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Author: Subject: Electric Locost
JonBowden

posted on 7/2/21 at 12:20 PM Reply With Quote
Electric Locost

Has anyone here seriously looked at building an electric locost type vehicle?
I have searched Google and on here but not found much that it very helpful.
I see that I can buy a Tesla motor/diff unit for something like 2k on eBay
Clearly, this would then need a seriously powerful control unit and batteries.
The whole exercise won't be cheap.
I see some indications of difficulty registering such a vehicle - has anyone tried or looked in to this?
Tesla motor on eBay

[Edited on 7/2/21 by JonBowden]





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harmchar

posted on 7/2/21 at 12:43 PM Reply With Quote
I've been following this guy for 6 months or so on YouTube. Wait until you see the amount of kit he has to cram into an MX5 shell. That's what got me watching, the fact that a lot of Locost / Haynes Roadsters are being built on the MX5 platform now. Think it would be easier to retrofit EV kit into an already IVA car, than try to be the first one to IVA a diy kit. Westfield are doing it now so must be possible. I don't like the idea of losing the right to Internal Combustion, but you can't fight the future.
https://youtu.be/nqpziI2WZ6I
Doh, forgot to attach link.

[Edited on 7/2/21 by harmchar]

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David Jenkins

posted on 7/2/21 at 12:48 PM Reply With Quote
I did do a little of research into converting my Locost - I am now on my second electric tin-top and I can really comprehend how it would drive if converted. I worked on the basis of similar power to its existing engine (about 100BHP) and a useful range of 100 - 125 miles. This is easily attainable, I believe.

The first issue is weight - taking out the current X-flow engine, type-9 gearbox and fuel tank and replacing them with an electric motor, control gear and batteries would result in the car being about 75kg heavier - like carrying an extra passenger. Many conversions connect the electric motor to the existing gearbox to make life easier, so that's extra weight - the car would probably work out 100kg heavier in that instance. Using the existing gearbox would also reduce the space for batteries as it would push the motor back into the engine compartment. Without the car's gearbox you'd have to fit a reduction gear to the electric motor - more weight, more cost.

The second issue is the risk - a full battery pack is going to be 250V - 350V with an immense current capability, so any errors could be life-threatening. As a minimum, the risk of fire is great if you make an error. As a guide, the Welsh company featured in the TV program "Vintage Voltage" has one specially trained technician to make the final connections and set up the battery management system and charger circuitry - no-one else does that work in the company. There is also the safety concern of protecting the batteries in case of a collision - for example, the boot space where the fuel tank currently sits is extremely vulnerable to a rear-end shunt.

The final issue is cost - the best package I could find in my half-hearted research would have worked out to around 9,000 which is a long way over the value of my car!

In the end I decided that while it would be fun to drive, the risks and costs were way too high.





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Mash

posted on 7/2/21 at 04:23 PM Reply With Quote
As a fire fighter, I find the whole concept of electric cars terrifying

Having seen what remains after some of the RTCs we've attended makes me worry about the dangers for passengers in mainstream tintops, never mind Locost type vehicles. In addition, it puts a whole new level of danger into any rescue operations we would have to undertake to release trapped occupants. We already have the airbag/srs systems to worry about. 400 volt cables running through the vehicle is just crazy and the battery systems are very worrying.

Self built vehicles would just be a step too far IMHO





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David Jenkins

posted on 7/2/21 at 05:27 PM Reply With Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Mash
As a fire fighter, I find the whole concept of electric cars terrifying

Having seen what remains after some of the RTCs we've attended makes me worry about the dangers for passengers in mainstream tintops, never mind Locost type vehicles. In addition, it puts a whole new level of danger into any rescue operations we would have to undertake to release trapped occupants. We already have the airbag/srs systems to worry about. 400 volt cables running through the vehicle is just crazy and the battery systems are very worrying.

Self built vehicles would just be a step too far IMHO


I understand where you're coming from - attending a bad RTC and having to wait for an appropriate technician to make the car safe to approach is not good...
... this is probably why I'd never convert my Locost.





