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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Intro as per sticky!

I have a Fugitive 2 which is a tube framed Sandrail with a 1970's beetle engine in it (about 50hp) I also have on the bench a gearbox/transaxle from a VW bus that is a bit stronger.
Car weighs around 700kg mark, the engine is 113kg, gearbox 33kg

I can weld and do moderate fabrication and have a local machine shop or two. I am very familiar with electrics and have a working knowledge of electronics - arduino type stuff but not detail.

The car is a hobby so 30-40 miles range would be fine, 50mph max. Some off road stuff so looking for torque! Rear wheels are 31"/ 80cm.

Budget is low so used stuff as much as possible.

Considering

1) the Enova AC 25/90kw + inverter set up which is a great price for quality gear but I'm hoping to hear from the Guru's on here if the inverter is now actually useable with a board mod (at a reasonable cost) because as is, it is a doorstop - and therefore so is the motor. Watching some of @jackbauer 's videos and it looks like he had some issues before finally getting it working and he is waaaay more skilled than me.

2) Forklift or other big DC motor modified to run on a higher voltage with a used controller.

3) bolting up motor to transmission, possibly with clutch possibly not. I doubt I would ever need to change gear but It would be a lot of work to put in a new diff - also I have a set of Porsche drive shafts to go on the Bus gearbox.

4) Definitely lead acid batteries, I might go as far as AGM but probably no need. - Just saw 30 mobility scooters being loaded for the scrappy today - not sure if they have batteries I can use.

That's where I am, right at the start. Read a lot on here and other places but it's s steep learning curve!
 

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For starters, I've done a sandrail conversion.

Here's the main build thread:
http://www.diyelectriccar.com/forums/showthread.php/street-legal-vw-sandrail-dune-buggy-125425.html

And here's where I converted from the small brushed PMDC motor to a small AC-20 motor from HPEVS:
http://www.diyelectriccar.com/forums/showthread.php/motor-controller-swap-thread-me1003-ac-169857.htm


Welding skills are great. You might be able to make the adapter plate to your trans-axle on your own. Coupling it to the motor can be achieved in a few ways.

Having done both DC and AC, I would only go the AC route now. It's totally worth it.

If your budget sucks, you're going to be limited massively on performance -simply put. Lead Acid has poor performance at high discharge, poor cycle life, and the added weight will suck the fun right out of your vehicle.

My LiCoO2 LIPO pack only weighs about 150 pounds, and it would take about 700 pounds of lead acid to be remotely comparable. Your "amp hour" rating on lead acid only happens at low discharge rates, like 10-20 amps. When you're pulling even 1C from a big cell, you might only get half the capacity it was rated for.

30-40 mile range is doable for cruising low speed with lead acid, but don't expect much range if you're accelerating hard or going fast with that aerodynamic drag.

I don't use a clutch on mine. It isn't necessary with the high RPM powerband of my AC motor, but it sucked when I had my low RPM powerband on my DC motor. If you go DC, use a clutch. If you go AC, either is fine in my opinion. (you can switch gears without the clutch, but it's slow and lame).

If you want to go the DC route, on a budget... a cheap used 144v DC controller and a beefy series wound motor would do nicely and probably leave you with enough powerband to leave it in 1st gear all of the time and obtain adequate cruising speeds.


I have plenty more info, but I've got to run. Let me know if you have any questions.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the input, I had taken a look at both of your builds, but going to re-visit, now I have more of a clue!

I was looking at AC because of the "bargain" Enova motor and controller - however from extensive reading of the forum and a PM or two I have basically come to the conclusion that these are locked by the proprietary system of the controller that is matched to the motor. The very talented tech guys on here have reverse engineered it and developed a board to unlock it, but I don't have the skills or tools to manufacture a board from their schematics - so basically it would be an expensive 25kw brick - which is why they are "cheap" - but expensive for holding the door open. So I dodged a bullet on that one.:eek:

AC I am sure is better -but unlikely affordable - couple of hundred for a big DC forklift motor and an eBay/used controller more likely.

I am keeping an eye out for motors and batteries. Searching for "Volt Batteries" is of course a waste of time:rolleyes:.

Sure I will have more questions !
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
So taking a quick look around, Leaf battery £3500- £4000, Enough slightly used lithium cells for 144v = £5,000
Hmmm... need to find an alternative or can the whole idea!
 

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So taking a quick look around, Leaf battery £3500- £4000, Enough slightly used lithium cells for 144v = £5,000
Hmmm... need to find an alternative or can the whole idea!
I find this hard to believe when running Leafs in the UK can be had for under 5000... Surely you can find a salvage Leaf for under 1500...

There is one on www.copart.co.uk right now with the bid at 850.
 

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4) Definitely lead acid batteries, I might go as far as AGM but probably no need. - Just saw 30 mobility scooters being loaded for the scrappy today - not sure if they have batteries I can use.
I have a mobility scooter. I think its batteries are typical: two 12V (nominal) 20 Ah (at low discharge rate) AGM. A dozen of these could be strung together, but would probably struggle to provide 50 A peak (less than 10 hp). Some multiple of that could be used, but I would expect to be chasing the one or more weak batteries (that ruin performance) all of the time. Scrapped scooters will likely have marginal batteries, and it's not trivial to sort out which ones are really worthwhile.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
98x Nissan leafs on ebay UK only one is <5K and that is a leased battery.

