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Thread: Electric Berlingo conversions in Melbourne

  1. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by DoubleChevron View Post
    But it needs to be charged overnight ..... when you want to use it during the day .......... that's when the sun is out !!

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    seeya,
    Shane L.
    I was referring to cost not emissions unfortunately.

    If you had sufficient solar panels you could pump enough back into the grid that you can use that credit to charge the car at night.

    Unless you want to invest2 in 2 battery packs, but that would be rather pricey I'd imagine...

  2. #27
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    Default EV retrofits: alternative, niche or mainstream to come?

    Hi there! It's worth noting that whilst EV's have been around since the early days, their development languished for over 70 years. They are being dusted off again now as an answer to both peak oil and CO2 emissions. And yes, untill now, they generally have been experimental and often dodgy for range and cost.

    However: EV retrofits are finally viable as 'early adoption' models, but will certainly plumet in cost (and increase in range) as mass production of conversion parts kicks in - as it is already showing. Motors, controllers and batteries are becoming more available, cheaper and better each time I look!

    Also: there are a number of keen enthusiasts that want to home build or do very small runs of them for masochistic reasons, and these are the people for whom this thread is aimed.

    It certainly can be argued that retrofits are a niche area, (as are home build track vehicles, vehicle restorations, etc, etc. Who counts the cost of those either?).

    It's the mass market cars that are worth watching: costs ARE coming down, ranges ARE increasing, and the charge times ARE decreasing. What is already a viable alternative option for many commuters will, I believe, become the mainstream in the longer run as EV's begin to rival the ICE for range and performance. EV's will always be a bit more expensive as you have to include the batteries: but then, you won't need to spend so much on the fuel (and none at all if you use a home energy system: for example, see http://www.edaylife.com.au/energy )

    Yours in EV'ing





    Quote Originally Posted by lhs2.1 View Post
    Well, what is the point?
    Pioneering technology and early adoption are not terms I would use in relation to EVs - they have been around for over a century.
    BTW solar power is not free.
    roger
    Who needs brakes? They only slow you down ....

  3. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Only19 View Post
    Hi there! It's worth noting that whilst EV's have been around since the early days, their development languished for over 70 years. They are being dusted off again now as an answer to both peak oil and CO2 emissions. And yes, untill now, they generally have been experimental and often dodgy for range and cost.

    However: EV retrofits are finally viable as 'early adoption' models, but will certainly plumet in cost (and increase in range) as mass production of conversion parts kicks in - as it is already showing. Motors, controllers and batteries are becoming more available, cheaper and better each time I look!

    Also: there are a number of keen enthusiasts that want to home build or do very small runs of them for masochistic reasons, and these are the people for whom this thread is aimed.

    It certainly can be argued that retrofits are a niche area, (as are home build track vehicles, vehicle restorations, etc, etc. Who counts the cost of those either?).

    It's the mass market cars that are worth watching: costs ARE coming down, ranges ARE increasing, and the charge times ARE decreasing. What is already a viable alternative option for many commuters will, I believe, become the mainstream in the longer run as EV's begin to rival the ICE for range and performance. EV's will always be a bit more expensive as you have to include the batteries: but then, you won't need to spend so much on the fuel (and none at all if you use a home energy system: for example, see http://www.edaylife.com.au/energy )

    Yours in EV'ing
    I certainly have no intention of criticising your activity, but I still don't have a rationale of why you would spend $35K plus plus and a good part of a lifetime on converting a Citroen Berlingo to be slower, go less distance, and require 8 hours to fill the fuel tank. And deal with the loonys that inhabit Vicroads. You mentioned the word "masochistic" in your response and I can only suppose that this is the reason.
    I am a professional mechanical engineer and 3 or 4 years ago I did a design study for a small off-road vehicle. I considered electric powered propulsion and rejected it for a number of reasons. EVs have a number of fundamental disadvantages compared to petroleum-fuelled IC engined vehicles. The principal disadvantage is energy density. Although there have significant improvements in battery performance over the last few years, nobody has been able to get the orders of magnitude improvement that are needed to rival the IC engine. Also the technology of the IC engine is not standing still - developments such as the variable compression ratio will further improve fuel efficiency and emissions.
    Also I found that the cost of components (motors, controllers, batteries) was very high. You have commented that these costs are decreasing, but this is totally volume related and is predecated on the assumption that EV volume will increase.
    One of the minor problems with EVs is,of course, lack of noise to warn impending pedestrians. We could require them to be preceded by a man waving a red flag, but I think that this has been done before.
    roger

