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70 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I just got word. As second-highest bidder on a US Electricar Prism on ebay
http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&ih=015&sspagename=STRK%3AMEWA%3AIT&viewitem=&item=250168434967&rd=1, I
will be purchasing the vehicle. The high bidder backed out.

I admit, I'm both thrilled and nervous. I have the mechanical and technical
skills to perform an DC-type conversion, and was planning to do so with my
wife's Beetle before this came up, but truly wrapping my brain around
Hughes' AC electric-drive system is another thing. I'm eager to make the
effort.

The seller at first assured me that the pack was 3 years old and reasonably
healthy, but after running it through their maintenance shop of choice, he
reports that there are several bad batteries in the pack. :^0 Now I'm
looking at options. Do I attempt to replace only the bad batteries or
replace the pack immediately? I was hoping to get by for a year on the
existing pack and watch LIon prices drop. Not an option now.

At this point I'm inclined to go through the existing pack and get
everything balanced and build a bms to get what I can out of it. I only have
about $3000 to spend on getting the pack healthy and building a balancing
system or (better yet) bms. I have no idea how sophisticated the onboard
charger is, but I do know it's the only one I'll have when the car arrives
in a week or two (besides my crude old 12V automotive charger). If I
selectively replace batteries and go with a Lee Hart shunt-type balancing
system, am I selling myself short? Wasting time and money that could be
better spent? Figure I spend $500 on batts and have $2500 to spend on bms
and possibly a charger upgrade. Suggestions on bang for buck?

Please advise a noob. Oh, and if any of you PDX EVers want to drop by and
have a look (and tea and crumpets) once it shows up, my place is your place!

Lon Hull,
Portland, OR

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Registered
Joined
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70 Posts
Discussion Starter #2
Congratulations!

Luckily the vehicle you bought has a VERY active group
of supporters with lots of debugging and improvement
ideas, plus a good understanding of the drive system and
its weaknesses, don't worry - the main weaknesses are
the absence of BMS (as you already noticed) and some
issues when trying to charge on 240V - in essence: do not
try that before you have installed a small bridge-board
with fuses to protect your charger from frying the PCB
when a rectifier fails.....

You certianly need to join our group at:
http://autos.groups.yahoo.com/group/uselectricar/
Where you will find other people with this vehicle and
drive train and can tap into the collecive knowledge and
trouble-shooting expertise and fire away with questions!

BTW, you went through the exact same process as I did,
I already had bought a BMW 325i for conversion to DC, when
I got word that a US Electricar was sitting in a local EAA
chapter member's driveway, waiting to be sold....

Regarding money spending:
my suggestion would be to reverse the amounts and see if
you can find a new pack for $2500 (should be possible
if you are not insisting on Hawkers, we have some
alternative battery type for the Prizm) and use $500 or
(much) less to build zener-regs for each battery.
One of our members has a Prizm for daily family transport
and has a many-years old pack, it only stays healthy due
to the added zener-regs.

Success,

Cor van de Water
Systems Architect
Proxim Wireless Corporation http://www.proxim.com
Email: [email protected] Private: http://www.cvandewater.com
Skype: cor_van_de_water IM: [email protected]
Tel: +1 408 542 5225 VoIP: +31 20 3987567 FWD# 25925
Fax: +1 408 731 3675 eFAX: +31-87-784-1130
Second Life: www.secondlife.com/?u=3b42cb3f4ae249319edb487991c30acb

-----Original Message-----
From: [email protected] [mailto:[email protected]] On Behalf Of Loni
Sent: Wednesday, October 03, 2007 9:47 PM
To: Electric Vehicle Discussion List; Electric Vehicle Discussion List
Subject: [EVDL] Proud new owner of a U.S. Electricar Geo Prism

I just got word. As second-highest bidder on a US Electricar Prism on ebay http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&ih=015&sspagename=STRK%3AMEWA%3AIT&viewitem=&item=250168434967&rd=1, I will be purchasing the vehicle. The high bidder backed out.

I admit, I'm both thrilled and nervous. I have the mechanical and technical skills to perform an DC-type conversion, and was planning to do so with my wife's Beetle before this came up, but truly wrapping my brain around Hughes' AC electric-drive system is another thing. I'm eager to make the effort.

