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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,
I'm from Australia and would like to convert a car, but every now and then I need to travel long distances, so I understand that I'll have to keep my old car (Mazda 3).

I will buy a 2nd hand car, but I'd like to be able to buy the car AND do the conversion for under $15k AU, is it possible?

I heard the Hyundai Getz is a good car for the job, but it looks like it would be hard to fit the electric motor and the batteries in!

Also, what kind of kit should I be after? These look good:
http://www.beepscom.com/category_s/114.htm
I think I could even get away with this Kit:
http://www.beepscom.com/product_p/ki-17.5-96-144.htm

And according to google:
2625.00 U.S. dollars = 2902.15589 Australian dollars

With the $885.75 US shipping (Cheapest shipping to Australia), it would cost all up:

3510.77 U.S. dollars = 3881.44831 Australian dollars
And that gets me an Electric Motor + Controller.

Is it worth it, or are there cheaper distributors?

I suppose the other thing I need is some kind of accelerator potentiometer, and a vacuum pump for the brakes, and that should be all, right?

Then I suppose:
1) Take out the engine and all associated crap
2) Get a plate thing made up to connect electric motor to the gearbox
3) Put it all in.

Perhaps thats a little too simplified though!

So, $6000 car + $3900 Motor + Controller = $9900 AU
And I've still got to get POT Box, Vacuum pump, batteries, and adapter plate. How much are these 4 things gonna cost?

Perhaps I need to find a cheaper car. Whats the best car between price and "modern" and suitability (eg: Light, Safe)?

Note: I am also posting this on the Aussie EV Forum: http://www.waeva.asn.au/forums/forum_posts.asp?TID=83&PN=1
 

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Hi Alex - i am based in Auckland NZ so we are in a similar sort of position.
I have allowed a budget of NZ$18K for my conversion but I already have a 1991 toyota corolla AE101 which the wife is still driving. I am not skimping on anything and have included sums for the adaptor plate and hub (1K) the motor (3K), controller (3K), batteries (2.5K) + contactors, fuses, circuit breaker, vacuum pump, DC/DC converter, e-meter, heater, etc, etc. I have spent about 3K so far building the contactor/relay box and purchasing a few items such as the DC/DC, emeter and circuit breaker.

Gav from kiwiev.com is keeping an online record of his costs but he is, by his own admission, going simple and on a budget. I think he has spent about 8K with about 3K to go including the batteries. He hasn't included the car but he bought a glider with a blown motor (and blown gearbox too for that matter) and I can't image that cost much to buy. You could keep an eye out in the 'trading post' for something nice with a blown head gasket. I regularly check online for "blown motors" and even repo's which seem to go quite cheap at times too.

So, to finally answer your question, I think that 15K (or about NZ$17k) should see you into a fine EV, especially if you shop around for parts and do the work yourself as much as possible.
 

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Hi Alex,
I'm from Australia too and we have pretty similar plans. I found that its probably cheaper to buy the parts individually through retailers over here than to get a whole kit imported, remember you need to add 10% to everything due to GST and i think there might be import taxes also. There are some decent resources over here; try http://www.zeva.com.au/, http://www.evaustralia.com.au/Home/tabid/36/Default.aspx and for a previous conversion with full cost of conversion see http://www.electric-echo.com/. Cheers
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks guys for getting back so quickly

Yeah I read through Gav's kiwi car conversion blog - it was a good read!

I looked on www.bev.com.au but they quoted quite a high price for the conversion only (Around $32k AU inc GST), but then again it is all done for your and fitted properly, and he said Hyundai support what they're doing...

I completely forgot about any importing taxes!

I'll check out those links now - great to see this forum is active :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Interesting links there, The echo conversion is really the only one that lists all of the prices. Unfortunately, his Motor and Controller cost him $5k, and mine would cost 3.9k + taxes, which would probably end up cheaper? Adding 10 percent for example pushes it to 4.3k which is still 700 less than buying them in Australia according to the prices on the echo page.

There's still all of the other things to take into account:
Vaccum Pump: http://www.beepscom.com/product_p/vp-107cd20-1.htm
269.95 U.S. dollars = 298.452184 Australian dollars

POT Box: http://www.beepscom.com/product_p/th-pb-6.htm
72.50 U.S. dollars = 80.1547816 Australian dollars

Contactor: http://www.beepscom.com/product_p/ct-sw180-3.htm
89.95 U.S. dollars = 99.4472084 Australian dollars
(I guess this is used to isolate the batteries from the controller (and motor) when the key is in the off position).

But then what's the disconnect switch listed here do?
http://www.electric-echo.com/prices.htm

Well, so far it would be costing me: 6280 AUD for those items, but I still need:
A car
Batteries
Adapter plates
Wiring and clamps, nuts and bolts.
Motor Mount, Battery Mounts.

Unsure of whether I should scunge out and be cheap on the batteries...
 

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I was thinking the same thing too a couple of months ago and it makes sense with the Aussie dollar doing so well atm. I even sent Electro-Automotive an email about getting one of their kits imported. This was their reply:

Shipping costs from here to Australia and tarriffs are very high, and
packages can get held up in customs for weeks. Also, there are
businesses (listed below) that have exclusive distributorships for
Advanced DC Motors and Curtis/PMC controllers in Australia, and we
cannot infringe on their territory. For those reasons, I suggest you
might try some of the following Australian contacts, which might be
more useful to you than we could be.

If you can't find what you want below, we could supply some of the
smaller parts (gauges, circuit breaker, etc.). We can only provide
adaptors for motors and transmissions for which we already have the
patterns. See the list on our web site.

