Electric Berlingo conversions in Melbourne
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  1. #1
    Fellow Frogger! Only19's Avatar
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    Default Electric Berlingo conversions in Melbourne

    Hi all - if anyone is interested in Oz built converted electric Berlingo's, I thought I might see if there is any interest in my starting a thread on the two I have worked on building here in Melbourne.

    First one has benn running smoothly for nearly 3 yrs now down at CERES environment education park in Brunswick. It is a 120V DC motor with Li-ion batteries.

    Second one is a private build that is nearing completion - it is 300V Li-ion batteries with an AC motor and all electronic control.

    CERES car is fully complianced with VICROADS as an electric conversion, and second will be as soon as it is finished. That's the hard bit!

    Shall post some photos soon/if there is any interest in building this thread.

    Cheers
    Bryce

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    I think we were following it from time to time prior to the GAFC last year, so yes follow it up.

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    Fellow Frogger!
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    Well done, great effort to get the conversions on the road.

    many will be looking at electric when our fuel prices catch up with Europe

    Anyone know if it is possible to import Elec Berlingo gear from Europe?

    from the pics on net elec Berlingos seem to have an integral elec motor and box

    also mentions they can be ordered from Peugeot. wonder if that is current?

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    Fellow Frogger! Geoff in Gully's Avatar
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    Do please tell us all about it. Very keen to do an electric conversion myself in the near(ish) future.

    Getting VicRoads compliance would be of great interest as there's no book on this and actual experience absolutely invaluable.

    Geoff
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    Regarding compliance, here is a link to "Vehicle Standards Bulletin 14" which is about specifics of installation of electric drives.

    http://www.infrastructure.gov.au/roa..._01Jan2011.pdf

    Cheers
    spiz

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    Fellow Frogger! Only19's Avatar
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    Hi all - will start the thread then! May take a little while to find the old photos, but as soon as I do I'll get writing.

    Bryce
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    Fellow Frogger! Only19's Avatar
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    Default Finally - the thread starts

    The Blue Berlingo EV conversion
    Hooray!!! Our two year process culminated last week with a full electric drive converted Citroen Berlingo being sent for engineering certification to be registered and driven as an electric vehicle.

    The reasons for doing it were two-fold:
    (a) We were preparing for a major (and highly technical) conversion of a Mercedes Sprinter for CERES environment park and
    (b) The opportunity came up to convert a Citroen Berlingo using the planned Mercedes EV technology. As we had all been involved in doing a much simpler conversion on one of these (the CERES Environment Park Berlingo) we decided it would be a good stepping stone to the Mercedes conversion to use the same complex technology in a body we had experience with.

    By the way, between the four of us involved (in our spare time) we possess two A-class electrical licences, an electrical contractor’s licence, 1st class motor body builder qual, aircraft engineering quals and IT quals: and it took us a long and complex path to bring it to completion.
    So you have been warned: it is not a project to take on lightly – I also think one thing we have proved is that only lunatics would do such a complex EV project ….

    Specifications
    Motor: 30kW continuous 3 phase AC induction motor. Water cooled. (This is a purpose-built motor for electric vehicle conversions – sourced from Italy via an Aust distributor).
    Motor controller: MES-DEA TIM600. Water cooled.
    Batteries: 90 x 90Ah LiFeYPO4 cells. (Providing approx 27kWh at 300V DC).
    Battery Management System: EV Power BMS-MCU-ELC plus modules.
    Heating/demist heater: MES-DEA RM-4 fluid heater.
    Brake vacuum unit: YT Stabletech VBS01.
    EHPS Power steering pump: Citroen Saxo/Peugeot 106/Citroen Berlingo Electrique pump.
    DC-DC converter: (= alternator replacement): Meanwell PSP-600 Series. Up to 370 volts DC input, 13.5 volts DC output.
    Monitoring: EVision gauge & monitor
    Plus LOTS of other bits ……….

    Features:
    Full electronic control and manipulation of motor parameters and functioning, including real-time monitoring via a laptop.
    Regenerative braking capacity on deceleration and braking.
    Range: predicted to be 120 – 150km (waiting on VASS engineer certification to drive it on the road to test the limits!)

    The process:
    Has been quite a journey so far – so for those (lunatic enough) people interested in what it takes - here are the edited highlights:

    July – Dec 2009: planning, disassembly and engineering design for battery box and motor coupling/adaptor plate.
    Jan – July 2010: battery box, motor and gearbox installation
    Aug 2010 – July 2011: electrical and ancillary installation and testing
    Aug 2011: delivered to VASS engineer for certification!

    Some photos below.
    Will update with more photos and progress when we get it back from the VASS engineer.

    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Electric Berlingo conversions in Melbourne-engine-bay-web.jpg   Electric Berlingo conversions in Melbourne-battery-pack-web.jpg   Electric Berlingo conversions in Melbourne-water-heater-web.jpg   Electric Berlingo conversions in Melbourne-dash-panel-web.jpg  
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    1000+ Posts PugMonkey's Avatar
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    Maaate - Excellent work. I would love to be involved in a project like this. The capabilities of a car like this refers me to the early days of the combustion engine and how we have advanced so far in so little time.

