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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I’m new to this forum, but interested in electric vehicles. I am very familiar with combustion motors because my dad is a mechanic who has taught me a lot. I love anything vehicles, and with the way of the world I believe we are transitioning to EV’s with a full head of steam. I recently acquired a 1963 Ford N600 that needs some work and turning it into an EV sounded like a cool idea. I’ve started my research into the components of an EV and so I have a general understanding. I’m trying to do this for fun and probably slowly due to budget. I have only figured out that I would like a single motor system that could hopefully utilize the original transmission somehow. That being said, I have determined that a motor around 200 hp is what I need to give me the proper torque for take off as well as at highway speeds which would be between 2000 and 3000 rpms. My range would be probably a max of 100 miles and less would be fine for what I’m looking to do. Any ideas, advice, products, suggestions, and concerns are welcome. Thank you in advance.
123262
 

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I don't know what work it needs, but at least the cab looks great from a distance. :)

Although it's an interesting-looking classic truck, mechanically it's just like converting any other conventional (longitudinal engine in front) vehicle. If you don't mind battery boxes hanging outboard of the frame (like the fuel tanks, but much larger), then the design is easy.

Unfortunately, even 100 miles will require as much battery capacity as a typical compact electric car needs for twice that distance... or more, depending on what the truck would be hauling. Also, while many EVs have a 200 HP (150 kW motor), they are not intended to work hard for more than a few seconds at a time (to accelerate); a medium-duty truck needs high power for extended periods, so it needs a big motor.

What is going to be on the back of the truck? What it is hauling (such as a large cargo box, or a wide deck) affects aero drag and thus power requirement and energy consumption, and the loaded weight matters, too.
 

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Any ideas, advice, products, suggestions, and concerns are welcome.

Do you intend to use this vehicle as a daily driver, with a lot of use. If not, you need to think about the greater good, big picture uses of the resources tied up in a project like this. Those of us doing more practical, genuine greenhouse gas reducing DIY projects need to have good access to the limited available resources. In particular, the batteries. The batteries are going to be in short supply into the near future, at least. Please consider this before you preceed.
 

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Do you intend to use this vehicle as a daily driver, with a lot of use. If not, you need to think about the greater good, big picture uses of the resources tied up in a project like this. Those of us doing more practical, genuine greenhouse gas reducing DIY projects need to have good access to the limited available resources. In particular, the batteries. The batteries are going to be in short supply into the near future, at least. Please consider this before you preceed.
Don't be too alarmed by this - electro wrks is having trouble getting a good deal on battery modules and is now telling everyone to not do their projects, which he deems unworthy.

I think it's a valid issue, but almost no conversion projects and very few new vehicle purchases would be worthy by this standard. Certainly, for instance, 155 kWh of battery is not justified in a Ford F-150 Lightning electric pickup that is mostly going to be driven to work and the shopping mall, so Ford should demand that Lightning buyers justify their purchases, and offer a Focus EV again for what people really do with their F-150's. Porsche should immediately discontinue the Taycan, in favour of a new VW model that can transport four people acceptably with one-quarter of the Taycan's battery capacity, since absolutely no one needs Taycan performance. And GM shouldn't even think about building a single GMC Hummer EV! ;)

But seriously... what (in volume and mass) is the truck going to need to carry?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I will only use it periodically. A couple times a month or more, but when I use it I want the capability. I haven’t decided on the bed, and may not put one. I don’t mind using all of the frame space I have for batteries just to make it look neat. I want to go to car shows and things and be able to drive in parades as well as Sunday driving with my wife. I’d say if it could pull 20,000 pounds 50 miles I’d be ecstatic. I want to keep it low budget and I have seen some heavy duty industrial 200 hp 3 phase motors for 1 to 2 thousand. After that what might be my cost for everything else and where do I shop? eBay? Also I care about the environment, but I’m not a greenhouse gas leftist. I drive a diesel. The power and mystery of electric power strikes my interest. I also feel no matter what the world is going that way. So this is just for fun.
 

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Don't be too alarmed by this - electro wrks is having trouble getting a good deal on battery modules and is now telling everyone to not do their projects, which he deems unworthy.

I think it's a valid issue, but almost no conversion projects and very few new vehicle purchases would be worthy by this standard. Certainly, for instance, 155 kWh of battery is not justified in a Ford F-150 Lightning electric pickup that is mostly going to be driven to work and the shopping mall, so Ford should demand that Lightning buyers justify their purchases, and offer a Focus EV again for what people really do with their F-150's. Porsche should immediately discontinue the Taycan, in favour of a new VW model that can transport four people acceptably with one-quarter of the Taycan's battery capacity, since absolutely no one needs Taycan performance. And GM shouldn't even think about building a single GMC Hummer EV! ;)
There was a bumper sticker going around during one of the gas crunches in the '70s that said: "They can starve in the dark, but I want my gas". So, a updated version of this for some people is: "They can drown in the floods and burn in the fires, but I want my batteries"???!!
 

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I will only use it periodically. A couple times a month or more, but when I use it I want the capability. I haven’t decided on the bed, and may not put one. I don’t mind using all of the frame space I have for batteries just to make it look neat. I want to go to car shows and things and be able to drive in parades as well as Sunday driving with my wife. I’d say if it could pull 20,000 pounds 50 miles I’d be ecstatic. I want to keep it low budget and I have seen some heavy duty industrial 200 hp 3 phase motors for 1 to 2 thousand. After that what might be my cost for everything else and where do I shop? eBay? Also I care about the environment, but I’m not a greenhouse gas leftist. I drive a diesel. The power and mystery of electric power strikes my interest. I also feel no matter what the world is going that way. So this is just for fun.
I have a '68 version of this truck. The little amount I drive it(which sounds like more than you would), it makes absolutely no sense to convert it to a battery powered vehicle. When I looked into converting my truck, the battery costs alone were $15,000 to $30,000 to have a loaded truck go in a rough guess ~100-180 miles. And, batteries have a calendar life of ~8-12 years, depending on their condition when they're installed. The calendar life is the length of time the batteries will last no matter how much(within their cycle life) or how little they are used. This is independent from the battery cycle life. This means I would have to shell out another $15,000 to $30,000 every ~8-12 years, just to replace the batteries, no matter how little I drove the truck. The other DIY projects I'm working on are much more practical uses of the limited number of batteries available.

brian will tell you about the limited options with industrial induction motors.

Would it be a fun project? No doubt, yes. brian, myself, and others have in the past come up great ideas for converting vehicles like this. And, in the future, if the batteries are available in good supply, let's do it. But please, not now. Also, my suggestion for you is to find a smaller, more practical project to build up your skills before you tackle a big project like this N600
 
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