July, 2008

Battery Racks, Continued

Open Source Civic EV Kit

I did some more work on the battery racks over the past few days. The biggest challenge is getting everything to fit properly without hitting any blockages. At this point, I think I have all of the metal pieces cut, but I don't have the bolt holes drilled.

2008 173

Turn My Big RV Into a Plug-In Hybrid?

Electric Cars are for Girls

I've got a 31 Ft RV that gets 8.5 Would an AC electric motor or 2 in conjunction with the 8.1 liter gas engine increase the gas mileage in an

2008 139

Trending Sources

The 80-20 Rule

Plug In Partners

O ften when I talk about Plug-Ins , I say that PHEV's are a perfect embodiment of the 80-20 rule. There are a lot of versions of the rule and it has been written about a lot. But in the case of the PHEV , the logic goes something like this: Roughly 80% of our daily trips are under 35 miles.

2008 130

Pain at the pump

Plugs and Cars

2008 130

Barak Obama or John McCain - Which Candidate will Revive the Electric Car?

DIY Electric Car

Big news! presidential candidates Barak Obama and John McCain are talking about EVs. Finally, American politicians, corporate executives and grassroots advocates all seem to agree that powering cars from clean, affordable and domestic electricity makes sense. However, politicians have talked about electric vehicles before and in the past, the talk did not translate into government support for practical technologies. Will things be different this time?

2008 100

Bleeding the brakes

Honda S2000 EV Conversion

I finished bleeding the brakes today and wanted to share a few new things I learned this time around. I've always done brakes in the past as a two man job. One guy pushing in on the pedal while the other guy is releasing the pressure at the caliper.

2008 52

Rear Trunk Battery Rack

Open Source Civic EV Kit

Today was busy, so you should see a few posts. This first one is all the work I did installing the rear trunk battery rack base. As I mentioned before some of this will be verbose as I'm trying not to lose all the finer details. A few posts ago, I cut some 1.5"x1.5"

2008 164

More Trending

Processing the Engine Wire Harness

Open Source Civic EV Kit

This evening, I took apart the engine harness that we looked at back here. After taking the harness apart, I'm left with a bunch of rotten electrical tape (top center in picture), the leftover wires (on the right) and what I really care about (on the left).

2008 130

Doing Sketchup of the Adapter

Open Source Civic EV Kit

I took a few hours last night to learn more about Google Sketchup. It's quite a powerful tool for visualization, but I realize now that, unless you buy the expensive "Pro" edition, don't bother trying to export any valuable information from it.

2008 130

Reusing the Power Steering Reservoir

Open Source Civic EV Kit

Remember how we talked about making the power-steering into manual awhile ago? We still have some hydraulic tubes coming out of the power steering valve that need something done with them.

2008 130

Finishing the Firewall Rack Base

Open Source Civic EV Kit

Of all the battery racks, the firewall rack is the most complex with the most interferences. I'm going to try and capture all the problems I ran into today while trying to get the firewall rack base installed.

2008 130

Strut Compressor Tool

Open Source Civic EV Kit

I called a local suspension shop and asked if they would take the springs off of my strut assemblies. They gave me an estimate of $30 per strut. Against my better judgement, I looke at Harbor Freight and found a strut compressor tool that only cost $33, so I ordered it.

2008 130

Rob Connelly's Front Battery Racks

Open Source Civic EV Kit

"If I have seen farther than others it is because I have stood on the shoulders of giants" Many other people have done Honda Civic EV conversions before this one, which is why my job is so easy.

2008 130

Dont get mad, get even!

Plugs and Cars

Two guys convert an old VW bug.

2008 130

Bolting Together the Front Battery Rack

Open Source Civic EV Kit

I'm taking a different strategy from many EV installations in the hopes that people can more easily put together a kit for the Civic at home. Most folks weld together battery racks and then bolt them into the car (or sometimes weld them in).

2008 130

Setting up KeepOut Areas

Open Source Civic EV Kit

In preparation for designing the front and firewall battery racks, I wanted to make sure the engine compartment had several existing components in it so I could determine clearance more accurately.

2008 130

Making Fake Batteries

Open Source Civic EV Kit

Today was a slow day for the Civic, since I'm preparing for EV awareness day tomorrow with the Oregon Electric Vehicle Association. I printed a bunch of flyers and made about 300 business cards for the event. This should be interesting.

2008 130

Figuring out the Engine Harness

Open Source Civic EV Kit

I spent a few hours looking at the engine wiring harness and all its connectors to see how I could effectively attach signals to drive dashboard lights and gauges. Bob Bath calls this the "snake," but I like to think of it more like a nine-headed Hydra.

2008 130

Getting Rid of Stuff

Open Source Civic EV Kit

After removing all the gasoline based components from the car, my garage was pretty full of stuff. Here are the leftover fluids from the car. Left is power steering fluid, center is coolant and right is contaminated gasoline with bits of everything in it.

