Rear CompartmentThe CarMe and the carCharging PortMotor installation
OwnerBen Nelson
Owner's Other EVs1981 Kawasaki KZ440
2007 Vectrix VX-1
LocationOconomowoc, Wisconsin United States map
Web/EmailWebPage email image
Vehicle1996 Geo Metro
converted to plug-in Battery Electric Vehicle
Motor Nissan Forklift drive motor Series Wound DC
10" double-shafted forklift drive motor, rebuilt and tailshaft
removed. Trimmed driveshaft to shorten to fit in car.
Trimmed cast iron "shoulder" around tailshaft to fit in car.
Drivetrain5-speed manual
ControllerOpen ReVolt Cougar
Open Source DIY controller based on the ReVolt Cougar
controller. Kits available at:
Batteries6, 12.00 Volt, Lead-Acid, AGM
Was able to get Gel batteries which were new pulled from
NEVs. I have run this vehicle on anything from 72-144 volts.
System Voltage72 Volts
ChargerK and W BC-20
Charger adjustable from 72 to 108 volt systems.
HeaterAC Oil-filled electric radiator heater.

I have it in the car and "pre-warm" off wall AC power, then I
unplug and drive. It stays warm for a good ten minutes
DC/DC Converter
None yet, just the 12V battery out of a friends Dodge Neon
InstrumentationCurrently have a 300 amp ammeter and a 0-100V volt-
meter built into the dash where the radio was. Vacuum
gauge to show status of power brake system.
Top Speed71 MPH (114 KPH)
Have topped 70 mph at 144v.
Was in a 55 zone, which was going down to a 45 zone. I am
sure I still had a few more MPH left.
AccelerationSoftware adjustable in controller. Pretty good acceleration
when cranked up.
Range20 Miles (32 Kilometers)
about a 20 mile range, the battery pack is relatively small. It
has been as short as 10 miles in the winter though when not
using battery warmers. Using warmers, it has almost its
summer range
Watt Hours/Mile250 Wh/Mile
Whr/mile is around 150 in actual in-town use according to
controller energy tracker. About 250 to 300 per mile actual
based on tracking energy to charger (includes losses and
charging aux battery, etc.)
EV Miles
Start:143,000 Miles (230,087 Kilometers)
Current:145,000 Miles (233,305 Kilometers)
Total:2,000 Miles (3,218 Kilometers)
Seating CapacitySeat belts for 4. Weight capacity is most likely two adults plus
a back seat full of groceries.
Curb Weight2,100 Pounds (954 Kilograms)
1780 as stock Metro. Batteries weigh about 450 lbs.
Tiresjust what came with the car when I bought it. Painted the
rims white. (Looked better than rust!)
Put $10 hub caps on it later.
Conversion Timeless than one year from concept to "done". I don't think I will
ever be done tinkering though.
Conversion CostBetween 1200 and $1300, INCLUDING buying the car in
the first place. Paid $500 for the car, sold $550 in parts
off of it. Paid just under $400 for some machining work.
The rest of the cost was:

$50 for motor
$50 for brushes
$144 for batteries. (12 of them, only used 6 so far in
$106 used transmission
$200 for used 72v charger
$300 for controller.
Additional FeaturesCar came with driver and passenger airbags. Appears that they are still working

Has daytime running lights. Hoping to replace those with LED daytime running lights.

Also considering adding a large power inverter to power parts of my house in case of
grid failure.
My second EV conversion. (1st was a motorcycle) Wanted to use a really basic car so
that I could have
something to experiment on that wouldn't be complicated or expensive.

I have a fair number of YouTube videos about the project. Go to YouTube, my
is BenjaminNelson

Follow my further adventures in Going Gas Free at my Blog:
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