Don't Convert It. Electrify It!

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andrew
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Why remove the ICE engine for a BEV conversion when you can instead just add batteries, a motor, and controller and electrify it! The finished vehicle could have no limit in range, and be able to run routine short trips (<15 miles) 100% electric from a small battery pack without using any gasoline. The electric top speed could be set to 45-50 mph requiring a small electric motor (for a light vehicle).

The cost for components and labor could be very inexpensive. All of the components could be bolt on and removable. All of the stock ICE vehicle systems would remain fully functional, i.e., the engine can be left idling for cabin heating and air conditioning and to provide 12v power for all of the 12v accessories. As an option, a DC-DC converter could be used to not have to run the engine for 12v power. An etek RT/Perm PM motor could be used to allow for regen, but it may need to be forced air cooled, and this is only recommended for a light vehicle. It will probably need to be overvolted to 96v as well (I don't know if this is a good idea yet). A 6.7 inch series motor would also be a good compact and light option.

The electrification process would be very easy to do. A small PM motor and direct chain drive to the drive axle could be used. The batteries could be set in the cargo space with a plasctic cover on top of them so cargo can be placed on top. Very limited wiring would need to be done.

Here's what I'm thinking of doing for a Suzuki Sidekick (with associated costs):

Etek-RT: $525
Kelly controller w/regen for up to 120v: $800
Eight B&B EB50-12 batteries $1000?
Vector 12v 40 amp charger: $100
#50 Chain, & sprockets w/custom machining of part to drive axle: $100
Anderson connectors to do series/parallel switching for driving/charging: $100
Wire, Lugs, and fuse: $100
Red button type Albright disconnect: $125
Pedal throttle control: $100
Blower to forced-air cool the motor: $30
Plastic cover for batteries: $15
Material for motor mount: $20
Time cost estimate: 50 hours * $15/hr (I'll be benefiting from it by learning) = $750

So that's $3765 for the electrification. It'll be able to run for about 12 miles off electric which is more than adequate for my daily needs, especially with being able to charge at work. If I need to drive further, then I'll use the ICE when needed.

I can easily remove and sell all of the components if need be, and recover most of the cost. I'll have a fully functional gas vehicle with or without the electrification stuff. The electrification will be so much easier than doing a conversion, and I'll have a much more useful vehicle than what a conversion would offer. I would never need to give a 2nd thought to range.

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Mik
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Re: Don't Convert It. Electrify It!

Hi Andrew,

a very interesting idea...BUT: The main efficiency problem with transportation costs (=energy consumption + pollution) is caused by the weight to payload ratio of conventional cars.

You are going to make them even heavier and reduce the space and capacity to carry payload at the same time.

Probably not the right approach for a Hummer, but it might be perfect for some small cars.

How big a battery bank can a typical alternator of a small car recharge? It would be good if it could do this in order to avoid leaving the batteries in a low charge state for long. It would also allow to recharge batteries on the go to repeatedly enter "No emission vehicles only zones" in inner cities.

Any idea if a motorbike (with a battery trailer) could also be a candidate for such electrification?

Mr. Mik

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Mik
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Re: Don't Convert It. Electrify It!

Another problem might be that the boot of small cars is not suitable for carrying a lot of heavy metal.

I remember transporting bricks in the boot of a Ford Meteor Ghia once....

Scary stuff on the highway. The front wheels had markedly less weight on the ground, and any less than very gentle steering moves made the chassis wobble badly at speed over 70km/h.

Try bricks in you boot first before you spend money on batteries!

Mr. Mik

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reikiman
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Re: Don't Convert It. Electrify It!

I have a Chevy Tracker.. a similar vehicle.

Interesting.. a question I have is the relative value of interfacing with the drive axle versus the other one?

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andrew
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Re: Don't Convert It. Electrify It!

Mik:
a very interesting idea...BUT: The main efficiency problem with transportation costs (=energy consumption + pollution) is caused by the weight to payload ratio of conventional cars.

The total weight added would be about 350 lbs for my above project. Much less weight added than if doing a full BEV conversion, even when considering removing the engine and fuel tank. I think losing 75% of the energy instantly to heat when burning gasoline is a pretty big efficiency problem too that can be improved upon by not burning gasoline.

