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July 2009 Posts
Join Nikki Bloomfield and Gavin Shoebridge as they spend way too much time talking nonsense and maybe a little time talking about EVs.Today's topics include the cash for clunkers scheme, reliability of converted EVs, pusher/gen trailers and the usual feedback mailbag.
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Let me be the first to apologise... We certainly went rambling on. Naturally I blame Nikki.
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I blame you, Gav. There. Equal blame!
I don't buy the whole concept of "giving up" anything. Keep your Escalade. It's a marvelous piece of equipment for driving cross country or pulling the boat to the lake. The point is, if everyone replaced HALF their miles driven with an EV, petrol or gasoline would be $0.75 per gallon and there would be plenty of it. Exhaust fumes of ALL kinds would be down dramatically. And it would be a better world.
I've got a beautiful Cadillac Escalade EXT and wouldn't think of giving it up. But I've put 3200 miles on it in 16 months.
EV's are NOT something to "settle for". You're trading UP to an EV that can handle 90% of your trips. Your Escalade should then last 30 years - making those trips it makes best, AND it will blow air conditioning up your keister through the seats.
I would like to hear more about the DIY AC controller Rick's friend built.
While I don't know Eric personally I know of his work and it’s quite impressive. He has built an AC inverter for a Siemens 3 phase AC electric motor. He was able to build it for around $2,000.00 US dollars. The project is not for the faint of heart however because he had to replace the bearings in the motor with sealed bearings due to a design that was intended to mate with the Ford Ranger EV's bearing lubrication oil pump. This will require some mechanics skills.
Further you will need a background in AC power electronic circuitry, a good grasp of programming, CANBUS, and a theoretical understanding of such topics as Spatial Vector Modulation which is the type of power modulation mode used for this type of motor. Soldering skills are a must and you have to handle Insulated Gate Bipolar Transistors without damaging them with electrostatic discharge from your body. In short you will have to ground out your work area and yourself with a static strap.
You will most definitely need an Oscilloscope. You can get these used on E-bay for a reasonable price but make sure it has been professionally aligned. I have a used Tektronics 475 model Oscilloscope that’s dual trace and good up to 200 MHz but you can easily get buy a Tektronix 465 that works up to 100 MHz or one that is good up to 40 MHz.
Eric's website can be found here:
He has an interview in Electric Cars are for Girls:
and he has an entry in EV Album:
Rick, from the oil capitol of the world, Houston, TX.
Nikki - great show! I listened to it for inspiration last night while working on my EV motorcycle conversion.
I'm a big fan of Gav as well... I just around to watching all of his videos - good stuff. It was a bit of an emotional roller coaster. I went from "Hey, this looks totally do-able" to "I can totally do this!" to "Crap - he had to sell it!" Although, props to Gav for putting food on the table with whatever it takes.
I see pros and cons for the cash for clunkers programs... On one hand, there are some severely dilapidated beaters (bangers?) out there that are spewing lots of emissions and are likely a horrible safety hazard that really ought to be recycled. However, a classic car (MGB, Trimuph, I can't remember which model you mentioned in the cast) being trashed is a tragedy! Even if they're in rough shape, as Gav mentioned there has to be somebody out there that would love to get their hands on the car! Heck - I would love to get a car like that as a donor for an EV conversion.
I would rather see a Cash for EV's program. I know that it misses the point of the cash for clunkers program in the US (getting people to buy new cars to stimulate the economy), but how cool would it be to have a big boost in EV's on the road!
I loved the rambling on. It made for a good show.
For over 2 years I've wanted to convert a vehicle to electric, much like Gav and his project and series of videos have been an inspiration. I too have thought about a trailer with a generator but have decided that if I use a motorcycle engine or any other small engine the pollution would be worse than using the ICE that came with the vehicle so there would not be much gain.
Since I have a toyota RAV4 2WD for my project I've decided to attach a VW beetle transmission to the rear wheels and attach a VW electric conversion kit complete with the adapter plate and coupler and have 96 volts of battery. This coupled with the ICE will give me an unlimited range as long as I have gas and I can run in EV mode for about 15 miles at 45mph. Since I hop from place to place all day I would have the chance to charge multiple times per day allowing me to have as much as 50 miles out of the 80 I drive everyday be electric. For really long trips I would probably drop the battery rack and use just gas.
So now I need money to do this.
The afformentioned D****bag comment, as you guessed, is not family friendly and is generally off limits on the radio and TV. However it is one of a number of insults that we have hurled against each other. I can remember it's liberal usage back in my high school days.
On the 103º F temperatures we have been having on average here in Texas is 40º C in real degrees.