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harmchar

posted on 7/2/21 at 05:51 PM Reply With Quote
Have a look at this video. Bet his neighbors love him in the street. Gents, I give you the De-Range-d Rover !!!
https://youtu.be/8f_Ytc13h0M

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coyoteboy

posted on 7/2/21 at 06:06 PM Reply With Quote
Part of the safety systems on these EVs is to keep the power distribution system right at the battery terminals and have it deactivate on impact. The packs are fused between cells and at their output.

There's a lot of panic about EVs in accidents that really aren't justified.

But the cost and weight just don't make sense to me in alocost





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ettore bugatti

posted on 7/2/21 at 06:13 PM Reply With Quote
See recent topic with some info:
www.locostbuilders.co.uk/viewthread.php?tid=217700

I think a Netgain Hyper9 with LG chem battery modules as used by zero EV and Vintage Voltage is the most straight forward installation although you pay for the off-the-shelf components, but not most engineering is needed.

Other option is the Nissan Leaf/ Renault Zoe motor, but the controller is more tricker to sort out (as is the same with going for a Tesla direction)

quote:

There are ton of options available to convert kit cars to electric, being helped that there are a few companies focussing on converting classic cars. Eco classics did convert a Westfield Eleven, which equals/ slightly betters 1275 A-series https://www.ecoclassics.co.uk/lotus-xi-replica-electrification And Swindon Powertrain has a kit that fit the classic Mini subframe https://swindonpowertrain.com/documents/Classic_Mini_Kit.pdf I dont think the motor, controller and charger for electric propulsion is the biggest challenge, it is more about getting the batteries right. You will need pretty much all the time a custom designed pack that fit in the space available and with a battery management systems. The engineering costs and cost for cells will be a big chunk of the total cost. Another point ot touch on is legisation, looks like battery packs over 48V (and for good performance you will need high voltage) need to be ECE R100 homologated which adds costs and is only really viable for volume production. Although Hyperdrive repackage Nissan Leaf Modules in 44V that are can be used modular. https://hyperdriveinnovation.com/battery-energy-storage/ So like said before when you add everything together you soon looking at 10-20k costs for a system that performs adequate, but then have a look what a GM E-rod crate engine costs and that might convert us to V8 power. Another previous thread on this topic: http://locostbuilders.co.uk/viewthread.php?tid=215772


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femster87

posted on 7/2/21 at 08:51 PM Reply With Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Mash
As a fire fighter, I find the whole concept of electric cars terrifying

Having seen what remains after some of the RTCs we've attended makes me worry about the dangers for passengers in mainstream tintops, never mind Locost type vehicles. In addition, it puts a whole new level of danger into any rescue operations we would have to undertake to release trapped occupants. We already have the airbag/srs systems to worry about. 400 volt cables running through the vehicle is just crazy and the battery systems are very worrying.

Self built vehicles would just be a step too far IMHO


I think you'd find a qualified electrician would soon be a requirement amongst each fire crew. It has to happen soon, there is no stopping the e-car march

[Edited on 7/2/21 by femster87]





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harmchar

posted on 7/2/21 at 09:12 PM Reply With Quote
I'm in the process of building a Haynes Roadster with a single skin aluminium tank, full of highly combustible fuel, 4 inches behind my seat, with only 25mm round tube and aliminium skin as a rear crumple zone. I'm not concerned about batterries with a fused link anymore than what we all take for granted.
Just as well the hydrogen fuel cell is not catching on as quick as EV. Can you imagine the diy Locoster strapping in a Hydrogen tank.

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David Jenkins

posted on 7/2/21 at 09:32 PM Reply With Quote
quote:
Originally posted by harmchar
I'm in the process of building a Haynes Roadster with a single skin aluminium tank, full of highly combustible fuel, 4 inches behind my seat, with only 25mm round tube and aliminium skin as a rear crumple zone. I'm not concerned about batterries with a fused link anymore than what we all take for granted.
Just as well the hydrogen fuel cell is not catching on as quick as EV. Can you imagine the diy Locoster strapping in a Hydrogen tank.


And, as well as the hydrogen tank, you'll still have the very high voltage and current to manage as well (when the hydrogen is passing through the cell).