The seller at first assured me that the pack was 3 years old and reasonably healthy, but after running it through their maintenance shop of choice, he
reports that there are several bad batteries in the pack. :^0 Now I'm
looking at options. Do I attempt to replace only the bad batteries or replace the pack immediately? I was hoping to get by for a year on the existing pack and watch LIon prices drop. Not an option now.

At this point I'm inclined to go through the existing pack and get everything balanced and build a bms to get what I can out of it. I only have about $3000 to spend on getting the pack healthy and building a balancing system or (better yet) bms. I have no idea how sophisticated the onboard charger is, but I do know it's the only one I'll have when the car arrives in a week or two (besides my crude old 12V automotive charger). If I selectively replace batteries and go with a Lee Hart shunt-type balancing system, am I selling myself short? Wasting time and money that could be better spent? Figure I spend $500 on batts and have $2500 to spend on bms and possibly a charger upgrade. Suggestions on bang for buck?

Please advise a noob. Oh, and if any of you PDX EVers want to drop by and have a look (and tea and crumpets) once it shows up, my place is your place!

Lon Hull,
Portland, OR

_______________________________________________
For subscription options, see
http://lists.sjsu.edu/mailman/listinfo/ev

_______________________________________________
For subscription options, see
http://lists.sjsu.edu/mailman/listinfo/ev
 

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Joined
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70 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Thank you very much for the reply. I've registered for the list and am
hoping to be invited on promptly. I'm very encouraged by your response and
will be looking further into the zener-regs and bridge board, among a great
deal else.

Lon Hull,
Portland, OR


----- Original Message -----
From: "Cor van de Water" <[email protected]>
To: "Electric Vehicle Discussion List" <[email protected]>; "Electric
Vehicle Discussion List" <[email protected]>
Sent: Wednesday, October 03, 2007 11:24 PM
Subject: Re: [EVDL] Proud new owner of a U.S. Electricar Geo Prism


> Congratulations!
>
> Luckily the vehicle you bought has a VERY active group
> of supporters with lots of debugging and improvement
> ideas, plus a good understanding of the drive system and
> its weaknesses, don't worry - the main weaknesses are
> the absence of BMS (as you already noticed) and some
> issues when trying to charge on 240V - in essence: do not
> try that before you have installed a small bridge-board
> with fuses to protect your charger from frying the PCB
> when a rectifier fails.....
>
> You certianly need to join our group at:
> http://autos.groups.yahoo.com/group/uselectricar/
> Where you will find other people with this vehicle and
> drive train and can tap into the collecive knowledge and
> trouble-shooting expertise and fire away with questions!
>
> BTW, you went through the exact same process as I did,
> I already had bought a BMW 325i for conversion to DC, when
> I got word that a US Electricar was sitting in a local EAA
> chapter member's driveway, waiting to be sold....
>
> Regarding money spending:
> my suggestion would be to reverse the amounts and see if
> you can find a new pack for $2500 (should be possible
> if you are not insisting on Hawkers, we have some
> alternative battery type for the Prizm) and use $500 or
> (much) less to build zener-regs for each battery.
> One of our members has a Prizm for daily family transport
> and has a many-years old pack, it only stays healthy due
> to the added zener-regs.
>
> Success,
>
> Cor van de Water
> Systems Architect
> Proxim Wireless Corporation http://www.proxim.com
> Email: [email protected] Private: http://www.cvandewater.com
> Skype: cor_van_de_water IM: [email protected]
> Tel: +1 408 542 5225 VoIP: +31 20 3987567 FWD# 25925
> Fax: +1 408 731 3675 eFAX: +31-87-784-1130
> Second Life: www.secondlife.com/?u=3b42cb3f4ae249319edb487991c30acb
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: [email protected] [mailto:[email protected]] On
> Behalf Of Loni
> Sent: Wednesday, October 03, 2007 9:47 PM
> To: Electric Vehicle Discussion List; Electric Vehicle Discussion List
> Subject: [EVDL] Proud new owner of a U.S. Electricar Geo Prism
>
> I just got word. As second-highest bidder on a US Electricar Prism on ebay
> http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&ih=015&sspagename=STRK%3AMEWA%3AIT&viewitem=&item=250168434967&rd=1, I
> will be purchasing the vehicle. The high bidder backed out.
>
> I admit, I'm both thrilled and nervous. I have the mechanical and
> technical skills to perform an DC-type conversion, and was planning to do
> so with my wife's Beetle before this came up, but truly wrapping my brain
> around Hughes' AC electric-drive system is another thing. I'm eager to
> make the effort.
>
> The seller at first assured me that the pack was 3 years old and
> reasonably healthy, but after running it through their maintenance shop of
> choice, he
> reports that there are several bad batteries in the pack. :^0 Now I'm
> looking at options. Do I attempt to replace only the bad batteries or
> replace the pack immediately? I was hoping to get by for a year on the
> existing pack and watch LIon prices drop. Not an option now.
>
> At this point I'm inclined to go through the existing pack and get
> everything balanced and build a bms to get what I can out of it. I only
> have about $3000 to spend on getting the pack healthy and building a
> balancing system or (better yet) bms. I have no idea how sophisticated the
> onboard charger is, but I do know it's the only one I'll have when the car
> arrives in a week or two (besides my crude old 12V automotive charger). If
> I selectively replace batteries and go with a Lee Hart shunt-type
> balancing system, am I selling myself short? Wasting time and money that
> could be better spent? Figure I spend $500 on batts and have $2500 to
> spend on bms and possibly a charger upgrade. Suggestions on bang for buck?
>
> Please advise a noob. Oh, and if any of you PDX EVers want to drop by and
> have a look (and tea and crumpets) once it shows up, my place is your
> place!
>
> Lon Hull,
> Portland, OR
>
> _______________________________________________
> For subscription options, see
> http://lists.sjsu.edu/mailman/listinfo/ev
>
> _______________________________________________
> For subscription options, see
> http://lists.sjsu.edu/mailman/listinfo/ev

