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i've been trying to research electric vehicles thanks to the inspiration of white zombie (all hail white zombie!!!) on PBS and have trouble getting my questions answered with keyword searches etc.

try to understand motors and output, and one place talks about watts, another horsepower, another volts or amps etc. is there some place that converts all of those ergs between each other?

originally, for fun, i tried to imagine a vehicle that could beat the zombie and came up with the idea of converting a sand rail. you can't get a much better power to weight ratio than that, can you? then after seeing how much batteries, motors & controllers cost, even for daily drivers relegated the idea to daydreaming.

my "car" right now is a pair of bicycles (so happy my obvious name hasn't been used here yet) and i haven't had a car since 1993, but bikes & busses are limited in range and schedules. i'd like a mode of transportation that lets me get groceries in less than 3-4 hours & catch midnight movies etc.

trying to find used forklift motors is impossible too and any time you do find places that have them, they're only part numbers. you know the routine. i'm surprised no one has decided to go into business refurbing forklift motors as it could be profitable.

right now, i'm starting to think that at least for transportation, i might be able to get a vehicle if i think small. i'm picturing taking a 110cc mini-buggy and converting that motorcycle style. i'd like to turn one into a 55mph/50 mile grocery getter with regernerative breaking and possibly solar cell supplimented. i figure that going with a chain drive vehicle alone should make things much simpler and cheaper and actually DOABLE. if it could also drag race, that would be cool too.

one of the ideas i had was to run a PAIR of pancake motors on each side of the sprocket for increased HP/torque (there goes regenerative breaking) without using large expensive motors. i've never seen that done. would there be any advantages or disadvantages to that? i'd think it would lower the load on each motor as well as offer higher current capabilities much like the stacked motors in the zombie.

without relying on a cramped motorcycle frame, it should be easier to accommodate batteries without gaining weight. i even imagined a battery trailer for an EV somewhere along the line and today toyed with the idea of a solar steam engine. really, i like the idea no one seems to talk about... hydrogen conversion which should be so much cheaper & practical. that technology still hits the range barrier but should be an easier transition globally. more than 10 years after seeing a stock ford econocar converted to hydro with a couple thousand in plumbing, i'm surprised that hardly anyone is doing that. a hydrogen powered buggy could be both fast & cheap.

this is an electric forum though and that tech seems easier to DIY so i'll keep my interest there.

any opinions on the idea of converting a single seat buggy into an electric go kart? as you're all familiar with the math, ROUGHLY how many volts/amps and what size motor(s) would i need to get a highway capable ride? think a conversion is doable for under $2000? would it be impossible to get such a vehicle registered once properly lit & speedoed etc.?

if it weren't for fear of insane fabrication costs, eg. A arm suspensions etc. i'd love to design a mini frame with the simplified angular lines of a rail buggy instead of the goofy & excessive framing on chinese mini buggies. sadly, rail buggy frames are cheap, but getting them rolling isn't, but minibuggies are dirt cheap. (anyone want a 110cc motor? LOL)
 

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i've been trying to research electric vehicles thanks to the inspiration of white zombie (all hail white zombie!!!) on PBS and have trouble getting my questions answered with keyword searches etc.

try to understand motors and output, and one place talks about watts, another horsepower, another volts or amps etc. is there some place that converts all of those ergs between each other?
watts = volts x amps. Horespower = 746 watts, but it's not quite as simple as that, because the HP you see on your car rating is tested on a dynamo at peak motor output, so it doesn't really relate to your car's performance. HP is kind of a difficult quantity to work with unless you're very familiar with the mechanics of what it means in a regular car. To further complicate things, electric motors are rated with continuous HP, not peak. So you can get a 6 hp motor that will push a small car just as fine as the 100 hp engine that was in it.

right now, i'm starting to think that at least for transportation, i might be able to get a vehicle if i think small. i'm picturing taking a 110cc mini-buggy and converting that motorcycle style. i'd like to turn one into a 55mph/50 mile grocery getter with regernerative breaking and possibly solar cell supplimented. i figure that going with a chain drive vehicle alone should make things much simpler and cheaper and actually DOABLE. if it could also drag race, that would be cool too.
If you want solar, put it on your house and charge your car with it while at home and/or charge some batteries that you can charge your car with later. You don't have enough room or enough time in your car to make any significant charging with today's solar cells. The weight and aerodynamics simply don't pay off with the energy output of today's solar cells. Regen is a debatable item; for myself, I don't see much point in it on an EV, but it is doable. You'd probably want to look at an AC system; most DC systems can't do regen reasonably. Some can, if you get the right kind of motor, but the most common (DC brushed series wound motor) is not suitable for regen.

