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Discussion Starter #1
Hi, I am new to this business and I am not a technician!

I recently decide that it would be nice to convert an old 1978 Lotus Esprit in an hybrid veichle.
Two reasons for this:
1) Try something different from engine tuning or swapping
2) Build a long range car with the handling of a proper sportscar.

The system architecture I would like to use is similar to the Lotus prototype of the Evora 414E
http://www.blogofcar.com/auto/2010/03/2010-lotus-evora-414e-hybrid-concept/

The idea is to have a small gasoline (or LPG), engine tuned to low fuel usage, connected to a generator
This will be the charger for the battery.

The electric motor will be connected to the existing gearbox and it will be feeded by the batteries

So, the small engine keep the batteries in charge;
the batteries run the electric motor.

The original car engine has 118 KW (160HP) and with this power the car speed was 125 Mph (200 Km/h)
So, more or less, this is the power I need.
Torque of course will be way above the original engine.

The question is, compared to an full EV, do I need the same amount of batteries?
May I save weight using only the batteries enough to run the motor at full speed while the engine re-charge the batteries?

thank you
 

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Hi Aquilante,

I hate to pour cold water on your dreams but you will end up with something heavier slower and less fuel efficient than the original Esprit.

The concept has a 47 hp IC engine - look at 47 hp - 35Kw gen sets - big and heavy!

A major manufacturer can make a hybrid work with marginally greater efficiency than an IC - but it takes millions!

You would be better building a BEV and mounting your gen set on a trailer for the occasions when more range is needed
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Thanks Duncan, soon I will contact an italian manufacturer who actually build car conversion (from IC to EV).
I am very curious to verify what you say.
The Lotus car has more or less 300KW of power.
I think that for the Esprit 130/140 will be enough: I don't have to go to Le Mans..... ;)

in 2009 the car design firm Italdesign (Giugiaro) made this prototype
http://www.worldcarfans.com/109030417586/italdesign-giugiaro-namir-hybrid-concept-animated-video

this is a computer graphics animation but they really build the car.
it seems to work.

I know that the perfect solution will be a full EV but battery costs, weight and autonomy are great problem these days.
Tesla Roadster is a great car but it seems that if you drive it hard you have a quite limited fun time.

Damn! today is sunday and I must wait for tomorrow......
 

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It can be done, but it will be very hard and expensive.

If you use an internal combustion engine, there will be little room for the electric stuff. Notice the Nash-Frasier car used wheel motors which got them out of the engine compartment. Right now there are no decent wheel motors available to the public that I know of.

Without wheel motors you are trying to cram a generator AND an electric drive train in the car and there won't be enough room.

It will DEFINITELY cost more to build a hybrid than an electric vehicle since you will have to buy all the electric stuff PLUS the generator stuff.

You need to be super technical to pull this off.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
costs are the major issue for sure.
I need someone able to make calculation about KW, KWh, A, Ah and all other thing like that.

regarding room for engine and motor I think that it shouldn't be a problem: someone puts a IC V12 in the rear of an Esprit like mine!

Thanks anyway!
 

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You should be able to duplicate that $400,000 show car that has state-of-the-art technology without any problem, any DIY mechanic that can turn a wrench could build one for $4,000 in a few weeks, just ask a few questions and you can figure it out. Just need a little motor and a generator in back and some old forklift parts.

costs are the major issue for sure.
I need someone able to make calculation about KW, KWh, A, Ah and all other thing like that.

regarding room for engine and motor I think that it shouldn't be a problem: someone puts a IC V12 in the rear of an Esprit like mine!

Thanks anyway!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
You should be able to duplicate that $400,000 show car that has state-of-the-art technology without any problem, any DIY mechanic that can turn a wrench could build one for $4,000 in a few weeks, just ask a few questions and you can figure it out. Just need a little motor and a generator in back and some old forklift parts.
that's interesting.
I saw many thread here about forklifts: are they a good source for useful hardware?
 

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In America this is called "sarcasm". He is saying that it is impossible given your budget and expertise. I believe you could study up and build an electrical car as many on this site have done, and maybe even add a range-extending generator, but the project you propose would be both very expensive and very technical.

If you hope to build an electric car, you will have learn enough to run the calcs yourself. It is not that hard and there are many good sources on the web.

Cheers.

You should be able to duplicate that $400,000 show car that has state-of-the-art technology without any problem, any DIY mechanic that can turn a wrench could build one for $4,000 in a few weeks, just ask a few questions and you can figure it out. Just need a little motor and a generator in back and some old forklift parts.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
In America this is called "sarcasm". He is saying that it is impossible given your budget and expertise. I believe you could study up and build an electrical car as many on this site have done, and maybe even add a range-extending generator, but the project you propose would be both very expensive and very technical.

If you hope to build an electric car, you will have learn enough to run the calcs yourself. It is not that hard and there are many good sources on the web.

Cheers.
:D oh..... here in Italy we have many different ways to call it....
I'll search around for information before give up!
thank you
 

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Discussion Starter #11
just talk to a manufacturer who make EV conversion.

