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Average Joe
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For all new members and first timers, here is the basic guide to getting started.

If you haven't already you will need to Register to post in our forums

Start by posting a new topic in the EV Conversions Forum.
A good topic might be "Planning <make> <model> conversion"

What you will want to post is:
  • Your skill level with auto mechanics and fabrication
  • The range you are hoping to get (how many miles/charge)
  • What level of performance you are hoping to get
  • How much money you are willing to put into your project
  • What parts you've already considered, if any.
Members will help make recommendations and design assistance is generally good. They won't do all the work for you though so you must put in the time and come back with additional questions.

Make sure to have a look through the DIY EV Wiki, as much repeatable information is held there. If you make a discovery or want to help spread the knowledge you've obtained, please contribute. All registered users can add and edit existing wiki pages.

Once you've got your plan down and have started the build, head over to Technical Discussion to get into details of wiring, mounts, fabrication and any problems you've encountered. More savvy users will be able to assist you with your technical needs there.

If you're looking to build a much faster car or are trying to squeeze more bang for the buck out of your newly converted EV, post about in Performance Discussion.

If you're building or converting a motorcycle, bike or other two or three-wheeled vehicle, a good place to start would be in the Electric Bikes Forum.

As for parts and additional services, there are Classifieds, eBay auctions, and a Vendor Forum.

Good luck with your conversion!
 

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Re: I want to build an EV! Where do I start?

I should have slowed down and read this when I first found the forum and read this first. I already did some of these thanks to supermoderator MattW and by accident. Now I am planning some steps for converting a Trabant. I knew of one and now, because MattW found a second, two. I have communicated with the Lynch Motor contractor for the first and am trying to communicate with the YOUTUBE "Electric Trabant Test" fellow. Or maybe its a gal. Check the Electric Trabant Thread for progress on the planning.
 

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Re: I want to build an EV! Where do I start?

What do you guys think about converting a 2002 mini cooper ? I have been doing a lot of reading and I am thinking of this first project. I am wondering what I would need to make this car go 65+ miles on a charge and 65+ mph. What do you guys think? any help would be great.
 

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Re: I want to build an EV! Where do I start?

As far as the electric powered Mini goes, that is entirely doable. In fact, it has been done and you may have seen 3 of them and not realized it. In the Italian Job, the new one, most of the big chase scene in the sewers was done on an indoor set with electric conversion Minis. The rules prohibitted using petrol powered vehichles indoors, so 3 Minis were built using electric motors and deep cycle marine batteries.

Please build yours, please.
 

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Re: I want to build an EV! Where do I start?

As far as the electric powered Mini goes, that is entirely doable. In fact, it has been done and you may have seen 3 of them and not realized it. In the Italian Job, the new one, most of the big chase scene in the sewers was done on an indoor set with electric conversion Minis. The rules prohibitted using petrol powered vehichles indoors, so 3 Minis were built using electric motors and deep cycle marine batteries.

Please build yours, please.
What's the range on that conversion?

ga2500ev
 

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Re: I want to build an EV! Where do I start?

I've been looking for a 2002 donor car but not really any in a reasonable price range..
 

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Re: I want to build an EV! Where do I start?

Dont remember the range exactly, but it was decent considering the batteries used. Its such a small car anyway. A Mini seems like an expensive place to start. Maybe something a bit cheaper would allow you to save enough from gas to make up for the investment better than a Mini. Would be cool though.
 

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Re: I want to build an EV! Where do I start?

Dont remember the range exactly, but it was decent considering the batteries used. Its such a small car anyway. A Mini seems like an expensive place to start. Maybe something a bit cheaper would allow you to save enough from gas to make up for the investment better than a Mini. Would be cool though.
Ya I'm going to keep watching the prices for the 2002 as they go lower. Once they get into the 5k range I think I will have my donor car. Thanks for the input guys
 

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Re: I want to build an EV! Where do I start?

i have a 2002 Dodge neon
very little automotive experience (brother who knows a thing or two willing to help)
around town car not much. highest speed around is 50 so that or better would be nice.
money is negotiable cheaper the better (without really sacrificing performance)

Thank you for any help you can give in advance
 

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Re: I want to build an EV! Where do I start?

What do you guys think about converting a 2002 mini cooper ? I have been doing a lot of reading and I am thinking of this first project. I am wondering what I would need to make this car go 65+ miles on a charge and 65+ mph. What do you guys think? any help would be great.[/quote
I shop the cooper used car market all the time.
The cheapest/worst mini that you will find is $10,000.00.
I think that there are cheaper/ lighter platforms available.
Lots of old Miatas out there... cheap 1990 on.
I own a 03' cooper and there are a lot of electrical systems on-board
IE. electric windows that index every time the door is opened and closed.
The early miatas have little to no computers onboard.
good luck!
 

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Re: I want to build an EV! Where do I start?

What do you guys think about converting a 2002 mini cooper ? I have been doing a lot of reading and I am thinking of this first project. I am wondering what I would need to make this car go 65+ miles on a charge and 65+ mph. What do you guys think? any help would be great.[/quote
I shop the cooper used car market all the time.
The cheapest/worst mini that you will find is $10,000.00.
I think that there are cheaper/ lighter platforms available.
Lots of old Miatas out there... cheap 1990 on.
I own a 03' cooper and there are a lot of electrical systems on-board
IE. electric windows that index every time the door is opened and closed.
The early miatas have little to no computers onboard.
good luck!
Interesting reading is the Mini QED.
google 'Mini QED'
A concept Mini with inwheel motors. They are not in production, yet.
Another consideration is where will the batteries vent and talk about the heat produced by multiple batteries.
I like a trunk for batteries, Isolated from the passenger compartment.
 

