Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Donor vehicle acquired

I have decided that due to the ridiculous price of petrol that I am going to build an EV “Electric Vehicle”
after searching on the subject I discovered that it just so happens that a serious EV builder/researcher lives just around the corner from me and after contacting him it seems that I may be in luck, he has the expertise and experience to make this project not only work but work well.
On Sunday I bought my donor vehicle a 1992 Honda Beat, this sweet little sports car has a  3 cylinder engine and should develop around 67BHP in a 760KG vehicle (that's the same curb weight as a Nissan Micra) these vehicles seem to have an online following but as far as I can tell nobody has yet done an EV of one.There does seem to be a few conversions/upgrades online but they all seem to be petrol based power vehicles either using  a VTEC Engine or a Hayabusa motorcycle engine derivatives, these blog’s/websites should help with the strip down/engine removal.I have joined the unofficial Honda Beat club’s website and will probably be posting on there as well as this blog or linking from there to this blog at least.The donor car cost £1050 ( I hope to reclaim part of this by selling the engine and other unneeded parts on eBay.After speaking to Steve it seems that the conversion will cost around £7000 (update as of Feb 2013 this is likely to be nearer 10K) (yikes) and that the batteries may only last a couple of years before I start to see some performance loss, considering the current cost of fuel in the UK this roughly equates to the amount of money I would spend on fuel over the 2 years on my current vehicle (not the Honda which is considerably better in terms of petrol consumption) so I cannot say that this will necessarily save me money in the long run but if you don't take risk’s…I think that Steve’s cost estimates are based on my initial request for a performance car, I may need to revise my dreams into a more realistic build in the first instance as I am slightly worried that we may have over specified the motor (don't want to blow the rear diff)I will be removing  the engine and gearbox completely and the motor will be directly connected to the rear differential.I did want to do this using one of Cedric Lynch’s great little Agni motors but after speaking with Steve he reckons that they are just not powerful enough (yet, Steve is working on this as he works for Agni motors)I have seen one running in a fiat 500 (500KG, hence the name) and this seemed to go like a rocket, but Steve also warned of constant brush maintenance which would not be good, I want/need to run this car every day on a round trip of around 25 miles with the option of doing around double that, I also need run it all year summer and winter so I will need to have some sort of battery heaters for when it’s really cold, all of this perfectly feasible with current technology.