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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Dear all,
I am looking to convert our 1970 Fiat 500L into an electric town car, and having undertaken quite a lot of research I have tentatively dipped my toes into the EV pool with the first acquisition- this being a Dana TM4 IPM 200-50 low voltage permanent magnet ac motor. Performance wise the motor is apparently capable of 20kW peak power at 96 volts. The only data sheet I can get from Dana shows its performance at 48 volts with a corresponding peak power output of 16kW with a peak current draw of 450 Arms. Torque is 70 Nm at 48 volts. For comparison, the ICE powered performance figures for the 650ccengine version are 24bhp (18 KW) and 41 Nm torque. I am pretty happy therefore that the Dana motor should be adequate to at least match or improve on the ICE performance.
I am currently working up designs for adaptor plates and couplings to mate the motor to the existing gearbox, flywheel and clutch.
My next purchase, unless you all tell me the motor is a dud, is to purchase an inverter/controller. To this end I have researched Curtis controllers, but they are not cheap!
Does anyone have any suggestions for an inexpensive 3 phase 450Amp peak controller, or perhaps a working used one that someone is looking to recycle?
I like the idea of an open source controller but my electrical/electronic skills are pretty much non existent so it would have to be plug and play. I am also very happy to use used parts from a salvaged EV, but not sure which vehicles would be suitable to look at.
For batteries I am thinking of using second life Nissan Leaf Gen 2 modules hooked up in series to produce 72-96 volts. Range I am looking for is a real world 60 miles.

Any and all thoughts/contributions will be great fully received.

I am at the very start of this journey so please excuse my ignorance.

Many thanks

Scobie
 

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Another small car! :)
Wiki tells that original power is 13kW @4500rpm: with the motor you bougt, the Fiat will nearly fly. Max. speed equals to 140km/h, assuming the 20kW peak is sufficient. Torque is..."more than sufficient".

You will not need the flywheel and the clutch (unless you want continually change gears, which I consider unnecessary), go directly to the gearbox' input shaft, that will save space and weight.

I do not know if you will find a controller that fits"plug-and-play". I have learned that it takes time and knowledge to match motor and controller (which may be the reason why so many of us take at least motor/controller as a package from a donor vehicle).
At least this is what I see when visiting my favourite E-conversion shop.

Good success with your conversion, would be nice to keep us informed and send some pictures!
Markus
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hi Markus
Many thanks for your speedy input. Yes, I believe the motor should be fine. Dana do produce inverter/controllers but don't generally sell to individuals, so I may have to go third party. However I was hoping that a Curtis or similar would be able to speak to the motor as an alternative. Not looking for fancy programming or advanced control, but rather simple voltage and current control and possibly regen braking
With regards to the gearbox and clutch I'm not sure if the rpm range of the electric motor will suit without some gear ratio changing so will probably stick with using the clutch and gearbox. In reality I'm sure I will probably just leave it in second gear for around town driving and perhaps move up to third gear for higher speeds.
Happy to post progress pictures as and sketches as I progress.
Thanks again
 

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The IPM 200 motors were originally from Ashwoods (Dana TM4 bought Ashwoods), so it might be possible to find a suitable controller by looking for a controller that lists compatibility with the motor by the old name.
 

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Why not just buy a 500e? They're a lot cheaper than converting an ICE one.
A 1970 500L and a recent 500 are related only in name - they're completely different vehicles. Yes, buying a used modern EV is more practical than converting anything, but the 500E is no more suitable as a substitute for converting a classic 500 than any of the other small EVs; a Mitsubishi i-MiEV might be the most similar to the old 500L.
 

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... a Dana TM4 IPM 200-50 low voltage permanent magnet ac motor. Performance wise the motor is apparently capable of 20kW peak power at 96 volts. The only data sheet I can get from Dana shows its performance at 48 volts with a corresponding peak power output of 16kW with a peak current draw of 450 Arms
Is the IPM 200 series brochure the data sheet that you are using? If not, do you have a link to what you found, or do you only have it on paper?

