|| How much does it cost to drive
a electric vehicle compared to gas?
|If you are getting 20 miles per
gallon at $3 per gallon and you go 30,000 miles you will spend
about $4,500 dollars for gas alone. If you average 30 miles
a day at 60 cents per charge going 30,000 miles it cost about
$600 in electricity and then have to change your batteries
for $2,000 dollars you will have spent $2,600. Figure in that
electric motors are not running when you are at traffic lights
or in traffic jams so you are not spending energy when standing
still. You will not have to change oil or spark plugs every
30,000 miles and the electric motor can last ten times longer
than a gas engine. So drive on to 150,000 miles about the
life of your gas engine you will spend more than $22,500 in
gas alone compared to less than $13,000 in electricity and
batteries. This is enough to pay for your conversion and your
electric motor is still good while your I.C.engine is junk.
||What's the down side to driving
|The range you get from
a charge is limited by your batteries. More expensive batteries
will get you farther. If you can get 50 miles on a charge
you are doing good, over 100 miles and you can join our very
miles to a charge club. The time it takes to
charge up is dependent on the outlet and your charger technology
if you can plug into a 220volt outlet you can charge up in
less than half the time of a 110 outlet. The up side is that
it is better for everyone's health and environment. EVs can
save you money if you are smart. If you have a vehicle that
is unsuitable for converting and are pondering going to an
EV, wondering what to do with it, you may donate that car
for a tax refund to DonateCarUSA.com
to help 1 of over 400 charities involved."
|| How much does it cost to convert
a gas vehicle to electric?
| It depends on the vehicle you are
converting and the performance you need. Are you going AC
or DC power, using new or used parts? The basic components
are: Motor 48 to 342 volts $200 to $7,000, Controller 400
to 2000 amps $500 to $5,000, Batteries Lead Acid 6 or 12 volt
or exotics in a 48 to 350 volt pack $200 to $20,000. Conversion
Packages This should give you an idea of just
how varied this answer can be.
|| What is the best vehicle for a conversion?
| A manual transmission is best as an automatic
requires that the motor run continuously and waists alot of
power. We always have to ask what you need this vehicle to
do in terms of speed and range. A rule of thumb is 500 to
1000 pounds of lead acid batteries will give you the range
of a gallon of gas. Weight is a major factor, for more range
and speed a light sturdy car or truck is best. You have to
look at the spaces for batteries. Unless you are using one
of the highly recommended Mike Brown kits for the Porsche
914 or VW Jetta it is pretty much a custom job that will require
some engineering and machine work on somebody's part.
||What is the best transmission for a conversion?
|A 4 or 5 speed manual is ideal. You don't have
to worry about stalling an engine so it is easier to drive
and it is very efficient. ICE automatics require that the
engine be running all the time so it uses too much power about
%10 or one gallon of gas out of every ten. EV motors stop
every time you take your foot off the pedal so the automatic
looses pressure making it even less efficient in an EV not
good when you are fighting for range. There are automatic
transmissions modified for EVs but they are
a bit pricey. You could connect your motor directly to the
differential but then you have to purchase a reversing contactor
cost about as much as a tranny and the differential is like
being in 4th gear so you require a lot of power so as not
to be putting too much heat to the controller and motor also
there is no neutral and this can put a strain on the linkage
calling for a centrifical clutch. Also you have no speedometer
||Can I run my motor without it being hooked to
|Yes, its a good idea to test out
the motor. Care must be taken not to "over rev"
the motor. 24 volts could be over the limit. Electric motors
run quiet; you will not hear its power. Know your motors capacity.
Without a load on the drive train your motor could be throttled
to high RPM beyond its capacity, upon acceleration the motor
could break apart, throwing dangerous metal fragments at high
speed in every direction. At 18 Volts the 9" will rev
to about 3,000 rpm and will pull 50 amps. If the motor has
advanced timing, you can check to make sure it is timed in
the direction you want it to be by running it one way and
then the other (switching the A terminal wires). It will run
faster in the direction that it is advanced.
||Where do I get an adapter for my transmission?
|We can have the adapter plate and
hub made for you for about $800 but if we don't have your
same transmission in our database you would have to ship the
tranny and flywheel. Send us all the information: year, make
and engine size for your vehicle and the electric motor your
are planning to install.
You may be able to have the adapter plate made at a machine
shop close to
your home or make it yourself. For the hub some times we use
a gear wheel or pulley, you can buy at your local supply house
and bolt it on to the center of your fly wheel. Cut out a
polygon of steal or aluminum plate to fit on your transmission,
cut a hole for the electric motor shaft to fit, bolt your
electric motor to it. Secure your transmission in a plumb
vertical position on a rail table, clamp the electric motor,
the plate and flywheel to the transmission then spin the motor
with a 12 volt battery. Center the motor by adjusting the
clamps and tapping the plate with a mallet until it is running
smooth quietly balanced. Drill holes in the plate and bolt
it to your transmission. Install it all back into the car.
