Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Electric Car Conversion Part 1 – The Donor Vehicle and The ICE Removal:

In 2008, I bought an old Geo Metro for $1 for the purpose of converting it to an all electric car. I calculated it would have a 40 mile range and only cost me $3000 in parts. It would be the perfect commuter car, requiring only $0.67 cents in electric fuel to get me back and forth to work each day.
Unfortunately, my enthusiasm for the project faded when we moved to another house out of the range of the car's design.

Fast Forward 3 years:
My desire for an Electric Vehicle was rekindled by the announcement of the Nissan Leaf.  But after nearly a year sitting on the waiting list, I opted to roll my own, again.

I have read that the an electric vehicle will have greater range if it can carry more batteries.  It makes sense.  More fuel = more range. 

A Geo Metro has a light frame but has little room for extra weight. A pickup truck is relatively lightweight but has a stronger frame that can handle additional battery weight.

In June 2011, I acquired a 1992 Toyota Pickup Truck. Although the mileage was high, it was in good cosmetic condition.  

I ripped out all the “unnecessary” parts. The internal combustion engine, radiator, gas tank and the exhaust system. 

This lightened the truck weight by 500 lbs and freed up a lot of room in the engine compartment for an electric motor and batteries.