one of the ideas i had was to run a PAIR of pancake motors on each side of the sprocket for increased HP/torque (there goes regenerative breaking) without using large expensive motors. i've never seen that done. would there be any advantages or disadvantages to that? i'd think it would lower the load on each motor as well as offer higher current capabilities much like the stacked motors in the zombie.
Pancake motors have rather poor acceleration from my understanding. If you're okay with getting up to speed slowly, that could work on a light car. Note that you'd also have to have two controllers, so it'd be someone difficult to set up and a bit more expensive than just one motor and one controller. Also, since your battery pack is probably the bottle neck, you won't get any more power putting two motors in as compared with one larger motor.

without relying on a cramped motorcycle frame, it should be easier to accommodate batteries without gaining weight. i even imagined a battery trailer for an EV somewhere along the line and today toyed with the idea of a solar steam engine. really, i like the idea no one seems to talk about... hydrogen conversion which should be so much cheaper & practical. that technology still hits the range barrier but should be an easier transition globally. more than 10 years after seeing a stock ford econocar converted to hydro with a couple thousand in plumbing, i'm surprised that hardly anyone is doing that. a hydrogen powered buggy could be both fast & cheap.
Hydrogen is a highly debatable power source. I don't know much about the ins and outs of converting a car to use it.

any opinions on the idea of converting a single seat buggy into an electric go kart? as you're all familiar with the math, ROUGHLY how many volts/amps and what size motor(s) would i need to get a highway capable ride? think a conversion is doable for under $2000? would it be impossible to get such a vehicle registered once properly lit & speedoed etc.?
Depends on vehicle weight, aerodynamics and range. A budget of < $2000 is possible for such a project, depending on range. Getting an electric vehicle registered is typically not more difficult than getting any other car registered, but will take some time to get to the right person to help you. You should check the laws for your specific locale for similar vehicles.

Hope that gives a start to some of your questions. You should be sure to check out the wiki too for a lot of answers and explanations to these sorts of thoughts:

http://www.diyelectriccar.com/forums/showthread.php?t=668
 

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solar cell on the roof is a total no go. i don't think my landlord would go for it.

as to the horsepower issue, i DO know that electric horsepower are different, but that's the way many electric motors are listed and what causes the problem with trying to plan out a system. it's hard to compare apples and oranges. electric motor manufacturers should pick one rating and stay with that. it's usually electric mopeds that are rated in watts, but i've been trying to find "the minimum motor/battery" to get 55mph & 50 mile range compared to car systems which use volts & amps and manufacturers who use horsepower.

it would be cool if someone made an online calculator where you coulde approximate speed & mileage etc. for a given system of design a system for that requirement like you can for designing loudspeakers etc.

another thing that complicates the issue is how much juice you have on hand.

i don't know if it would even be possible to register a mini-buggy (a big go kart basically) because they aren't street legal to begin with. if sand rails can be titled though, i don't see why a dune buggy with proper lighting, a horn & speedo etc. couldn't be other than "it's too small" but they're bigger than mopeds.

A/C is out of the question as that's an expensive tech. i've been reading mentions of it in my research, but didn't get the lowdown until i read a thread about the pros & cons here. D/C is more cost effective. if i won the lottery, i'd build an A/C dragster though. then, i'd have my own home with a solar sterling engine and/or a "ribbon windmill".

the most helpful thing is your mention of needing dual controllers. i thought you could just connect both motors to the same controller in parallel and reverse the polarity on one. there goes my idea for a 4wd dragster. i still don't get why two identical motors sharing the same drive shaft can't share the same current though, maybe one motor might be 1% more efficient than the other, but the weaker one would make an easier load on the stronger one. the concept seems the same as splitting a double motor in half to me.

if i did a chain drive system then, i'd have to side mount the motor. i hate asymmetry. it would leave room for mounting batteries on the opposite side though.

i'm starting to think i'll just stick with bicycles as everything about conversion is riddled with roadblocks. i just don't have $1000 for a big enough motor to be able to move 8 or so 12v and get out of town. then add a controller & custom fabrication for motor mounts etc. and what starts out sounding like a good idea turns into a pipe dream unless i could find a junkyard conversion to salvage from. i'd have to pay someone to do that too & transport everything then even.

electric mopeds are affordable, but they're 10mph too slow and 10 miles short on range. the nearest town to here is about 25 miles away. i'd bike it if i had a recumbent.

thanks for your help. it was a nice dream while it lasted.
 
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