you start, begin with the wiki and forum here, don't forget to read and watch http://www.kiwiev.com/ and ask a lot of stupid questions!
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I like the Soliton's hi-tech build and ability to deliver whopping doses of current until someone screams "Uncle!"
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Old 12-06-2009, 01:38 PM
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Default Re: New Company Help!! Startup here in NJ

Quote:
Originally Posted by stevesnj View Post
So one of my last year seniors and I purchased a 1990 Mazda Miata and we have removed the engine and trans. and are in the process of removing the gas tank (not easy).
Someone here - evlowrider - just showed some pics of a very clever way of removing the fuel tank from above... he's in New Zealand where they call the Miata the MX-5. Search for the thread here.


Quote:
Originally Posted by stevesnj View Post
1. Government Grant, Tax Credit, or Loan for starting an EV Conversion Company...is there any available?
There are tax credits for the customer, yes, and there are government grants, etc., for the shop, but practically speaking you won't be able to get one until you have an established business. A classic "Chicken or the Egg" type of scenario.


Quote:
Originally Posted by stevesnj View Post
2. Motor Type - Siemens 1PV5135WS28 3 Phase Induction Motor. Wanted to use AC Propulsion kit but may not happen they don't deal with the common man.
That is an impressive motor, for sure, but given that it is specifically produced for at least one EV (THoRR), I doubt you'll be able to buy it.

Same for the ACP stuff... they don't deal with individuals and low-volume conversion shops. If you insist on AC then for now your options are Curtis, HPG and Solectria.


Quote:
Originally Posted by stevesnj View Post
3. Transmission - some say Auto is the way to go some say Auto won't work. I believe that the trans fluid in an Auto needs to be pumping at all times to work. So I may need to buy a manual trans?
Auto trannies work perfectly fine, and they seem to waste only slightly more power when driving than a manual (I don't have any "apples to apples" data on this, though). You do need a controller that can "idle" the motor - this is a function that is in beta test right now for the Soliton1 - but you can "kludge" this function by modifying the throttle pot so it doesn't return to 0 except when starting (see fellow member dimitri for more info on this).

Frankly, most people are not going to give up automatics, power steering or a/c just to "go green", so taking the range hit to idle the motor is pretty much inevitable.


Quote:
Originally Posted by stevesnj View Post
4. Batteries - Had my eye on Thunder Sky Batteries ThunderSky 160Ah
We don't have extensive experience with them yet, but their capacity seems to be accurate (unusual for a Chinese manufacturer, to say the least) and the prices they are going for truly make lead non-competitive unless up-front cost is the ONLY consideration.


Quote:
Originally Posted by stevesnj View Post
5. Marketing to convert customers ICE vehicle to EV. - A big hurdle if not the biggest.
The best thing you can do is to do a really nice conversion and put your company's name/website on it then drive it around everywhere you need to go. People WILL be interested, and they will call/seek you out.

One bit of business advice: you probably want to team up with an experienced mechanic, especially one who knows about running a shop, because it is really easy to underestimate the amount of labor involved in a conversion, and the computers in late model vehicles will give you fits if you don't know how to fool them.
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Old 12-06-2009, 02:26 PM
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Default Re: New Company Help!! Startup here in NJ

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Originally Posted by Electric Car-Nut View Post
Sorry Dude, The Swevicishe quotes comezn oit as gibberisch and therefore fail to amuse 95% if the readers.
Relevance to thread?
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Old 12-07-2009, 07:17 AM
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Default Re: New Company Help!! Startup here in NJ

This thread is taking an odd turn, especially considering the original post was 8 months ago Dennis, what's with the hostility?
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Old 12-07-2009, 08:03 AM
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Default Re: New Company Help!! Startup here in NJ

Quote:
Originally Posted by Electric Car-Nut View Post
AC propulsion must be purchased thru one of their dealers, and they only make the Controller,the motor comes from "Lincoln" and they sell as a matched design pair.
Hi Dennis,

Please give me your source or otherwise verify that the ACP motor comes from "Lincoln".

Thanks,

major
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Old 12-07-2009, 12:27 PM
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Default Re: New Company Help!! Startup here in NJ

Quote:
Originally Posted by Electric Car-Nut View Post
???? Look to "Qer" his post at 5:25 Yesterday??? What is all that giberish the bottom half of Qer's post. That is what I'm talking about.