_______________________________________________
For subscription options, see
http://lists.sjsu.edu/mailman/listinfo/ev
 

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Joined
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Discussion Starter #8
Loni wrote:
> Here's the full story...

Sadly, lie #1 when buying a used EV is, "The batteries are fine, just
fine." The best bet is to assume that the batteries are shot, no matter
what the seller says, and set the price accordingly. If the batteries
turn out to be any good at all, you should be pleasantly surprised.

> After initially claiming that the pack was 3 years old and in good
> condition, for the purpose of the sale the seller had it checked by
> his electronics shop and found out that "one or two bad batteries
> were found".

US Battery packs are very difficult to get into, so my guess is that
they never opened the pack, and so have no way to know if any are bad.

It will be easy to verify once you *do* get at the batteries how old
they are. They have date codes on them. This would be hard evidence as
to whether the seller is lying or not about their age.

> Chagrined but uncomplaining, the next day I called and learned further that
> the vehicle now won't even move and they believe the problem is a "tripped
> GFCI between the charger and the controller"

It's possible; but if that's the problem, it would be trivially easy to
reset it. Such a circuit breaker would be in plain sight and easy to get
at. The GFCI goes between the AC power input and the battery charger,
and trips if there is a ground fault problem, such as a wet or dirty or
leaking battery pack.

> If they can't get it to move under its own power before they ship it,
> we're going to have to renegotiate the price.

That's what I would do! The price has to be based on its condition at
the time of the sale.

--
Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget the perfect offering
There is a crack in everything
That's how the light gets in -- Leonard Cohen
--
Lee A. Hart, 814 8th Ave N, Sartell MN 56377, leeahart_at_earthlink.net

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Discussion Starter #9
----- Original Message -----
From: "Lee Hart" <[email protected]>
To: "Electric Vehicle Discussion List" <[email protected]>
Sent: Friday, October 05, 2007 2:19 PM
Subject: Re: [EVDL] Proud new owner of a U.S. Electricar Geo Prism


> Loni wrote:
> > Here's the full story...
>
> Sadly, lie #1 when buying a used EV is, "The batteries are fine, just
> fine." The best bet is to assume that the batteries are shot, no matter
> what the seller says, and set the price accordingly. If the batteries
> turn out to be any good at all, you should be pleasantly surprised.

Very true. Might I also add, consider drivability to be an issue, unless the
owner can "prove" they have put significant miles on the vehicle. I grin
when I read about some EVs... modern or "ancient" (pre-90's).