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    Default EV advantages

    Good thoughts - but my responses are:
    1. The EV Berlingo is NOT slower. T'is rather fun surprising the odd comode etc off the line ....

    2. As for 8 hrs 'to fill the tank': (a) I am not standing at the plug for 8hrs! and (b) 8 hrs is a full charge - the 60% charge I did the other day was only about 4 hrs. In fact I am saving time in not having to find the petrol station, pull up at the pump (if it is available immediately), stand there while filling, wander in and stand in line to make the payment, get back to the car and wait for the traffic to clear to get back onto the road, then back onto my path home if the petrol station was not in a convenient road .... All I do instead is pull up at home, plug it in and forget it till I come out in the morning, unplug and drive off. (NB car will NOT drive with a plug in it, whether power point is on or off: a mandatory requirement, and especially useful for those of us are not morning people ... ). And the icing on the cake is it's a bloody sight cheaper!!!! For those of us travelling less than 120k a day - (and the vast majority of us in the cities do much less than that a day) current energy density is plenty, and it's a lot more convenient to never visit petrol stations again and just charge it at home overnight.

    3. Vicroads are the same for all modified vehicles - cautious! Anyone modifying a vehicle has to jump through the same hoops. EV's are no special or awkward case.

    4. Cost & time: no more than restoring a classic car or building a racing rod. Whatever takes your fancy! (Got a lot of respect for the street rods, plus their time & costs dwarf ours, but I still wouldn't want to own one! Each to their own. ).

    4. Yes, ICE's are improving: but oil is a finite resource. ICE has no long term mainstream future.

    5. Some applications are just not suited to EV's - and off-road vehicles working far from the grid would be high on the list! Good call to not put an electric motor/s in it. Interested that you even considered it.

    6. A Ferrari V12 noise would make a lovely replacement for the red flag guy, or better still the sound of a Renault 1600 Alpine spec motor with twin sidedrafts ... Ahhhhh, I love the sound of a performance ICE.

    Cheers
    Bryce
    Who needs brakes? They only slow you down ....

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    Quote Originally Posted by Only19 View Post
    Good thoughts - but my responses are:
    1. The EV Berlingo is NOT slower. T'is rather fun surprising the odd comode etc off the line ....

    2. As for 8 hrs 'to fill the tank': (a) I am not standing at the plug for 8hrs! and (b) 8 hrs is a full charge - the 60% charge I did the other day was only about 4 hrs. In fact I am saving time in not having to find the petrol station, pull up at the pump (if it is available immediately), stand there while filling, wander in and stand in line to make the payment, get back to the car and wait for the traffic to clear to get back onto the road, then back onto my path home if the petrol station was not in a convenient road .... All I do instead is pull up at home, plug it in and forget it till I come out in the morning, unplug and drive off. (NB car will NOT drive with a plug in it, whether power point is on or off: a mandatory requirement, and especially useful for those of us are not morning people ... ). And the icing on the cake is it's a bloody sight cheaper!!!! For those of us travelling less than 120k a day - (and the vast majority of us in the cities do much less than that a day) current energy density is plenty, and it's a lot more convenient to never visit petrol stations again and just charge it at home overnight.

    3. Vicroads are the same for all modified vehicles - cautious! Anyone modifying a vehicle has to jump through the same hoops. EV's are no special or awkward case.

    4. Cost & time: no more than restoring a classic car or building a racing rod. Whatever takes your fancy! (Got a lot of respect for the street rods, plus their time & costs dwarf ours, but I still wouldn't want to own one! Each to their own. ).

