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  • electric car ideas

    My friend has a Volkswagon Beetle that he converted to electric propulsion. It used 12 six volt lead acid batteries and ran about 40 miles around town before needing recharging. The batteries went bad on him so now it sits in his garage.

    I have been bitten by the electric car bug and just read a book that says conversion of a gas burner is the way to go. The volkswagon weighed out at 2000 pounds before conversion and 2500 after. I was thinking that building my own chassis and body would be a better way to go--less weight and wasted space. Maybe something that looks like my old Jeep CJ2A, but lighter and maybe with foam filled cavities for extra crash protection, since its light weight would be dangerous when mixed with all the SUV's on the roads.

    Anybody have any good advice?

    [This message has been edited by mikem (edited 04-23-2005).]

  • #2
    Wait for better batteries, like these:

    Click here
    Free software for calculating bolt circles and similar: Click Here

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    • #3
      I like the ideal of a small efficient gas motor, a rack of short term batteries. A modified golf cart is the ticket. I sold one here a month or three back.

      Spurts of speed are needed in traffic to avoid being a nuisance to others.

      (how much money you got to spend?) I got a real good ideal for you, email me if you like.

      David

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      • #4
        I've always liked the idea of an electric vehicle, and the problem has always been the battery. If the new battery has the capability of high peak currents without the penalty of shorter life under those typical use conditions, then possibly the electric vehicle is finally coming of age. One thing will never change, however, and that is you're going to pay for it, one way or another. There's no way that the 'industry' is going to let you off the hook with your transportation costs. One way or another, you'll pay as much, and probably more, for your miles. I see no reason why it shouldn't be considerably cheaper to own and operate an electric vehicle, but that's obviously not the case, even considering just the initial purchase. Don't even mention replacing the battery pack after each three year period.
        What are we going to end up with here, garages full of electrics with shot battery packs, and no money to replace them?

        In general, we don't save money ahead of time for such large expenses, as we mostly seem to live day to day with monies that we get, so how are we going to pay for that new pack? Borrow? Don't forget to include finance costs in your cost per mile.

        In any event, I'd love to have one of those new battery packs in my three-wheeler (whenever I get finished building it). I'm hoping to be able to make up some kind of load levelling system to help it out.
        I seldom do anything within the scope of logical reason and calculated cost/benefit, etc- I'm following my passion-

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        • #5
          That new battery has pretty amazing specs, perfect for an electric car. Super quick recharge limited only by your power supply. Only 1% degradation after 1000 charge cycles, 80% of full performance at -40. I do think it will make electric cars practical. It will be able to make full use of regenerative braking because of its unlimited charging rate. I'm betting that in ten years many or even most major cities will ban IC engines from downtown.
          Free software for calculating bolt circles and similar: Click Here

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          • #6
            Check out the newer Capacitor developments. A capacitor can take a charge in a hurry and deliver it fast and not be degraded by charge/discharge cycles. Lead/Acid batteries are way to heavy for vehicle use except in equipment like fork trucks and there you can use the battery for ballast. Then comes the disposal problem with large batteries. Go diesel

            JRW

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            • #7
              Shell Valley Motors here in Nebraska makes kit Shelby Cobra replica cars and finished cars for the lazy car buffs with too much money. These cars have huge horsepower to weight ratios. They make the frames and bodies and buy the motors and transmissions.

              I thought that they should start making electric kits since they are already in the homemade car business, but electric cars don't fit their High Performance modus operandi.

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              • #8
                Unfortunately the cost per mile of operation still favors the internal combustion engine.

                If you own one of these new hybrid vehicles, better set up a fund that you contribute to at each "fillup" so as to pay for a replacement set of batteries in the future!

                Finally, if this idea really starts taking hold, the government will put its "fuel tax" on the electrics somehow.



                [This message has been edited by Fred White (edited 04-23-2005).]

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                • #9
                  I think hybreds are the most viable option in the near term. Use a small engine that matches the average HP requierments when running at maximum effiecency to drive a genarator. When greater HP is required draw from the batteries, when less then the batteries are charged. This reduces the need to lug around extra batteries or engine than required plus the IC is always working at it's most efficient.

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                  • #10
                    <font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Finally, if this idea really starts taking hold, the government will put its "fuel tax" on the electrics somehow. </font>
                    It's already started. Some states are looking at taxing by the mile traveled instead of a per gallon gas tax. I'm sure the Feds will follow as gasoline declines as a major fuel source.

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                    • #11
                      Oregon is already taxing the hibreds. The license plates on a hibred is more. The theory is, you still drive as many miles but are not using as much gas so are not paying as much in gas tax.
                      Don\'t ask me to do a dam thing, I\'m retired.
                      http://home.earthlink.net/~kcprecision/

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                      • #12
                        <font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">I thought that they should start making electric kits since they are already in the homemade car business, but electric cars don't fit their High Performance modus operandi.</font>
                        What? Electrics are currently equal to or even beating IC engines.


                        <font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">The Silent Supercar
                        Is a low-volume electric supercar on the horizon? Yes, if there's sufficient demand for the car, says U.K.-based Zytek Automotive Ltd., which has developed an attention-grabbing electric Lotus Elise prototype with support from Group Lotus Ltd.
                        Both gas and electric versions of the Elise boast a featherweight 155-pound extruded aluminum space frame and lightweight composite body shell. Curb weight is just 1,930 pounds, including batteries -- a full 1,000 pounds lighter than GM's EV1.
                        Its supercar-like acceleration is estimated at 0 to 90 mph in just 11.2 seconds, quicker than the standard Elise. </font>
                        http://www.econogics.com/ev/evperf.htm


                        Free software for calculating bolt circles and similar: Click Here

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                        • #13
                          Here is a pretty high performance EV
                          0-60 in around 4.5 sec

                          http://www.acpropulsion.com/tzero_pages/tzero_home.htm

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                          • #14
                            Nothing wrong with wanting to build an elecric car, or a steam car for that matter. Doing either for reasons of efficiency or environment might be impractical, but Mikem just said he wanted to build one.

                            I've always thought electric cars to be an environmental disaster. The idea that they're pollution free is right up there with a comment I heard at a local event, when a Stanley Steamer went by: "Look at that, the exhaust is pure water! Zero pollution!"

                            ( IMIO* hybrids are great, because of the recapture of the energy of deceleration.)

                            *In My Iggorant Opinion

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                            • #15
                              Don't be fooled.. The Power to weight of electric is no match for the power to weight of IC.

                              Electric cars need to be extreamly light and use expensive light weight materials in order to keep the weight low enough to compete with a "regular" IC car.

                              -Adrian

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