Mileage is hard to determine on the average EV, but in new-builts it's
fairly easy to sort out the lies. "$20K invested, excellent EV, perfect
commuter, only 6 years old and 1500 miles." <vbg>

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Joined
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Discussion Starter #10
Hi Loni,

Welcome to the club - you should find a wealth of
knowledge there, besides all the documented trouble-
shooting help.
The US Electricar group has 3 active moderators, so any
of us 3 will usually respond within hours to approve a
legitimate join request. If the requester is not a
familiar name, he (or she) will be moderated until the
first legit post on the list (so the first post can
also take a few hours to show up) after which the poster
is un-moderated (or removed if it was spam).
If a familiar name is found with a join-request, the new
member is immediately un-moderated and can participate
without delay.
This is how we defined the balance between fast response
and keeping spam off the list and this process works very
well for any Yahoo (or other) discussion group.

I hope you can establish an accurate assessment of the
state of your vehicle while negotiating the price.
If you post the location of the vehicle, there may be
someone close enough on this list to go there and give
an unbiased opinion, although I think that Lee's position
is the most universal way to get to a good price:
- assume it is not good
- let the seller prove otherwise
- if batteries are several years old, they usually are EOL
(End Of Life) although there are some exceptions, it is
a hit-and-miss kind of game.
It sounds to me that the seller is pulling the "Salami-tactic".
This means that you do not disclose all bad news at once,
just a thin slice at a time....
I wonder when he is done feeding you Salami slices.
As I said - try to get a honest assessment of the car,
preferably by an independent person.

Success, you can use it.

Cor van de Water
Systems Architect
Proxim Wireless Corporation http://www.proxim.com
Email: [email protected] Private: http://www.cvandewater.com
Skype: cor_van_de_water IM: [email protected]
Tel: +1 408 542 5225 VoIP: +31 20 3987567 FWD# 25925
Fax: +1 408 731 3675 eFAX: +31-87-784-1130
Second Life: www.secondlife.com/?u=3b42cb3f4ae249319edb487991c30acb

-----Original Message-----
From: [email protected] [mailto:[email protected]] On Behalf Of Loni
Sent: Thursday, October 04, 2007 12:21 AM
To: Electric Vehicle Discussion List
Subject: Re: [EVDL] Proud new owner of a U.S. Electricar Geo Prism

Thank you very much for the reply. I've registered for the list and am hoping to be invited on promptly. I'm very encouraged by your response and will be looking further into the zener-regs and bridge board, among a great deal else.

Lon Hull,
Portland, OR


----- Original Message -----
From: "Cor van de Water" <[email protected]>
To: "Electric Vehicle Discussion List" <[email protected]>; "Electric Vehicle Discussion List" <[email protected]>
Sent: Wednesday, October 03, 2007 11:24 PM
Subject: Re: [EVDL] Proud new owner of a U.S. Electricar Geo Prism