Mik:
How big a battery bank can a typical alternator of a small car recharge? It would be good if it could do this in order to avoid leaving the batteries in a low charge state for long. It would also allow to recharge batteries on the go to repeatedly enter "No emission vehicles only zones" in inner cities.

The idea is more to use energy from electric grid/solar/wind generation rather than gasoline. I could cut my gasoline use about 95% (or drive for the equivalent of 500 mpg). This is so I can stop contributing to oil, and the inner city pollution problems. I can send money to the USA instead of overseas for energy. That being said, I'm sure you could charge from an alternator, but alternators aren't terribly efficient, and you'd need an inverter to step the voltage up if doing this while driving. It would probably be more efficient to just run off the ICE directly, but I understand the advantages of being able to charge from the alternator. An alternator can put out 500-600 watts, but I don't know if it can do this continuously nor how efficient at this load.

Mik:
Any idea if a motorbike (with a battery trailer) could also be a candidate for such electrification?

I think a motorbike is a very good candidate. The batteries could be small enough to put in saddle bags and removable. Or a trailer or side car could also be used. With the battery pack size needed for a bike, one could afford LiFePo4 and get decent electric range off a light removable pack. A small and light PM motor could be mounted on the swingarm. The controller could be mounted on the other swing arm to be out in the air stream for cooling. A large sprocket driven by the electric motor could be bolted to the original sprocket with spacers. It could take up the space between the original sprocket and the wheel.

Mik:
Try bricks in you boot first before you spend money on batteries!

Good point. I'll need to think some about how to distribute the 291 lbs in batteries. I'm thinking that I can fit at least one underneath each front seat, if not two.

reikiman:
Interesting.. a question I have is the relative value of interfacing with the drive axle versus the other one?

I wanted to interface pre-differential so I can use one motor and not have any handling issues on turns. I think two motors could be used and wired in series to drive each wheel axle and get the effect of a differential.

spinningmagnets
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Re: Don't Convert It. Electrify It!

(disclaimer: I haven't converted any EV yet)

Weight is a big issue for both an EV and an ICE vehicle. I believe a wide variety of choices will soon become available simply from demand.

I believe the most practical goal is (and should be) an EV. If we consider a configuration that allows the electric portion and the ICE to be separated to allow removal of weight for frequent short trips, should we build an ICE vehicle with a battery trailer, or an EV with and ICE trailer?

I believe an EV with an ICE series-hybrid trailer has clear benefits. The majority of trips are short (or should be if its important to you). I counseled a friend to either get a job close to home, or move to an apartment close to his job. The results were well worth the effort.

With a 20% tax bracket, you must earn $100 to spend $80, but if you reduce your costs by $100, you get the full $100 benefit. The lower pay of the closer job more than compensated my friend for the saved cost of fuel and increased time at home instead of sitting in traffic. Public transportation is simply not an option for a long commute, but a short commute makes busses an option.

Living close to your work means an E-Bike, E-Scoot, or 45 MPH E-Car also becomes a cost-effective option.

Rather than having a second car thats an ICE for long trips, an ICE series-hybrid trailer is a much more cost-effective and space-saving option. Insurance is much cheaper, and making it a Multi-fuel unit is much easier. Disconnecting the S-H trailer for short daily trips saves weight, so range and battery life of your EV will be better.

Red-Diesel/WVO is my favorite option for an S-H trailer.

andrew
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Re: Don't Convert It. Electrify It!

But, with a hybrid type you suggest where you don't always have the ICE trailer, you will still have the EV limitation, and find yourself planning your life around the EV. This is what I'll term the EV frown :(

There's a big difference between having the possibility to increase the range, and having an unlimited range.

Here's an interesting question to answer. Why do we have personal vehicles? Is the answer to get from point A to point B? No. The answer is to have the freedom to travel to any point at any time with no worries. That's why we love our vehicles. They are simply a very practical tool. They always work when needed.

jdh2550_1
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Re: Don't Convert It. Electrify It!

I suspect there's a reason we see far more EV conversions than PHEV conversions. I think a PHEV conversion is a far more challenging prospect than an EV conversion - plus I think any conversion that I do is far better suited as a second vehicle not a primary vehicle - thus unlimited range is not a requirement.

