April, 2008

An Easy EV Conversion Kit For People

Open Source Civic EV Kit

After spending the past year and a half converting a Porsche 914 to an electric vehicle, I decided to expand my horizons by designing an open-source electric vehicle (EV) conversion kit for a commonly used car. The intention is to create detailed designs and directions so that anyone who has a garage and is moderately proficient with hand-tools can convert their car to an EV. This project started about a month ago when I became co-chair of the Oregon Electric Vehicles Association.

2008 156

Partner Update and Announcement

Plug In Partners

C oming this fall, mark you calendars for the Austin Energy Alt Car Expo and Conference. It's October 17th and 18th and it will be a great opportunity to see what's happening in plug-ins, mass transportation, and urban planning.

2008 130

Trending Sources

Going back to CAMP914

Porsche 914 EV Conversion

Yesterday was fun. I drove the electric 914 back out to Camp914 where I originally purchased the car and drove it away as a gasoline vehicle. Craig was happy to see me and took several pictures.

2008 130

Is NRDC drinking the hydrogen kool-aid?

Plugs and Cars

The following guest blog post is by Earl Killian who often blogs at Joe Romm's ClimateProgress.org. Biographical information below the post. Is NRDC drinking the hydrogen kool-aid?

2008 130

Playing with Kicad

Open Source Civic EV Kit

I spent a few hours over the past days playing with Kicad. It has some quirks, but overall it's a great freeware schematic CAD package. I created an EV-parts library so that I could draw up schematics specific to electric vehicles.

2008 130

Playing with Google Sketchup

Open Source Civic EV Kit

I thought I would take the afternoon to see if I could draw some battery boxes with Google Sketchup. I was surprised by how easy the program was to use.

2008 130

More U-Pull-It Measurements

Open Source Civic EV Kit

I wanted to get some more detailed measurements, so I went back to U-Pull-It again. Here are some photos: Here's a shot of the front engine compartment without anything in it. I'm trying to see the best way of putting batteries in the front rack.

2008 130

More Trending

Pictures from the Wrecking Yard

Open Source Civic EV Kit

Last Friday, I headed out to U-Pull-It auto wrecking to see if they had any '92-'95 Civics on the lot. Fortunately they had three of them, so I took some pictures to see if it would help me with battery rack and other component placement. You can click on any of the pictures for an enlarged version.

2008 130

PHEV's and Water Consumption

Plug In Partners

I n our last post on Blowback , we observed and opined that any movement forward exerts a force in the opposite direction, and that it is natural. However, this story on water consumption seems to be more than just natural clever shaping, it seems seriously wrong. Here is the story and the claims.

2008 130

Tesla to sell Roadster in Europe

Plugs and Cars

Governor Schwarzenegger can expect delivery of his $100,000 electric Tesla Roadster within a few months. His pals in the Old World won't have to wait too much longer before they can buy their own, for a cool €100,000 ($156,000.)

2008 130

Taking a Break

Open Source Civic EV Kit

I'd like to thank all the folks that I've bumped into over the past few weeks who have been tremendously supportive of this open-source EV conversion project. People have been quick to respond and eager to share their own experience and knowledge with Civic conversions. In the process, I've found several folks in the Portland area who are willing to help out with a variety of skills and talents.

2008 100

Plug-in Rally in Sacramento

Plugs and Cars

Stefano Paris, plug-in car and renewable energy supporter and renaissance man, has made a video of Plug In America's rally in Sacramento outside CARB last month. Check out the video, and his extremely useful website on plug-ins here.

2008 100

researching suspension parts

Open Source Civic EV Kit

When people purchase their '92-'95 civic, the first thing they'll need to do is upgrade the suspension to handle the extra weight of the batteries. The CivicWithACord journal suggests getting Koni yellow adjustable struts and a set of Ground Control coil-overs. Ground Control sells the coil overs (SKU 4530) for $299+shipping. Make sure you request the beefed up springs, two of type 1200.250.0275 and two of type 1200.250.0200.

2008 100

LA Times: CARB's Sperling Conflicted

Plugs and Cars

Check out today's LA Times piece by Ken Bensinger on CARB Board Member Dan Sperling, here. The UC Davis Institute he heads took in millions from auto and oil companies in the years prior to his appointment by Gov Schwarzenegger. At last month's Board Meet, Sperling spearheaded a proposal to cut the number of zero emission vehicles required by the ZEV program.

2008 100

Open Source Tools and Open Hardware License

Open Source Civic EV Kit

Unlike the Gnu Public License (GPL) for software, there aren't really that many widely used open-source hardware licenses out there. The best one I could find was from TAPR (link at right). It seems like this will be good enough as long as all the designs have the Open Hardware License (OHL) identification on them. The next hurdle was finding free tools with which to design various parts with.

2008 100

Switching Gears and Moving On

Porsche 914 EV Conversion

With almost 3000 miles of cheap, reliable operation, I think it's time to move on to something that will help more people do their own conversions. I really appreciated the high-quality parts and detailed instructions provided by Electro Automotive with their 914 kit. I would like to see the same thing done for a more modern, practical vehicle for much less cost.

2008 100

Luxurious greenwashing, Lexus-style

Plugs and Cars

Check out my snarky AutoblogGreen.com post on Lexus' greenwashing. Quoting myself, Lexus is taking hybrid hype to the next level, the penthouse.At one time Toyota was content to let the Prius subliminally lower consumers' green expectations from electric cars to hybrids which use gasoline-generated electricity to raise efficiency. Lexus has gone literal - "h" is the new green lifestyle.

2008 100

CARB's Conflict of Interest

Plugs and Cars

The California Air Resources Board (CARB) and the California Fuel Cell Partnership (CFCP) have become inseparable. The Green California Summit taking place next week in Sacramento appears to provide one more small example.

2008 100

Sandia Labs Researcher Says Electric Makes More Sense

Plugs and Cars

Sandia Labs Researcher Ben Cipiti has penned a short piece entitled An Unbiased Approach to Evaluating Transportation Fuels in which he extols the virtues of plug-in cars to meet our environmental and national security goals. He correctly identifies the problem bedeviling consumers, policy makers and, perhaps, auto makers. Many of us want to know what we can do to make a difference.

2008 100