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Author: Subject: Random thoughts - converting to electric
David Jenkins

posted on 14/7/18 at 05:47 PM Reply With Quote
Random thoughts - converting to electric

A few months back I bought a 2018 40kW Nissan Leaf, and I've been very impressed with the way it accelerates - it has 148hp and 236lb ft, and max torque available at zero revs. I've surprised quite a few motorists with the way it picks up and goes in traffic.

So my mind has started to wander over to converting my Locost to electrics (note that this is purely a pipe dream as all of the bits and pieces would be far too expensive, 5k minimum, but probably approaching 10K!). However, I reckon that with the right motor and batteries it would probably go like stink. The motor and batteries would probably weigh less than the current x-flow and gearbox, and I'd be content with about 100 miles range.

I know that a small number of seven-style cars have been converted - anyone else played with this idea?





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tims31

posted on 14/7/18 at 06:15 PM Reply With Quote
I can't remember where I saw it now, might have been Stoneleigh but there was someone showing an electric motor that fitted and mounted on the diff of an english axle.





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David Jenkins

posted on 14/7/18 at 06:19 PM Reply With Quote
Hmm - these motors are heavy - 50Kg or so - so I'm not sure I'd want it on the diff of a live axle. Would work well on a fixed diff though.





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Slater

posted on 14/7/18 at 06:36 PM Reply With Quote
Some reading on the subject:

Megawatt in Barbados

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David Jenkins

posted on 14/7/18 at 08:45 PM Reply With Quote
I had forgotten that second thread - it's all pipe-dreams anyway - there's no way I could justify spending all that money on electrification. If I was going to spend that money I'd start with a new chassis.

Fun thinking about it though!





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miskit

posted on 15/7/18 at 12:54 PM Reply With Quote
It's the batteries that are expensive/ heavy.

I picked up an EV motor and driver board used for <1000, I have a pre printed PCB for the controller and the parts to populate it are about 50 (Google Open ReVolt). Lots of information on http://www.diyelectriccar.com/forums/



I have my heart set on 10kwh of Outlander Phev batteries. They used to come up on eBay from breakers, but as Mitsubishi offer an 8 year guarantee on the pack then only the off-grid and DIY car people are after them! Have not seen any on in a while. Meanwhile since the MX5 conversion is running sweetly I may need another car to put it in...

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tilly819

posted on 16/7/18 at 08:52 AM Reply With Quote
I have been considering doing this, I'll be interested to see what you come up with.





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David Jenkins

posted on 16/7/18 at 09:15 AM Reply With Quote
quote:
Originally posted by miskit
It's the batteries that are expensive/ heavy.




I was trying to work out what the total weight of my x-flow engine, type 9 gearbox, fuel tank (with fuel), exhaust system works out to - about 175kg, I reckon (finger-in-air calculation from dodgy google searches). I don't think this is far off.

Most electric motors seem to be around 50kg - I wonder what a suitable pack of batteries would weigh?

That Open ReVolt link is interesting...





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MikeRJ

posted on 16/7/18 at 10:01 AM Reply With Quote
The 24 kWh battery and control module from the first generation Leaf weighs 218kg.
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Mr Whippy

posted on 16/7/18 at 11:16 AM Reply With Quote
I'd love an EV small car if nothing more that for the novelty, but their just an expensive joke. Once you add in the cost of replacing the batteries any possible saving goes out the window and how do you sell a EV that needs a battery change out the following year...no one will touch it without you having to take a huge deduction to pay for a new battery your not going to even get to use. Like having a car that's engine that every potential buyer knows is guaranteed to burn out every 8 years!

It's all good intentions but currently have so many flaws it's not worth even considering but for a small minority of situations.

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cliftyhanger

posted on 16/7/18 at 04:52 PM Reply With Quote
How much is a replacement battery pack? just interested.....
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Mr Whippy

posted on 17/7/18 at 11:37 AM Reply With Quote
quote:
Originally posted by cliftyhanger
How much is a replacement battery pack? just interested.....


