February, 2007

Battery Equalizer Schematics Rev 1.0

Porsche 914 EV Conversion

I'm currently working on a battery equalizer for the 914 EV based on the whitepaper at the following link: [link] The above two schematics show the circuit that I'm experimenting with using 12V batteries. It seems to work fine on my bench. The circuit above costs less than $10 per battery in parts and I hope to make this available to everyone to help people make their batteries last longer. By clicking on the images, you can get a much larger version of the pictures.

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Excel PHEV Study

Plug In Partners

A new study shows that Plug-ins can both reduce driving expenses and vehicle emissions. Here is the story. With Smart Grid, Plug-In Hybrid Cars Could Have System Benefits Physorg Feb 28, 2007 Xcel Energy announced the results of a six-month study related to plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) and how an increase in their popularity may affect Colorado.

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Trending Sources

Plug-in hybrids good for the grid, good for the driver, XCel Energy/NREL Study Finds

Plugs and Cars

PhysOrg.com reports on Xcel Energy 's study (with the Dept of Energy NREL lab) on the potential effect of plug-in hybrids on the electrical grid and emissions. Xcel Energy announced the results of a six-month study related to plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) and how an increase in their popularity may affect Colorado.

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Hybrid Fans to Toyota: The Next Step is Plug-in Hybrids

Plugs and Cars

This year Toyota makes its SUVs and trucks even larger. Toyota increasingly devotes precious energy contained in hybrid batteries charged with expensive gasoline to higher power output rather than efficiency. What do people actually want? Toyota's own "Question of the Month" in the Hybrid Synergy View Newsletter , asked. Plug-in hybrids - 39% Higher fuel economy - 37% Alternative fuel hybrid - 18% Higher power output - 6% The desire of 94% would be fulfilled by a plug-in hybrid.

2007 100

More Tools (i.e. toys.)

Porsche 914 EV Conversion

I've been mulling over some ideas for the past few days. The 914 doesn't run well at all when its cold and after going to the DEQ, I realized that I'm going to need a lot of work to get the car to pass emissions (it's a rather gross polluter right now). So, given that it's cold and rainy for a few months and I have the suspension, I decided to start the conversion, despite not having all the parts from ElectroAuto yet. You know what that means: Time to buy toys! (er.

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Prius drops to 48mpg; How will 2008 Prius get 80mpg? Plug-in hybrid?

Plugs and Cars

The National Center for Policy Analysis reports : CAR M.P.G. RATINGS GOING DOWN. The cars aren't actually getting worse mileage, but the government's new tests going into effect next year more accurately reflect real-world driving. Fuel-saving gasoline-electric hybrid cars don't save as much fuel as thought, according to new government fuel-economy ratings available to the public for the first time. The new ratings go into effect beginning with 2008 models, a few of which will soon be on sale.

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Bush and Begley Sitting in a Tree; Prez to Look Over Ed's Electric Pickup & A123 Plug-in Hybrid

Plugs and Cars

The Detroit News reports that an all-electric pickup and a plug-in hybrid will pay a visit to the White House today. How Phoenix Motor Cars , which has been making the altfuel circuit with its AltairNano powered pickup, found itself on Bush's radar isn't clear. A123 Systems , a much larger company which is providing batteries to GM for possible use in the Vue and Volt, will be showing off a plug-in hybrid powered by its Lithium batteries. Will Bush get the first view of a plug-in Vue?

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More Trending

The Suspension is Here!

Porsche 914 EV Conversion

I received the suspension parts from ElectroAuto today. If you hadn't read before, the 18 8-volt golf cart batteries add 800 pounds to the weight of the car, so the suspension needs upgrading. It looks like I got new springs(blue), torsion bars (red) and two sets of matching shock absorbers (white/silver). If I go to the shop and have these replaced, I won't really be able to drive the car around. The real gamble is how fast the rest of the kit shows up.

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Iran's Oil Woes; An Arab Electric Car?

Plugs and Cars

Today the Wall Street Journal (subscription required) reports "Soaring Energy Use Puts Oil Squeeze on Iran." Iran may start rationing gasoline as soon as next month, and its oil exports could dry up in as little as a decade. The stagnation of Iran's oil industry presents a potential crisis for the country and the global oil market. Iran is one of the countries earning tons of cash on its oil exports, but its burgeoning population is using an increasing share of the nation's oil production.

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Whew! It runs again. Zivan mods are back too.

Porsche 914 EV Conversion

I took the 914 in to Alan at A & P Specialties this morning and his techs fixed the timing so the car runs smoothly again. The points were burned and had to be re-timed. The real acid test is if the car fires up tomorrow while getting cold all night. Alan said that if it ran poorly when cold, the block temperature sensor or the pressure sensor is probably having issues. I'll have to do more research on those items. The other cool piece of news is that the Zivan NG3 charger came back today.

2007 100

If it aint broke, don't fix it.

Porsche 914 EV Conversion

Well, I tried to learn more about the distributor two evenings ago and really screwed up the engine timing. The 914 runs but really sputters and jerks around when cold and doesn't seem to improve much after warming up. I have an appointment at the shop on Friday to fix my "optimizations." On a more interesting note, I prototyped a battery equalizer with two 12V UPS batteries earlier this week.

2007 100

Welcome Rancher Dave

Plugs and Cars

With the post below, Rancher Dave joins Plugs and Cars. RancherD along with his wife, Heather, are true heroes of the electric car movement. Read all about their effort to save their Ford RangerEV here

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Senators Ask Who Killed the Electric Car?

