Building an Electric Car!


Old 07-27-07, 10:15 PM
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Building an Electric Car!

I have been very dissapointed that I couldn't find an "open forum" discussing Electic Car issues.

What I'm most concerned about at this point, in this regard, is...
"Keeping the clutch... and the possibility of shifting through the various gears for the sake of mechanical-advantage." How can it be done?

Is it possible to keep the clutch and in fact shift through the gears to the point of, or nearly to, the one-to-one, or better, ratio?

I can easily see that there is an advantage to keeping the clutch... if only for the sake of maintaining a non-destructive connection between the drive-motor and the transmission.

Putting aside the manual transmission/clutch arrangement, I have always wondered about the idea of using an infinitely-variable, hydraulic transmission to optimize the drivemotor-output via computer monitoring of actual conditions. In this case, the electric motor would operate at maximum efficiency while the hydraulic-transmission was automatically adjusted to maximize the output from the drive-motor.

Yeah, there might be some inherent inefficiency in using the hydraulic-transmission (energy-loss), but... surely, with computer control, the operation of the hydraulic-transmission can be optimized to provide better output than not doing so.

What say you electric-car folks?
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Old 08-04-07, 11:45 AM
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response to Terry

Hey Terry,

I was scrolling through the topics on this website and I saw your entry. I know nothing about electric cars or conversions, but I wanted to share this with you. Earlier this year I was at the auto parts store. I noticed this old Suzuku Samurai in the parking lot. Something looked different about it when you looked at the grill section. I moved closer and looked through the grill.

Where was the engine? The owner came out of the store a short time later and started bragging about this car. He popped the hood. There was an electric motor and a bundle of wires where the internal combustion engine would be. There were about 10 batteries stashed in the engine compartment and the rear of the car. He had converted it to all electric. He had no college degree or engineering experience. He did say the car had its limitations. It only topped out at 45 mph and needed frequent recharges. The think really works. I watched him drive away silently. Really cool.
Old 08-04-07, 12:44 PM
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because of how an electric motor works, it is not neccesary to "shift through the gears" if the motor is sized correctly.

As an electric motor is loaded, it provides more torque simply because it is loaded.

By causing the motor to work at a constant low load speed, it actually is less efficient and will cost more input power to achieve the same results. An electric motor is most efficient when loaded but not overloaded.

Most electric conversions I have seen (my dad has an S-10 pickup converted) one or two gears of the trans are all that is neccessary. If you use the correct type of motor, reverse is even unneeded as the motor rotation can be reversed. Not with an automatic or hydraulic trans though. That would be devastating.

Retaining the clutch would provide a purpose at times and, I beleive, should be retained.
Old 08-05-07, 05:56 AM
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The concept of the use of the elctric vehicle is great, however, in actual use it's is proving to have significant limitations. I deal with a fleet of over 5000 vehicles and we are testing the practical use of electric powered vehicles for use on areas like college campuses, prison facilities and parks to mention a few.

One of the vehicles we are testing is the Gem. These come in a variety of setups (i.e. passenger, pickup, etc.). It's a nice looking vehicle and when fully equiped, is road ready but not road legal because of the limitations of speed. Top speed is about 35 mph and battery life is about six hours.

I understand your concept of adding a variable ration transmission. The extra drag caused by the transfer of energy through the gear case will dramatically shorten the battery charge and will prove to greatly limit your range.

The batteries are the weak point in the overall scheme of things. The scheer number of batteries needed for a 50 mile trip offsets the savings perportably offered by the vehicle. The front end cost and the operation and repair costs (due to a lack of durability)and the range limitations are giving concern as to the feasibility of everyday use.

The hybrids have shown to be much more promising for general use, dependability, durability and range. Should an electrical fault arise with the batteries, however, the replacement cost is roughly five thousand dollars. While the batteries are currently covered by the maker for 100,000 miles, I don't anticipate that that warranty will continue for long. It must also be kept in mind that personal enhancements (i.e. CB radios, Sirus, disk changers, etc.) can void the warranty altogether.

Good luck with your efforts. I hope you are able to better the world through your hard work and knowledge.

Old 08-05-07, 10:07 AM
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If you must, you could use a CV belt system, which uses two adjustable width pulleys, one that self adjusts based on the width of the other pulley, the other pulley adjusted by user control or computer.
Old 08-12-07, 05:44 AM
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Hi Terry
The place where I worked before retiring had a EV they were testing. It was on a toyota frame and body but and the insides looked no different then any other car. The fuel gauge was used for battery conditions gauge and it had radio and air condtioning.
The charging system was a bit strange as it didn't charge by actual electric
contacts but thru a induction coil you slid into a slot but it seem to work very effective.
The mileage proformance per charge was maybe 25 to 30 miles at best. It would really move out up to 50 mph or so pretty fast but any speed resulted
in mileage reduction quickly.
I think in the future that EV's along with hybrids will rule the roads. EV's for most local stuff and hybrids for long hauls. Batteries will be the key to the future of these animals and with more engineering it wont be long.

South Florida

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