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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am of course at the beginning stages of converting. My concerns here are, what are the california legalities of converting? Where is there a list of guidelines to follow? The design of the truck seems to be pretty good and I also wanted to use a lid on my bed with solar panels on the lid. I would like the vehicle to be self sustaining but I don't know if that would work.
  • I have minor mechanic skills and NO fab skills. I have put together a complex steering system on my boat. So I do have creativity and persistance. I know some great welders/fabricators and mechanics. he/they have shown interest in guideing me through this process.
  • I was trying to get 50 - 80 miles at 60/70 mph
  • The performance on the EV has to be reliable. I would hope the life of the EV would pay for itself. At least!
  • The money is the difficult part. I will probablt need to piece meal this thing together, but my hopes are to commit $6000
  • I haven't looked at any parts yet. I have the donor car and I was thinking of parting out the good motor to help pay for startup costs.
Thank you for any and all input.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Are there any California incentives to converting? I know there are for new cars but I don't see anything for converting.

I am trying to come up with creative ideas for creating capital to begin funding this project. Any ideas?
 

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I'd imagine that range is going to be difficult to reach with that budget and that vehicles weight and aero. I imagine it'd use power at a similar rate to an s-10. Basically the aerodynamics of a brick.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
The s10 is more boxy than the tacoma.
Lets do some more realistic numbers.

Max speed of 60mph
Max of 40 miles

Being beginner, what type of batteries would be the least expensive, and how many would I need?

Any thoughts using the soalr panels?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Another thought.
How much would reyclyers pay for the platinum and other metals in the catalytic converter?
 

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For a Tacoma (read Hilux for my Kiwi/oz pals) you are looking at an absolute minimum of 120v, 144v for good start point or 196v for some get up and boogy.
Lead acid batteries are the cheapest but you will need some big amp hour batts to pull the truck.
1, its gonna sap a little bit to move the beast
2, the current draw for a heavy truck will prob be around 160-200amps to move at 30mph so on 100 amp hour batts thats 2c already. To accelerate will use alot more.
I would say 125-150Amp hour batts would do you and you can tuck alot of the ugly beggers away under your tray and in the bonnet/hood region.

Remember your motor will also need to be 11'' min and a controller to tell the lot what to do wont be too cheap either.
Your prob looking more at $7-8k.
When moving such a behemoth remember things need to be kept cool. Fans on motor, fans on controller, water cool if we must.

Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for the info.
As the price tag keeps going up, I am thinking more and more to get a different doner car. My tacoma seemed a good (not great) candidate but its not sounding like it. With a price tage around 8k, it might not be much more to use Li batteries. A 144v system its around 5k.

Has anyone ever got a sponsor for starting this project? I am not sure how to tackle this yet but I wonder if companies would be interested in striping the truck with decals during the startup time.
 

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I tend to agree with you. Trucks need a lot more power/money to convert; because their aerodynamic drag and weight are so much worse. On the plus side you should be able to pack a butt load of batteries in a truck fairly easy, but more and bigger everything can really shoot the cost of the conversion up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
My options are few to none. I still like my tacoma as a candidate, I think the weight of the truck is 2200 lbs. Thats not a lot, is it?

Lead acid will have to be the way i go for now. These can be changed out later, along with the charging system right?

Now i needs tips for motors, it has been recommended to go at least an 11", what about a 12"? Where is a good place to either buy these or find them? I am in Central Cali.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Also this tacoma is a single cab manual, 2wd, 1/4 ton i believe.
Its a very light weight truck and I would like more opinions.
 

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The sticker on the truck says GVWR 4250. Is this accurate?
I was way off

Your truck weighs a fair amount, if you want somebody to tell you that a 48v system and 6" motor will pull it then sure, I highly recommend it.

Obviously if every person on here is giving very similar advice then it is probably what to expect.

The truth is it will cost alot to convert, and will need alot of planning put into it.

If you want to do something cheaper, try finding maybe an old civic or metro to dip your feet in first, then you'll get a taste for what a truck will take to convert.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Okay I appreciate the input. I would like to get started soon however, funds are stopping me from moving forward. Cheap options are hard to find and quality I can't afford. It's time to get creative!!
Ultimately I would like Lith batt at 144v or 192v with a new 11 or 12' motor. Those two items alone are 8k.

Time to start saving.
 

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Okay I appreciate the input. I would like to get started soon however, funds are stopping me from moving forward. Cheap options are hard to find and quality I can't afford. It's time to get creative!!
Ultimately I would like Lith batt at 144v or 192v with a new 11 or 12' motor. Those two items alone are 8k.

Time to start saving.
Indeed, however by asking the right questions some people may be able to reccomend a forklift dismantler that may have an 11" motor lying about, if lucky it may be paired with its controller.
Other people might be able to mention some cheaper D&D motors that have had cooling fans fitted and used in S10 conversions and the like.

Batteries, yes well they will always be the pain in the backside component sadly, but by the time the motor is mounted and a few other bits stuck in you should have saved a bit :)

Of course selling the motor, fuel system, exhaust etc should perhaps get you enough for a motor which will keep you occupied for a long time yet.
 

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That is the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating. It is the maximum it is supposed to weigh when packing a full load. The pickup weighs about 2800 pounds empty with the 4 cylinder engine. I own a 2004 single cab, 2wd, 5-speed Taco.

It should make a fine EV but you will want a series wound DC motor that weighs about 140-150 pounds to push it if you retain a manual transmission. Increase that by about half if you want to ditch the tranny.

Short range city speed EVs are sometimes made for little dough. I don't know how to get good range and freeway speeds in a compact pickup without dropping at least $10k.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Can someone explain solar to me?
I was thinking of solar assisting the truck. If I were to put a lid over the bed and recess 2 - 225 watt panels in the lid (for less reistance) What kind of REAL help would I get?

The panels would face directly up, for 8 hours while at work.
144v system, 4200 lbs EV, 11" motor
 

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Any info on the solar?
Two 225W panels would put out a max of about 550W, so if parked in full sun for 8 hours around 4400Wh max. It will be less due to the sun not being directly overhead most of the time, and lower panel efficiency due to heating in the hot summer when the sun is more directly overhead. Assuming the max, and assuming your tacoma requires around 250 to 350 Wh/mile depending on speed, they might add 12 to 17 miles range for 8 hours exposure, but realistically I would expect maybe half that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I found someone to trade a Geo Metro for my truck. Its a 95' that still runs. I have seen where metro's are being sold for more becauce of gas efficiency. I am thinking of doing it. Any input?
 

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Personally, I would keep the Tacoma. It's just such a better vehicle than a Geo.

The panels would be great on a tonneau but if you have to spend on them you might be better off using that for (lithium) batteries.

If the Tacoma is the two door 2wd, it should be relatively efficient. Markedly better, I would think, than just about any other pickup.

Check out the EV Allbum and see what other people used on similar projects.
http://www.evalbum.com/3213
 
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