Torque is 70 Nm at 48 volts. For comparison, the ICE powered performance figures for the 650ccengine version are 24bhp (18 KW) and 41 Nm torque. I am pretty happy therefore that the Dana motor should be adequate to at least match or improve on the ICE performance.
The torque of 69 Nm will be with the maximum allowed current (presumably 450 ARMS), regardless of voltage - the supply voltage will just determine how fast the motor can run before the battery can no longer push that allowed current through the motor. That is instantaneous torque; the S2 (short duty cycle) torque that can be maintained for 30 minutes is less than half that, but the period meaningful to a car is less than a minute (of acceleration) to a few minutes (of hill climbing), so the IPM 200-50 might be a good match with the same gearing, given 96 volts from the battery.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Hi Brian
Yes, that is the, correct data sheet.
The 450Arms will be the peak current draw.
My initial calculations for a vehicle range of 60 miles based on 100Ahour batteries suggests 72volt battery pack, so I am looking at 10 modules of second life Nissan Leaf Gen 2 batteries as that pack in series will give me the voltage required and fit neatly into the space vacated by the fuel tank. I can probably accommodate another 1 or 2 modules so can get the voltage up to 96 volts.
So my most pressing issue is to source a 96volt, 450 Amp inverter controller. Dana produce a suitable one called the AC-M1but as I mentioned don't sell to individuals, so looks difficult to obtain. I'm sure Curtis have a suitable controller that I could use, but wondered if there are any alternativs that I should be thinking about?
 

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Is the IPM 200 series brochure the data sheet that you are using? If not, do you have a link to what you found, or do you only have it on paper?
Yes, that is the, correct data sheet.
The 450Arms will be the peak current draw.
The 450 ARMS value may be the limit of the inverter used for testing, rather than of the motor itself, but it seems reasonable to take it as the motor's limit.
 

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My initial calculations for a vehicle range of 60 miles based on 100Ahour batteries suggests 72volt battery pack, so I am looking at 10 modules of second life Nissan Leaf Gen 2 batteries as that pack in series will give me the voltage required and fit neatly into the space vacated by the fuel tank. I can probably accommodate another 1 or 2 modules so can get the voltage up to 96 volts.
You could approach that from a different direction, choosing the battery's required energy capacity for the desired range, then choosing any battery amp-hour capacity and voltage that delivers at least that at a voltage at least high enough to be able to produce the target power.

The working assumption appears to be 120 Wh per mile, which seems low to me, but I'm not familiar with typical consumption for vehicles this small. The classic 500 is only about the size of Japanese kei cars of the era, which are significantly smaller than they are now, although it had an engine of a size not allowed in kei cars until 1976 (and again significantly smaller than allowed now). The Mitsubishi i-MiEV was kei-sized, but modern kei-sized (double the weight of a Fiat 500) and had a combined city & highway consumption of 300 Wh/mile.

At 120 Wh/mile, 60 miles is 7.2 kWh. Yes, that could be 100 Ah @ 72 V, but it could also be 75 Ah @ 96 V. The controller/inverter needs to be able to handle the voltage of a fully charged battery, but delivers only the voltage needed at the moment to the motor, so pack voltage can be higher than needed for performance if that's what results in a suitably sized and available pack.

10 modules of the 48-module 30 kWh Leaf pack would provide 6.25 kWh; 96 V (nominal) would require 13 modules, delivering a more suitable 8.1 kWh... if you could fit them in.

