December, 2008

New Karma in Detroit!

Electric Cars are for Girls

Fisker's Karma is a production-ready plug-in hybrid, - meaning TODAY, not 2010 - and it's coming to the North American International Auto Show in Detroit on January 15th

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Christmas Presents

Open Source Civic EV Kit

Santa was good to me this year. I received a Link-10 battery monitor from my parents. I don't think they understand what it does and why it costs so much, but okay, they got it for me anyway. The items on the right came from Belktronix. The wires on the upper left are the Link-10 voltage prescaler.

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Trending Sources

Snow falls, Tango plows in Spokane

Plugs and Cars

It's one thing to read about a Prius powering a home during a blackout. Check out this video showing an unexpected benefit to the torc, power and design of the Tango electric car.

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Inside The Green Task Force

Creative Greenius

For more than a year now in this blog I’ve been researching and reporting on climate change, energy and transportation issues and related environmental stories covering them on both a personal and a global perspective.

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Featured EV Video: Living with an EV part 4

DIY Electric Car

Gav's EV Conversion - Living with an EV - IV from Gav on Vimeo. If you aren't familiar with Gav, he's been a long time contributing member of DIYElectricCar under the name of "kiwiev."

2008 130

Battery Woes

Porsche 914 EV Conversion

I think my battery pack is dead after 8600 miles and 1.5 years. My Zivan charger alarm has gone off for the past week and I finally looked into it. Apparently the alarm is indicating a timeout that the charge cycle is taking too long for the capacity of batteries that I have. If I charge overnight, I wake up in 40 degree weather and the pack is very warm, around 80 degrees with vigorous "boiling."

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Winterize your Electric Car

Electric Cars are for Girls

What does it take to winterize your electric car, and keep it running well (and far) in the cold

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More Trending

Clean coal

Plugs and Cars

Just a the coal companies go on the air with ads that could be Obama campaign commercials, down to the Yes We Can (make coal clean,) the real world intrudes.

2008 130

The Further Adventures of The Solangelist

Creative Greenius

As we move into the final month of the year 2008 I keep looking up at my rooftop longingly.

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Filming Tesla - 2

Revenge of the Electric Car

Our co-producer continues her account of shooting behind the scenes at Tesla. As we captured key meetings with department heads, Elon stressed his commitment to ramping Tesla up - and the fact that his role was hands-on. He reminded person after person that no problem or detail was too small. The buck stopped with Elon. Elon Musk (left) inspects a Roadster. We pulled a marathon day, and our cameraman, Adam, worked valiantly to keep up. Filming meetings is actually difficult to do well.

2008 116

Building the heater

Honda S2000 EV Conversion

Money has been tight after ordering the batteries and the holidays so progress has been rather slow lately. This is technically the second heater but I will only fully document the final design. I first built a water heater utilizing the existing heater core.

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How to Connect the Electric Car Motor to the Transmission

Electric Cars are for Girls

How do you connect the electric motor to the engine transmission? Is it welded? Do I need to have an adapter or an engineered

2008 104

Mounting the Zolox Sensor

Open Source Civic EV Kit

After futzing around awhile, I was able to get the spacer ring for the Zolox tachometer sensor to line up. Here's the bottom of the mounting ring.

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Build My Dreams, BYD

Plugs and Cars

The announcement that BYD, the Chinese battery giant turned automaker, has actually begun selling its plug-in hybrid, is pretty big news. Shares rose about 15% on the Hong Kong stock exchange Monday. Earlier this year Warren Buffet invested over $200 million in the company (10% share).

2008 130

Join Me For A Visit To Reality

Creative Greenius

Clean Coal is a shameless marketing scam designed to allow coal companies to keep raking in the bucks while they continue to destroy the environment. They know it’s a lie, but they’ll say and do anything to make their profits. I hope they’re saving those dollars to pay the carbon tax they have coming due. Tax what we burn, not what we earn, says the Creative Greenius - and Al Gore.

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Filming Tesla - 1

Revenge of the Electric Car

Tesla Roadsters awaiting final prep and delivery to first owners. Let me just give it away now….the the first day we filmed this fall at Tesla, we got to see not one, not two, not three, but, and I counted—over 40 production Roadsters in the Menlo Park buildings. There is something about the sight of more than four million dollars of incredibly sleek, fast (they do look fast - even standing still) car flesh under one roof that really makes you tingle.

2008 116

Big Hybrid SUV Buying Opportunity?

Hybrid SUV Blog

Have you ever looked back at buying opportunities you missed and wondered if the signs to buy were right in front of you? Whether it was a new house, a mortgage refinance, a stock, or another type of investment - it all seems painfully clear only a short time after the window has closed.

2008 52

AC Motors, NiMH batteries, and Wheel Motors

Electric Cars are for Girls

AC motor question: I'm looking for a less expensive, probably US-made AC motor. I'm aiming my design at 1400 lbs maximum. Ideas?

2008 104

Add the Splash Guard

Open Source Civic EV Kit

I'd like to get the car off the jack-stands and back into a position where I can drive it while still adding things like the guages. After installing the speed sensor, the last thing needed under the car is the splash guard to protect water and grit from getting into the Warp9.