2008 130

Making a Blank Slate

Open Source Civic EV Kit

Today was a bit slower since I didn't get much sleep last night and I helped my friend Andrew diagnose a bad brake drum on his truck this morning. For the most part, today was the last day of removing parts from the car.

2008 130

Hoisting Out the Engine

Open Source Civic EV Kit

My buddy Andrew came out this morning to help get the engine out. Here's Drew, happy to use an engine hoist for the first time. To get enough clearance to lift out the engine, you need to open the hood as far as it can go.

2008 130

Visiting Synkromotive and Learning about Deka 9A31s

Open Source Civic EV Kit

I visted Synkromotive two days ago to look into becoming a Beta tester of their new motor controller. It handles 600 amps and has a really nice user interface through a laptop to configure several controller parameters like the DMOC445 that I have on the AC 914EV. Other than the Zilla, I haven't seen a controller out there with this much programmable flexibility. It has inputs for over RPM, battery under-voltage and temperature as well.

2008 100

Conference confirms plug-in fever

Plugs and Cars

Once again, a conference on plug-in cars. Coming on the heels of the Google/Brookings event in Washington, D.C., Plug-in 2008 in San Jose, California witnessed a noon-time address by new heavy-weight convert, Andy Grove, former CEO of Intel. Grove brings some needed high-profile gravitas to the community of electrification advocates. One week earlier, former Vice President Al Gore issued his well-received challenge to make the American grid 100% renewable in ten years.

2008 100

CNN Report - My 3 minutes of fame

Plugs and Cars

[Source: CNN ].

2008 100

Electric Cars are the way of the Future

DIY Electric Car

Major news keeps buzzing about Hydrogen, Flex-fuel, E85/Ethanol, Bio-Diesel and other alternative energies but when it comes down to it, I believe that only the least common denominator will be able to survive in a world of constantly changing energy sources and that thing is called electricity. Does anyone remember natural gas lighting in houses? How about oil? They were once a big hit, just like our oil-based engines in our cars are today. They went away for one simple reason.

2008 100

Al Gore Joins Call for Electric Cars

Plugs and Cars

Buried in Al Gore's challenge today calling for a 100% renewable electric grid within ten years is a call for plug-in electric cars. This represents a big change in his thinking, and will hopefully quickly push political and environmental leadership to coalesce around policies to push plug-in cars into the market as quickly as possible.

EV Batteries and Battery Meter Required

Electric Cars are for Girls

Two questions, the first about batteries, the second about the battery meter: (1) How many batteries would you estimate would be required for an

2008 98

Steam Generator Series Electric Hybrid

Electric Cars are for Girls

I am considering creating an alternative fuel vehicle by running a generator off a steam engine to then run a direct drive electric motor.

2008 89

Need an "Electric Car Conversion" Manual

Electric Cars are for Girls

I have a small delivery company and wanna try to convert one of our trucks , a 1997 Ford F150 , into an electric truck. I have a list of what I

2008 89

Best size for electric car motor?

Electric Cars are for Girls

What is the best sized electric car motor? Hi, Martin! A medium sized one. Small is too small, and large is. Okay, just kidding. When you're

2008 89

EV Motor Won't Run

Electric Cars are for Girls

I just bought an already converted 1986 Chevrolet Sprint EV that just needs new batteries installed. I had a man that has an electric vehicle like

2008 89

English Petrol Prices

Electric Cars are for Girls

I don't mean to sound rude, but English petrol prices are far far worse than American prices at the moment, we are currently paying 1.20 per litre

2008 89

Why do EVs need batteries?

Electric Cars are for Girls

Why use batteries ? Batteries are heavy, and maintenance hogs. Why not integrate a diesel powered generator, and use an AC motor to power the car

2008 89

A small delay

Honda S2000 EV Conversion

Last weekend I started creating a new wiring harness. The original wiring harness had so many extra sensors that I didn't need and didn't want cluttering things up so I decided to take it apart and remove all the connections I wouldn't be using in the conversion. Look at all those wires!

2008 52

Dismantling Part 2

Honda S2000 EV Conversion

I finally got some more time and cooler conditions to continue with the dismantling phase of the project. I went head to toe on the car and found every bracket, heat shield, and emissions components that were no longer needed. Then I started in on the big job which was the gas tank.

2008 52

Dismantling

Honda S2000 EV Conversion

I started the processes of removing all of the unnecessary components this weekend. It was hard to start removing that first bolt but as the hours went on I quit focusing dismantling a 30k sports car and focused on the bigger picture, a clean, low maintenance, and low cost sports car!

2008 52

The car

Honda S2000 EV Conversion

At first I looked around at used cars hoping to find some crazy deal on something nice with a blown engine or something. Truth is that it's very rare to find a car in great condition with a blown motor. Usually the driver takes equal care to all parts of the car.

2008 52