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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
instead of buying a third vehicle (a truck... which would still be awful useful), i'm thinking of converting my 62 chevy corvair convertible to ev. it's a sunday, fair weather rat and i'm sick of dealing with bad gas, dirty/out of adjustment carbs and such. so i'm thinking ev would be nice. especially since, as a third car/my main car is broke/cafe cruiser, i wouldn't have to worry so much about mothballing the car for months at a time. right? anyway, the q/a:

Your skill level with auto mechanics and fabrication:

moderate/novice. no welding skills/desire, no machine tools handy

The range you are hoping to get (how many miles/charge)

50 on level ground, my commute/area has a decent valley crossing so 30 with hills.

What level of performance you are hoping to get:

70 m/hr on freeway

How much money you are willing to put into your project

$3k

What parts you've already considered, if any.

dc motor, lead acid bats. didn't know that using a transmission works until reading a little on the site.

used parts are preferred to lower costs.

i'm looking for a blueprint and pointers. where to buy the necessary parts (motor, batts, motor controller), how to go about it, feasibility, etc. thanks.
 
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Good vehicle but on the heavy side. Plenty of room for your LITHIUM battery pack. A good 9" DC motor should do fine. 156 volts should suffice and a good Soliton1 will fit the bill for your controller. You will need a large pack of 200 AH TS or CALB cells. You will want to retain your clutch and you will be using your transaxle. With the Corvair and VW you have a transaxle.

Your performance will be good but your budget must be much higher to do this conversion. Batteries are going to be your single most expensive component but there are plenty of other expensive parts too and yes you can hunt and scrounge for good used parts to lower your cost. We all understand about the tight budgets.

Pete :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
bah. how much more...?

weight loss could be done. remove the top, rear seats, door panels, side glass, carpet. run a tonneaueueueue cover, plastic buckets. alloy wheels. shave emblems/stainless/shrouds, etc

what am i looking at, sans battery? any motor adapters already in production?

spending 10k or more would be out of the question for a spare tire. if the parts aren't there yet for a reasonable build, i guess i'll just have to wait...
 
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Parts are available for reasonable costs but you have to hunt for them. Even with hunting for good used parts that would be suitable for your ride and you use lead acid batteries you still won't meet your budget goal. You could spend $3k just on lead batteries alone. Don't bother with vehicle weight loss. That is not the issue. If you go lead it will be a lead sled and will more than likely be over the vehicles weight limits or very close and you still won't get 50 miles at a decent speed. Life for lead sucks too. Look at about $12K for lithium batteries alone. Doing a conversion won't come cheap. Even if you scrounge. Heck my first lead sled conversion including the cost of the vehicle came to $3200. Top distance was around 20 miles pushing it at a decent speed. in reality distance for lead sleds just sucks. Unless of course you only drive in town at speeds that don't top 40 mph and you only need about 10 miles per day.

Taking a seat out or spare tire out won't gain you much of anything. It's more rolling resistance than actual weight that is the issue. You won't be able to take out much anyway. Surely not enough to make a difference in a street car. Keep your stuff and keep the vehicle looking good. You can do the conversion.

I do not know where folks are getting that they can do a killer conversion for $3k or less and get 50 miles per charge at freeway speeds and be able to go 80 mph or better.

Expectations are quite high for the budget.

Go have a look here and get an idea of what others have spent and what they get for their money. http://www.evalbum.com/

Use the search function on the top of the page and type in any kind of vehicle you desire and they may have someone who has done a conversion. A lot of them list the total cost and much is the cost of the conversion.

Heck, I spent $900 on my adaptor, $1600 on controller, $2700 on batteries. That tops your total budget already and I got some good quality stuff but also got some bargains in the process. One of my motors was only $400 bucks. Damn good one too. One was $700 and came with an adaptor plate already installed. So go look at costs for components and stuff too.

Do some parts hunting on EVDL as well. Look under ev resources and have a look in the trading post. Some items are from those who purchased and found out that they were not going to work for them or when someone decided to upgrade because they just had to have the lowest common denominator to begin with. I say go for the best right from the start or at least don't think small and work on that budget.

Also go watch this guys stuff. It will be good for you. You can also watch all his episodes on youtube now as well. http://web.me.com/mjrickard/

$16000 bucks including conversion and restoration and he only gets 40 miles at in town speeds and only 65 mph.

http://www.evalbum.com/1073
 

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30 - 40 miles is totally doable with lead golf cart batteries. You don't need a soliton, it would be nice but a curtis will do fine. At that budget though you'll spend a lot of time in forklift junkyards and on ebay looking for usable parts. You may want to consider doubling the budget.
 
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30 - 40 miles is totally doable with lead golf cart batteries. You don't need a soliton, it would be nice but a curtis will do fine. At that budget though you'll spend a lot of time in forklift junkyards and on ebay looking for usable parts. You may want to consider doubling the budget.

Not if most of your driving is on the freeway at 65 mph or so which is most freeways in the US. Like I said, in town and under 45 mph sure. Think big golf cart. That is where electrics get the bad rap. Folks say they get 50 or so miles on lead but fail to tell you that it was doing 35 mph. Hell, I'd rather have a nice GEM and do that. Lots cheaper too.
 
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