Australian Electric Vehicle Association http://www.aeva.asn.au

Advanced DC motor: EV-motors, Kenthurst NSW
http://www.evmotors.com.au/ - Dr. Michael Symons

Curtis controllers, etc: Bylong Industries, Crows Nest NSW
http://www.bylongind.com.au/ - Michael King

Battery charger: Woods Battery Chargers, Thornton NSW
http://woodsbatterychargers.com/ - Shaun Woods

Trojan batteries: ALCO Battery Sales, Penrith NSW - 02 4722-2588

Vacuum pump: Rietschle Thomas Australia, Seven Hills NSW
http://www.rietschle.co.uk/company/contact_australia.asp

Cables: Pro-Lec in Castle Hill 02 9680 4718

Anderson Connectors: Ashdown Auto Electrical in Silverwater 02 9681 2711

Adaptors: Cleveland Electronic Services
http://members.austarmetro.com.au/~clevefj

One person's list of parts, costs, and suppliers:
http://www.electric-echo.com/prices.htm



Petra
Assistant to Shari Prange
Electro Automotive POB 1113 Felton CA 95018-1113 Telephone 831-429-1989
http://www.electroauto.com [email protected]
Electric Car Conversion Kits * Components * Books * Videos * Since 1979

Basically if you buy locally you are helping to build the EV industry over here in Oz. Also remember that the Echo conversion was done a while ago, the dollar was probably at about US$.75 instead of where it is now ~US$.95 so you more likely to get a better deal than he did on parts. I think if you do the conversion yourself it will probably cost about AU$8000-12000. There's another good set of links at the Australian Electric Vehicles Association Website: http://www.aeva.asn.au/links.htm
Hopefully that gives you enough to go on, glad to have another Aussie on board!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Unfortunately, until I have some money, I need to go the cheapest way there is!

Later on though (and I suspect I will be converting more than 1 vehicle!), when I can afford to, I'll buy from Australia.

I will check out those links now though! (I emailed that place I was quoting asking for lower shipping (since it turned out to be $1k!)
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
Judging by the number of sites listed there that I've already seen, Electric Car conversions isn't really an active 'scene' yet!

I hope it gathers more interest with people soon. I think it comes down to batteries though - when they can do 200km on a single charge, it will turn a few heads.

Also, it appears I made a mistake before when calculating - so far I am only up to $5531

Motor & Controller: 3421 (Upgraded to: http://www.beepscom.com/ProductDetails.asp?ProductCode=KI-22-96-144&CartID=4 ) Because they don't have the other ones in stock
Vacuum Break Pump: 298.45
POT BOX 80.15
Isolater Contactor 99.4
Import 10% 407.9

Shipping 1165

TOTAL 5453.9
 

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Alex, instead of waiting til you have all the money - which could take forever if you're like me - why not start by finding a donor car. You might even find a free one, that will give you something to play/work with and plan with.
It will help curb the "EV Fever" for a few weeks too. It worked for me. :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Yes I think curbing it is a good idea for now ;)

It is amazing that only people from Australia and New Zealand have posted in this thread!
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
According to your site

The Latest Update: October 27: A huge oil spill occurred near our city's coastline yesterday covering 6 square miles.
The rear battery rack is installed and the front racks should be installed today if my welding guy shows up.
I'll be visiting the bank in a week to get a loan for the batteries.

Is this current? (Installing battery racks today) ? Keep uploading the photos and videos!


Are you settled on which batteries you're going to get?
 

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Cheers for that link Alex. I've checked it out. Interesting, very similar to New Zealand's rules available here if anyone's bored enough to read them! I'm following the rules to the letter, even when it seems ridiculous! :)

As for the racks, my welding guy was over just a few minutes ago and made a little bit of progress but he didn't have his angle grinder (and mine is broken) so he was only able to measure stuff. He said he'll be back tomorrow night with his gas welder so hopefully I can have the latest video complete tomorrow night or Tuesday! That would be very cool. Keep your fingers crossed...
 

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What we could do with is someone in the US who could receive all our parts and consolidate them into one package! That would cut the shipping costs quite a bit! Like many people, I know quite a few US citizens but no one that I know well enough to impose upon.

The cost of EV parts out of Oz (for us Kiwis) is horrendous!!!!! I priced up a 9"ADC out of OZ for about NZD4800 but I can get the same thing direct for about NZD2900. Where does the other 2 grand go eh?
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I think some of that other 2k goes towards a bit of profit, the shipping costs into Australia, and taxes :p
 

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It must be friday! I got the "back pocket" but the "red tape" took me a bit longer :D.

I must remember to include GST and customs charges but the $2900 includes shipping and purchased from a US vendor (who I must assume is making a profit :)) so that still leaves at least a grand to find!
 

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I'm not really sure that combining the packages would help much. I joined an online community that trades snacks around the world for one of their trade rounds, and I notice a lot of people are opting to send two small packages instead of one larger one to save on shipping. I wish I had checked into that! I sent a box to Singapore (from US) and it cost me more than all of the goodies I bought her combined! Plus, the post office apparently doesn't do freight shipping anymore. It's all air. Ridiculous, if you ask me! It took weeks to get there anyway.

Edit: Oh no! I've busted up the Aussie-Kiwi club! ;)
 

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I think we started throwing our Aussie/Kiwi toys about a long time ago. :)

You're right about the post shop. They don't give you the option to send via sea anymore. It's Air freight and a mortgage, or go somewhere else.
 
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