I'm surprised that any significant number of Leaf modules would fit in the space occupied by the fuel tank; the stock tank only has 22 litres of capacity (the volume of 9 Leaf modules) and modules won't fill the space neatly like the shaped-to-fit tank does. I assume that the battery pack would fill most of the front compartment, not just the tank space. High up front like that doesn't seem like a desirable location for over 40 kg of mass in a short 500 kg car, but there are not a lot of location choices.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Hi Brian
Yes I did look at different combinations of volts and Amphours as you have suggested, and from a size and form factor and cost perspective the Nissan Leaf modules work pretty well. Given how small the motor is I could split the pack and locate some batteries in the current engine bay also which would help lowering the centre of gravity and mass distribution. As I mentioned I am right at the beginning of the journey so still lots to work out. Once I have a better idea of al the various component sizes I will do a mock up to see how it all fits. I have researched Curtis controllers a bit further and have found a current spec model which I think would suit, this being the AC F6-A. So I think that is a suitable option.
Thanks again for all your input.
Cheers
ScobiBTW which part of Canada are you in?
 

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^ Canada's Texas in many respects.

Except cold AF....probably would spend more on battery heater energy than running a V10 F-350 in the dead of their winter.

Notice, I didn't say diesel...they won't start in winter unless they're plugged in, so they are plug-in hybrids, sorta 😂
 

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^ Canada's Texas in many respects.

Except cold AF....probably would spend more on battery heater energy than running a V10 F-350 in the dead of their winter.
In some ways, yes. But winter range of EVs is only moderately reduced. If average power consumption by a car during use is 10 kW (20 kWh/100 km and 50 km/h average speed) then even 2 kW of heater operation is a 20% range hit.

Notice, I didn't say diesel...they won't start in winter unless they're plugged in, so they are plug-in hybrids, sorta 😂
I haven't seen a vehicle in a driveway or parking lot plugged in for years, and some of them are diesels. I don't think cold weather starting is much of an issue for light-duty diesels in recent decades. Decades ago employee parking lots would routinely have block heater outlets, but I don't think anyone builds lots with them any more. Of course now some joker would try to charge their EV from them...
 

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Dear all,
I am looking to convert our 1970 Fiat 500L into an electric town car, and having undertaken quite a lot of research I have tentatively dipped my toes into the EV pool with the first acquisition- this being a Dana TM4 IPM 200-50 low voltage permanent magnet ac motor. Performance wise the motor is apparently capable of 20kW peak power at 96 volts. The only data sheet I can get from Dana shows its performance at 48 volts with a corresponding peak power output of 16kW with a peak current draw of 450 Arms. Torque is 70 Nm at 48 volts. For comparison, the ICE powered performance figures for the 650ccengine version are 24bhp (18 KW) and 41 Nm torque. I am pretty happy therefore that the Dana motor should be adequate to at least match or improve on the ICE performance.
I am currently working up designs for adaptor plates and couplings to mate the motor to the existing gearbox, flywheel and clutch.
My next purchase, unless you all tell me the motor is a dud, is to purchase an inverter/controller. To this end I have researched Curtis controllers, but they are not cheap!
Does anyone have any suggestions for an inexpensive 3 phase 450Amp peak controller, or perhaps a working used one that someone is looking to recycle?
I like the idea of an open source controller but my electrical/electronic skills are pretty much non existent so it would have to be plug and play. I am also very happy to use used parts from a salvaged EV, but not sure which vehicles would be suitable to look at.
For batteries I am thinking of using second life Nissan Leaf Gen 2 modules hooked up in series to produce 72-96 volts. Range I am looking for is a real world 60 miles.

Any and all thoughts/contributions will be great fully received.

I am at the very start of this journey so please excuse my ignorance.

Many thanks

Scobie
Nice project.
have you considered the VW ID3 Battery
Small size an god energy.
 

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... have you considered the VW ID3 Battery
Small size an god energy.
They will be common in VW EVs, and may be found in other vehicles. They contain 24 of the LG Chem LGX E78 pouch cells, in a 12S2P configuration. These are probably the VDA 590 size format... which means that they are 590 mm long, possibly making it difficult to find a suitably-sized space in a classic Fiat 500L.

The desired energy capacity would almost be reached with a single module, but the voltage would be too low. If there is a way to fit two of these modules in the car, connected in series they would have suitable voltage and energy capacity. Perhaps one could go in the front, and one more behind the motor?
 
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