DIY Electric Car Forums banner

1 - 9 of 9 Posts

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
882 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I think the Volt will be a great thing for consumer acceptance of electric vehicles if/when it finally gets to market. The ability to have the generator kick in for longer trips is great. But most of the time when i want to do a longer trip, I know I am going to do a longer trip i.e. a planned holiday. So I was thinking about how viable it would be to remove the generator from the Volt and mount it on a separate trailer for long trips. That way you wouldn't be hauling around the excess weight of a fuel tank/engine for your every day stuff but can still take advantage of their engineered OEM construction generator for longer trips. You could even parallel a second string of batteries into the engine bay to give you an 80 mile range around town...

The obstacles I can think of are in the weight balance front to rear without the engine and the fact that the generator is probably part of the crumple zone for a head on collision.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,958 Posts
I don't want to shoot you down, matt, but I have to wonder how much some one is willing to spend on something like this when you consider,

1; the purchase price of a volt (seems to be a moving target, but we can probably assume $40k)

2; the fact that any mods that are done will add to the price and void the factory warranty.

Technically it can be done, theres not question there.

The engine itself would probably free up lots of room, but I found the extra bonuses are found in the cooling and exhaust systems. Relative to their weight, they take up a lot of room.

On the other hand, doing a drop floor below the trunk might also be worth considering. Some might rather have a hidden spare tire, or others would rather have the on board range extender.

I don't know if having a parallel battery under the trunk would add up to an 80 mile all electric range AND still be able to keep the generator but it might be a nice option.



Assuming this is the size and shape of the stock battery, then I would imagine there is still room for a battery in the engine bay and under the rear trunk. Perhaps with some modding a 200 mile car would be possible. Although with enough money anythings possible.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,700 Posts
I applaud you for your out of the box thinking matt.

What about targeting similarly small engines not from brand new cars...

like the small ICEs that are used in the prius or insight?

You could convert them to run on LPG/CNG and make them even cleaner burning...

Also you should look into rotary engines like the ones used in the Mazda Rx7...that would give you a good power to weight ratio...
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
882 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Its probably not something I would ever actually do, I was just thinking about what the ideal car for the mass market would be in terms of the concept. I think the volt is pretty close but I think people would realise after buying it that they are carrying round this big engine all the time for pretty much nothing except to go see grandma for Christmas.

It would be something to consider in say five years when the warranty is over and enough Volts have crashed into trees for you to get a spare pack or two from a wrecker's. If GM offered the Volt like this in stock form, then you probably wouldn't even need to own the trailer. You could just hire it when you needed to go on holidays, especially if the trailer had room for luggage as well.

The problem with existing small engines is that it is hard to get them to output the high voltage DC that we would need. Most generators do AC and maybe 12V DC. I think there would be a reasonable market among DIYers if someone were to produce a (streamlined) generator trailer that efficiently put out 144/120/96VDC and maybe a 72/60/48V one for motorcycles. Then our EVs would do everything we would want them to.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
680 Posts
The problem with existing small engines is that it is hard to get them to output the high voltage DC that we would need. Most generators do AC and maybe 12V DC. I think there would be a reasonable market among DIYers if someone were to produce a (streamlined) generator trailer that efficiently put out 144/120/96VDC and maybe a 72/60/48V one for motorcycles. Then our EVs would do everything we would want them to.
I really got to get to work on my series hybrid generator trailer...

http://www.evnut.com/rav_longranger.htm

http://www.diyelectriccar.com/forums/showthread.php/building-series-hybrid-generator-16758p4.html

http://ntl.bts.gov/lib/11000/11500/11546/KLK331.pdf
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,700 Posts
...
The problem with existing small engines is that it is hard to get them to output the high voltage DC that we would need. Most generators do AC and maybe 12V DC. I think there would be a reasonable market among DIYers if someone were to produce a (streamlined) generator trailer that efficiently put out 144/120/96VDC and maybe a 72/60/48V one for motorcycles. Then our EVs would do everything we would want them to.
Why can't you use the AC from the genset and rectify it to DC or put the AC through your charger? It is explained in the link....

http://www.evconsultinginc.com/artic...dc_system.html (thanks tj)

300$ 10Kw max 7.2kw cont. (needs 20hp motor for 10kw)
http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/Displayitem.taf?itemnumber=45416

1500$ 40hp small engine (convert to run on CNG/LPG or E85)
http://cgi.ebay.com/Generac-Engine-...temQQimsxZ20090823?IMSfp=TL090823157001r25131

1500$ + 300$ + 300$ = $2,100

122lbs + 90lbs + 90lbs = 300lbs

20kw max 14.8kw cont.

I am planning to convert a unibody car to a tube frame to make it lightweight...and to make this custom genset removable so its only added for longer trips...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
778 Posts
What irks me most about the advance press on the Volt is it's tiny battery range. For a price tag of $40,000 US, I think they could have given you enough Lithium to go 80 miles or more on the battery.
The alleged 40 mile range tells us they are really stingy with the Lithium.

Nissan held a press confrence recently for their pure electric car with enough Lithium to go 100 miles on a charge. Japanese Fleet delivery by 2010 and US Delivery by 2012.
The rumors are the vehicle will retail for $30,000 US. If that is in the ball park.............GM will get its ass kicked again. There are many consumers
here in the US who have practical use for a 100 mile range vehicle and are smart enough not to be tricked into a Hybrid with all the "Back to the Dealer Maintenance".
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,958 Posts
Isn't the prius a much cheaper, lighter, and more aerodynamic?

Considering how cheap lithium is getting, the smaller battery in the prius might not matter much because you can buy a LOT of lithium for the ~$20k price difference (some one correct me if I am wrong on the price spread between the volt and prius).

From what I understand it is capable of running up to full highway speeds on battery power alone. No doubt toyota has the capability to deploy a larger battery if needed later on, but I suspect they won't have to for the sake of competing with the volt.

My understanding is that the new honda insight is also in the mid to low 20s for price.

The chinese BYD claims to have full series hybrid mode in addition to 80 miles all electric range. Would be interesting to see if they hold true, because their price is also bound to be much less than the volt.

You are probably looking at 10 years before these hybrids end up being cheap enough to get at a wrecker based on past experience with toyota's prius. As it turns out, they do indeed last and hold their value quite well.
 
1 - 9 of 9 Posts
Top