    4. Yes, ICE's are improving: but oil is a finite resource. ICE has no long term mainstream future.

    5. Some applications are just not suited to EV's - and off-road vehicles working far from the grid would be high on the list! Good call to not put an electric motor/s in it. Interested that you even considered it.

    6. A Ferrari V12 noise would make a lovely replacement for the red flag guy, or better still the sound of a Renault 1600 Alpine spec motor with twin sidedrafts ... Ahhhhh, I love the sound of a performance ICE.

    Cheers
    Bryce
    Hi, thanks for the response. I guess neither of us really want to spend a lot of our valuable time in this essentially barren debate. You have your position and I have mine. However, just a few comments on your latest response.
    1.Care to share the validated performance figures vs the original?
    2. I live in a small country town. I dont recall having to queque for a pump or to pay for a fuel purchase.
    3. Agreed, but why would you subject yourself to the pain and lunacy?
    4. I think that this gets to the question of why you would you do it. I restore old Citroens and the answer to any bogan asking why is because I can. As far as your statement re the long term future of IC engines, I think you are being a bit hasty. Depends on your definition of long term I guess.
    5. This was not a vehicle intended to work far from a grid, it was just not intended to be registered for on-road use.
    6. Give me 20,000 rpm F1 engines and no red flags.

    As a parting shot, I refer you to the recent release of the GM Volt as a demonstration of how flawed even state-of-the -art EV technology is. GM is (last time I looked) the largest motor manufacturer in the world, and despite some well documented stuff-ups in the past, could be expected to be a leader of technology. As I understand it, the Volt has a EV range of 36 miles (!) and relies on a 1.4 litre petroleum-fuelled IC engine to help it on it's pathetic way. There are also significant cost and subsidy issues.
    You EV guys have a long way to go, but I suspect that you will get there in the end but not for the right reasons.
    roger

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    Interesting thread, and well done on your efforts Bryce.


    Decca
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    Past -- 19?? 403 / 1974 504GL / 1972 R12TL / 1995 405SRi / 1997 406ST / 1998 306XT / 2004 406HD1 / 2008 308XSE HDi / 2008 307XSE

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    Default EV information

    Hi again - I don't see this as a barren discussion - and it's good to gets the details right!

    1. I drive a petrol Berlingo day to day: (will be the next EV conversion when I get bored ...). Elec one is WAY faster off the line. We have de-tuned EV a bit to increase the range, but the characteristics of an electric motor are naturally 'gruntier' at lower revs than an ICE. For an example of the extreme end of EV performance: http://www.plasmaboyracing.com/whitezombie.php

    2. Never paid for a fuel purchase?? Come on up to town: they take unkindly to that! On a more serious note, in town lining up for pump and to pay are both common annoyances.

    3. As for Vicroads: I like them there - the system stops dangerous modifications getting out to damage me, my car or my family.

    4. Lifespan of ICE? best guesses centre on long term being 10 - 15 yrs tops as mainstream, decline depends on how steeply fuel prices climb. My prediction FWIW is ICE will be still as a significant minor player 20 plus yrs, but eventually classics only running on biofuels. However, some bastard dropped my crystal ball the other day and the thing just keeps emitting smoke towards mirrors now.

    5. Chevy Volt? 36mile = nearly 60km. Average daily commute in a major city in Aust is 30km. The Volt will never use the petrol motor for most people doing their daily commutes and recharging at home overnight. Whole idea of the Volt design is to avoid lugging around batteries you don't use without leaving you stranded when you do the occassional extended run or forget to charge it. Experience in US is the Volts are not using the fuel in the tanks and causing problems because it's going stale. NB: The 1.4L motor does not 'help it on it's way', it only runs under 2 conditions:
    a. low battery
    b. Hard acceleration at high speed. (Suspect that's to emulate V8 style performance to the SUV loving American public. You gotta luv em!).
    NB: For an an example of real technology leaders in the EV field (suspect GM are not really). See: http://www.teslamotors.com/models
    For one of those, I would (almost) give up pining for an Alpine A310 1600.