    I'll keep watching for sure.

    Regards,
    Moo
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    Quote Originally Posted by Only19 View Post
    Motor: 30kW continuous 3 phase AC induction motor. Water cooled. (This is a purpose-built motor for electric vehicle conversions – sourced from Italy via an Aust distributor).
    Motor controller: MES-DEA TIM600. Water cooled.
    Heating/demist heater: MES-DEA RM-4 fluid heater.
    In the interests of multi tasking and efficiency, couldn't you circulate the cooling water from the motor and motor controller cooling circuit through the oem heater core in the same way as a I/C motor?

    Is there enough temperature involved?

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    Fellow Frogger! Only19's Avatar
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    Default EV cabin heating

    Hi there mistareno - a good question, with a 3 part answer:

    1. the motor controller do not put out anywhere enough heat (it is much more efficient at converting energy into motion than an internal combustion motor),

    2. the temp the motor & controller are maintained at is way too low to run a demist/heater system designed for water at 95 degrees - and to run the water at that temp would be way to hot for the motor/controller, and

    3. the temp output of the motor controller is only in bursts when it works hard - so cooling is for damping the spikes, not for taking away masses of waste heat like in an internal combustion engine (ICE) - so loads of hot water are just not there to utilise in the way that it is able to be in an ICE.

    As a result, 2 systems are needed - the cabin heater is a 4kW water heater plumbed up to the existing heater/demist system and runs at 95 degrees to maintain it's functioning exactly as it was designed (and so easily meet the ADR requirements for demisting). The motor/controller are connected via a circulation system designed to maintain as low a temp as possible to meet their needs for even temp for long life and best performance.

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

  11. #11
    Fellow Frogger! Only19's Avatar
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    Default Latest news: back from the VASS engineer

    Hi all - Berlingo is back from the engineer with not much to do.
    Major one is there is a new EV standard to use - UN ECE reg 100. http://www.cars21.com/content/articl...ric-safety.php
    Biggest issue is to do with ground fault protection having to be built into the traction battery system.
    Have found a supplier (several in fact) but not cheap!
    Anyway, out with the meters to do the (5 page) insulation tests, add some labels and put together some more data sheets - and its road legal.

    Now for the next one! (Am feeling masochistic enough to do one for myself now I've practiced on everybody elses Berlingos).

    Cheers
    Bryce
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    Fellow Frogger! Only19's Avatar
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    Default EV show-n-tell day in Northcote (MELB) this Sunday

    Hi fellow AF'ers - for those interested in electric vehicles (and in particular, the electric Berlingos in this thread) CERES are having a open day/show-n-tell day this Sunday, noon to 3 pm at the EV workshop (NB: this is NOT at the main CERES site, but is nearby).

    It is being run through the ATA Melbourne EV interest group as one of their 'around the EV garages' series.

    The two converted Berlingos will be there giving test drives, along with a part converted Mercedes Sprinter and an assortment of going EV's that may turn up.

    If anyone wants to come - PM me for the address details. (We are after nos for running a BBQ on the day).

    NB: gold coin donation to the ATA EV branch on the day (plus similar for BBQ items!).
    Cheers
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    1000+ Posts Haakon's Avatar
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    That will be interesting - I might have to pop in
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    Fellow Frogger! Only19's Avatar
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    A progress report today: Monday saw the blue Berlingo go for it's first longer range/higher speed road test. A 60km round trip via ring road and West Gate freeway.
    Results: less than half the battery charge used, and car will easly get up to 100km/hr. Only problem is it is too quiet: you keep thinking there is something wrong when a small noise comes from little things (like the plug of the charging lead) moving in the back.
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    Default December 18th EV display and formula SAE race day: Werribee

    Hi all - if interested, there is the annual formula SAE engineering students race day at Werribee this Sunday, December 18th from 10:30am to approx 3pm. Amongst the fossil race cars, there are FOUR electric race cars there! (Including one from Germany). Be interesting to see what the engineering students can do with the new technology!

    There will also be a display of electric vehicles (including the blue Berlingo and maybe the red CERES one).

    Details:
    It is at Victoria University (Werribee East Campus) Gate 4 Hopper Lane Melways 206 J6.
    Times:
    10:30am to approx 3pm.
    More details:
    http://www.ata.org.au/branch-news/el...december-18th/
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    Fellow Frogger! Karoshi's Avatar
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    Wish I was in Melbourne on Sunday.

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    Fellow Frogger! Only19's Avatar
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    Default Approved!

    Hi all - a quick update on the blue Berlingo: it had its (much anticipated) final inspection by Vicroads engineers this week. Is now oficially road legal rather than in testing phase.

    For those of you who live in/around Leongatha in Gippsland (Vic) - you will see it tootling around as the Grow Lightly fruit & veg co-op delivery van soon.

    Job now is to finish the Merc Sprinter for CERES: we at least have pics of the motor controller and the controller connection plug to wire into the car. (Just hope they finish the controller before we finish the car!). Then it's onto my Berlingo ...

    Cheers
    (not) Only 19 (now Berlingo and Laguna)
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    Fellow Frogger!
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    Wow, brilliant thread!

