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Discussion Starter #1
Aloha, I kinda cheated and bought an EV Yaris on ebay. (I could never the time to do my own conversion and I think it is a good deal), what do you think?.
This is the Yaris for sale on ebay and got it for $8199.00. Please check it out and tell me what you think. I am kinda surprised the owner only got 25 mile range out of it with Optima and thought maybe 55-60 miles or so because other builds with lifepo4 claim 140 miles. What do you think of the components and overall deal?
thanks
Francis

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=270660837843&viewitem=&sspagename=STRK:MEWAX:IT <http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=270660837843&viewitem=&sspagename=STRK%3AMEWAX%3AIT>

build photos

http://www.go-ev.com/Albums/Yaris_Album_files/
 

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You got a great deal! For less than what a used Yaris would cost you got one with the work already done. To improve the range a conversion to Lithium power would be most strait-forward solution.

Optimas will not give a very good range because 14 of them is only a 560 pounds of lead. 10 Optimas will give my buggy a 20 mile range and it is super light. At EV discharge rates an Optima can only supply about 30 to 34 amp hours.

A 100 amp hour Lithium pack should give you a 70 mile range (roughly 54 Thundersky or Sky Energy cells to match the current pack voltage.) The pack would weigh about 100 pounds less than your current pack.
 

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Looking at the price of a used Yaris I'd say you did great. I got a laugh out of seeing that the car was washed on 12-13-2010. The seller must want Christmas to come a bit earlier!

As for range remember that AGMs don't have as much energy available as a flooded does but it can pump out the amps better. Also, if the previous owner drove it at high currents the range would suffer greatly compared to lower currents. I haven't done the calculations but I would think that starting out in 3rd and shifting to 4th at 45 might be running higher current in the motor than necessary. If that is the case that would explain some of the range issue.

Since it looks like you will have to buy a charger any way, I would highly recommend you go with a lithium pack. There is just no comparison to lead!
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Yeah, I took the plunge as I wanted a conversion that did not look "old style" such as a 1990 Tercel or 1989 S-10. (my hats off to all those who have built their own no matter what year or style---I just don't have the patience or time). I wanted to use it and have it confused with the Leaf. I plan to do a custom paint, lower it and have a body kit, etc. I am promoting my business as "Green" (we operate our factory on solar) and make affordable housing out of shipping containers, so this Yaris is a good Fit (no pun intended).
I did not have time to research the components (Zilla, Warp) etc. but what I quickly saw in the video and build, it seems the original builder did a quality job, not a cut and hack job. Now I hear the Yaris has electric power steering, so that is a plus. Yes, the previous owner drove hi speeds, 65-80 so we will see how the batteries are when I get them. (maybe a couple are weak/shorted and I can get some more life out of them before I take the in inevitable plunge to Lifepo4.
Francis
 
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I have seen this build and think you did an excellent job. Remember that most folks who claim 50 miles on lead are talking 35 mph speeds to get that. In reality it is not truthful but the claim of 20 to 30 miles is right on if you actually drive normal speeds and some freeway and in town driving. With a good lithium pack you could, depending on the AH of the batteries and the voltage you decide to use, get some decent 60 to 120 mile ranges with normal driving including freeway and in town. Take claims of 50 miles or more with lead with a grain of salt. Ask them at what speeds they get that 50 or so miles? I guess given enough lead you could go that far but you'd best have one hell of a beast to haul around all that lead.

But you got one hell of a deal. Since it was done you could even get a used car loan to pay for it. Now to come up with the funds to buy your new lithium cells.

Pete :)
 

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Excellent deal.. I see a lot of posts where people are saying to put lithium in there. Well, before you do that, consider what range you need. If the 25 miles will work for you, then just replace the batteries and be done with it. Thats what I'd do. After all, if you replace with lithium, the batteries will be twice or three times more expensive, plus you'll need an expensive charger and battery management system. Not only that, but you may have to re-design the battery racks. Of course, if you need more range, then maybe Lithium would be the answer.
 

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After all, if you replace with lithium, the batteries will be twice or three times more expensive, plus you'll need an expensive charger and battery management system. Not only that, but you may have to re-design the battery racks.
The car didn't come with a charger so he has to get one any way. A charger for lithium isn't more expensive than one for lead. He has AGMs so he has to have a charger which will cut off with out killing the AGMs any way. If he has AGMs he needs some sort of BMS if he wants them to last a while. Why not put that cost into a BMS for lithiums? When I converted my rig to LiFePO4 it only cost me $75 to have my Zivan reprogrammed. If I had bought it programmed that way it would have cost the same either way. From my experience there is very little balancing needed with Lithium, if any, once the pack is balanced. Getting a miniBMS at $12/cell plus a master board is quite inexpensive in the long run.

Yes, he will have to figure out how to mount the batteries but if he drives 25miles every day his AGMs will end up costing much more than lithium over a short while because he will be draining them most of the way each trip. Furthermore, the weight savings will make the car last longer than running it at or over GVW all the time.
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
Aloha, the Yaris is on the way from UT to Hawaii. Can someone enlighten me on the safe voltage to use on this 9 inch Advanced DC motor? When the current owner got the car, it was setup for 228Volts, on the 9 inch Advanced DC Motor 150V and he reduced it to 168V and programmed the zilla. (so that would account for about 10 miles of poor range issue--5 batteries less, plus the fact he says normally drove it 70-75mph and lived next to the freeway and got off the freeway right at work!). Using the Zilla and this 9 inch Advanced DC Motor, what would you suggest for the Voltage?
thanks
Francis
 

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Aloha, the Yaris is on the way from UT to Hawaii. Can someone enlighten me on the safe voltage to use on this 9 inch Advanced DC motor? When the current owner got the car, it was setup for 228Volts, on the 9 inch Advanced DC Motor 150V and he reduced it to 168V and programmed the zilla. (so that would account for about 10 miles of poor range issue--5 batteries less, plus the fact he says normally drove it 70-75mph and lived next to the freeway and got off the freeway right at work!). Using the Zilla and this 9 inch Advanced DC Motor, what would you suggest for the Voltage?
If it was set up for 228V before, and it was working fine, then it would probably get best performance at 228V again.
 