    6. Restore old Citroens? What ones? Love to see some photos. Citroen has made some of the most beautiful cars ever. (I DON'T count the Berlingo in that category. However, t'is cute in its own way).

    Cheers
    Bryce
    Last edited by Only19; 16th February 2012 at 05:57 PM. Reason: I didn't edit it
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    Quote Originally Posted by Only19 View Post
    Hi again - I don't see this as a barren discussion - and it's good to gets the details right!

    1. I drive a petrol Berlingo day to day: (will be the next EV conversion when I get bored ...). Elec one is WAY faster off the line. We have de-tuned EV a bit to increase the range, but the characteristics of an electric motor are naturally 'gruntier' at lower revs than an ICE. For an example of the extreme end of EV performance: http://www.plasmaboyracing.com/whitezombie.php

    2. Never paid for a fuel purchase?? Come on up to town: they take unkindly to that! On a more serious note, in town lining up for pump and to pay are both common annoyances.

    3. As for Vicroads: I like them there - the system stops dangerous modifications getting out to damage me, my car or my family.

    4. Lifespan of ICE? best guesses centre on long term being 10 - 15 yrs tops as mainstream, decline depends on how steeply fuel prices climb. My prediction FWIW is ICE will be still as a significant minor player 20 plus yrs, but eventually classics only running on biofuels. However, some bastard dropped my crystal ball the other day and the thing just keeps emitting smoke towards mirrors now.

    5. Chevy Volt? 36mile = nearly 60km. Average daily commute in a major city in Aust is 30km. The Volt will never use the petrol motor for most people doing their daily commutes and recharging at home overnight. Whole idea of the Volt design is to avoid lugging around batteries you don't use without leaving you stranded when you do the occassional extended run or forget to charge it. Experience in US is the Volts are not using the fuel in the tanks and causing problems because it's going stale. NB: The 1.4L motor does not 'help it on it's way', it only runs under 2 conditions:
    a. low battery
    b. Hard acceleration at high speed. (Suspect that's to emulate V8 style performance to the SUV loving American public. You gotta luv em!).
    NB: For an an example of real technology leaders in the EV field (suspect GM are not really). See: http://www.teslamotors.com/models
    For one of those, I would (almost) give up pining for an Alpine A310 1600.

    6. Restore old Citroens? What ones? Love to see some photos. Citroen has made some of the most beautiful cars ever. (I DON'T count the Berlingo in that category. However, t'is cute in its own way).

    Cheers
    Bryce
    Hi, I didn't intend to pursue this debate but as you seem to be willing I will continue.
    First some background - I lived in Brunswick ( Blyth St) for 20 odd years and visited CERES on a number of occasions so that I'm not unfamiliar with the ethos and aims.
    I can imagine pitching the EV to a group of investors:
    Hi, I'm here to present to you a wonderful opportunity in the field of automotive vehicles.
    Question - is it as fast as my BMW? Well, it can be, but not for long. How long? If you treat it gently about a third of your gas tank. Shit, how long does it take to fill it up? About 8 hours. Can I use it in that time? No, sorry, you'll have to use the BMW. How much does it cost? Well with government and manufacturer subsidies it's about twice the price of your BMW.
    Dont call us, we'll call you.
    6. My first concours award was for a Citroen Light 15 in the late 1970's, and my last was at the 2011 CCOCA/CCCV concours with my Citroen SM - best in show.
    roger

  9. #34
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    Default Returning to the thread purpose please.

    Hi Roger - I think we are going off track here: although I hasten to add there are many investors in EV technology (Aust and overseas) currently and happily coughing up.

    To remind readers please: this thread is aimed at informing & supporting DIY people interested in personally converting their French (or other) cars to EV , so, again: this is going off track with respect to the point of the thread.

    I am not interested in debating the economics in this thread - it is not for that purpose. That would be best served in a different thread in a different forum. (NB: no-one would modify or restore a vehicle if they estimated the costs & time beforehand!).