    I've a few questions for you though:

    - Does it have to be a Berlingo, or can it be done on a, say, 307?
    - What gearbox do you use (or have I missed it)?
    - Does the motor have an option of regenerative braking?
    - How longs does it take to fully charge the batteries?
    - Any idea of vehicle's weight now compared to w/ internal combustion engine?
    - And finally, I'd like to have an idea of what this sort of conversion costs (PM me).

    Thanks and keep up the good work!

  19. #19
    Fellow Frogger! Only19's Avatar
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    Hi - and thanks for the compliments! Will answer the general Q's:

    Doing different models? Converting a car is quite tricky, so if trying to make it remotely time efficient for doing a few, it's best to stick to one model to avoid doing one's head in trying to solve the myriad of issues involved. So after much research, the Berlingo was picked as a good candidate. (And keen to stick to that one for now .... except for the Mercedes Sprinter we are doing now. Aagh. My head hurts to think about it: but most issues solved now).
    So, a 307? Needs to be assessed for systems, mass, available battery space etc, etc. Good for a long chat at an ATA EV group meeting.

    gearbox: is existing one.

    Blue Berlingo has an AC motor with regenerative braking (and also on deceleration: both programmable). The older, red CERES Berlingo does not. Is older DC technology.

    Batteries an overnight charge (generally about 8 hrs. NB: as an example, did a 60% charge yesterday in 3.5 hrs).

    Weight: Blue Berlingo is about 150kg heavier now.

    In summary: if you want to look at doing an EV conversion, and you live in Melb, suggest coming to an ATA EV interest group meeting. Held on the 4th Wed of the Month at Swinburne engineering building. Link: http://www.ata.org.au/branches/melbourne-ev-branch/
    Next meeting 22nd Feb.

    Wow, brilliant thread!

    I've a few questions for you though:

    - Does it have to be a Berlingo, or can it be done on a, say, 307?
    - What gearbox do you use (or have I missed it)?
    - Does the motor have an option of regenerative braking?
    - How longs does it take to fully charge the batteries?
    - Any idea of vehicle's weight now compared to w/ internal combustion engine?
    - And finally, I'd like to have an idea of what this sort of conversion costs (PM me).

    Thanks and keep up the good work
    Who needs brakes? They only slow you down ....

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    Fellow Frogger!
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    Thanks for your reply.

    I'm half-way around the globe away from you though, so I doubt I could make it onto your meeting .

    I am seriously considering doing an electric car conversion, but perhaps start with a smaller and lighter car (205)
    and of course with less batteries and autonomy. I'd still like to know a vague cost of parts required to do it though.

    Thanks, Nikica.

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    Default EV conversion costs

    Conversion costs are bit like 'how long is a piece of string'. Basic DC conversions with lead acid batteries run from $10K to a high-end DC one with Li batteries at nearly $30K. (Au dollars, parts only, plus donor car). A mid-range AC motor and controller with Li battery system would be about $35K, parts only, plus car. (You would not go lead acid for an AC motor). Highest end conversions using a Brusa combination motor and controller with the very best batteries on the market will give you little change out of $150k or more for just the parts!

    And, yes, building an EV is ALWAYS more expensive than people expect – but I am a realist and give the actual figures whenever anyone asks. NB: If you want a blow-by-blow of a simple, but beautiful, DC EV conversion: you can’t go past this website: http://www.mightyboyev.com/

    However, you can’t get around the fact that even the very simplest EV conversion will cost $10k in bits, if you're lucky and can make/do all the bits yourself, plus car. (Bits include: motor, controller, batteries, electrical cables, battery box, electrical system control components, adaptor plate = bell housing replacement to join motor and gearbox, direct coupling = clutch replacement for between motor & gearbox {more complex conversions actually retain the clutch}, motor mounts, demister replacement system, vacuum brake replacement system, DC/DC converter to replace the alternator, dash switches & lights, traction battery charging system, inlet plug, etc, etc, etc).

    Below are a few websites for prices to flesh out the prices a bit:
    http://www.evworks.com.au/index.php
    http://www.evworks.com.au/index.php
    http://www.evparts.com/

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    I have just read this thread, and whilst it is interesting, I'm left reflecting on why would you take a satisfactory purpose designed vehicle (ie Berlingo), spend heaps of money ($35k plus by your estimate) and many man-hours to achieve less range, lower perfomance and a turn-around time of 8 hours?
    roger

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    Quote Originally Posted by lhs2.1 View Post
    I have just read this thread, and whilst it is interesting, I'm left reflecting on why would you take a satisfactory purpose designed vehicle (ie Berlingo), spend heaps of money ($35k plus by your estimate) and many man-hours to achieve less range, lower perfomance and a turn-around time of 8 hours?
    roger
    If you have a solar power system you could potentially charge the car free, but that is beside the point, pioneering technology and early adopting is never cheap.

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    Real cars have hydraulics DoubleChevron's Avatar
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    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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    Quote Originally Posted by mistareno View Post
    If you have a solar power system you could potentially charge the car free, but that is beside the point, pioneering technology and early adopting is never cheap.
    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

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