|Location||Brockville, Ontario Canada map|
|Vehicle||1992 Geo Metro |
Before conversion, this car was destined for the jaws of the junkyard crusher. But combined with parts from a 1993 Swift, it passed its safety inspection (in ICE form) with a grand total of $79 CAD invested.
|Motor||Baker Series Wound DC|
This 8 inch motor (with female splined shaft) originally drove one of 3 hydraulic pumps in the forklift from whence it was salvaged.
It's actually made by Otis, according to Mr Husted. But it's from a Baker forklift.
|Drivetrain||Front wheel drive, manual transmission|
400 amp 36/48 volt controller from a Club Car golf cart - great eBay find (cheap!). Much better than the 225A 1204-410 we started out with.
|Batteries||8 Exide GC-5, 6.00 Volt, Lead-Acid, Flooded|
Bigger news: Hallowe'en 2008 - got another set of "new to us" used batteries, approx 1-2 years old. Range & performance increases.
Big news: upgraded to a used set of Exides from another EV owner (EV album entry # 600). These 3-5 year-old hand-me-downs are in good enough shape to meet our minimum range target!
Originally had some VERY used Powr-Surge T-105 equivalents from the company that sold us the forklift: half-dead (and worse) mis-matched batteries. Good enough for testing, but not much more.
|System Voltage||48 Volts|
|Charger||Delta-Q Technologies QuiQ|
Now using a proper 48v 3-stage smart charger from Delta-Q. Plug it in & forget it - it's wonderful! Typical recharge time: 5.5 hours @ 110vac.
Previously was using a Vulcan EA 24/10 (24v/10A) charger meant for an industrial floor sweeper. We were splitting the pack to charge in parallel 24v strings each time. Bit of a hassle. And 24v/10A was too slow - sometimes more than 12-14 hours depending on depth of discharge.
|DC/DC Converter||Vicor |
Not yet installed - picked up a 48/12v module off eBay for about $25. Currently using a surplus 12 Volt gel battery from an alarm system. Charging with a 12 Volt charger.
|Instrumentation||600 Amp ammeter, and a cheap digital multimeter monitoring voltage on the weakest batt in the pack. And, as of May, 2008 a custom made (not by me) 8-battery LED pack monitor.|
|Top Speed||45 MPH (72 KPH)|
Took about 0.5 km to reach this speed (and there may have been a slight downhill grade). Actual top speed in typical sub/urban use is more like 45 - 55 km/h / 27 - 32 mph.
|Acceleration||About the same as a 12 year-old boy on a bicycle. And he was trying too! Standing up on the pedals! |
In reality: 0-50 km/h (30 mph) in 21 seconds with the 400A controller. With the 225A unit, it was 36 seconds.
|Range||20 Miles (32 Kilometers)|
Our absolute *minimum* range target was 15 km.
Using the hand-me-down Exides from Sparky the electric pickup (first used) Exide pack, I was able to feather-foot the car 22.5 km [max speed 40 km/h (around 25 mph)] down to about 50% depth of discharge. Thanks Sparky!
Update, Oct 22/07: Have gone as far as 30 km (18.5 mi.), though performance is pretty weak in the last 5 km. Typically, 20 km is doable without difficulty (gentle, sub/urban driving).
In the depths of winter, range is approximately halved: 10-12 km (7 mi.) was more common. Uninsulated/unheated batteries.
Update fall '08: Our "new to us" Hallowe'en pack is much better. Have gone as far as 43 km / 27 mi on one charge, but a solid 32 km / 20 mi is now achievable in warm weather.
|Watt Hours/Mile||311 Wh/Mile |
Calculated at the wall, over a full year of use, winter & summer. Conservative sub/urban driving, probably averaging 20-25 mph. Typical winter average is around 370 Wh/mi; summer average is 277 Wh/mi.
|Seating Capacity||Update (Oct 11/07): "4"!|
Previously: "1" (batteries were on the floor boards of the rest of the seating positions for testing)
|Curb Weight||2,077 Pounds (944 Kilograms)|
According to the weigh scale at the city's waste transfer station. (Updated Oct. 15/07)
|Tires||My ICE car's snow tires, pumped up to 50 psi.|
|Conversion Time||Started in March 2006 - road legal in October 2007. But it's never really finished, is it? The major features are obviousy in place, but still tinkering & refining.|
|Conversion Cost||Was on the road for $672 CAD. |
Current cost: $955 CAD, after buying some better used batteries and upgrading to a more powerful rebuilt golf cart controller.
And we still have a few left-over ICE and forklift parts, plus the provincial sales tax refund for the conversion parts.
|Additional Features||May, 2009: added a cable actuated bicycle bell under the hood as a friendly pedestrian proximity warning device.|
|Update (Nov 3/09): Approaching 3500 EV kilometers driven. Didn't use the car as much this summer as last (was away for much of it).|
Update (May 29/09): now 3000 km of electric drive since the conversion. Pedestrian-friendly bicycle bell added (video coming!). Have finally begun updating the web site with actual useful information: WebPage .
Update (April 16/08): Over 1000 km on the car since the conversion, so far. Recent upgrade from the 225A to 400A controller - nice to have the extra oomph on tap when needed.
Update (Oct 11/07): it's legal! The ForkenSwift has passed inspection and is insured & plated. Another EV on the road!
Note that the goal here was to create an NEV/LSV comparable vehicle suitable for short trips in a small city. High speed isn't important (60 km/h would be awesome); A minimum range of just 15 km was the goal.
When we realized how potentally inexpensively this could be done (with patience, resourcefulness and pure, blind luck), keeping costs down became a main goal.
All of the EV parts (except the golf cart controller & ammeter) came from a surplus early/mid-1980's Baker 36/48V forklift which we bought and stripped of its electric / electronic bits.
(I no longer look at forklifts simply as machines for picking up heavy stuff. Now I see them as cheap "EV kits in a box". Really heavy boxes.)
I told myself I wouldn't enter an "under construction" car in the EV Album until the car had at least moved it under its own (electric) power. We passed that milestone a couple of weeks back (April/07).
Six YouTube videos available - click through to www.forkenswift.com for the links.