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Discussion Starter #1
Hi,

I've had interest in some form of small commuter vehicle for a long time. This last summer my family and I moved back to my Alma Mater, Iowa State University in Ames, IA. I now actually have a commute that could easily be handled by most ANY electric vehicle.

I'm lucky enough to live 2.5 miles from my office. Most of my commute is via bicycle. However, we do get stormy weather and quite cold winters.

I'm starting the research to purchase a well used economy car (old CRXs look cool!) to convert to EV.

My goals:

summertime 20 mile range, wintertime 10 mile range
35mph top speed
mostly flat roads here in Iowa.
I want to keep things VERY affordable. I believe my requirements are low enough to allow for that.

Also worth mentioning is that "my other car" will be my Jeep TJ. If the winter weather is really bad I'll be driving that. The EV will be for when the streets are reasonable clear in a small commuter car.

-Andrew
 

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Welcome! Do you really only need 35 mph? If so there are a number of ways to save money by sacrificing capability, but would make upgrades more costly later on.

What budget do you have planned?

Got any fabrication or electronics experience? (unnecessary, but can trim costs)
 

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Wow Andrew,

Most people come in saying they want to make a car that is capable of going 100 miles on a charge at 100 mph for no more than $1000. :D

Your requirements are very doable. My Zapp Xebra PK 3-wheel pickup is even capable of doing that and it is more or less a joke.

You could almost get by with 4 volt forklift parts although I would recommend at least a 72 volt system.

Good luck. Check out the Wiki area and search the forums. There's a lot of good information to be found here. Don't hesitate to ask specific questions. Most of the people here are pretty friendly and helpful.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Welcome! Do you really only need 35 mph? If so there are a number of ways to save money by sacrificing capability, but would make upgrades more costly later on.
Yep, there is about a tenth of a mile of 45mph speed zone on my route to work but the rest of the trip is 35mph or slower. Main street (vinyl record store, homebrew beer store and $$$ coffee), Lowes, and all of the grocery stores are within less than 10 miles round trip and all in speed zones of 35 MPH or less.

What budget do you have planned?
Don't really know on the budget yet. That is the first part of research here. I ended up here on a google search following reading an article about a forklift motor converted car for under $1000. Time will tell.

Got any fabrication or electronics experience? (unnecessary, but can trim costs)
I'm a mentor for FTC and FRC robotics teams. Grew up in a machine shop on the family farm. I've built more than a handfull of guitar tube amps from scratch. I play around quite a bit with arduino tinkering and believe that some cool telemetry could be gather in an EV conversion using that technology. I'm comfortable with sitck and MIG welding, drillpress, bandsaw, shear, tube bending and lathe work. I have access to some of that equipment currently and working on ways to gain access to more. Building an EV conversion might be a great excuse to gain access to more tools :)
 
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