Don't try to start a war with me, "Tesseract," I graduated from "Dixie Hollins High School in Kenneth City And back in the '60s It was the toughest bunch of kids in Pinellas County. And with 20 years of teaching experience including two years teaching Special Ed. in a Youth residential detention facility I know all the "Wise acre" comebacks.

Speaking of the "Soliton 1, have you seen any installed in a EV that wasn't for an employee of "Rebirth Auto" ??? Thats all I can find on the EV Album...

Now if they sold them at buy one, get one free they might become more popular.

LOL LOL (:-)) I said Be careful of your comments to me! You never know who knows who you are and who you work for... Are they selling any now that the Zilla is back in production? How can you make money with only a share of a 500 unit per year market? After all "Courtis" sells to the fork lift and Golf cart markets.
Electric Car Nut,

Let me clear up a few things:

1) The swedish thing is a joke signature. It's on every post of Qer's. You can have a signature as well. It's controllable in the User CP.

2) Tesseract is a long time, major contributor to this site, meaning he's helped many people through their conversions.

3) I read the thread and didn't see anyone trying to "start a war" with you. Not sure where you're coming from on that. He commented on your comment about the swedish signature and replied on some points.

You're welcome to be here but I'll say what I say to everyone: Play ball or get out of the ballpark. People are not here to fight or cause problems. Please treat others with respect. If you have a problem with someone, please report it to me before making a public scene.

Thank you.
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Old 12-07-2009, 04:21 PM
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Default Re: New Company Help!! Startup here in NJ

Ok Mr Green, I've been mostly lurking in the background under another name for seven months before I changed my E-mail to Electric@car-nut.net and installed myself under that name instead. I am a lot more familiar with conversions and I have been in Electricity and Electronics since 1957 so I have many valid points and concepts which I enjoy sharing. Both here and on the EVDL list.

Unfortunately, I sometimes read and comment before taking my Hypertension Medication and I get unsocially belligerent until a half hour after taking the prescribed medications daily. Now that my blood pressure is near normal, I would like to say I am sorry I was far too belligerent in my comments to Tesseract, in fact he is one of the individuals I was hoping to get to know, from contact on this forum. (I'm told by friends in Black Bay near Tarpon Springs that his Solatron 1 design is very good actually.)
Because I have a Bachelors in Business and a propensity to give mostly correct and helpful advice, there are many threads I want to contribute to. In a positive way, but I hadn't noticed how OLD the first or opening request for information was. In my opinion, it would be useful to arrange the posts that start threads to give some measure of timeliness like "Todays replies," and to be able to track from those to the earlier parts of those topics of interest.

As you said,"You're welcome to be here but I'll say what I say to everyone: Play ball or get out of the ballpark. People are not here to fight or cause problems. Please treat others with respect. If you have a problem with someone, please report it to me before making a public scene."

I am appreciative of your willingness to grant me a second chance to be polite, I will try.

Sincerely, Respectfully, Dennis "Electric car-nut"

PS: My wife may have pegged me correctly, She put a banner on my office wall that says, "Everyone is Entitled to My Opinion ! D.
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Old 12-07-2009, 05:13 PM
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Default Re: New Company Help!! Startup here in NJ

Hi Major,

< Regarding, "Please give me your source or otherwise verify that the ACP motor comes from "Lincoln". Thanks, major >

I was told by Wayne, whom I consider a reliable source that when he ordered an AC system from his supplier, (IIRC, it was EV Parts) who is a dealer for ACP that the controller was labeled with a nameplate from ACP but the motor nameplate said "LINCOLN" (same company that makes Lincoln Welders.) The finished S-10 was having a sh sh sh shudder problem at second and third gear shift and accelerate that was finally cured by firming up the motor mount, it was too soft. Because the AC system was so difficult to troubleshoot, he has put a BIG 350 hp series DC motor in his new personal vehicle an "El-Camino" He says the takeoff almost strains his neck and easily smokes the tires even with most of the batteries in the back between the frame rails under the bed. He says that if someone will buy "Electric Blue Conversions" then he wants to move to Florida! I told him seriously I would like to hire him to teach at my school, "Electric Vehicle Technical Institute Inc." in the Tampa Bay Region.

So, Major, although it might be hearsay in court I trust my source. Dennis, Electric@car-nut.net
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