Only 2 Leaf batteries, one is 3.5k one is 4k
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Scrapped scooters will likely have marginal batteries, and it's not trivial to sort out which ones are really worthwhile.
Our local scrappy (well the only one on the island) will happily load test and sell me normal batteries. (I used to get massive 12v ones that were off buses that were replaced on a schedule rather than when they died).
I looked at Mobility scooter batteries but most seem to be wet or gel rather than AGM - but then i was looking at their replacements rather than the originals
 

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Hi
I would say EBay is NOT the right site for this

You need to find the site that the vehicle breakers use
 

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What were you actually looking to spend on batteries? It is hands down going to be the most expensive part of your build.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Depends on the amount I spend on the motor+controller. But not £4k/$5000 that's for sure.

Breakers use Copart and similar - but you can not buy salvaged vehicles from them unless you are a licensed company or prepared to travel to their yard to break it. https://www.copart.co.uk/Content/uk/en/Support/Services/Category-B-Vehicles in case anyone is interested. Then those breakers put their stuff on ebay +costs+ profit+VAT and we are back where we started.

Duncan if you could show me where -
"You will be able to get Leaf or Volt batteries cheaper than Lead" I would be very grateful.

I did do some initial research and decided lead is what I can afford but very happy to be proved wrong!

However, if it is not worth doing the conversion without lithium then I am going to can the whole idea.
 

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Fwiw: when I first did the ranger I used lead with all the attendant issues. Drove it for 3years like that while getting all sorts of scorn from some of the participants here. Meh.

When I went to the wrecker to find out about a volt battery, they did it for $200 usd more than the advertised price including delivery into the back of my truck. Not bad since the battery was 350 miles away.

So a $1800 pack was $2000 which at the time was $4000 cheaper than the other types.

I have 4 years on the pack, I don't run a bms, and they stay in balance unless I discharge at 600 amps.
 

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http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/2015-NISSAN-LEAF-Battery-24-kwh-Lithium-Ion-Battery-/272818696117?hash=item3f8542efb5:g:ThQAAOSwr6xZnpyd

But you wouldnt not need 24 kwh unless you got the room and need the range. However you could part one out and for example sell the cells seperately.

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Nissan-Leaf-Battery-Cell-/182723703793?hash=item2a8b2e73f1:g:LmoAAOSwzb9ZmBaK

Or you can buy seperate cells.

Where in the UK are you based?

Possibly batteries from an outlander might work for you. Did the reverse engineering on the bms in this battery already.

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Mitsubishi-Outlander-Phev-Hybrid-Battery-2015-Power-bank-Solar-12kw-/263168646425?hash=item3d4612dd19:g:YsEAAOSw9ytZoUt3
 

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Breakers use Copart and similar - but you can not buy salvaged vehicles from them unless you are a licensed company or prepared to travel to their yard to break it. https://www.copart.co.uk/Content/uk/en/Support/Services/Category-B-Vehicles in case anyone is interested. Then those breakers put their stuff on ebay +costs+ profit+VAT and we are back where we started.
Copart operates here as well - my last car went to them after it was hit. In all of Canada, they currently list only one Leaf... and bidding on that is CA$3350 even though the sale has not even been scheduled yet. When that battery is available to a retail buyer, it is not going to be really cheap.

For parts, rather than complete vehicles, there are web-based services which can be used to locate parts available from salvage yards, such as Car-Part.com. I'm surprised to see that dozens are available across Canada, at CA$2200 and up... plus taxes, plus shipping (potentially thousands of kilometres to me). I suspect that most will be in British Columbia, Ontario, and Quebec... where there have been government incentives for EVs. This is an issue everywhere: local availability of parts depends on local sales of the car, and that is very different by region.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thanks Tom. I saw those first two and they are all 3-3.5K - not really lead acid price or even remotely close and just not worth it for the project.

Had not seen the Outlander - helpfully listed under "A/C hoses and fittings" - but that is an idea that a hybrid pack might be better. Unfortunately what I really need is a private sale as 16.5% of that price is VAT even before the wishful thinking element!

I am on the IOW so that adds a little cost to transport (in fact they are hazardous so a LOT of extra for transport!).
 

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Re - Cost of Lithium

My pack cost (delivered to my home town) $3300 (about 1800 pounds) including tax transport and everything

And that was to NZ!!
 

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If I was going for a hands down ultra cheap setup and couldn't do lithium, I'd probably do some big flooded marine lead acid batteries.

If I was feeling extra ambitious, I might even throw in a tiny high C rated discharge/charge LIPO pack to limit Peukert's effect on the lead acid. I'd still be depressed about the weight of the lead batteries though.

Just speaking from experience, another 500 pounds of lead on my car would make it boring.
 

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Depends on the amount I spend on the motor+controller. But not £4k/$5000 that's for sure.

Breakers use Copart and similar - but you can not buy salvaged vehicles from them unless you are a licensed company or prepared to travel to their yard to break it. https://www.copart.co.uk/Content/uk/en/Support/Services/Category-B-Vehicles in case anyone is interested. Then those breakers put their stuff on ebay +costs+ profit+VAT and we are back where we started.

Duncan if you could show me where -
"You will be able to get Leaf or Volt batteries cheaper than Lead" I would be very grateful.

I did do some initial research and decided lead is what I can afford but very happy to be proved wrong!

However, if it is not worth doing the conversion without lithium then I am going to can the whole idea.
Find a breaker who will let you do a deal with his license. Cover his cost plus whatever you negotiate and you are good to go.

He gets a zero-risk deal, and you save $. I buy cars at auction like this. I know guys with the car dealer license, we go the auction together and I get the car for his cost + $400.
 
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