|Owner's Other EVs||1990 Fiat 126|
1999 Daewoo Matiz
|Location||Galashiels, Scotland United Kingdom map|
|Vehicle||1994 Volvo 440 |
5 door hatchback. Similar size to a Ford Escort maybe slightly larger.
|Motor||Netgain Impulse 9 Series Wound DC|
This motor is a very good choice for smaller front wheel drive vehicles were the length of a Warp 9" or Advance DC 9" motor can be to long. It is a 9" diameter motor that is the same length and mounting pattern as most popular 8" motors.
|Drivetrain||Front wheel drive 5spd manual. No clutch, motor directly coupled to gearbox.|
Popular controller that whines on low throttle positions, personally I think it gives pedestrians some warning when you start to pull away although Curtis says in their manual that it provides better control at low speeds.
|Batteries||12 other SEC Industrial Battery Company 12FTG 100ah, 12.00 Volt, Lead-Acid, Gel|
SEC Industrial Battery Company was very helpful in advising on types of batteries. I chose these batteries not because they were the best option but because they had 17 old stock that they sold me cheap. They are a front terminal battery designed to go into 19" equipment racks for back up power supplies. I try not to pull more than 300 amps from them because the voltage drops quite a lot at that level, but the good news is that the car doesn't need to pull much more than 200 amps even climbing hills at 50mph.
Their website is www.secbattery.com
|System Voltage||144 Volts|
I have replaced my 13 Ring RSC16 Smart Chargers with a Zivan NG3. This charger works great and has improved my watt hours/mile by about 80 watts due to it being more efficient.
The Ring chargers were disappointing, they have a soft start feature that wouldn't always start on very cold days and overheated and shut down in the Scottish summer, which is not very hot. I was intending mount these permanently in the car, 1 for each battery but had to return 5 chargers after they failed.
|Heater||None yet, although it does have heated seats! On my to do list (I have ordered a unit off of ebay)b.|
|DC/DC Converter|| none|
Since I have some spare 12v 100ah batteries I am using one for the 12 volt system and recharging along with the traction pack using one of the Ring Smart Chargers.
|Instrumentation||PakTrakr, This is a good unit for telling you of any problems with the batteries but using as an amp gauge or fuel gauge has been less successful. I also have a watt/hour meter to measure electricity used to recharge.|
|Top Speed||80 MPH (128 KPH)|
The speed limit on our local roads is 60mph which the car will do quite happily. I usually cruise at 50-55mph but it has power to overtake slower vehicles if required. I have had it to 80 breifly, it draws a lot of amps at that speed but could still go faster.
|Acceleration||Very brisk, surprises most people who drive it.|
|Range||24 Miles (38 Kilometers)|
This area is rural and hilly. My commute to work is 11 miles one way. I can charge at work or home which will be handy in the winter, cold batteries mean less range so I have to charge both ends of the journey.
|Watt Hours/Mile||420 Wh/Mile |
This figure has been calculated using a electric meter mounted in the car and takes into account losses due to charging the batteries. Changing the battery charger has made the biggest improvement to my Whr/Mile figure, removing roof bars and mud gaurds and having the tracking set has helped maybe 20 watts/mile. However putting a christmas tree on the roof to take to the recycling centre after christmas returned a Whr/Mile of over 900 watts! Streamlining does matter after all.
|Seating Capacity||5. All the original seats are intact.|
|Curb Weight||3,040 Pounds (1,381 Kilograms)|
The car had a curb weight of 2,200 lbs according to the owners handbook. After removing engine and related bits the car weighed 1,590lbs. The GVWR of the car is 3,480lbs leaving a payload capacity of 440lbs.
|Tires||What was on the car when I got it.|
|Conversion Time||3 months approx.|
|Conversion Cost||Haven't looked yet.|
|Additional Features||Vacuum pump for the brakes was sourced from Volkswagen (part number 8E0 927 317B). This is quite a compact unit but doesn't have a vacuum switch so it is temporarily wired to the stop light circuit. I will probably add a timer circuit so that it only runs for a few seconds at a time.|
|Mar 12 update; |
The Volvo is no longer on the road. Most of the components have gone into my Daewoo Matiz conversion where the smaller car gives more range for the same size battery pack. My general recommendation for anyone thinking of converting a car is to choose the smallest vehicle that will suit your needs. This will save you money and increase your 'miles per hour of charging.'
I will keep this entry live for reference purposes.
Oct 08 update;
Now that my Fiat is on the road I am going to start thinking about replacing the batteries with a AGM type battery, probably 90ah. That should give a slight weight savings and less voltage drop than the current gel batteries. Still I am pleased to have gotten nearly 6,000 miles on a battery pack that cost me around £450. Now that I know a bit more about caring for batteries, mostly not to drain them below 50%, I hope to get a longer life from the next pack.
July 08 update;
4,000 miles covered after a year of driving and 1,900KWH used to recharge. Batteries are getting tired now, mostly due to some abuse by myself. Car still makes my daily commute but I have to charge at each end of the journey.
My goal was to convert a car but keep the passenger compartment intact. 6 batteries are mounted in the boot(trunk) where the spare wheel was and the rest are under the bonnet(hood). The suspension is standard and the car sits very nicely with the weight spread out quite evenly.
I have named it 'The Invisible Car' because no one really notices an old Volvo going down the road and one that doesn't make any noise is practically invisible.