It's not always so easy to get every thing to line up perfectly
the first time so it is good to work with an understanding
machinist with an open mind :)
||What type of batteries should I use?
|The type of batteries you use will
depend on the performance you want: range and speed. We use
Lead Acid Batteries; they are affordable and readily available.
There are many ways to configure battery packs.
You will have many questions concerning batteries so in an
attempt to answer most of them here we offer these comparisons.
We offer these three 24KW 120 volt battery packs as examples.
20 * 6 volt deep cycle golf cart batteries with water levels
to be maintained; this pack might weigh about 1300lbs and
cost about $1,500. If you keep the water levels up and don't
over charge or go below % 50 discharges too often this would
be averaging 20 to 40 an occasional 50 miles a charge they
should last 3 to 5years.
20 * 12 volt AGM (Absorption Glass Mat) sealed maintenance
free batteries, weigh about 1160lbs but cost
about $5,900. You won't have to worry about fluid levels but
you still have to be careful not to over charge or discharge
to much and you should be able to get about the same range
and as the flooded lead batteries. 24KW 120 volt pack of Lithium-ion
Iron Phosphate (LiFePO4) batteries is 38 * 3.2 volt 200ah
units cost about $10,400 and wieghs about 700lbs. We only
suggest you purchase Lithium batteries if you have money in
your budget to risk on research and developement.
Lithium batteries if over discharged or overcharged almost
immediatly are bad no-longer usable. You must have an electronic
Battery Management System. We now sell Lithium batteries because
these companies offer a 2 year guarentee but for most people
this is still too risky for the expense.
||How do you calculate how many batteries
You have to give your acceleration, range performance and
budget requirements first. Let's start with the voltage
of your system. This would be determined by the controller
you use; check the nominal voltage. Higher the voltage and
amperage of your controller the more power the vehicle will
have. The nominal voltage is size battery you will use;3.2
volt, 6 volt, 8 volt or 12 volt times the number of batteries
you will run in series. The higher the amp hours (AH) the
greater the range. If you want to double AH without increasing
the voltage then you would buddy up two batteries in parallel
and then run the pairs in series or run half your batteries
in series and then hook the two packs in parallel (you'll
figure it out). You also have to consider space available
and the weight that your motor, controller and suspension
can handle. Your range will be determined by your batteries
amp hours (AH) and speed will be determined by your batteries
maximum discharge current (C rating). As rules of thumbs
go roughly: 800 pounds of lead will get you about the mileage
your vehicle would get on a gallon of gas or 400 pounds
of lithium but lighter means farther and faster, heavier
means shorter and slower. Your range and speed of course
are not only determined by your batteries. If you can get
over a hundred miles on a charge then you can join our very
exclusive 100 miles per charge
||How do I hook up the controller?
|Very Carefully, follow
the instructions that come with your controller. Be very conscious
of electrical safety procedures. If you touch the wrong cables
you will blow it. There are several different configurations
depending on the controller, cooling system, motor, contactor,
key switch and throttle set up you will be using. You should
prepare with your own readable diagram.
||How do I hook up the air conditioner
|Steve usually puts a pulley on the
end shaft but if you don't have a end shaft or enough room
you will need to fit a small electric motor to operate the
compressor or put in an AC
AC unit and hook it up to an inverter.
||Can Grassroots Electric Vehicle Company
do a conversion for me?
| We do help people get conversions
done. See our Grassroots Electric Vehicle Conversion
Shops Directory. Professionals experienced
in converting gas vehicles to electric, willing to help you.
Shops get $25 to $250 dollars per hour depending on the caliber
of your project. Experienced technitions get a troubleshooting/consultation
fee of $25 per half hour.
If you would like to schedule a tech to call you back to help
with his undivided attention call Jon at:702 277-7544
||What voltage motor do I need?
|I would have to ask you; what kind
of load are you going to put on the motor, and at what RPM
will it be running? Then I could tell you what voltage controller
you should use. The controller correctly matched to the motor
will give it the right voltage. The weight of the motor magnets
and size of its brushes determine the power and torque.The
rpm rating for the 9" and 11" motors is 5000rpm
and they are happy to spin this fast; so that if you hook
them up direct to your differencial and you have enough power
at 5000rpm you would go over 100mph; 60kilowatts
||So, what voltage would you recommend
for a normal car?
What controller would you use?
| Depending on the wieght of your
vehicle from 96 to 342 Volts; We recommend that you go with
as high a voltage as you can. The Soliton
DC controllers are the best on the market.
As distance is related to weight of batteries, golf cart batteries
give lots of weight at 65lbs each. You get the most for the
money but it is hard to get the voltage high when you need
20 of them, just to get 120 volts. Of course 12v AGMs give
you twice the voltage for the same number of batteries and
they come in smaller sizes so with them your voltage can be
much higher, all the way up to 336 volts as the controller
is rated it will smartly give the motor as much voltage as
it can take. AGM batteries are also happier delivering hi
amps and can put out 5 times the hp per pound.
||What are the advantages and disadvantages
of the AC motors?