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There is nothing wrong with a 228 volt pack, the Zilla can buck that down to what the motor can handle. I would set the motor voltage limit to about 170 volts. The higher pack voltage will reduce the battery amps. Going back to the 36% larger battery pack (19/14) may increase range 50%.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
wow, great deal. The EV parts are worth an easy $6k. I wonder why the owner wanted to sell?
The original owner/builder sold it to the person I bought it from. He in turn used it for 2 1/2 years and now the batteries are going south and newness probably rubbed off, I guess. (he paid 30k for it in early 2008). BTW it only has 8400 miles and the truck transport guy moving it to Long Beach says it looks like it is brand new. The owner had 19 batteries when he got it and each battery had a charger. The chargers went bad so he dropped 5 batteries that were under the hood and was left with 168V and made a charger that charges 168v. francis
 

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The original owner/builder sold it to the person I bought it from. He in turn used it for 2 1/2 years and now the batteries are going south and newness probably rubbed off, I guess. (he paid 30k for it in early 2008). BTW it only has 8400 miles and the truck transport guy moving it to Long Beach says it looks like it is brand new. The owner had 19 batteries when he got it and each battery had a charger. The chargers went bad so he dropped 5 batteries that were under the hood and was left with 168V and made a charger that charges 168v. francis
hhhmmm, bummer that EV re-sales do not seem to be holding value, it kinda shoots the business plan of selling conversions. Hard to figure the second owner is willing to eat a $20k loss after just 2 years....

In your case, with an investment of $6k in new Li batteries and maybe another $600 in a charger, you'll have a high-quality near new EV!
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Yeah and hopefully pass as the Toyota equivalent of the new Leaf. At least to the general public.
Francis
 

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Discussion Starter #15
hhhmmm, bummer that EV re-sales do not seem to be holding value, it kinda shoots the business plan of selling conversions. Hard to figure the second owner is willing to eat a $20k loss after just 2 years....

In your case, with an investment of $6k in new Li batteries and maybe another $600 in a charger, you'll have a high-quality near new EV!
I think if he advertised in some of these forums before selling, he would have gotten more. I think the typical EV backyard converter may not have too much disposable income in these harder times and coming chose to Christmas, etc. But putting in good batteries brings the overall price up to 14-16k anyway. Francis
 

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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
Aloha, all. In trying to figure out my charging system. The car is currently at 168V and was previously at 228V. To simplify charging how much would I loose in performance by going to 120V and running a total of 20 batteries in parallel 2's/series 10 or even going way down to 60V 20 batteries and parallel 4 batteries/series 5. Is it all about overheating the components by drawing too many amps with less volts? Maybe wiring is too thin, etc? I am not looking to keep up the claimed 80+ mph capabilities, just 55mph or so and town driving.
thanks
Francis

FWIW (I have only 110v and able to use probably 10-15 @110VAC amps off my existing inverter in my Off-the-grid Solar system...I have no Grid electrical hookup at my shop here on an old military base).
 

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Aloha, all. In trying to figure out my charging system. The car is currently at 168V and was previously at 228V.
you probably want to avoid changing system voltage very much as it is likely (and hopeful) that many components were 'matched' to that voltage, and assume lower amp draw than if you lower voltage much. Motor advance would have to be changed, etc.

FWIW (I have only 110v and able to use probably 10-15 @110VAC amps off my existing inverter in my Off-the-grid Solar system...I have no Grid electrical hookup at my shop here on an old military base).
Just get an Elcon charger or something that can handle either 110v or 220v input. only real difference is that when you are on 110, it'll take longer to charge.
 

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Discussion Starter #18 (Edited)
I have nursed the optimas back to life a bit. When I bought the car the previous owner said he only got 5 miles out of the pack. When the car arrived the batteries were ranging from 5v to 9v, so basically "toast". I charged 3 at a time with a 36v charger and mostly got them to 11.9, 12.3 and 12.4 or so in each set of 3. (way out of balance as the previous owner only charged in series, never individually). I charged each individually then and got them up to around 12.5. and then drove around a bit (4 miles until the pack was down to 11.9 or 12.v. Then charged 3 at a time again over two days and started again with the first 3 then, charged each with a single "Sears" charger. Each battery is up to no lower than 12.75v and I drove 8 miles and pack voltage is down to 12.14 (170v). so it seems they are recovering a bit. Will charge them all up again tomorrow off my solar panels and see how many out of balance or weak ones there are. I bot a couple yellow tops off Craigs yesterday for $60.00 each to replace any real bad units, but will be going lithium when I get up the courage!!!

Francis
 

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You might want to consider building some Lee Heart Zener regulators for your pack. Check out http://www.evdl.org/lib/index.html and scroll down to the section on Battery Management and check out the first two items. These should help get and keep your batteries closer in line and make them last a little longer.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
You might want to consider building some Lee Heart Zener regulators for your pack. Check out http://www.evdl.org/lib/index.html and scroll down to the section on Battery Management and check out the first two items. These should help get and keep your batteries closer in line and make them last a little longer.
WOW thanks Gizmo. I even understand how it works!!! And if you call it a BMS, even if it were to short it would burn through quickly and not have any concern for a fire!. (maybe put a fuse inline with the bulb for more protection in case of a short?)

francis
 
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