60KW motor (probably I need a slightly big one) - $4.000
Controller - $4.000
Batteries (Lithium) - $10.000
Other electrical stuff - $1500

It's not cheap but it can be done.... ;)
 

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just talk to a manufacturer who make EV conversion.

60KW motor (probably I need a slightly big one) - $4.000
Controller - $4.000
Batteries (Lithium) - $10.000
Other electrical stuff - $1500

It's not cheap but it can be done.... ;)
Hi aquilante,

What you outline above could be a good estimate of the main components for a conversion which would yield mediocre performance. But a far cry from this:

2) Build a long range car with the handling of a proper sportscar...........connected to a generator. This will be the charger for the battery.......118 KW (160HP) and with this power the car speed was 125 Mph (200 Km/h).
So, more or less, this is the power I need.
That is all we are trying to tell you.

Good luck,

major
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks Major, I've to work hard on it.
I just talk by phone with that guy so I must meet him to define details.

I know that's not easy but it's a challenge for sure!

My idea of "good handling" is a car with a quick response to accelleration.
Pure speed it's no so important: our speed limit on highway is 80 mph.
They told me that with a 90KW motor they made a car really fun to drive.
I am gonna to have a test ride!
 

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Yes, you are on the right path. Talk to some experts and go for a test drive.

Keep your expectations realistic. A $200,000 car is going to be $200,000.

I disagree with Major that $20k will only get you mediocre results. I think you would be very pleased with the results.

Where in Italy are you? My father in-law grew up on the north coast of Sicily.

Are there many electric cars in Italy?
 

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I disagree with Major that $20k will only get you mediocre results.
Compared to his stated objectives
a long range car with the handling of a proper sportscar...........connected to a generator......car speed was 125 Mph (200 Km/h).
the result from a $20K conversion will be mediocre :)

I think you would be very pleased with the results.
Yeah, he may like what he ends up having. After most guys sink that money and effort into a conversion, they tend to like the results.
 

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I would think that in Italy you just need sharp acceleration and quick steering in town, and good bumpers. Top speed doesn't even figure.
:D


Yeah, he may like what he ends up having. After most guys sink that money and effort into a conversion, they tend to like the results.
Whether they like it or not, eh, major?;)
:D

I know I will love mine even if it is complete rubbish and becomes a pain in the neck to own, I will still love it.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
@ruckus - my budget for a standard IC restoration is not so far from money figure they told me. Higher but not impossible.
I'll check what can be done with that money (using a lot of "lateral thinking" of course)

I am from north Italy, near Venice

@Woodsmith & Major
Yes, handling is a matter of acceleration and ability to make turns keeping the car on the road.
Pure speed is another thing.
That 125 Mph is from original car.
I definitely prefer a car that makes 0-60 in 5 sec and let me overtake easily than a superfast car that you can only use on track or on german highways.

@Woodsmith
I live in the north of Italy so bumpers are not so important.
In south Italy instead.....
 

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Ciao Aquilante.

I lived and worked in Italy for a few years, and have family and work there still (in the EV business).
I'm curious as to how you will make this vehicle legal on the road once it is made? I understood it was not possible to do this, and actually spent 6 months trying (without sucess) to export a converted Aprilia there for a customer. We really tried everything, but it seems the only way would have been for Aprilia to have fitted all the parts themselves and subitted formal documentation! None of the contacts I, or the Italian customer had could help at all.
Hope you have a plan, hope you have a plan others can use too!


Steve
 

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Hi Aquilante,

You can make a fast - or at least nippy - electric for ~ $20,000
(My budget is ~ $10,000 - and I hope it will be quick)
BUT
you will have to sacrifice range - and any range extending generator will be on a trailer

If you can live with 50 miles range and pull a trailer when you are going further then you can make your Lotus into a rapid wee car

Look up the Tesla for what can be made with serious money

Incidentally - the motor you are looking at is probably AC
AC = sophisticated, nice, expensive
DC = cheap, powerfull, barbaric
You choose!
 

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Discussion Starter #20
@Jozzer
Burocracy in Italy is crazy!
The only way to have a street legal veichle is via the german TUV.
Even there it's not easy but, if you know someone who live there, it's possible to register the car at his name and then "buy back" the car.

Luckly I have a friend who live in Italy but also german citizen.

The Company I contacted for information about EV conversion has links in Germany.
I'll try to obtain those names.

@ Duncan
The question of range extender is the key.
without it probably I will never go on.
I don't want a ton of batteries on my car.

Lotus Engineering with this concept http://www.ubergrun.de/lotus-evora-414-e-hybrid/ has choosen a small 1.2 liter engine tuned to run at 3500 rpm giving 47 CV (34KW)
with this small IC engine they keep the batteries in charge.
Are they crazy?
Are they lying?

Here in Italy motorscooter are very popular.
A 500cc engine has more than 50CV.
Why an engine like that it is not useful for this purpose?
If Lotus claim to use a 1.2lt 34KW for a 300KW motor system why do I need a trailer for my 90KW stuff?
With a range extender on board I will need only 20 miles range on batteries.
I'm really trying to understand this.
:confused:
 
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