I'm pro EV and a lukewarm on PHEVs (probably a necessary stepping stone - but not something I particularly want to "encourage" lest it become an ending point rather than a stepping stone).

Just my 2 cents worth and I'm obviously biased!

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lesd
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Re: Don't Convert It. Electrify It!

It's fun to be pro-ev, etc, but what about right now ?
What does John H drive for trips over 5 miles *right now* as a PRIMARY vehicle ?
Others ?

I am pro-PHEV . Without miracle batteries, it looks like the best way for me to drive
every day. Golf cart cars under a dusty car cover in the garage don't count. Cars that never
make it off paper don't count either.

andrew
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Re: Don't Convert It. Electrify It!

I may be changing my plans slightly. The amount of power needed might just be too much for an etek RT with forced air cooling. In any case, I would pretty much have to over-volt it to 96v to produce enough power.

I already have a 72v Curtis controller. I have a few extra Vector chargers (I've actually accumulated 10). I have access to a 120v coil voltage albright contactor. I've got a curtis pot box that I can connect to a lever for throttle control. I've got a chain with some sprockets left over from my motorcycle project, and some couplings if needed. Maybe even a DC-DC converter that I can acquire off someone. So, if I spend about $1k on batteries, and maybe if I hunt down a series ADC motor or forklift motor cheaply than I may have enough.

I may be able to get it running for about $1,500 + about 20-50 hrs labor.

And, I've got access to a very high power and high voltage Zapi controller. If I could fix that...

jdh2550_1
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Re: Don't Convert It. Electrify It!

lesd - I commute 24 miles per day (12 miles one way) on my XM-2000 in good weather. It's 100% electric. In bad weather I drive my Focus. As far as I know there aren't any PHEVs yet from the major manufacturers. When my family drives 250 miles we drive a Subaru Wagon.

PHEVs are a good stepping stone - and a PHEV Subaru Wagon (or similar) would be a good choice for me for those longer trips (about 15 or so a year). However, a PHEV Chevy Volt or Prius is still going to be a secondary vehicle for me because it isn't big enough for those trips.

If CARB would have had the sense to stick by their original mandate BEVs could become commercially viable as quickly as PHEVs. However, without incentives/legislation the car industry will happily "stop" at PHEVs and continue the myth that BEVs aren't viable. A myth that you seem to have bought into. The "miracle batteries" you refer to are here today - checkout Altair Nano and others. The price of the Altair Nano batteries is projected to be down around lead acid prices in 36 months - because of increases in volumes. If a big manufacturer would adopt them then those prices would fall faster.

Check out the Toyota Yaris conversion at electricyaris.com (I think that's the address). This is one guy in his garage - yes the range isn't much but then he used lead acid batteries because it was all that was available to him at a reasonable price point. Imagine that same conversion with the best technology available and done by the Toyota engineers themselves. I believe that could easily be as effective as a PHEV in everything but > 150 mile range. Sure, it's a paper exercise but only because Toyota is more interested in selling Prius' than pushing forward with a FPBEV.

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SPEDcial Forces
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Re: Don't Convert It. Electrify It!

Interesting. I'd like to see how it goes, though one thing I'd be worry about is how a smaller engine (such as a 1.5 litre) that is already good for eficiency would work with all the electric stuff. It seams that the key advantage of pure ICE efficent cars (small engine, less weight) wouldn't work well with this.

Try it though, you might be onto something. It would also be interesting to see how this would compare to streamlining (like the Areocivic).

israndy
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Re: Don't Convert It. Electrify It! Poulsen Hybrid car

[From Engadget.com]

Poulsen Hybrid car conversion kit takes aim at X-Prize, your wallet

poulsen-hybrid.jpg
www.poulsenhybrid.com

While most of the Automotive X-Prize entrants are vehicles built from the ground up for maximum gas mileage, Poulsen Hybrid's entry takes a considerably different tact, with it consisting simply of a kit that can be attached to any old car. That kit consists of two hybrid electric motors with rare earth permanent magnets that (as you can see above) are mounted on the outside of the vehicle, which are tied to a 72V 120Ah Deep Cycle Lead Acid battery pack on the inside. According to Poulsen, once installed, the system effectively turns a front-wheel drive car into an all-wheel drive car, and results in a driving "effect" that is " equivalent to freewheeling down a 3% grade," with the accelerator needing to be depressed less or not at all to keep the car moving. Also unlike most other X-Prize competitors, Poulsen intends to make its kit available to the general public in the not to distant future, and for the relatively bargain price of $3,300, no less (add an extra $600 to that if you don't think you're up to installing it yourself).

