|Owner||Paul H (Adelaide)|
|Owner's Other EV||2002 Lotus Elise - S2|
|Location||Adelaide, South Australia Australia map|
|Vehicle||1992 Suzuki Swift GTi |
I picked the Swift as it is very light (It weighed 880kg with a full tank of
fuel on the local weighbridge). I am building the EV swift to see how it
performs. If I am happy with it I will convert a Lotus Elise and build my
own "mini Tesla". I decided to build my own EV's because GM crushed
2016 update, I now drive a Holden Volt and love it!!! I always did say
that if GM built a good EV that I would buy one"
|Motor||Advanced DC FB1-4001 single shaft 9 Compound Wound DC|
Great reliable motor that has plenty of power to push the light weight
swift along using 144 volts! The standard GTi has 100HP at 6200RPM.
The FB1 motor is capable of instant 100HP at stall!
|Drivetrain||5 speed manual original gearbox (clutchless)|
|Controller||Cafe Electric Zilla 1K|
Zilla = performance, so for me it was an easy choice.
|Batteries||45 CALB/Skyenergy Lithium 130Ah, 3.40 Volt, Lithium-Polymer|
They are light weight AND high power. Ideal for long-term use. They
are the most expensive compnents, but the batteries are the "heart" of
|System Voltage||144 Volts|
Great charger. Ideal for LiPo4 batteries.
|Heater||12v hairdryer (required to meet design rules here in Australia). I don't |
really need a heater though!
|DC/DC Converter||Iota DLS-55|
100-180v DC in - 13.4V out (55A)
|Instrumentation||Standard instrumentation (speedo etc)|
|Top Speed||90 MPH (144 KPH)|
Maximum speed could be 150kph but the speed limit in Australia is
110kph so the top speed is more than required. My commute is usually
on roads with a 50kph or 60kph speed limit, so it will rarely get over
|Acceleration||This car has "rapid" performance as the power to weight ratio is very |
good. 0-80kph is acheived in approx 7 seconds. It wheelspins in 3rd
|Range||80 Miles (128 Kilometers)|
80 miles or 150kms approx is way more than I need. I do 16kms a day!
This was built as a commuter vehicle for the city. We use my wifes car
for any very long distance trips.
|Watt Hours/Mile||not calculated yet|
|Seating Capacity||2 people|
|Curb Weight||2,266 Pounds (1,030 Kilograms)|
It is now 990kg after the conversion.
|Tires||195 x 60 x 14 with light weight alloy wheels for weight reduction.|
|Conversion Time||About 5 months (I could have done it quicker if this wasnt my 2nd |
|Conversion Cost||approx $24,000 so far!|
|I could have done it cheaper but I really wanted to buy good quality components that will give me lively |
performance so that I can test them in the Suzuki GTi first. I wanted an electric car that drives almost
as good as GM's EV-1. I believe that I have achieved that, so to me this has been a huge success!
Sept 2009: ICE out, fuel tank out,exhaust off, sorted out existing wiring, shocks & driveshafts out.
Oct 2009: Cleaned up engine bay & re-painted it, made motor adaptor plate, ordered FB1 motor and
Zilla controller + other bits, new driveshafts have arrived (Ebay $220 pair - NEW!!).
29/10/09 Motor has arrived. I'll be making the motor to gearbox coupler this weekend so that I can get
the motor in and test it with 12v.
2/11/09: I ordered 45xSky 130Ah Litium batteries and a LOT of other EV parts from EV Works (WA).
They are due to arrive in the next 2 weeks! This project is moving along quicker than I thought.
14/11/09: The electric motor and gearbox are now joined and they fit together perfectly! I turned the
motor and the driveshafts moved, so its definitely connected!
15/11/09: I have temporarily installed the electric motor and gearbox into the car. I've made an exact
"cardboard" engine mount for the left side of the motor which I'm getting made from steel this week so
that I can install it next weekend. Then I can remove engine hoist and trolley jack from the motor. The
batteries and other EV parts will arrive any day now.
21/11/09: New steel motor mount and motor installed into the engine bay - Engine hoist removed. The
motor turns the driveshafts when >12v is applied. Brake callipers removed to be serviced & cleaned
up. New drive shaft installed on passenger side. Batteries and lots of other EV parts arrived last Friday.
Next job is to get an engineer in to discuss weight & balance for the battery installation and to make the
driveshaft mount attach to the old engine mount connection.
23/11/09 Discussed battery placement with the engineer. I'm now designing a battery box for 45 x Sky
4/1/2010 Where did December go? - I still haven't got the Zilla controller from EVWorks yet, so I spent
some time over Christmas overhauling the brakes (new seal kits) and making the battery boxes. Its
going to be easier to put all of the batteries where the back seat was, so this is now going to be a 2
seater. The project is only just a bit behind schedule due to the controller not being here. Once that
arrives, I'll get on with the wiring.
31/1/2010 - The Zilla controller is here and now I have everything I need to finish the project. The
battery box is in and the batteries are now fixed into place. Now to start wiring the controller
21 Feb 2010 - I've updated some photos to show what I've been doing. Front shelf installed in engine
bay to support controller, DC-DC converter, Hairball2, and vaccum pump for power brakes. In the back
- Zivan NG3 charger...
8 March 2010 - The interior is back in the car. New carpet has been installed. 12v battery connected
and remote central locking still works along with all of the lights etc. Next thing to do is to wire up the
hairball, batteries and controller. Then its done! - Phew its nearly there!
14 March 2010 - Spent some time wiring up the 45 x batteries with LED BMS connectors. (not
connected BMS unit or controller yet).
20 March 2010 - I spent a bit of time playing around with the car on the weekend. It is getting very
28 March 2010 - The main wiring was completed on Saturday thanks to a lot of help from Eric.
3 April 2010 - The Hairball 2 had to be exchanged as it was not the "pot box" version. The car is now
running and is absolutely fantastic. It can wheelspin from a standing start in 3rd gear!
I'm amazed at how easy it is to set off in 4th gear and also make gear changes without a clutch.
Driving an electric car is an amazing experience! - It drives so well and is so quiet. I hope that this has
inspired others to have a go at building their own car.
I still wish that I could buy a GM EV1.
I sold this Suzuki to a guy in Victoria.
Feb 2011 - **Check out my new project - EV Lotus Elise**
2016 update: I now drive a Holden Volt and I love it!!!! Electric mode 95% of the time and no range
anxiety because I can drive hundreds of km!! So disappointed that GM are only making LHD versions
of the new Volt and not bringing them to Australia.