    Happy to answer questions on the 'how' of EV building. Suffice it to say in answer to your points that there are enough arguments supporting EV's to make other people interested in them, but, again, this thread is not for that purpose.

    Cheers
    Bryce
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    Default The joy of 'little' upgrades ... and lessons learned

    You gotta love the adage - if it ain't broke, don't fix it ...

    The scenario for doing a little bit of development work: (seemed like such a good idea)
    Before delivering it to Gippsland (for the car to take up it's new life as an organic vegi delivery vehicle) - we decided to make one 'little' change. As it tended to flatten the original Berlingo 12V battery in a couple of days if not used, we added a timer system to turn on the DC/DC converter to keep the little 12V fella topped up. (Mind you, changing the 12V battery to a bigger one may have been smarter - it was never designed to support an electro-hydraulic steering system!). NB: apparently its not just us, by report, MiEV's flatten the 12 V faster!

    Timer installed, all working, and off to Gippsland.

    And back a week later with a vapourised DC/DC converter. cause - major inrush surge current causing the electronics to perish to protect the internal (and external) fuses. Of course, they went out in sympathy AFTER the whole thing died. Apparently we had accidentally protected it with a delayed start between turning it on and putting it on-load (a by-product of the system - not an intended arrangement for the DC/DC converter). The new timer system did not have that - no need we thought.

    Wrong.

    Replace DC/DC converter, add a delay timer, plus a couple of other mods to ensure the DC/DC timer auto shuts off if the main traction battery goes too low. All good. Time to send it back again.

    Lesson: think through all the complications/by-products from seemingly little changes BEFORE making them!

    Cheers & happy EV-ing!

    Bryce
    Who needs brakes? They only slow you down ....

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    Default Update

    Hi all - the DC/DC working beautifully now (been driving it over a week now - all good!).
    Mind-you, it also now sports a HEAPS bigger capacity battery too. So timer dropped back to every three days, with 12 V voltage between times still holding nicely.

    BTW, if anyone's interested in seeing it/having a chat about DIY EV conversion: as it's still in town, I think I'll bring it to the All French Car Day tomorrow. (It's much cleaner than my Laguna or fossil Berlingo!)

    Cheers
    Bryce
    Who needs brakes? They only slow you down ....

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    Quote Originally Posted by Only19 View Post
    Hi all - the DC/DC working beautifully now (been driving it over a week now - all good!).
    Mind-you, it also now sports a HEAPS bigger capacity battery too. So timer dropped back to every three days, with 12 V voltage between times still holding nicely.

    BTW, if anyone's interested in seeing it/having a chat about DIY EV conversion: as it's still in town, I think I'll bring it to the All French Car Day tomorrow. (It's much cleaner than my Laguna or fossil Berlingo!)

    Cheers
    Bryce
    It'd be good to see it tomorrow.

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    i wonder how much this would be to do to a pair of citroen ax gti's in about 7/8 years then.

    I seemed to have missed it somewhere, does your conversion use the gearbox from the vehicle??

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    Default Question answers

    G'day from downunder! Yes - we do retain the gearbox. Current one does not have a clutch (choice of the owner), but current project (Mercedes Sprinter) retains the clutch, as will the next Berlingo. (IF I ever find the time to do that one!!!!)
    Citroen AX GTI EV? Potentially could make a lovely donor car - but would need to see one in the flesh to be certain. In short: you'll need to check for room for chosen motor, system complexity to interface the electrics with, and last, but not least, where the heck to put the batteries!
    Cheers
    Bryce
    Who needs brakes? They only slow you down ....

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    Hi Bryce,

    Only just found this thread and very much enjoying it!

    Out of interest, what are the economics like. i.e. cost to run including electricity and wear and tear on batteries?

    With the level of wind generation planned for Western Victoria and South Australia, I would expect to see regular and sustained negative electricity prices over night as the brown coal stations in the Latrobe Valley pay to keep running so they can ramp up the next day...

    If the electricity market design can keep up with the underlying power system economics, could well be paid to charge the car over night.