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Mr Whippy

posted on 8/2/21 at 12:28 AM Reply With Quote
If you take the time look at the main wiring of electric cars you will find that they do not run the cables through roof pillars or anywhere near areas fire fighters need to cut in an accident. Most run down the centre of the car. The system is also deactivated during a crash just as any modern petrol car by simple inertia switches. Anyone who thinks 60 gallons of petrol strapped to the bottom of their car in a plastic bottle is any safer is well mistaken.

As for an electric 7 I'd argue that a lot of the fun from such a car is the raw experience and a lot of that would be lost going electric, anyone familiar with Formula E will appreciate that. I'd also be concerned that the original chassis design would really struggle with the extra weight, it was never the strongest thing to start with. I'll shortly have an EV as my primary car but I'm sure I will enjoy the break of having a blast in something more uncivilised now and again.

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David Jenkins

posted on 8/2/21 at 08:51 AM Reply With Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Mr Whippy
As for an electric 7 I'd argue that a lot of the fun from such a car is the raw experience and a lot of that would be lost going electric, anyone familiar with Formula E will appreciate that. I'd also be concerned that the original chassis design would really struggle with the extra weight, it was never the strongest thing to start with. I'll shortly have an EV as my primary car but I'm sure I will enjoy the break of having a blast in something more uncivilised now and again.


That was my thinking as well - not enough gain (if any) to warrant spending so much money (even if I had it to spend on something so frivolous!). It's a bit like putting a big V8 in a locost - just not in the spirit of the car. Putting in a hot bike engine IS in the spirit of a 7, but too frantic for my tastes...





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Toys2

posted on 8/2/21 at 10:19 AM Reply With Quote
There was an article in one of the Kit Magazines, I'll have to dig it out as my memory is shocking!

I think it was built by the original owner of MEV, he wanted a cheap to run, relatively short range (les than 50 Mile ?) enough for short trips and with some zip, but not particularly fast

I'm sure the HP was really low, maybe even less than 20 HP, but he said the the way it delivered the power made it feel like more
And of course this meant that everything could be scaled down, particularly the batteries = weight

There was some mention, that because the power was below a certain level, it did not need a full IVA?

This did appeal to me as I often use my Striker for work, which is a 14 mile country lane trip and we do have charging points at work


Sorry for the vagueness, I'll dig out the article if anyone is interested

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russbost

posted on 8/2/21 at 10:24 AM Reply With Quote
This has come up a couple of times b4, if it's going thro' IVA has to be no more than 48 volts, if you have higher voltage then there's a further electrical certification required which is a ridiculous cost.

You can of course convert anything which is already registered, but personally don't really see the point, a ton of expense to achieve .... what exactly?

I can see the point of a cheap , relatively low speed, local use vehicle, but anything requiring range & performance is going to cost big bucks





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JonBowden

posted on 8/2/21 at 06:15 PM Reply With Quote
Thanks for all the replies, quite a bit to think about.

My interest in an EV is mostly that in less than 10 years, i assume that we won't be able to register our sort of car.

For nearly 40 years now, I have had it in mind to build a rear engined car of my own design, something like the R10t.
It has taken this long to get to a situation where I can afford this and have a decent garage to do what I want.
But the ability to do this will be taken away from me soon.
You could say that this hurts.

So, the interest in an EV is pragmatic.
Given the choice, I would use a petrol engine any day (I just like them).

I guess that I have two ideas in my head.
One would be a super powerful Tesla based rear motored vehicle.
The other would be a super efficient light weight vehicle

From what I am reading, it would seem that the testing for a high voltage EV will be expensive enough to be prohibitive.
but if one can build a vehicle with less than 48v, that might be of some interest.

When I suggest an electric locost, I really mean a quite different design to the seven.

What are current kit car makers like Caterham and Westfield planning?





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harmchar

posted on 8/2/21 at 07:50 PM Reply With Quote
Westfield doing one called Mega-Watt, Caterham slow to the party same like most of us (will join the EV craze kicking and screaming in protest all the way)
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ettore bugatti

posted on 8/2/21 at 08:06 PM Reply With Quote
48V and MSA/L7E (less than 15kW and under 450kg) is certainly the low budget option, but you will end up with something like a G-wizz or Renault Twizy. And with less than 48V and 15kW it will be difficult to get atop speed above 50mph.