reikiman
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Re: Don't Convert It. Electrify It! Poulsen Hybrid car

Hm, that's interesting but it appears to be a hokey way to hook up a hub motor.

PML Flightlink makes some big form factor hub motors that can be used on regular cars. There's a Mini they converted with a hub motor in each wheel. In any case an EV conversion could be done using a large form-factor hub motor mounted in a car wheel.

Hey, Mountain, you got a hub motor that can go in a regular car wheel?

Then.. the question in my mind is.. with a big enough pack and powerful enough hub motor, there's little need to turn on the gas engine. But in a typical gas car there's a whole lotta systems that are designed assuming the gas motor is on; the whole 12v system runs off the alternator, and the power steering/brakes.

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jdh2550_1
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Re: Don't Convert It. Electrify It! Poulsen Hybrid car

Well I give Poulsen kudos for "thinking outside the box". It will be interesting to see if this concept gains any fans. I have to agree with David - seems kind of hokey. But if it works well enough then perhaps it's worth it?

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spinningmagnets
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Re: Don't Convert It. Electrify It! Poulsen Hybrid car

For a short while, Dodge had a "Through-the-road" test mule. It was a Durango mid-sized SUV with the shaft to the front axle removed, and an electric motor (similar to the popular ADC) attached as an assist drive.

The stock engine was an off-the-shelf V6 to replace the common V8.

The results were positive (and could be scaled up or down), but the ill-fated Daimler merger (read: take-over) put it on the shelf.

I noticed immediately that it was vindication of a "do-able" garage hybrid conversion configuration.

I'm still a fan of a light aerodynamic EV conversion, with a later addition of an ICE trailer. However, I'm enthusiastic about any real-world doable options.

(Geo made a Canadian AWD Metro version called the Pontiac Firefly)

andrew
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Re: Don't Convert It. Electrify It! Poulsen Hybrid car

The Poulsen Hybrid idea looks amazing. I think their website looks very professional, but they do have some questionable information.

Quote:

# Batteries: 6 pc. 12V 120 Amp hours lead/acid deep cycle, or 4 KWh Lithium-ion battery pack (Expected available from several sources by mid 2008).
...
# Total Weight: App. 300 lb with lead acid batteries,

That's way off. 120 lbs * 72v = 8640 whrs. Lead-acid batteries are 15 to 20 nominal whrs/lb, and closer toward 15 if using AGMs. That's 432 to 576 lbs just for the batteries. I'm assuming this was just an oversight.

In their FAQ they have a slightly different price:

Quote:

At this point the projected price of the basic kit is app.: $3,500

reikiman wrote:

PML Flightlink makes some big form factor hub motors that can be used on regular cars. There's a Mini they converted with a hub motor in each wheel. In any case an EV conversion could be done using a large form-factor hub motor mounted in a car wheel.

And it's going to cost more too. There's also the problem of integrating the braking system, and DOT approval. This Poulsen idea totally bypasses that, and makes use of the existing braking system and wheel/tire to keep costs low. I think these guys are trying to figure out what's ultimately the most practical and easy to set up, which is exactly what we need now.

XRinger
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Re: Don't Convert It. Electrify It!

I've been considering adding a little E-Assist to my 1999 Honda CRV.
After looking at the Poulsen Hybrid website, http://www.poulsenhybrid.com/
I wondered, if adding that small amount of power to assist the ICE
really works, would adding even a smaller amount of E-boost work?

The reason I would go with less HP (a Really Weak plug-in Hybrid) is due to the high cost of light weight batteries..
So, I set the goal weight for the lead-acid batteries under to 300 pounds.

