Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Doctor David Delman's Electric DeLorean

If you haven't seen this video before, it wouldn't surprise me. As I write this, the video only has 173 views on YouTube.

I stumbled upon it in the "RELATED VIDEOS" and had to watch.
Not only does the car have a flux capacitor, it also has a touch-screen interface for a built-in computer, and an LED array battery monitoring system.

This is a great video that answers almost all the questions people always ask me about electric cars.
For more on the project, visit the web page at: http://www.electricdelorean.com/

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Chris' Electric Motorcycle first power-up with speed control

While I was only able to stop by for a while at the last Milwaukee Electric Car Club meeting, I did bring with the Magura twist-grip from my cycle to loan to Chris.

He only had to do a few more things to get the cycle up and running - install the fuse and shunt, wire in a pre-charge button for the resistor, and add a keyswitch.

I wasn't able to do to much on his bike, but see how nice and shiny the fuse is? Yep, that was all me and a Scotch-Brite pad!

We'll keep the videos coming as work on the cycle progresses.

Monday, December 21, 2009

EV Battery Monitoring System

Yesterday, I was able to briefly stop by the Milwaukee Electric Car Club.

Lot's of things were going on - EV motorcycle and Trike construction, conversion of a snow-blower to electric, and some work on the custom battery monitoring system for Tom's AC Dodge Neon.

I just grabbed a quick shot of the LCD Display for the system, next to the computer being used to program it. The "computer" itself is just a tiny circuit board with connections for a monitor, mouse, keyboard, usb, and data in and out. If I remember correctly, it is a Parallax micro-processor.

If you pause the video near the begining, you can see that the display shows information on the voltage of the High and Low voltage systems of the car, monitors temperature in 3 key areas, tracks amperage, and total KWhs used, including keeping track of energy reclaimed from the regenerative braking!

The system was still being tweaked while I was there, but looked like it was almost ready to go.

I will make sure to get a video tour of this monitoring system once it is totally up and running, so you can know all the details on it.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Electric Car Dealership X-mas TV Commercial

While stumbling through some posts over on the Ecomodder.com forums, I ran across this video of a television commercial for Electric Cars you can buy right now.

Was it a Volt? A Leaf? A Tesla?

Nope, no, and hell no.

It was for a small dealer who carries Neighborhood Electric Vehicles (NEVs).
If you aren't familiar with NEVs, they are electric vehicles regulated by law to low speeds (typically 25 mph max).

Styles vary from golf-carts to European microcars converted to electric.

NEVs are the mopeds of the EV world. They work for many people. They make fantastic grocery-getters and errand mobiles.

I do howerever, have a bit of a beef with NEVs:
1) Stupid Laws:
There is no standardization of laws about NEVs nationally, state-wide, and sometimes even locally! For example, in the state of Wisconsin, the state DMN allows and licenses NEVs in a time and pricing similar to motorcycles, but each individual TOWN, VILLAGE, or CITY that you want to drive in needs to pass a law ALLOWING NEVs, including stating which roads you CAN and CAN'T drive it on! Where I live, I would have the battery capacity to drive through no less than a dozen different municipalities.
In addition, you may not CROSS most state roads! You can walk across the road, ride your bicycle across, but may not cross in your NEV.

2) Cost:
Many NEVs cost more than you might think. Basic golf-cart style NEVs start around $8000 and nicer machines can go for as much as a typical entry-level new car. On the other hand, I can buy a used electric golf-cart on Craigslist for $800. Can I just add headlights and turn-signals to it to become street legal? Nope!

3) Confusing the Public:
For many members of the public, the only electric vehicle they have ever seen is an NEV. It's pretty easy to assume that since the only electric cars they see can only go 25 mph, that ALL electric cars can only go 25 mph. Why bother having electric cars at all if they can't even go faster than a bicycle!?!?

That rant aside, NEVs can be great vehicles. Last time I was in California, I saw quite a few zipping about. Heck, I even almost got run over by both a GEM and an electric bicycle in the same afternoon!

I guess the main thing that saddens me is that NEVs are really the only current alternative to typical gasoline vehicles. For many of us, public transportation is not available, and winter weather and long nights don't work well for bicycles either.

I look forward to seeing television commercials for the Volt, the Leaf, and other clean and efficient motor vehicles.

For now, we can all just laugh about how Santa doesn't like taxes.....

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

011 Electric Car Conversion: Freeway Test Drive

We take Tom's electric car out on the interstate.
It drives great!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Jay Leno - A2B Electric Bike

I finally got around to watching the latest episode of Jay Leno's garage. On it, he features a very slick electric bike, the A2B.

Watch the video here, or go straight to http://www.ultramotor.com to check out specs, images, and more on this cool electric bike.

Fund-raising Eco-Challenge: Rickshaw!

Green transportation for those who need it.
Enough said.

Mer-Chevy Transmission and Flywheel removal

Here's a video of what I have been up to lately on the Mer-Chevy Benz project.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Battery Warmer - part 2

While I built a battery warmer for the Electro-Metro a while back, I never got it installed.

There was some sort of a problem that was setting off the GFI on my charging power outlet AND the GFI in the car.

I took the cover off the warmer, fixed the problem, and installed the warmer in the car.

Running the warmer for an hour or so seemed to bring the batteries up to "Not Cold" temperatures, which is all I am trying to do - just get the batteries somewhere between 50 and 70 degrees F.

I will still need to experiment to find out what the ideal run-times for the battery warmer are at various temperatures.

Since the battery box is INSIDE the car, any heat escaping from the battery box should help to heat the cabin (at least a tiny bit!)

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Electro-Metro gets new hub caps

Today, I picked up some cheap hub caps at the auto parts store. They are just plastic, nothing special, but I think the car looks a little nicer with them.

Car with just painted rims (which are rusting....)
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Car with new hub caps.
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Not sure I ever directly mentioned it before, but I added an ELECTRIC sign to the back of the car.

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I have noticed that I do drive a little more aggressively now, just so that the car seems to have speed and power, rather than people thinking that all EVs are slow and have poor acceleration. That's not the EV's, that's just the way I usually drive!