DashBMS and Lithium BatteriesPlug-InLithium AC BugE
OwnerNap Pepin
Owner's Other EVLithium Hawk
LocationSherwood Park, Alberta Canada map
Web/EmailWebPage WebPage email image
Vehicle2008 Blue Sky Design BugE
Lithium powered BugE with AC induction drive and variable regenerative braking. System voltage is 80 volts nominal, 102 volts peak.
Motor High Performance Golf Cars 3-Phase AC
3 Phase AC Induction High Efficiency, 38HP 86 ft-lbs
Drivetrain38 Peak HP AC Induction
ControllerCurtis 1236AC
105V Peak 300 Amps AC Controller. Supports VCL (Vehicle Control Language), Highly programmable, variable regen, etc.
Batteries24 Thunder Sky TC-LFP90, 3.35 Volt, Lithium-Ion
Lithium Iron Phosphate - 2000 to 3000 cycles (then 70% to 80% capacity)Nominal cell voltage is not 3.2 volts but rather 3.35 for my average current draw of 30 to 40 amps.
System Voltage80 Volts
ChargerZivan NG1
NG1 with custom lithium charge curve. 10 Amps, 102 volts. Thermal Probe access by custom battery management system.
DC/DC ConverterCurtis 250 watts, 12V
250 watt 12 Volt
InstrumentationCustom LCD (4 X 20, white text, blue backlit)also Curtis LCD Spyglass with menu button.
Top Speed80 MPH (128 KPH)
Had it at 99kmh (as high as the bike speedometer registers)with lots of throttle left so I beleive I could reach well above that. As of June 30, 2008, I have made changes to the progamming of the motor controller to refine performance and for safety. The top speed will likely be about 60mph now.
Acceleration0 to 60mph in ~7 seconds. This is unofficial. As of June 30, 2008, I made programming changes to the motor controller for consistant performance accross the battery's discharge curve. The accleration is lower now but still very good.
Range124 Miles (199 Kilometers)
On first range test with speeds of 30 to 45 mph, went 199.6km or 123.8 miles before I received my first low cell warning. Lots of stops and starts and small hills. Driven in Sherwood Park, Alberta.
Watt Hours/Mile56 Wh/Mile
To determine the Whr/Mile: I drove 199.6km or 123.8 miles before I received my first low cell warning. I then drove home. So I actually drove 209km or 129 miles. I then recharged the batteries fully. I logged the energy input to the charger at 8.6kwh. Assuming a charger efficiency of 85% (manufacturer's specs) I used 7.2kwh of energy. That's 8.6kwh X .85% = 7.2kwh. So my Whr/Mile is 7.2kwh/129Mi = 55.8 Whr/Mile. I believe however that the charger efficiency is a bit higher. So I'll try to determine that and if so, I expect to see a bit higher than 55.8 Wh/Mile.
EV Miles
Current:4,500 Miles (7,240 Kilometers)
Seating Capacity1 adult
Curb Weight410 Pounds (186 Kilograms)
Tires16" X 3" Moped
Conversion Time>500 Hours, I'm really not sure.
Conversion Cost~$17,000.00 or $15,000 in US dollars.
Additional FeaturesCustom designed BMS performs precision balancing and battery saturation. Controls charger on/off and high/low voltage. Individual cell elements communicate with main BMS board. In-dash LCD display provides mode "Charging" or "Drive", Pack Volts, Amps (driving, charging or regen), State of Charge "%", Low Cell Warning, etc.. I'll probably add some other features.


-Frame modified for higher clearance
-Tilted Seat with Adjustable Sliders
-Variable Regenerative Braking
-Brake Light Actuation programmed when Regen >6 amps
-Custom additional battery box for 7 of 24 cells
-Twin Dual Beam Headlights
-LED Marker and Signal Lights
-Variable (PWM) fan controller
-Larger 3" wide tires (15psi for softer ride)
-Plug-In Retractable Cord in front access door
-Custom Vinyl Decals
-Custom Steering Column Stabilizer
-Oversized Tie Rods
-Larger Drum Brake Levers
-Custom Rear Brake Pedal (service brakes required on all 3 wheels in Canada)
-In Dash Signal Light Indicator
-In Dash Regen Brake Light Indicator
-Various Custom Fiberglas Parts
Update - August 21, 2010
The Reynolds Alberta Museum asked me if I would consider donating the vehicle. After realizing the benefits such as a significant tax return and having the Lithium BugE in such a great museum, I donated it. In May of 2010 the Lithium BugE was the #1 staff pick for their annual car show. It will be shown for 1.5 years untill it begins it's rotation through their inventory. When left with the museum, it was fully functional and came with documentation and instructions.

Update - June 22, 2009
The Lithium BugE is going strong and is very reliable. Had to tweak the software in the BMS to allow for longer balancing times. Have clocked nearly 4000km or 2500 miles so far. Film projects include Daily Planet on the discovery Channel, Alberta Primetime "Trail Blazers" and a N.A.I.T (Norther Alberta Institute of Technology) campus ad. Losts of newspaer and magazine stuff including front Page of the Edmonton Journal, 2 N.A.I.T publications, Sherwood Park News, etc..

Update - April 14, 2009
I've got the Lithium BigE out again now that the roads are clear. I repaced the chain as the original one whould slightly tighten when the master link was on the rear wheel sprocket. This new chain make the ride super smooth and it sounds very cool. I replaced all signal lights with DOT approved lights from a nerwer Honda Bike. I have drive the Lithium Buge 3000km to date.

Update - July 30, 2008:
I have made numerous programming changes to the motor controller to refine performance. I found that I was getting low cell warnings when accelerating hard when the pack was less than 70% charged and I was pulling >300 amps. To obtain consistent performance across most of the battery discharge curve, I have since adjusted the forward power limiting map for quick acceleration that tapers off the power to 70%, 65%, then 50% as RPM goes from 2500 to 7500. I initially draw high current but it quickly tapers off as I reach higher speeds. I made other changes to the regenerative braking map and accelerating rate too. As well, I replaced the potentiometer type twist throttle control to a proximity type and this resulted in a noticeable change in both throttle and regenerative braking control. Now it is very smooth. All of the changes result in excellent and consistent performance. There was too much torque at higher speeds. Now it feels very refined and more like a car. It will not do 0 to 60mph < 7 seconds anymore but still has great performance that the batteries can handle. I try to drive the lithium BugE every day I can and use it for most of my comminuting at night and on weekends. Lastly, I have done some basic load tests on the lithium batteries and they appear to be holding out well.

This vehicle was my first EV project. The objective was to build and electric vehicle that could obtain a range of >100 miles on a single charge and to develop a custom lithium battery managment system. The Lithium BugE is the first BugE in Canada and the first equipped with lithium batteries and an AC drive. It was a fun project and a great learning experience. I am thrilled with the results. The Lithium BugE is fast and very fun. Thanks to Blue Sky Design (Mark Murphy), Thunderstruck EV, Zivan USA (ELCON) and Peter Perkins for their help.

code by jerry