AC System Advantages:
(AC) alternating current electricity has a different character
then (DC) direct current.
DC contacts have a tendence to stick and arc melting metal.
AC contacts are less sticky and are cooler. This is why
AC systems are safer on the out put side of the controller
going into the motor. AC motors are always brushless so
they are more reliable and last longer. The less intrusive
nature of AC makes forward and Reverse switching and regenerative
braking easier and more reliable. Also AC systems are not
as susceptible to a run away condition. AC systems will
out last DC.
DC System Advantages:
DC comes out of your batteries, to make it AC the AC controller
needs an inverter this is an extra component. When engineering
AC system motors and controllers you have to match up frequencies
so your AC motor and controller are married and expensive.
DC systems technology is simpler easier to understand, troubleshoot
and repair. Almost any series DC controller will work with
any series DC motor and will operate over a wide range of
voltages. DC systems are more powerful then AC with equal
input. Brushed DC motors put power to the armiture electromagnet
so they have Mega Low End Torque more powerful then the
AC systems perminant magnet armiture. This is evident at
the drag races. DC systems hold the best 1/4 mile times.
If a DC controller shorts out the motor can go full on.
DC Motors can dangerously fly apart if high throttled without
a load. Very important safe guards must be installed to
keep this from happening. Brushes will need to be changed,
every 50,000 to 100,000 miles.. This will cost you about
$100.00 (AC motors save you this inconvenience).
All of the DC systems extra power will have a tendency to
drain your batteries faster shortening your range so in
this respect AC system can be more efficent and get farther
down the road on an equal charge.
Less bang for the buck. For the same cost you can get three
to four times the power from a DC system then you can from
an AC system.
||What Horse Power is my electric
|Peak Horse Power is mostly a marketing
gimmick used for IC Engines
it should not be used in reality since it is much higher than
"true continuous HP" Inorder to get an electric
vehicle's comparable HP just multiply the voltage and amperage
rating of your motors controller, this gives you the wattage;
1KW equals about 1HP.
For a not necessarily more accurate HP figure use the application
||Were do you plug your
This depends on your vehicle and charger. You want to plug
in when ever possible at the nearest available outlet. At
home you should have a 240 volt outlet like for the dryer
or air conditioner, you can have one put in a convenient
location. You want to draw as many amps as safely possible,
50 amps would be great.The PCF20, PCF30 and PCF50 are Extremely
versatile battery chargers, designed to charge
any battery pack from 12 volts to 360 You should be able
to plug into 110 at remote locations without drawing to
hot of amperage or you will trip your friends breaker. Most
110 outlets will let you draw about 10 amps, but not all.
Before you plug in, you should let you friends know you
might trip the breaker to find out if this would be a problem
if they have to reset the breaker. When you own an electric
vehicle every trip must be planned so that you will have
enough time and juice to get to your next charge.
||What is an electric
vehicle contactor? and do you think I need one?
|The contactor is like
a big relay , it disconnects the power from the batteries
to the controller , and can handle all the power that comes
from the batteries . If there is any problem opening this
will disconnect power from controller and motor . It runs
from the 12v supply battery
||How do I get insurance
for my electric conversion?
|Any major insurance
company will offer liability coverage. If your agent says
he can't do it, he either doesn't know how or doesn't want
to. Find another agent. Just give them the make, model and
year and tell them it has been modified. Comp & collision
is difficult, because there are no blue book values.
You may need to get the car appraised by an appraiser who
specializes in things like hot rods or restorations. Often,
the insurance company will accept your receipts for the cost
of conversion, or a letter from your conversion kit provider,
to establish a value. There are also various web sites that
offer used conversions for sale, which can help establish
a comparable value for the car for insurance purposes.
||Should I install solar
panels to charge the vehicle all the time while in use and
Installing Solar panels on your EV is not always very practical.
The associates at verengosolar.com
offer free consultations that may be able to help you further.
If we do the math. Typically going 40 mph you might draw
100 amp hours.
Lets say you have 24V panels that turn out 8 amp hours each,
then you would need five of them to make 120 volts to turn
out 8 amp hours. To replace that 100 amp hours would take
12.5 hours of peak sun. If you only used one panel and converted
it to 120 volts then it would only turn out 1.6 amp hours
at 120 volts and take 62.5 hours to replace that 100 amp
So it is best to install those solar panels on the roof
of your house.
Solar cars are made of ultra lite parts and materials and
are extremely aerodynamic so they will maybe draw 20 amp
hours at 40 mph.
||Why won't a generator
on the wheel work in an electric vehicle?
|A generator takes more
power to turn because of electromatic flux, friction and extra
wieght then the power it generates; otherwise it would be
Regenerative braking; utilizes the motor by converting the
motor into a generator and utilizing the electromatic flux