The goal for the ICE-assist system would be to boost my highway MPG
from 30 up to around 36 - 40 MPG with an assist range of 10 to 15 miles.
After 15 miles, I would expect the start getting about 28 MPG.. :(
Due to carrying dead weight.

But, getting a boost for 10 to 15 miles will work for me, since about 90%
of my trips are around town, 10 or 15 miles round trip.

I've been thinking about this idea for a while and how I should apply E-power to the wheels. Since I've removed the all the rear end 4WD parts from my CRV, connecting a motor to the transfer case (PTO) seems like the easiest way to do it.

For folks driving old gas hogs with broken AC compressors, perhaps they
could replace the compressor with a 5 or 10 HP assist motor.?.

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deronmoped
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Re: Don't Convert It. Electrify It!

One really helpful thing about having a hybrid like you guys are talking about is, a ICE car is terrible in the way of efficiency and pollution till it comes up to operating temperature. Having a car that can handle the short trips with battery power would make a big difference in how efficient it is.

Deron.

XRinger
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Re: Don't Convert It. Electrify It!

But, no matter how or when you do it, the ICE is still going to have to be warmed up with a WPHEV design, since the motor isn't strong enough to move the car without the ICE.
It can be made to warm up faster by using a grill block.
http://i46.photobucket.com/albums/f147/Xringer/CRV/M018s.jpg
I've got about 80% of my air intakes blocked and it warms up
pretty fast. I'll find out more this winter.

If I use the transfer case with a direct connection to the motor, I'm going to be limited to using the assist only after my CRV is up to 30+ MPH, when the transfer case is getting up near 1000 RPMs.

I'm thinking of using a MARS ME0709 PM motor, which is light and has pretty good power between 1,000 & 2,500 RPMs.
And since it's a PM motor, it might be good for Regen..
http://www.marselectricllc.com/me07091.html

I'm not sure how much good assisting the ICE with 4 or 5 HP will do for the MPG.

If it fails to meet my MPG goal, the EV parts can always be used on an EV motorcycle.. :)

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Mik
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Re: Don't Convert It. Electrify It!

You can get rid of the alternator if you have an electrical assist motor and plug-in and/or regen charging.

That will improve the ICE's efficiency a bit.

You could even do this without EV conversion: A hybriddyverylittlebitty!!! Even a solar cell might be enough for that purpose, I'll have to test that, though.

I found that the hilly terrain in my area helps to reduce fuel consumption, strangely enough! Not reduced kWh's on the Vectux, but it reduces liters/100km in the Camry.

Coasting with the motor turned off on the downhill parts allows for the engine to only run when it is actually working in it's less in-efficient power band, when under some load uphill or on the flat. I use the remaining kinetic energy to re-start the engine in 5th gear when it gets too slow eventually.

If a weak electrical assist motor was installed in an ICE, just strong enough to simulate downhill terrain on the flat (once the vehicle is up to speed) it would reduce fuel consumption by about 15% IMHO. On uphill parts it could either be in regen mode or just turned off.

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XRinger
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Re: Don't Convert It. Electrify It!

"rid of the alternator".. I was thinking about that, but I want to be able to use full ICE mode if my assist motor/gen is not on-line (or out for some new brushes).

I've wondered about using a solar panel on top, but I'm one of those roof-rack users and having a PV panel on my roof would be a problem. Plus, I have a garage and park indoors at work.

I use engine braking on hills (in 4th or 5th gear) and the scangauge2 starts blinking 70-80 MPG and then goes all 99999s, when the engine goes into fuel shut-off mode.
No need to turn off the engine since I'm using zero fuel down most of the steep hills around here.

If I had regen linked in with a joystick type control, I could shift to 'N' and use the joystick to slow me down, while picking up some charge to the pack.. :)

Yeah! Simulating down hill on the flat is what I'm hoping to do. 15% would make me very happy!

Plus, if I could keep the price down under $1,500.00, it would be a mod that other folks might want to try..
----

http://i46.photobucket.com/albums/f147/Xringer/CRV/space.jpg
If I could use a really small motor, I might be able to connect it right at the transfer case flange(just to the right of the exhaust), but if I use the MARS PM motor, it will most likely be rear mounted and I'll need to re-install the main drive shaft (propeller shaft).
Either way, it might be a fun project to try..

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Rich

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