Delivery!New Motor!HOLY TRUNK!Completed and Carpeted TrunkUnder the Hood.Laughing at the Gas Pumps!Interior Shot1Interior2Ellie's BOOK!
OwnerDavid Ratliff
LocationLoganville, Georgia US map
Email email image
Vehicle1995 Hyundai Elantra
Bought this entire car for $70 with a blown engine in 2002. 70 BUCKS! LOL!
MotorAdvanced DC FB-4001A Series Wound DC
Bought new, but old stock. Works perfectly!
DrivetrainOriginal 5-speed transaxle and I retained the clutch assembly. Shifts and runs very well.
ControllerCurtis 1231C-8601
144 VDC, 500 Amp Controller. Actually, I kinda' like the "whine" when you are just pulling out.
Batteries10 C & D Technologies MR12-490, 12.00 Volt, Lead-Acid, AGM
Ten in series for 120 VDC.
System Voltage120 Volts
ChargerZivan NG-3
On-board Charger. Just plug it in at night and forget it. It is 120 VAC input, so I can "Opportunity Charge" just about anywhere.
HeaterElectric Ceramic 1500 Watt element. This is wired to only come on when the fan is blowing and the temperature setting is pushed past 1/2 way. I opted to remove and replace all the dry-rotted seals in the air ductwork. Works fairly well so far.
DC/DC ConverterCurtis 1400E -120/140
Up to 144 Volts in and 13.8 VDC out at 21 Amps.
InstrumentationAll Analog. 160 VDC Meter, 0-500 Amp Meter, 9-17 VDC Meter, and a Vacuum Gauge reading 0-30 Inches.
Top Speed70 MPH (112 KPH)
Updated speed of 70 MPH plus with the new AGMs.
AccelerationReasonable.It keeps up with traffic. I have learned to leave a bit of extra room. I will bump up the voltage to 144 soon to make it a little peppier. Update 07-07-09: Never added more batteries. Still at 120 VDC. Should use AGMs when these finally die. UPDATE 08-01-09: Installed AGMs and the acceleration is MUCH more peppy! The SCS-225 Trojans just sucked, apparently.
Range40 Miles (64 Kilometers)
Went from an initial 16 mile range with Trojan SCS-225's to a REAL 40 Mile Range with the Dynasty MR12-490 AGMs! WOW!
Watt Hours/MileWill get back to you. ;-)
EV Miles
Start:121,505 Miles (195,501 Kilometers)
Current:126,500 Miles (203,538 Kilometers)
Total:4,995 Miles (8,036 Kilometers)
Seating CapacityIts a smaller car, but I retained all the seating. 2 in the front and 3 in the back seat.
Curb Weight0
Currently very near the factory weight, but I had to beef up the rear struts a bit. Looks and drives like it did from the factory. Update 08-01-09: The Dynasty AGMs added another 300 pounds over the Trojans I did have. It is actually much more peppy now, though!
TiresCheapie tires, but they are new from PEP Boys and are rated at 44 PSI. They seem to ride just fine and you can push the car with one hand.
Conversion TimeProbably 2-3 months of nights and weekends.
Conversion CostI figure $6000 from start to finish,for all parts,including the car and batteries. I did the work myself (including welding, design and fabrication) and bought all the components new off of EBAY. Saved a ton!
Additional FeaturesThis is a basic little car, but has working power steering and power brakes. I dug around my shop and found an older, but never used Pioneer stereo and installed that too. The rear speakers blew out in a couple of days, so I replaced them with new ones. Sounds really good now! :-)
I tinkered with the car for a couple of years, here and there. Then when Gas Prices rose sharply, I got serious and finished it in 2 or 3 months at night and on the weekends. I WISH I HAD DONE THIS YEARS AGO!

The little car drives very well and has no rattles or squeaks. It doesn't feel like the "LEAD SLED" everyone describes, but instead feels very well balanced and fun to drive. It has air conditioning, but I don't have that hooked back up yet. Will do that this winter and have it ready for next spring. Everyone should do this type of conversion! I am very, very pleased! Aside from a kinked power steering hose that was easily replaced, it has been extremely dependable!

UPDATE 09-11-07:
Today is the one-year anniversary of the first test drive of "Ellie". I have put over 3500 miles on the car and have had very little trouble. The batteries (Trojan SCS-225) were a bad choice. I can still get to 65 MPH easily, but the range has diminished to about 15 miles. Still plenty to get me back and forth to work and run errands.
PROBLEMS IN FIRST YEAR:
1) I have had reversed cells in two of the batteries and a cell go dry in another one. I will pick a different model next time. I keep them watered and stay under 250 Amps while accelerating. All seems fine now.
2) Flat Front Tires! Never buy from PepBoys again. Cheap tires! They go flat all the time.
3) Stranded ONCE. Transmission shift linkage (Original Factory Part) sheared a pin and the car wouldn't go into gear. Replaced it with a Stainless Steel Bolt and away I went.
4) Surging when accelerating. Contaminated Pot in the Pot Box. Cleaned it with contact cleaner and it accelerates as smooth as glass now.

Have watched hundreds of people get the EV GRIN when I let them drive the car. What a joy to own this car!

UPDATE 09-06-08:
Next week, "Ellie" will have been on the road for 2 years! The Trojan SCS-225 Batteries still suck, but they get me from point A-B. I haven't had to replace any more this year, but will choose a different battery next year...and next project. The trunk is finally cleaned up and carpeted. I have had ZERO problems from this car this year. Couldn't be happier with the dependability of it! I have been fortunate to witness hundreds of "EV GRINS" too. We have been invited to local schools to teach the children about electric vehicles as well! My next EV is WELL under way! It is a custom two-seater, ground-up design loosely based upon the Aptera. Should be FUN!.

UPDATE 07-07-09:
"Ellie" has been on the road almost 3 years and has been a great little car to drive. Again, aside from the PEP-BOYS TIRES, I have had virtually no trouble out of this car at all. The batteries will need replacing sometime fairly soon, but it is still a dependable runabout for me to get around town in. The car cleans up well, but has dings and stuff that are reasonable for a 1995 vintage. No major accidents to my knowledge. I am considering selling the car to help finance my next one. It would have to be to someone who would appreciate it and take good care of it. Anyone interested?

UPDATE 08-01-09:
I got lucky with a purchase of FORTY C&D Technologies Dynasty MR12-490 AGMs for a great deal! They are only about 2 years old, and fit in the car with only minor modifications. WOW! WHAT A DIFFERENCE over the 1st set of batteries! The first batteries were Trojan SCS-225 wet cells. Although they were OK and lasted 3 years, the maximum range when they were new was only about 16 miles, real world. I put in these 2 year old AGMs and the acceleration improved dramatically! The range is a REAL WORLD 40 Miles now! And no more battery watering! I AM VERY PLEASED! STILL FOR SALE THOUGH...NOW WITH GREAT BATTERIES!

Update August of 2010:

Designed and fabricated custom brackets and added Air Springs (Tapered Air Bags) to level out the ride. WOW! These things are great! Car is still the most dependable car I own.

UPDATE JUNE 17th, 2012: THIS CAR IS FOR SALE. I am building a custom 3 Wheeler from the ground up, so I want this car to go to a nice home with someone who will understand how it works, and take good care of it.

Update July 22nd, 2012: Ellie was sold to a nice local fellow car enthusiast. It was honestly a bit tough to see her being taken away. I hope he enjoys the little car as much as I did over the years. ONTO THE NEXT EV FOR ME!

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