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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Planning 2008 Mazda 3 Conversion!

Hello everyone,

New to this forum, and a sticky told me to start here with my initial question: considering what to take on.

I am looking for an EV that can do a max of 75 mph and at least 75 miles per charge. Money isn't too much of an issue, but it's tight enough to opt out buying a Tesla. I should also note that my mechanical knowledge is next to 0!

I currently have a 2008 Mazda 3 automatic that I would love to convert. It has plenty of room and is rather light, but i've read that automatics draw too much power. Is it really that big of a hinderence? (Considering my desires out of an EV)

Edit: The motorcycle route was thrown out, so Mazda3 is the project car!

Thanks in advance!
 

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Hi Matt

Both projects are feasible - some people like autos in Ev's - there is a whole thread about it look under Technical Discussion (page 2)

Look in the garage to read what other people have done to similar cars

Considering sports bikes - I think there are some that have been able to at least keep the IC bikes honest on the track
look in the Electric Bikes forum
 

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New to this forum
welcome!

I am looking for an EV that can do a max of 75 mph and at least 75 miles per charge. Money isn't too much of an issue, but it's tight enough to opt out buying a Tesla.
Might consider a leaf changing your expectations. 75miles on each is doable, but with more expensive batteries and motor/controller. Space is limited, so a large frame for a motorcycle would be required IMHO. For a car, it would be hard as well, but doable if the pack size is right. You're going to have to use lithium if you want those ranges.

I currently have a 2008 Mazda 3 automatic that I would love to convert. It has plenty of room and is rather light, but i've read that automatics draw too much power. Is it really that big of a hinderence? (Considering my desires out of an EV)
Lots of losses, and some mechanical and electrical considerations (you need to idle the motor if I remember correctly). I'm a motorcycle guy, so people correct me if I'm wrong. I've got one gear....lol

The other option I considered was converting a sports bike to electric. I understand this is a different path considering the limited space, so I was wondering what I could expect out of that project?
75mph is doable, but 100mph, you're gonna need a fairly large frame. You might consider looking at the Brammo Empulse. they have 60, 80 and 100 mile range models with 100mph top speeds (specified). Batteries are going to be your largest obstacle. Fitting 8kW on a bike isn't EASY, but its possible. You'll probably have to spend some bucks on dense high power batteries, or get a large frame (800cc or larger). Thats just from experience. My bike is barely going to fit 6kwh of Lithium and its a 700cc size bike. Motor and controller you should be fine on, either a large series wound, or an AC15 or AC20 AC Induction motor/controller setup..... its what I'm using.

check my blog, hasn't been updated, but lots of good info I've collected.
www.evfr.net

and check this forum:
www.elmoto.net
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Thank you for the welcome Frodus :)

I think I've decided to stick with my Mazda3. Space requirements opt out of the Motorcycle route

I'm currently doing some calculations for my requirements, but my question now comes to DC or AC motors?

I'm not too big on acceleration (though 0-60 in 5 secs is a nice thought XD), so my biggest concern right now is range and top speed. With the requirements from above (75mph max speed, and 75 miles or more per charge), which motor do you think would best suit me?

I'll keep reading up on the two in the meantime :)
 

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Hi Matt

DC = cheap, barbaric, powerful
AC = expensive, sophisticated, weedy - unless you have a LOT of money - then its the best
 

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Re: Planning 2008 Mazda 3 Conversion!

No mechanical skills? Have you looked into buying a Nissan Leaf ?

Hello everyone,

New to this forum, and a sticky told me to start here with my initial question: considering what to take on.

I am looking for an EV that can do a max of 75 mph and at least 75 miles per charge. Money isn't too much of an issue, but it's tight enough to opt out buying a Tesla. I should also note that my mechanical knowledge is next to 0!

I currently have a 2008 Mazda 3 automatic that I would love to convert. It has plenty of room and is rather light, but i've read that automatics draw too much power. Is it really that big of a hinderence? (Considering my desires out of an EV)

Edit: The motorcycle route was thrown out, so Mazda3 is the project car!

Thanks in advance!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I've considered buying an Electric Vehicle. I was also looking at converting because while my mechanical skills are very low, I learn very quickly and my electrical skills are rather good

I wanted to get an idea as to what kind of prices I'd be paying with a conversion, and a possible EV like the Leaf.

I think I've worked out a little more info on what I would need:
Single motor, AC or DC (still can't decide which to go with)
At least a 56kWh battery bank. I know it's possible, I just don't know what with
(like which kind of lithium batteries will get me that)

I am still looking through the wikis, but I haven't seen anything about a MPH to motor voltage figure. I've read that higher voltage means more top speed, but haven't found a way to calculate it.

Ideas?
 

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Mazda3 is a nice choice, especially the hatchback. I chose Protege5 specifically for EV conversion and I love how it turned out. I wish I could spring for Mazda3 instead, but in 2009 when I did the conversion, earliest Mazda3 ( 2004 ) was too expensive as a donor, but its basically the same car with updated body design.

Check out my build thread ( search for Protege5 ), I also have automatic and it works great. Don't believe anyone telling you automatics are no good, its baloney. Arguably, automatic is even better than manual for several reasons discussed in details in related threads.

To reach your goals, you can use same components I used, but few more cells, to get more range and better performance. My EV goes 90mph and has 50-60 mile range. The only thing I would change is to add more cells, at least 50, or perhaps 55 if I could fit them.

Good luck with your project!
 

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You did mention a Tesla.. you might look to buy an existing EV, one that had old Lead Batteries, but has done all the mechanical work already, then you just replace the batteries and maybe a few other electrical things.
It will be a lot cheaper than converting from scratch, although with gas now over $4 here in California, used EV's might not be so cheap anymore!

I've considered buying an Electric Vehicle. I was also looking at converting because while my mechanical skills are very low, I learn very quickly and my electrical skills are rather good

I wanted to get an idea as to what kind of prices I'd be paying with a conversion, and a possible EV like the Leaf.

I think I've worked out a little more info on what I would need:
Single motor, AC or DC (still can't decide which to go with)
At least a 56kWh battery bank. I know it's possible, I just don't know what with
(like which kind of lithium batteries will get me that)

I am still looking through the wikis, but I haven't seen anything about a MPH to motor voltage figure. I've read that higher voltage means more top speed, but haven't found a way to calculate it.

Ideas?
 
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