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Hi all,

Just found your website and I think I will be sticking around to read the really useful information!

Anyway, I am in the early stages of planning a EV conversion of an offroader - a Toyota Landcruiser 79 Series pickup Single Cab. Currently it has a 4.2 diesel. Its been modified to carry 8 people with full seating, etc (its currently used as a Safari taxi in Kenya).

As its current role is very slow bush driving (some steep slopes, bit of mud, etc) I need to look at a decent powered AC motor thats fully sealed and water cooled.

I based my math on a gross weight of 3300kg, a Cd of 0.49 (which I doubt is that important as the vehicle top speed will be quite low), and based the drag forces at 30mph to be around 191.6N. I did calculate total forces to be 407N at 30mph, but I may have got a bit of math incorrect there.

However, I need to figure out the best battery/motor combo to use in this project. The car is going to keep the existing drivetrain (4wd is quite important). It currently has 180ltrs of fuel and the drives average is about 9-15lts per 100kms. the current max power is 96KW from the diesel engine. The drives can vary from 20km to up to around 150kms and the normal range with 2 full diesel tanks is about 900kms.

So, while I am hoping you guys may be able to help is - what do you think the feasibility is of doing a good ev conversion to get this to work in this situation? Also, would having a generator onboard to extend distance be a possibility?

From what I can tell, I am really wanting is putting an AC motor (possibly the siemens one?) with as much LiFePO4 batteries as possible. As it does do alot of up hill and down hill, regenerative braking will definitely help with some of the range.

Thanks guys, and while I'm still reading up on alot of EV conversion books that I bought, I think I might spend alot of time on this site reading up your notes.

Thanks again!
 

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Will the vehicle continue to be used in Kenya? If so, can you give us some idea of the ambient temperatures you expect at your location? Can you also give us some idea of the reality of the supply chain for spare parts?
Hi Kevin,

It would be indeed in Kenya predominantly but the location is quite high (about 5-6000 ft) so temp is stable most of the year around the 25'C-28'C range (77'F-82'F). However, depending on how it performs, we may ship it to other sites around Kenya/Tanzania where temps may be a bit higher. Its fairly equatorial so the temperature is quite stable.

Spares are always going to be a bit of an issue. But we have good contacts for import shipping from the States and Europe - plus I will be flying in and out of the country quite often so can take some parts with me if required. We do have a vehicle parts stores and maintenance area for 6 vehicles onsite.

Once its built, I am hoping that there will be minimal maintenance required over and above whats done anyway. If anything, there should be less work (which will be nice!)

Also I do plan to fully document the build from start to finish so hopefully I can give back any helpful tips in the future! :D
 

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It would be indeed in Kenya predominantly but the location is quite high (about 5-6000 ft) so temp is stable most of the year around the 25'C-28'C range (77'F-82'F). However, depending on how it performs, we may ship it to other sites around Kenya/Tanzania where temps may be a bit higher. Its fairly equatorial so the temperature is quite stable.
That sounds achievable... I'd recommend AC motor (no brushes), liquid cooling, and systems that can be sealed to limit damage from dust.

Spares are always going to be a bit of an issue. But we have good contacts for import shipping from the States and Europe - plus I will be flying in and out of the country quite often so can take some parts with me if required. We do have a vehicle parts stores and maintenance area for 6 vehicles onsite.
I'd recommend choosing products that are readily available and have long term support. OEM parts are usually the cheapest and you can expect them to be around for a long time (maybe not true in the case of Tesla). That said, companies like New Electric have access to large numbers of Siemens motors and you can probably negotiate spares contracts :)

Remember that batteries are getting very difficult to ship by air... probably worth researching your options for groups transportation or finding a partner who has experience shipping dangerous goods to Kenya. You should also keep plenty spares onsite if you want to keep the vehicles running (I have some experience of hydropower systems in Uganda :eek:)

Once its built, I am hoping that there will be minimal maintenance required over and above whats done anyway. If anything, there should be less work (which will be nice!)
Minimal maintenance is a myth in my experience (my Tesla has been the most unreliable car I have ever owned). If this is critical to you then maybe buying an OEM vehicle would be a better/cheaper choice?
 