Plugs and Cars

Two Senators asked the question yesterday at the hearing on global warming convened by Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA). First, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt) posed the question to a panel of industry leaders. PG&E's Peter Darbee, its president, CEO and chairman of the board, let the committee know that plug-in hybrid cars could play a huge role in lowering carbon emissions.

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Brian Howey Get's it

Plugs and Cars

I love it when someone outside our EV and hybrid world truly begins to understand the connections at play here. I also hope for his next column he finds out some more about the exciting things going on with Plugin-hybrids, like the Chevrolet Volt and other pure EV's being announced and driven currently. Read Brian Howey's entire article here , but below is the last comment that sort of sums things up. Now, watch Who Killed the Electric Car?

2007 100

Major problems with Idling

Porsche 914 EV Conversion

One of the diseases that plagues the fuel-injected 914 is the difficulty in getting the car to idle under all conditions. My 914 starts up just fine but then stalls most of the time at stoplights after cruising on the freeway for 30 minutes or more (heating up the engine). It's also started jerking around when first accelerating from a cold start, sometimes rather violently that the whole car shakes back and forth. That can't be good for the transmission.

2007 100

Volvo Diesels In

Plug In Partners

H ere is another reported development by another major automaker, and a huge step towards a diverse Plug In Hybrid market. This time, it is Volvo. Volvo C30 plug-in hybrid concept AutoBlogGreen "German auto website, Autobild, is reporting that Volvo is working on a plug-in diesel-electric hybrid with a similar powertrain design to the Chevy Volt concept unveiled at the Detroit Motor Show in early January.

2007 100

Toyota Hybrid Breakthrough! One-mile EV Range Highlander Hybrid!

Plugs and Cars

AutoBlogGreen has the details on the '08 Highlander, and it includes an EV mode! Now you will be able to move the car across the street for street cleaning days without using gasoline. Useful to be sure, but more a green merit badge on a $30,000+ SUV with real world mpg still under 30 than a significant environmental choice.

2007 100

Bush Budget: Plug-ins Hybrids, Not So Much

Plugs and Cars

The Detroit News has the alternative fuel breakdown in the president's budget request, and it isn't pretty. Increases for hydrogen fuel cell research from $289 million in FY 2007 to $309 million in FY 2008. Automakers already have begun lobbying for the Bush Administration and Congress to support further research funding after the $1.2 billion program expires next year." I guess that wasn't enough to actually make a marketable, economic car. Could of had 28,571 RAV4 EVs @$42,000 for the same $1.2

2007 100

Phase One Complete

Porsche 914 EV Conversion

After fixing the headlamp switch and re-gluing the rear-view mirror back on, the 914 is fully operational and a total blast to drive! My friend Rick and I drove out to the Columbia Gorge for a hike. It was a beautiful day and having the Targa-top down allowed us to see all the mountains and cliffs on each side as we drove down I-84. I'm going to start commuting to work with the 914 to get used to the vehicle's capability and have some fun while it's still has the range of a gasoline car.

2007 100

Fixing all the Nitpicky Stuff

Porsche 914 EV Conversion

I stayed up last night until midnight repairing a whole bunch of little things that didn't work on the car. I'm actually quite psyched that I was able to do it all in about six hours.

2007 100

Fixing the Headlamp Switch

Porsche 914 EV Conversion

After much fussing around to get the dashboard apart, I finally got the headlamp switch removed. It looks like the headlamp contact is completely burned off. That would explain why the headlights only worked intermittently. Luckily, the prior owner left another headlamp switch in the glove box. The switches are different, but I could cannibalize an electrical contact plate from the older "skinny" switch and replace the burnt one in my newer "fat" switch.

2007 100

Taking the 914 home

Porsche 914 EV Conversion

My friend Pete drove me out to Camp914 today to pick up the vehicle. Craig did a wonderful job on detailing it and showed me all the required controls. I drove it home without a hitch and spent a bunch of time reading the instruction manual (you're not supposed to do that!). There are a few minor things to fix, but overall, the car is fantastic. I even met the prior owner (Vince) at camp914 and heard his story.

2007 100

Why Not Ethanol? Yet Another Reason

Plugs and Cars

The case for ethanol, if not the funding , is wilting on the vine. Scientific American points out the problems in " Is Ethanol for the Long Haul? " in the January issue. And Consumer Reports looks at ethanol's real world shortcomings in " The Ethanol Myth." An OpEd in today 's NY Times " Praying at the Pump, " highlights yet another chink in the case for ethanol. Simply put, markets. Global markets. And I'm not just talking about the price of tortillas in Mexico City.

2007 100

Going to Camp (Camp914, that is)

Porsche 914 EV Conversion

Well, today was the big day to dump some cash on a platform for the EV. After thinking about it and talking with some friends, I decided to splurge and spend a few thousand more on a much nicer looking car so I wouldn't have to worry about fixing up the cosmetics. I really like the interior and the car drives well. There were minor things that didn't work like the horn and a notch in the trunk for the TargaTop, but Craig is going to work on those before I pick it up tomorrow.

2007 100

Exxon is #1!

Plugs and Cars

NY Times reports: Exxon’s profit rose 9 percent from 2005 results to a record of $39.5 billion, the largest annual profit ever for an American company

2007 100

Th!nk Resumes Production

Plugs and Cars

The Norway Post reports that Th!nk nk Global will manufacture 500 Th!nk nk City electric cars in 2007, with production beginning in summer. No specifics about the battery type. The article states, "The new "Think" model will have improved batteries with a range of 180 km (111 miles) between charges and a top speed of around 100 km 60 mph)."

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