In 2014 -

Nissan has introduced a battery replacement scheme for owners of its electric vehicles in the UK. Priced at 4,920, buyers will also receive 1,000 cashback for the their old battery.

To give you an idea that 5000 would get you about 50,000 miles worth of petrol for a 50mpg car. If you look at EV sites very rarely they even consider/bring up the cost of battery replacement, only focusing on the cost of petrol vs electricity misleading people into thinking they are getting a much better deal that they actually are.

[Edited on 17/7/18 by Mr Whippy]

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Ugg10

posted on 17/7/18 at 01:11 PM Reply With Quote
My view on this is that a range extender would be a better bet currently.

To explain, an IC engine (small diesel power unit, Smart car may be) running at constant speed/peak efficiency connected to a generator that then passes through either a small bank of batteries or capacitors which are then connected to an electric motor. This is the way the BMW I3 extender and Vauxhall Ampere work IIRC and if you look up the Morag Lifecar that used the capacitor idea.

Doing a bit of maths on my 10 fingers and 10 toes ((unusual I know given I come from Lincolnshire :-) ), most family cars need about 25hp to cruise on the flat at 70mph and I suspect the average journey has an average power usage of about 35-40hp. So, you can convert the diesel power (constant) into electric and use this to drive the car and then use the battery/capacitor to store energy when coasting/downhill and then release it when accelerating you would have a pretty efficient (but maybe not light, trade off batteries for the Diesel Engine) car that does not get stranded when the batteries run out (just fuel up from a petrol station).

Just a thought.





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ravingfool

posted on 17/7/18 at 01:58 PM Reply With Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Mr Whippy
quote:
Originally posted by cliftyhanger
How much is a replacement battery pack? just interested.....


In 2014 -

Nissan has introduced a battery replacement scheme for owners of its electric vehicles in the UK. Priced at 4,920, buyers will also receive 1,000 cashback for the their old battery.

To give you an idea that 5000 would get you about 50,000 miles worth of petrol for a 50mpg car. If you look at EV sites very rarely they even consider/bring up the cost of battery replacement, only focusing on the cost of petrol vs electricity misleading people into thinking they are getting a much better deal that they actually are.

[Edited on 17/7/18 by Mr Whippy]


The financial side doesn't seem to stack up for the average punter. I'm not familiar with pros/cons of company cars and the detailed tax treatment as they're not something that people in my line of work usually have but can imagine that in the right circumstances they would be ideal under some schemes where you're just getting the benefit of the car and only have to worry about the cost per mile without needing to factor purchase and service costs.

I encourage as many people as possible to go electric immediately though and look forward to the technology really coming of age in another decade or two and then I'll get one

As noted above, electric could be great for a kitcar, even if it lost a lot of the noisy fun in the process. I wouldn't have to worry about the gently weeping rear seal on my gearbox if I went electric and my other half wouldn't complain about getting cooked by the exhaust!

Solicitors are not 'early adopters'.

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Ugg10

posted on 17/7/18 at 02:02 PM Reply With Quote
Out of interest the two quickest cars up the hill at the Goodwood FOS this year were electric. The VW Pikes Peak car looked (and was) so fast, I think they said it posted something like the 4th quickest time ever up the hill. Worth a watch.





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Mr Whippy

posted on 17/7/18 at 03:47 PM Reply With Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Ugg10
Out of interest the two quickest cars up the hill at the Goodwood FOS this year were electric. The VW Pikes Peak car looked (and was) so fast, I think they said it posted something like the 4th quickest time ever up the hill. Worth a watch.


An ideal race for electric cars with full torque right from standstill and a short duration

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adam1985

posted on 17/7/18 at 05:00 PM Reply With Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Mr Whippy
quote:
Originally posted by Ugg10
Out of interest the two quickest cars up the hill at the Goodwood FOS this year were electric. The VW Pikes Peak car looked (and was) so fast, I think they said it posted something like the 4th quickest time ever up the hill. Worth a watch.