I believe the modules EV zero builds are ECE R100 homologated as are the Hyperdrive Innovation modules, however these are system components so I dont know what the implications are for a full system for IVA.
The RBW MGB goes through IVA and they are using the Hyperdrive modules.

Westfield has been involved in electric powertrains for a while, they also build electric transit pods and also own Chesil who has launced an electric 356 speedster.

Caterham is probably just waiting for Ford to develop/release an electric Fiesta to nick the parts off. Specs wouldn't be too different too a Electric 208/ Corsa.

Given the complications and costs involved in electric motoring, a V8 is still not a bad option

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hobbsy

posted on 9/2/21 at 10:10 AM Reply With Quote
quote:
Originally posted by harmchar
Westfield doing one called Mega-Watt, Caterham slow to the party same like most of us (will join the EV craze kicking and screaming in protest all the way)


My mate Dan Johnson already built his Westfield MegaWatt several years ago...

https://youtu.be/QAnb44-iDeI

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Mr Whippy

posted on 9/2/21 at 01:12 PM Reply With Quote
Next book will be "Build yourself an EV sports car out of a Nissan Leaf... for 250"
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gremlin1234

posted on 9/2/21 at 03:37 PM Reply With Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Mr Whippy
Next book will be "Build yourself an EV sports car out of a Nissan Leaf... for 250"

more likely, build a sports town car, from the new Citroen AMI

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coyoteboy

posted on 9/2/21 at 03:46 PM Reply With Quote
IVA > Strip > EV?

IC Kit cars will be around longer than the OEM IC limits, because the quantities are tiny, the government don't get anything from it and there will be a good use of the aging car population. They're only banning new vehicles, not the use of IC vehicles (though some LEZ cities are already putting paid to that - none of my cars are able to enter LEZ's just now!).





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James

posted on 10/2/21 at 12:06 AM Reply With Quote
quote:
Originally posted by coyoteboy
IVA > Strip > EV?

IC Kit cars will be around longer than the OEM IC limits, because the quantities are tiny, the government don't get anything from it and there will be a good use of the aging car population. They're only banning new vehicles, not the use of IC vehicles (though some LEZ cities are already putting paid to that - none of my cars are able to enter LEZ's just now!).



I have wondered if the end-of-life of our cars will come not from a banning of registered vehicles but the availability of fuel. Will it get harder and harder to find a petrol station? A bit like LPG is now- you have to hunt around for it. And eventually there'll be so few places selling it that you're using most of a tank to get to the station!

Maybe we'll all be forced to move to chip-fat burners so we can make our own fuel!


That combined with the inability to insure. "Oh, you haven't got front/rear/side radar and collision avoidance Sir? Hmmmm. We only insure safe cars with safe drivers- sorry!" Click!


Or maybe I've got a stinking cold, still at work at midnight and I'm just dragging you lot down to my depressed level!

[Edited on 10/2/21 by James]





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JimSpencer

posted on 10/2/21 at 09:48 AM Reply With Quote
quote:
Originally posted by JamesI have wondered if the end-of-life of our cars will come not from a banning of registered vehicles but the availability of fuel. Will it get harder and harder to find a petrol station?


Yes.

But:-
On the basis that I live near a very small town and in that I can easily buy coal or hay.. don't see petrol being an issue..
Might be less places but I reckon I'll still be able to easily buy it until they nail the lid on!

One of my cars required very specialist petrol for a while, had to order it by the drum and have it delivered and even that wasn't as much of a phaff as you might think, plenty of suppliers and easy to do - just cost a bit more.

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Mr Whippy

posted on 10/2/21 at 11:28 AM Reply With Quote
I think petrol will continue to rise in price as the cost of production vs demand makes it less and less economical and once electric matches or overtakes petrol or diesel in range, power & charge times there will be no demand apart for old vehicles. At which point who will want them? Exactly the same situation happened to steam powered machines that ran on coal.
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