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Re: I want to build an EV! Where do I start?

One of the best buys you can find that make a great conversion is a Porsche 924. Its an aerodynamic vehicle that with an ICE got 30 mpg. Once you pull the ICE and related items, you'd be starting with a curb weight of just around 2,000 lbs. You can pull the torque tube and save more weight there if you mount your motor directly to the gear box (which is mounted in the rear of this car).

The only place you need to get creative is the battery placement. If you pull the rear seat and make a hinged lid that lays flat with the rear trunk area, you can put all your controls there - leaving the entire engine bay to configure your battery box(es).

You can get a 924 for less than $1,000 that might need minor cosmetic work. These cars are easy to work on and several have been converted already. If I had the budget in time, I'd be converting one of the ones I own.
 

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Re: I want to build an EV! Where do I start?

OK so I will start here and you can tell me if I am even barking up the right tree. I am a total N00B when it comes to electric cars, I think the closest I've come is the battery pack that came with my legos! But here is my "plan" I want to convert a 1980's alfa rameo spider veloce(read: cool sports car) it has a very good wind profile, a large engine compartment, and a big trunk that I plan to fill with batteries. the other plus is it is a sports car suspension so the weight shouldn't be an issue, it's already a heavy car coming in at almost a ton(i know heavy for a 2 door sports car) but it's also very stable and can handle a heavy load(i've pulled a 10k boat with it) I want to go AC motor so I can capture regenerative braking, and I want to link it to the 5-speed transmission that is currently installed(not sure if this is wise) I'm going to be building in the next 2-3 years as I am currently in grad school and have ZERO money. also has anyone looked into buying the "replacement" batteries for the prius or other hybrid car, it seems to me that this should be cheaper than going for a single custom battery. also I would like to look into adding solar to the hood and trunk to capture this lovely florida sun and put it to good use. Also has anyone looked into adding a small 2 or 4 stroke "lawn mower" type engine hooked to a generator to extend range, i mean a 1/4 gallon engine running for an hour to fast charge a battery pack sounds like fuel efficent to me. WHEEW thanks for any insight you have!
 

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Re: I want to build an EV! Where do I start?

  • Location
Australia
  • Your skill level with auto mechanics and fabrication
Zero.

depsite the name ive never been a revhead.
they stink, theyre noisy , expensive - an dteh Ford/holden culture puts me right off
but i might as well get back in at ground level with EV's
and i need a new hobby that justifies itself in economics.

in effect a good EV might buy me a means of income
  • The range you are hoping to get (how many miles/charge)
60km +. Inner urban transport, possibly carrying payloads...

100km+ ideal
  • What level of performance you are hoping to get
A to Z, at city speeds, on flat to gently sloping ground
  • How much money you are willing to put into your project
whatever the cost benefit ratio says. but were talking personal loans if need be. Itd be a commercial vehicle, depreciated against its earnings with allowable tax deductions.

im thinking if my running cost are very low with a plug in i can take the fatter margin as fuel goes up.. its $AU 1.70/L here now.
  • What parts you've already considered, if any.
a Small car would be ok, rip out the back seats and convert to a microvan. A light commercial van like tradies use would be best.
room for extra batteries to extend range
room for payloads

Ill try not to ask too much till ive read all i can read
but great to be here :)
 

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Re: I want to build an EV! Where do I start?

I've always thought starting out small was the way to go with most projects, so why not one of these? http://homepage.ntlworld.com/andy.carter/images/pictures/5.html
This guy is now making kits in the UK for several small commuters; however, he's not doing anything with electric, just replicas of the original with single-cylinder ICE's. I did see one on UTube(?), claims(!) to get 85 miles per charge with a top speed of 55 mph - don't remember the voltage. I know there's not a lot of room for battery, but this is considered an "occasional" 2-seater, and it wouldn't take a lot of battery for reasonable range. BTW - The original factory literature listed the empty weight at 198 lb. with the original engine, full tank (1.6gal.), no driver. So, I figure you're looking at maybe 850lb. all-up with batteries, driver & all. What do y'all think?
 

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Re: I want to build an EV! Where do I start?

So I've just started seriously looking into the whole EV conversion project, something I've wanted to do for quite some time. My first project I would like to keep costs down while still producing a quality EV. And then after that, once I find out what I'm actually up against, possibly doing something a little nicer. I would like to see 60 mph but if not, I would be okay with a little less. 40-50 miles on a charge is my goal but once again, especially for my first vehicle, I would be fine with less. I haven't done near enough research on my own yet so I apologize if this post comes prematurely. My first question is about what type of vehicle to use. I have heard of people using S-10's so I would think that using a Ford Ranger would be okay as well. I found an '88 in town for $500. The price being what attracted me to it the most. It's a 5 speed so I'll need to do my homework on clutch vs. clutchless. Sorry for the long rant, my only question is would this vehicle be a good choice for the conversion, or is there something different about an S-10 that makes it better?
 

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Re: I want to build an EV! Where do I start?

There are Ford Production EV Rangers out there on Ebay.
There is a local guy who converted one. The Batteries under the bed is a good idea (Out gases from Lead-Acid Batteries in to the world, not the cab).
I looked at a 86 Nissan Stanza, Yesterday. It's ICE has a bend valve.
Batteries would have to go in the back of a Mini-van style hatch.
It was an Automatic.
The local guy is using two gears of his standard transmission and expensive Lead-Acid batteries.
 
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