2008 130

Musk v. Fisker

Plugs and Cars

The Wall St Journal's new glossy mag, WSJ, reports on the rivalry between Tesla's Elon Musk, and Henrik Fisker. A bit of scratching and clawing.

2008 130

Tach Mount, Splash Guard and POR-15

Open Source Civic EV Kit

It's still pretty cold in the garage, but I motivated myself to get out to TAP plastics (10 blocks away) and pick up some ABS plastic for the improved splash guard. Here's the 3/16" thick piece of ABS lying on top of the existing splash guard.

2008 130

Tachometer is Here!

Open Source Civic EV Kit

This is a cool day(And not just because it's freezing outside). The package with the custom tachometer from SpeedHut arrived. Although I received the 2-hole pillar pod last Friday, I wanted to show it here since I ordered both items from Speedhut. The wiring harness is nice and long.

2008 130

Plastic Boxes and Speed Sensor

Open Source Civic EV Kit

I got some fun stuff today. The plastic boxes for the BatMons and the Zolox speed sensor with Warp9 mounting hardware came in. Here's a pile of 2x2" plastic boxes 1/2" high that fit the BatMon boards quite well.

2008 130

Wiring up and Testing Batmon Boards

Open Source Civic EV Kit

Okay, it's time to get your wiring spaghetti on. I spent part of last evening (after fixing the speedo) and all of this morning wiring up the Batmon boards. In the process I blew the OVP channel on the IsoBatMon unit.

2008 130

Fixing the Speedometer, Removing ECU

Open Source Civic EV Kit

During the test drive, I noticed that the speedometer wasn't working. It had worked fine before I removed the engine. After researching the Helms manual, I needed to get at the speed-sensor on the transmission to figure out what was going wrong.

2008 130

Fixing up the Rear Suspension

Open Source Civic EV Kit

Whew! I finally got my internet connection back up at home. This is the first of ten entries that will attempt to show many of the tasks I performed over the four-day Thanksgiving weekend. First up, we need to beef up the rear suspension to handle the extra 420 pounds of batteries in the trunk.

2008 130

Mounting the Batmon Boards

Open Source Civic EV Kit

The next step involved preparing all the mounting hardware for the BatMon boards that sit on top of each battery.

2008 130

Installing the Charging Outlet

Open Source Civic EV Kit

At some point, I guess we have to charge this thing. Most people like to be clever and put the charging outlet under the gas tank cover. I don't like this because it's near the back of the car, away from most charging station outlets at parking spaces.

2008 130

Crimping the Battery Cables

Open Source Civic EV Kit

One of the major tasks during construction of an EV is properly crimping all the heavy duty battery cables together. Here's the process that I used.

2008 130

Installing the Batmon Resistors

Open Source Civic EV Kit

In order to shunt current around each fully charged battery, the BatMon boards use an external 3 ohm resistor. Since mounting these resistors involves drilling holes in metal, I wanted to mount them before mounting the BatMon boards to prevent metal shavings from sprinkling into the electronics.

2008 130

Wiring up the Vacuum Pump

Open Source Civic EV Kit

One of my goals for this kit was to utilize as much of the existing infrastructure of the car as possible in terms of fuses, relays and wires. To properly wire up the Gast vacuum pump, I wanted a fuse for safety and ideally a relay to protect the pressure switch from arcing too much.

2008 130

Routing the Cables Underneath

Open Source Civic EV Kit

Not surprisingly, we need to connect the batteries in back with the batteries in front and also include the main circuit breaker under the parking brake. These lines are typically routed under the car in the trough left by the exhaust system.

2008 130

Wiring Things Up and Testing

Open Source Civic EV Kit

Much of my time was spent wiring up the controller, charger and integrator box from the Belktronix kit. I had to unbolt the charger in order to get access to the fast-on connectors on the side of the main motor controller.

2008 130

Routing the LVP/OVP Cables

Open Source Civic EV Kit

In addition to the thick, high-current battery cables, we need to route the OVP (over-voltage protection) and LVP (low-voltage protection) wires from the rear BatMon boards to the front BatMon boards.

2008 130

Buttoning up the Exterior

Open Source Civic EV Kit

Even though all the BatMon boards are not wired up, I was itching for a quick test drive. It was time for me to get the wheels on the car and take it for a short spin. This is the picture of my front hallway closet.

2008 130

Toyota on concept EV: Just for show

Plugs and Cars

A bit more information today on Toyota's small EV. The message, from spokeswoman Jana Hartline, is don't expect more information. There will be no press conference devoted to the vehicle at the Detroit Auto Show, where it will simply be displayed. “It’s It’s a concept we are bringing to the show basically to confirm our interest in electric vehicles,” Hartline told the Detroit Free Press.

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Toyota to display a concept EV

Plugs and Cars

The press release couldn't be shorter. TORRANCE, Calif., 22 -- Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., will display a battery electric vehicle concept at the 2009 North American International Auto Show. This display marks the world debut of this concept vehicle. It's hard not to be snarky. Toyota will display a concept EV! My six year old Toyota RAV4 EV electric car continues to perform flawlessly and gaslessly. Toyota could provide global leadership today with plug-in cars.

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