|Owner's Other EV||2008 Raylight Electric Scooter|
|Location||Chilliwack, British Columbia Canada map|
|Vehicle||2012 Raleigh Meridian |
Single Speed, Front brake with rear band brake
|Motor||Wilderness Energy BL-36 Brushless DC|
500W (Hub) Motor, maximum allowable for the area.
36V, Sensorless BLDC (Pedal-first)
|Batteries||1 Ping 20AH, 36.00 Volt, Lithium Iron Phosphate|
Upgraded to LiFePO from 12AH SLAs.
|System Voltage||36 Volts|
|Instrumentation||Basic LED Hi-Low battery status indicators|
|Top Speed||25 MPH (40 KPH)|
|Range||25 Miles (40 Kilometers)|
|Seating Capacity||1 adult|
|Conversion Time||3 days|
|Conversion Cost||Bike: $400|
Hub, Controller, & Throttle ($50 used): $50
Batteries & Charger: $600
|I built this trike for a family friend that is getting older to make grocery runs and to get out of the house more often.|
I started with an electric bicycle with failed batteries found on Craigslist. The bike itself was junk, but the controller, hub motor, and throttle all worked perfectly.
New batteries were purchased, as well as a Chinese-built 36V charger.
Initial tests with the battery pack in the rear basket had two problems:
1) The batteries took up storage space
2) The additional weight was noticeable in the turns.
So, I set out to solve the problem.
Looking over the frame, mounting the batteries below the basket looked to be the best option. The basket itself wasn't that strong on its own, so I trimmed a sheet of plywood to fit, then painted it black.
With the basket strong enough to hold the batteries, I then had to work out something to hold them in place. I purchased a tool box from a thrift store for $5, then painted it black. Using bolts and fender washers, it was then hung sideways from the basket/plywood combination.
The box held the batteries okay, but it was a little worrisome that the box may fail under stress. A quick trip to the local hardware store found me some galvanized plumber strapping, which was added as hangers in short order.
With the batteries hanging low and behind the axle, the center of gravity seems to feel much nicer, and it stays very stable in the corners, even under speed. It zips along the flats at 25mph, and seems to have no trouble reaching that speed even when packed with groceries.
Since this photo, I have also added an anti-spinout torque arm for the front axle from the fine folks at Grin Technologies.
The trike has been declared a success, and is now ridden nearly every day. It has been reported to me that many cyclists seem him (an older gentleman on a tricycle) catching up with them in the mirror, and start pedaling furiously to stay ahead. Much to their disappointment, he can now pass them with ease!
Future planned improvements: Add speedometer & better volt meter.
After decreased range was noticed in the SLA pack, we upgraded the batteries to a 20AH LiFePO set from Ping battery. Also added windshield.
Rear left driveshaft bearings failed utterly - appears the bearing outer was cracked before it was purchased, causing a constant clicking noise. New KBC bearings installed - now it's smoother than ever.