    Cheers,
    Andrew

    Driving - '90 XM, '85 CX IE Auto, 406 Coupe, 405 srdt wagon, '78 dyane, Resting (or Rusting): '71? Birotor '82 CX Presitige, '81 CX Break IE, GS X2, GS1015 Wagon, GS 1300 5sp Wagon, '76 GS 1220 Wagon, '75 GS Wagon, '58 2CV, '58 Vauxhall Velox

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    Default Economics of battery recharging: overnight a no-brainer!

    G'day Andrew - welcome to the thread, and thanks for the kind words. EV recharging is a funny thing. Simple maths - and lots of variables.

    The simple sum: About $4.50 for a full charge to do approx 100km at the 18 ish cents per kWh off peak.

    For a complication: in my case, I have a 10c off peak rate (and 35c peak rate, 22c shoulder rate) as I have the old Vic 66c premium feed-in tariff for my PV cells. So when I charge an EV at home, it's free as I get all bills paid plus a $500-ish as a cheque every 12 months!!!!!!!!! Just reduces my $500 bonus a bit. (by the way, its just a little 1.4kW system - only wish I could have squeezed more onto my difficult space. 1.4kW was all I could design to fit).

    As an added complication - emissions are an interesting one: on brown coal only (or compressed peat as I prefer to call it) - you've shifted the emissions, but not done anything to reduce them. On hydro, wind etc - whoopee, you're zero emission! Black coal - better than fossil fuel and gas in your car: but not zero emission by any means.

    Another complication - charging at a premium peak tarff could be painful (but avoidable - unlike air conditioner users). i.e. unlike air conditioners, EV's can be charged when it suits you - so as you've worked out: it's a no brainer to charge off-peak, and pay the little extra for non-carbon emitting sources.

    NB: Just doing an article on related matters (EV electricity emissions) for the ATA mag ReNew - so will do an update on exact figures when I finish that.

    Re wear and tear on batteries: most Li polymer batteries have a guarantee of 2000 - 3000 full charges, so at 2 or 3 charges a week - that more than 10yrs life. The EV at CERES is 4yrs old now and heavily used: I have found no degradation in the capacity of its Li cells at all yet.

    Cheers & your in EV'ing
    Bryce
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    Default EV CO2 emissions article out in ReNew

    Hi all - following up on my comment re coming EV CO2 accounting article - it is now out in the current Alternative Technology Association's quarterly magazine 'ReNew'.
    Bit too hard to explain results in this thread - lots of variables and calculations for each state etc. However let's say the results were surprisingly good when doing an apples-with-apples comparison of ICE and EV using national carbon accounting methodology. Even in Victoria on brown coal - replacing a petrol car with an iMiEV for city driving still reduced one's emissions. The rest I'll leave to those who get/want to buy a copy of ReNew.

    Cheers
    Who needs brakes? They only slow you down ....

  18. #43
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    Default Another Ev conversion running

    For those of you who have been following this thread and wondered where the Mercedes Sprinter conversion I occassionally refer to was up to: it is finally running! Took it for its first test drive last Wednesday. (It is being done for CERES Environment Park in Brunswick, Melb). Lots of gremlins to sort - but it actually goes.
    Cheers
    Bryce
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  19. #44
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    Good job with this!
    When I can afford to do so I'd live to retrofit a car with electric drivetrain...
    I have driven the iMiev and hopefully I will get a chance to drive a Nissan Leaf soon.
    Both of those are still too expensive, for me the difference in fuel costs would take twenty years to recoup, but the situation is getting better.
    Pugs Rule!

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    Great thread, I've only just come across it. I'm an ATA member, and get e-mails about meetings, but I cannot make it down in time for the meetings after work. I've been meaning to stream the meeting, but I just never remember. Not sure if they do it anymore.

    My employer has an electric vehicle, based on a Hyundai Getz, although why anyone would use a Getz as a donor car is beyond me (manufacturer co-operation was the main reason). Ex-fleet bodies, with new electric drive-trains were about $35k. The range was about 100-120km. You could go further, but no one was really game to. It was definitely an improvement over a 1.4 Getz. It was pretty zippy taking off, but once you got above 70, it took a long time to get to 100. And if you saw a hill at 100, you lost half the afternoon getting back up to 100 after the hill.