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That sounds achievable... I'd recommend AC motor (no brushes), liquid cooling, and systems that can be sealed to limit damage from dust.

I'd recommend choosing products that are readily available and have long term support. OEM parts are usually the cheapest and you can expect them to be around for a long time (maybe not true in the case of Tesla). That said, companies like New Electric have access to large numbers of Siemens motors and you can probably negotiate spares contracts :)

Remember that batteries are getting very difficult to ship by air... probably worth researching your options for groups transportation or finding a partner who has experience shipping dangerous goods to Kenya. You should also keep plenty spares onsite if you want to keep the vehicles running (I have some experience of hydropower systems in Uganda :eek:)

Minimal maintenance is a myth in my experience (my Tesla has been the most unreliable car I have ever owned). If this is critical to you then maybe buying an OEM vehicle would be a better/cheaper choice?
AC is definatly the way forward IMO - better torque curve, efficiancy, etc. I'll have to look into New Electric - not heard of them before.

We do have shipping partners available so will be via boat (especially completed vehicles of course). We do need to look at external infristructure for charging, etc. Especially if we do more than 1 or 2 vehicles. Thinking a decent solar array with additional LiFePO4 or LiPo or maybe just banks of deep discharge lead/acid. Not sure yet. To be thought about.

Unfortuantly, there are no real OEM options for what we want to do - plus within budget.

Any recommendations of motors/controllers/battery packs?
 

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What's your budget for parts? How often do you wish to exceed the 150km range requirement?
Oddly, budget is still in discussion. Although sub $30kUSD. The 150km range is actually probably a rarity. If it is going to be a very long trip, then use one of the diesel trucks. Or possibly add a Honda 3KW or 5KW generator or something as a topup. Plus was thinking trickle charge with some solar sails on the roof.
 

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Oddly, budget is still in discussion. Although sub $30kUSD.
Assuming that is just for parts then it might be possible to meet your requirements :)

The 150km range is actually probably a rarity. If it is going to be a very long trip, then use one of the diesel trucks.
It would be really helpful if you could map out your range requirements a little more... 150km will require a large battery (expensive) especially if you're fully loaded and off road.

Do you require A/C?

Or possibly add a Honda 3KW or 5KW generator or something as a topup.
FYI if we assume you'll have a 50kWh battery then recharging on a generator that can supply 5kW (continuously) will require more than 10 hours to recharge.

Plus was thinking trickle charge with some solar sails on the roof.
Solar will be useful for recharging your 12V battery but have no impact on your traction battery. If you want solar charging then put the panels on your buildings :)

I highly recommend the LandRover Lightweight build thread (here). Also look up recent RangeRover conversions from Indra and Classic Conversions. Do take their range estimates with a pinch of salt because they have done little real 'off road' testing and are in the UK with a very benign climate.
 

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Assuming that is just for parts then it might be possible to meet your requirements :)

It would be really helpful if you could map out your range requirements a little more... 150km will require a large battery (expensive) especially if you're fully loaded and off road.

Do you require A/C?

FYI if we assume you'll have a 50kWh battery then recharging on a generator that can supply 5kW (continuously) will require more than 10 hours to recharge.

Solar will be useful for recharging your 12V battery but have no impact on your traction battery. If you want solar charging then put the panels on your buildings :)

I highly recommend the LandRover Lightweight build thread (here). Also look up recent RangeRover conversions from Indra and Classic Conversions. Do take their range estimates with a pinch of salt because they have done little real 'off road' testing and are in the UK with a very benign climate.
No A/C (no actual roof on the vehicle other than canvas) but will need elec p/s (I have a contact for a kit) and power brakes (will just use electric vacuum pump and accumulator). Much reading, much much research needed. Will be an exciting project! :D
 
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