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Classic Fiat 500 conversion. First steps........

4779 Views 23 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  brian_
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

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Yes 2 in series would give you the right voltage.
I think if you could find the space for one in front an one at the back it would be great.
Dear all
Many thanks for your input. It's all useful to me.
I know many of you have commented on battery options, but to be honest my biggest issue is finding a suitable inverter/controller for the motor. And also the programming of the controller.
In the grand scheme of things the battery options are pretty straightforward to resolve.
Do any of you more experienced EV gurus have any ideas to solve the controller conundrum?

Again, any and all suggestions will be gratefully received.
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.
You won't keep the windshield clear in an Alberta winter with only 2kw of heat. Bringing back nightmares of my commute home from work in my LEAF. Shivering under multiple layers using the heater only enough to clear the windshield so I could make it home before running out of battery. The LEAF heater would max out at 6kw and the air coming from the vents is luke warm at best.
Although the original poster did ask where I was from...
ScobiBTW which part of Canada are you in?
... this thread is not about Alberta weather. So just to clarify, then hopefully move on...

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.
This comment was not intended to precisely define the power requirement for EV heating, but the 2 kW value is reasonable.

The maximum power allowed for a portable space heater plugged into an ordinary household outlet is 1.5 kW, limited by 80%of the 15 amp circuit rating. A full-blast space heater is comparable to a car heater in normal use.

The size of furnace used in small travel trailers is 12,000 BTU/hr input which is 3.5 kW. These furnaces are relatively inefficient, so only 2 kW of heat comes out of them. A car is much smaller than even a modest travel trailer but of course the trailer isn't trying to defrost a windshield.

Of course the most direct example would be the electric heater used in an EV that doesn't use the air conditioner as a heat pump. While they have more than 2 kW peak output (apparently the Leaf's 6 kW is common), as an average power use in typical winter conditions here, 2 kW is reasonable.
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