    Renew (ATA's magazine) has run a couple of articles of a guy in NZ who's converted a 2CV to electric (I think there's been two, one converted to an electric ute). He chose the 2CV due to its really light weight, and its simplicity. They're home-style conversions, done to be cost effective, with a shorter range than a more professional conversion.

    I seem to remember a reading a couple of other articles in it of people that had done home conversions of 80's and 90's Barinas/Swifts, and Charades. Cost was under $10k all up, but they lost back seats and had a range of about 60km. Still not bad for a run-about, and if you're on solar that's big enough, you don't have to pay anything for fuel.

  21. #46
    Fellow Frogger! Only19's Avatar
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    Hi Daniel - the ATA EV group still webcast. We met the 4th Wed of every month from 7pm at Swinburne Uni Engineering building. Not sure about the ATA main meeting in the city. (I never get there either).

    The EV Hyundai you mention is a Blade Electron. Sadly, he is no longer in business. His stock of remaining bits is for sale on the ATA EV branch site. Our blue Berlingo conversion is a bit zippier that those, but has similar-ish, but slightly higher end technology to the Blades.

    Renew articles refering to some NZ conversions - a 2CV would be a nice donor car, but a bit expensive here in Oz! Parts cost using simple DC motors, no clutch and lead acid batteries would be around 10k plus car to do even that simple a conversion - and lead acid is a PAIN of an EV traction battery system. The red Berlingo conversion is a simple DC conversion using Li batteries - a much better system, and worth the extra cost: lead acid are lucky to last a couple of years, Li should last 10 plus. (ZEV, the red Berlingo, is now over 4 yrs old and battery system has yet to show any degradation in performance).

    NB: There is a VERY nice Capri conversion about to hit the road using a similar motor/controller to that 2CV, but using Li batteries. It should easily pass Vic registration compliance, the owner has done a mighty job Ė hoping I can convince him to write it up for Renew. His conversion cost I believe was around 20ishK (but donít quote me!). We are also planning to do a Renew article on the blue Berlingo and Mercedes conversions soon, will put a note on this thread when it is coming out.

    Yes, there are a few 80ís and 90ís EV Barinas and a Mazda 121 also around Ė but they are very agricultural in the main. However I know of one thatís made it to become Vicroads compliant recently (mind-you, after a fair bit of work by us to get it there for the owner!!!).

    And yes, using your own solar is the best option to charge the vehicle (especially low range ones that donít demand too much of your PV system) Ė at least you know where your electrons got their energy from!

    Cheers
    Bryce
    Who needs brakes? They only slow you down ....

  22. #47
    Fellow Frogger! Only19's Avatar
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    Just reread the thread after 5 and a half years - so much has happened!

    On the personal front: have been daily driving EV's since 2012 & still to pay an electricity bill (but the annual check is significantly reduced!), plus I recently bought the blue Berlingo from the Gippsland owners to give it a gentle 'retirement' as it approaches 200,000km. Is now being used as a local EV service vehicle and training bed for EV safe work practices.

    And on the EV front - much of what I predicted 5 years ago has come to pass!

    Mass market EV's with 300 - 500km ranges are now available. (Zoe, Bolt, Tesla models S, X and 3; new Leaf is almost there ..)
    Fast charging can reduce the time for a charge to as little as 20 min; (time for a cuppa after a long drive )
    Prices are coming down quickly - from $200k Roadster in 2011/12 to less than $15000 pounds for a base Zoe.
    Several countries are planning to ban the sale of new ICE vehicles starting from 2025 (Netherlands & Norway) through to 2040 (UK), plus China (the biggest car sales market in the world) is looking into setting a date.
    ... And not much has happen in Oz ...

    Might even do an update soon on the changes to the blue Berlingo since this thread was active.

    Cheers
    Bryce
    JohnW likes this.
    Who needs brakes? They only slow you down ....

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