An ideal race for electric cars with full torque right from standstill and a short duration


Im not sold on these electric cars to be honest, part of the excitement of fast cars is the noise and when a electric car wafts past its not the same but that vw knocked off 16 seconds from the pikes peak record too so its hard not to be impressed and the tech is only going to get better.

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Ugg10

posted on 17/7/18 at 06:07 PM Reply With Quote
The electric cars do make sense on pikes peak, apparently the big turbo cars can loose 200hp from bottom to top just because of the gain in altitude (density of air), if that is true the electric cars have a big advantage.





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02GF74

posted on 17/7/18 at 09:14 PM Reply With Quote
Yes it is true, normally aspirated engines lose power too.

Recall the top gear adventure in the andes.





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David Jenkins

posted on 18/7/18 at 06:31 AM Reply With Quote
Reminds me of an old TV programme about trains in the Andes: there used to be a high mountain railway that was hauled by steam locomotives, but they got old and worn out so they replaced them with diesel locos - at high altitude they found that they needed 2 diesel locos to replace one old steam loco. In the end I believe that they fixed the problem with turbos or superchargers.





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Mr Whippy

posted on 18/7/18 at 06:36 AM Reply With Quote
There's quite a few good vids on Youtube about Tesla's which should be enough to put anyone who doesn't have a bottomless pit of a wallet right off buying an electric car. Most have had several replacement motors even at low miles, super complex control systems under direct manufactures control for updates (upset them and your in trouble), very restricted options to get it serviced, manufactures total monopoly on replacement parts and how much they charge you. Tbh they seem to be a perfect example of just how bad things could get.

Compared to just buying a normal small car with a frugal petrol engine I doubt there is any possibility in the long run of saving the slightest bit of money going electric. As for saving the environment, what a joke, most of the electrically is still coming from burning fossil fuels, it's just moving the exhaust pipe elsewhere so you can pretend it doesn't exist. Then you have the batteries that behave like thermite the instant they are crushed and yet in cars like the Tesla the entire floor is the battery, it's massive. Good luck in a side impact, your toast

Every time I see a Tesla at shows all they do is open and shut their gull wing doors, endlessly...... yawn is that really it's party trick?? how the doors open... pathetic





[Edited on 18/7/18 by Mr Whippy]

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coyoteboy

posted on 18/7/18 at 12:29 PM Reply With Quote
Depends on your usage I guess. I plan to use mine for touring, which would fall flat on it's face. You'd need to design around the battery pack, which is fixed format. Which makes it a bit of a sod.





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02GF74

posted on 18/7/18 at 05:29 PM Reply With Quote
It's all about energy storage and efficiency.

For comparison, what is the energy stored in 1 kg if petrol and same for latest technology battery.

And efficiency of petrol engine and drive train compared to electric motor and drive train.

Then there is energy recovery, re. Breaking to consider.

[Edited on 18/7/18 by 02GF74]





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Mr Whippy

posted on 19/7/18 at 12:18 PM Reply With Quote
quote:
Originally posted by 02GF74
It's all about energy storage and efficiency.

For comparison, what is the energy stored in 1 kg if petrol and same for latest technology battery.

And efficiency of petrol engine and drive train compared to electric motor and drive train.

Then there is energy recovery, re. Breaking to consider.

[Edited on 18/7/18 by 02GF74]



A lithium-ion battery pack has about 0.3 to 0.8 MJ/kg. Gasoline has 46.8 Mj/kg thus it has about 100 times the energy density of a lithium-ion battery or 10 times that of TNT... however Plutonium through natural decay is almost 48,000 times more energy dense so would need just a tiny little bit and has a half life of 87 years so no refuelling for the life of the car clearly nuclear powered cars are the way forward....

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