> Congratulations!
>
> Luckily the vehicle you bought has a VERY active group of supporters
> with lots of debugging and improvement ideas, plus a good
> understanding of the drive system and its weaknesses, don't worry -
> the main weaknesses are the absence of BMS (as you already noticed)
> and some issues when trying to charge on 240V - in essence: do not try
> that before you have installed a small bridge-board with fuses to
> protect your charger from frying the PCB when a rectifier fails.....
>
> You certianly need to join our group at:
> http://autos.groups.yahoo.com/group/uselectricar/
> Where you will find other people with this vehicle and drive train and
> can tap into the collecive knowledge and trouble-shooting expertise
> and fire away with questions!
>
> BTW, you went through the exact same process as I did, I already had
> bought a BMW 325i for conversion to DC, when I got word that a US
> Electricar was sitting in a local EAA chapter member's driveway,
> waiting to be sold....
>
> Regarding money spending:
> my suggestion would be to reverse the amounts and see if you can find
> a new pack for $2500 (should be possible if you are not insisting on
> Hawkers, we have some alternative battery type for the Prizm) and use
> $500 or
> (much) less to build zener-regs for each battery.
> One of our members has a Prizm for daily family transport and has a
> many-years old pack, it only stays healthy due to the added
> zener-regs.
>
> Success,
>
> Cor van de Water
> Systems Architect
> Proxim Wireless Corporation http://www.proxim.com
> Email: [email protected] Private: http://www.cvandewater.com
> Skype: cor_van_de_water IM: [email protected]
> Tel: +1 408 542 5225 VoIP: +31 20 3987567 FWD# 25925
> Fax: +1 408 731 3675 eFAX: +31-87-784-1130
> Second Life: www.secondlife.com/?u=3b42cb3f4ae249319edb487991c30acb
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: [email protected] [mailto:[email protected]] On
> Behalf Of Loni
> Sent: Wednesday, October 03, 2007 9:47 PM
> To: Electric Vehicle Discussion List; Electric Vehicle Discussion List
> Subject: [EVDL] Proud new owner of a U.S. Electricar Geo Prism
>
> I just got word. As second-highest bidder on a US Electricar Prism on
> ebay
> http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&ih=015&sspagename=STRK%3AMEWA%3AIT&viewitem=&item=250168434967&rd=1, I will be purchasing the vehicle. The high bidder backed out.
>
> I admit, I'm both thrilled and nervous. I have the mechanical and
> technical skills to perform an DC-type conversion, and was planning to
> do so with my wife's Beetle before this came up, but truly wrapping my
> brain around Hughes' AC electric-drive system is another thing. I'm
> eager to make the effort.
>
> The seller at first assured me that the pack was 3 years old and
> reasonably healthy, but after running it through their maintenance
> shop of choice, he
> reports that there are several bad batteries in the pack. :^0 Now I'm
> looking at options. Do I attempt to replace only the bad batteries or
> replace the pack immediately? I was hoping to get by for a year on the
> existing pack and watch LIon prices drop. Not an option now.
>
> At this point I'm inclined to go through the existing pack and get
> everything balanced and build a bms to get what I can out of it. I
> only have about $3000 to spend on getting the pack healthy and
> building a balancing system or (better yet) bms. I have no idea how
> sophisticated the onboard charger is, but I do know it's the only one
> I'll have when the car arrives in a week or two (besides my crude old
> 12V automotive charger). If I selectively replace batteries and go
> with a Lee Hart shunt-type balancing system, am I selling myself
> short? Wasting time and money that could be better spent? Figure I
> spend $500 on batts and have $2500 to spend on bms and possibly a charger upgrade. Suggestions on bang for buck?
>
> Please advise a noob. Oh, and if any of you PDX EVers want to drop by
> and have a look (and tea and crumpets) once it shows up, my place is
> your place!
>
> Lon Hull,
> Portland, OR
>
> _______________________________________________
> For subscription options, see
> http://lists.sjsu.edu/mailman/listinfo/ev
>
> _______________________________________________
> For subscription options, see
> http://lists.sjsu.edu/mailman/listinfo/ev

_______________________________________________
For subscription options, see
http://lists.sjsu.edu/mailman/listinfo/ev

_______________________________________________
For subscription options, see
http://lists.sjsu.edu/mailman/listinfo/ev
 

·
Registered
Joined
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70 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
Gentlemen, thank you very much for the warm welcome.

I spoke with the seller again today and he assures me that the vehicle
actually does move under its own power, but that (his words) "it doesn't
seem to be taking a charge, and my electronic guy says it's probably just
'cause there are a few bad batteries". If this is a long shot, I know).

I suppose I'll just have to trouble-shoot it from scratch once it arrives.
We've agreed on a discounted price, though I assure you I still paid plenty.
Ironically, I get the impression that you couldn't get $5000 for one of
these Prisms 3 years ago. I wonder if I'll continue to see my vehicle
appreciating as EV enthusiasm grows... ; )

About myself: I'm a full-time mechanic with 24 years of experience and owner
of my own repair and maintenance service. I do a great deal of 12V
diagnostics and repair, but I'm on an auto-didactic crash course to get up
to speed on high-voltage control systems and basic electrical engineering.
I'm sure to benefit greatly from putting my hands and eyes on the physical
components of EV drive systems, and I plan to be an active member of the EV
community for the foreseeable future.

AN OFFER I'D LIKE TO OFFER TO PORTLAND AREA EV EXPERTS: In exchange for
assistance in tackling issues outside my area of expertise, I'd be happy to
offer to take care of mechanical troubles with your EV or ICE vehicles. I'm
also no slouch at welding and general fabrication, but I freely admit that
I'm likely to run into issues with my EV that I can't muddle through, and it
sounds like I can expect them sooner than later!

