- Your skill level with auto mechanics and fabrication
- Auto Mechanics: Some, but not a whole bunch. I have worked on my own cars without trouble, but not too fancy, however, I have friends who are much better car people who can help when I get stuck.
- Fabrication: I can build wood boxes, but that's it. I won't even try any metal fab. If needed, I'll get someone.
- The range you are hoping to get (how many miles/charge):
- Just under 20 miles round trip. (With one good but short hill)
- Speed desired
- Max 40, usually 25-30mph.
- What level of performance you are hoping to get
- I'm only worried about performance up the hill. I don't want my neighbors behind me while I'm going 10MPH.
- How much money you are willing to put into your project
- Guessing at around $1200 for car, $4K-5K for conversion.
- What parts you've already considered, if any.
- I started this whole thing looking at the e-volks kits.
OK, that's my intro.
I have a few questions already. (And some I've posted already
My first question, as is most peoples, is volts. How many. Some people say 72 would be good. Some say you need to start over 100. It's a bit confusing. I've used the calculator, and then read about conversions that seem to do better than the calculator says they should do with that equipment.
So, my initial thought was:
Get a bug, convert it using the e-volks 72volt kit. Seems to be in my skill level (well, I'm sure I'll use some help
But some people say 72V isn't enough, although some say it is. I was reading on the ZAP car yahoo forums and several people have added a battery to their cars, same controller, to get to 84V. So, my thought was, if 72V is close, 84V might give me a bit more and an extra boost up the hill.
Of course, I could go with a 96V kit. But there's a problem there. It's using the Curtis controller, which I realize a lot of people like and are happy with, and I'm happy for them.
However, when my wife saw the youtube videos, that went out the window. The Curtis whine is too (In her and mine to a point opinion) annoying. I realize it's not as loud as engine noise and only at slow speeds, but engine noise is more like white noise, not the grating whine. And, on the way home, a chunk of my driving (maybe a mile or two) can be stop and go, so I'd have alot of the whining. I heard it can be less in a rear engine, but we're thinking about people around us as well.
Also, I don't want to get MORE power than I need. One of my goals is to not build a car than can do 65mph for 100 miles. If I need max 40MPH and 20 miles, I want to shoot for that. I have another car, so this is just for the trips to work. However, I understand that if I build a car that can give me a 25 mile range, that would bring the batteries too low and be a bad thing, so I need to overbuild to a point.
So, I like the concept of the Alltrax 72V, probably going at 84V. But I'd hate to build that, and then find out that the people who claim 96V is a minimum were right.
Also, initially I'm looking at the really big 12V batteries. I know what everyone says, however I have two reasons for thinking this.
1: I want to keep this as simple as possible. Finding places for (and wiring) 6 or 7 batteries is much easier than 12 batteries. (and I shudder to think about the over 100 volt setups in a bug???)
2: A lot of people say they damaged their first set of batteries. So, if I can get an easy to install set to last a bit, when they are done, I'll most likely be ready for an upgrade to a better system, and possible better technology if it's a year or more out. And if it does last 2 or 3 years (as some people say they have gotten from 12Vs), then great.
I also have a concern and a lot of questions about battery chargers.
It seems the kits come with chargers that match the batteries. So, you get a 72V kit, you get a 72 volt charger. If you add a battery or more (depending on your controller), you have to get a new charger as well??
And most people seem to recommend the Zivan charger, which apparently is exactly this type, you order it for your voltage?
You apparently really have to get your requirements right first, but the only way to really do that (considernig hills and such) would be to drive an EV on my loop with an amp meter. But there aren't any handy around here. At least not yet.
So, that is where I am right now. And as excited as I am, I am also feeling quite a bit like: