I am embarking on a long desired project of converting a petrol powered Daewoo Matiz car to an all electric vehicle (EV)
Many people think electric cars are the transport of the future as fossil fuels run out however point out that ev’s still have to be charged from the mains and unfortunately most of our power is generated by coal fired power stations. However power stations are much more efficient at converting fossil fuels (coal) into energy (electricity) (about 80%) A petrol or diesel engine is only about 30% efficient with the rest of the energy going into waste heat and partially burnt toxic gases like carbon monoxide and nitrous oxide. Electric motors have been improved so much that they can 96% efficient and of course they are vibrationless quiet and long lasting with zero emissions requiring no maintenance or oil changes or tuning. The conversion will probably never pay back my investment ($20000 or so) but if petrol becomes rationed or scarce then it will be a viable alternative.
For the technically minded
I chose this small car because it is a hatchback which is suitable for battery placement in front of the rear wheels as the weight distribution has to be within 10% of the original car. Also it weighs less than 800 kg and does not have power steering. Converting the car to battery power only, means removing the engine, exhaust system, radiator, petrol tank, fuel pump and lines, alternator, water pump, fanbelts, radiator fan and hoses. Next stage is installing a motor and associated controller and inverter and many other gadgets like a vacuum pump to, make the power brakes work. I will need a sophisticated 3 phase ac motor for efficiency and to enable a reliable regenerative braking system which charges the batteries when you brake to a stop or descend a hill. It’s a bit like using your engine in a low gear to slow a normal car except that it generates electricity which recharges the battery. The combination of the normal brakes and regen braking will be tricky to setup but there are steep hills around my place so I really want this system.
I will fit enough batteries & size the motor to give a range of about 100 km and cruising speed of 90 kmh.
I hope this car will be a shown at sustainable living and transition town events.
If anyone reading this has done an ev conversion or is mechanically minded and wants to be involved please contact me
Peter Wadams ph 02 66805007