It often friustrates me when concern about potential profit from
intellectual property stifles the benefits of creative collaboration.
Anything I can offer to members of this list will always be offered as
freely as possible.

Thanks again,
Lon Hull,
Portland, OR


----- Original Message -----
From: "Cor van de Water" <[email protected]>
To: "Electric Vehicle Discussion List" <[email protected]>
Sent: Friday, October 05, 2007 11:58 PM
Subject: Re: [EVDL] Proud new owner of a U.S. Electricar Geo Prism


> Hi Loni,
>
> Welcome to the club - you should find a wealth of
> knowledge there, besides all the documented trouble-
> shooting help.
> The US Electricar group has 3 active moderators, so any
> of us 3 will usually respond within hours to approve a
> legitimate join request. If the requester is not a
> familiar name, he (or she) will be moderated until the
> first legit post on the list (so the first post can
> also take a few hours to show up) after which the poster
> is un-moderated (or removed if it was spam).
> If a familiar name is found with a join-request, the new
> member is immediately un-moderated and can participate
> without delay.
> This is how we defined the balance between fast response
> and keeping spam off the list and this process works very
> well for any Yahoo (or other) discussion group.
>
> I hope you can establish an accurate assessment of the
> state of your vehicle while negotiating the price.
> If you post the location of the vehicle, there may be
> someone close enough on this list to go there and give
> an unbiased opinion, although I think that Lee's position
> is the most universal way to get to a good price:
> - assume it is not good
> - let the seller prove otherwise
> - if batteries are several years old, they usually are EOL
> (End Of Life) although there are some exceptions, it is
> a hit-and-miss kind of game.
> It sounds to me that the seller is pulling the "Salami-tactic".
> This means that you do not disclose all bad news at once,
> just a thin slice at a time....
> I wonder when he is done feeding you Salami slices.
> As I said - try to get a honest assessment of the car,
> preferably by an independent person.
>
> Success, you can use it.
>
> Cor van de Water
> Systems Architect
> Proxim Wireless Corporation http://www.proxim.com
> Email: [email protected] Private: http://www.cvandewater.com
> Skype: cor_van_de_water IM: [email protected]
> Tel: +1 408 542 5225 VoIP: +31 20 3987567 FWD# 25925
> Fax: +1 408 731 3675 eFAX: +31-87-784-1130
> Second Life: www.secondlife.com/?u=3b42cb3f4ae249319edb487991c30acb
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: [email protected] [mailto:[email protected]] On
> Behalf Of Loni
> Sent: Thursday, October 04, 2007 12:21 AM
> To: Electric Vehicle Discussion List
> Subject: Re: [EVDL] Proud new owner of a U.S. Electricar Geo Prism
>
> Thank you very much for the reply. I've registered for the list and am
> hoping to be invited on promptly. I'm very encouraged by your response and
> will be looking further into the zener-regs and bridge board, among a
> great deal else.
>
> Lon Hull,
> Portland, OR
>
>
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Cor van de Water" <[email protected]>
> To: "Electric Vehicle Discussion List" <[email protected]>; "Electric
> Vehicle Discussion List" <[email protected]>
> Sent: Wednesday, October 03, 2007 11:24 PM
> Subject: Re: [EVDL] Proud new owner of a U.S. Electricar Geo Prism
>
>
>> Congratulations!
>>
>> Luckily the vehicle you bought has a VERY active group of supporters
>> with lots of debugging and improvement ideas, plus a good
>> understanding of the drive system and its weaknesses, don't worry -
>> the main weaknesses are the absence of BMS (as you already noticed)
>> and some issues when trying to charge on 240V - in essence: do not try
>> that before you have installed a small bridge-board with fuses to
>> protect your charger from frying the PCB when a rectifier fails.....
>>
>> You certianly need to join our group at:
>> http://autos.groups.yahoo.com/group/uselectricar/
>> Where you will find other people with this vehicle and drive train and
>> can tap into the collecive knowledge and trouble-shooting expertise
>> and fire away with questions!
>>
>> BTW, you went through the exact same process as I did, I already had
>> bought a BMW 325i for conversion to DC, when I got word that a US
>> Electricar was sitting in a local EAA chapter member's driveway,
>> waiting to be sold....
>>
>> Regarding money spending:
>> my suggestion would be to reverse the amounts and see if you can find
>> a new pack for $2500 (should be possible if you are not insisting on
>> Hawkers, we have some alternative battery type for the Prizm) and use
>> $500 or
>> (much) less to build zener-regs for each battery.
>> One of our members has a Prizm for daily family transport and has a
>> many-years old pack, it only stays healthy due to the added
>> zener-regs.
>>
>> Success,
>>
>> Cor van de Water
>> Systems Architect
>> Proxim Wireless Corporation http://www.proxim.com
>> Email: [email protected] Private: http://www.cvandewater.com
>> Skype: cor_van_de_water IM: [email protected]
>> Tel: +1 408 542 5225 VoIP: +31 20 3987567 FWD# 25925
>> Fax: +1 408 731 3675 eFAX: +31-87-784-1130
>> Second Life: www.secondlife.com/?u=3b42cb3f4ae249319edb487991c30acb
>>
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: [email protected] [mailto:[email protected]] On
>> Behalf Of Loni
>> Sent: Wednesday, October 03, 2007 9:47 PM
>> To: Electric Vehicle Discussion List; Electric Vehicle Discussion List
>> Subject: [EVDL] Proud new owner of a U.S. Electricar Geo Prism
>>
>> I just got word. As second-highest bidder on a US Electricar Prism on
>> ebay
>> http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&ih=015&sspagename=STRK%3AMEWA%3AIT&viewitem=&item=250168434967&rd=1, I
>> will be purchasing the vehicle. The high bidder backed out.
>>
>> I admit, I'm both thrilled and nervous. I have the mechanical and
>> technical skills to perform an DC-type conversion, and was planning to
>> do so with my wife's Beetle before this came up, but truly wrapping my
>> brain around Hughes' AC electric-drive system is another thing. I'm
>> eager to make the effort.
>>
>> The seller at first assured me that the pack was 3 years old and
>> reasonably healthy, but after running it through their maintenance
>> shop of choice, he
>> reports that there are several bad batteries in the pack. :^0 Now I'm
>> looking at options. Do I attempt to replace only the bad batteries or
>> replace the pack immediately? I was hoping to get by for a year on the
>> existing pack and watch LIon prices drop. Not an option now.
>>
>> At this point I'm inclined to go through the existing pack and get
>> everything balanced and build a bms to get what I can out of it. I
>> only have about $3000 to spend on getting the pack healthy and
>> building a balancing system or (better yet) bms. I have no idea how
>> sophisticated the onboard charger is, but I do know it's the only one
>> I'll have when the car arrives in a week or two (besides my crude old
>> 12V automotive charger). If I selectively replace batteries and go
>> with a Lee Hart shunt-type balancing system, am I selling myself
>> short? Wasting time and money that could be better spent? Figure I
>> spend $500 on batts and have $2500 to spend on bms and possibly a charger
>> upgrade. Suggestions on bang for buck?
>>
>> Please advise a noob. Oh, and if any of you PDX EVers want to drop by
>> and have a look (and tea and crumpets) once it shows up, my place is
>> your place!
>>
>> Lon Hull,
>> Portland, OR
>>
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Discussion Starter #12
On 6 Oct 2007 at 18:38, Loni wrote:

> Ironically, I get the impression that you couldn't get $5000 for one of
> these Prisms 3 years ago. I wonder if I'll continue to see my vehicle
> appreciating as EV enthusiasm grows... ; )

And depreciating as it wanes!

Used EV prices tend to follow the price of gasoline. In the late 1980s,
when gasoline was cheap, one could buy a 8-10 year old small car that had
been converted with typical components of the time - Prestolite series
motor, Curtis controller, 96 volts of golf car batteries, and a Lester or
K&W charger - for between $2000 and $4000. That was for a running,
serviceable EV with old but (possibly) usable batteres, NOT for a hulk that
had been sitting in an open field for 10 years. Newer gliders brought more,
but sometimes not much more.

Fancier or higher performance conversions were valued more highly, of
course. A nice sports car, or one with AC drive, might have gone for $6-8k.


Now it's almost impossible to buy even a rusted-out hulk for much under $2k.
In addition to the increased demand, Ebay has allowed sellers to connect
with potential buyers all over the nation.

David Roden - Akron, Ohio, USA
EVDL Administrator

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