EV Conversion - Part 4


21/06/09 - Battery box base is in...

21/06/09 - ... and insulated

28/06/09 - Batteries in and BMS wiring underway.

30/06/09 - Wiring complete and ready to rock and roll...

30/06/09 - With the rear wheels up on axle stands - It works! (right click and ‘play’).  Just need to reregister the van as ‘Electric’ class with the DVLA and get some insurance and it’s ready for some road trials.

15/07/09 - New hydraulic crimpers to crimp power cables - just to be sure of a good connection!

17/07/09 - The van in full flow (well, doing about 40MPH, anyway).

03/08/09 - UPDATE - Well I’ve put about 170 miles on the odometer since the conversion and things have gone reasonably smoothly.  The main issues so far are a bit of a break-down due to a sticky main contactor (my fault as I reduced the energizing voltage too far in an attempt  to save power) and I lost my brake vacuum pump for reasons yet to be determined - probably due to it being a second hand unit.

In the wider context, as a short range general purpose vehicle, I think the concept is sound.  Thee van is quite capable of keeping up with most traffic and certainly its acceleration is more than adequate.  I think on balance keeping the clutch would have been a better idea mainly because it just makes the driving experience less complicated.  I tend to find the 3 second delay changing from 2nd to 4th - waiting for the motor to wind down so that its speed matches the 4th gear cogs - without a clutch gets in the way of controlling the vehicle - steering, indicators etc.

It would also make for a much less steep learning curve for other drivers.  On top of that, changing up is one thing but trying to match revs to get the gears to mesh when changing down is a lot more complex - and time consuming.  Fortunately, this doesn’t happen much just using the 2 gears but even then you have to remember to slip it into 2nd as you are just coasting to a halt at traffic lights and junctions etc other wise it can be difficult to get it into gear.

I have just sourced a new vacuum pump switch which should make that side of things a much better system and I am waiting for the new charger from the US so I can properly balance all the cells each time they are charged.

On the economy front, each time I use the van to commute to work I save roughly £4 based on using off-peak electricity (5p/kWh) and petrol at £1.05/l.  As I do around 170 commutes a year (soon to increase to somewhat more due to a new shift pattern starting in September) that equates to a saving of £680 per year. No servicing or MOT and zero rated tax round it up to about £1k/year.

27/08/09 - A screen-shot of the latest version of the van’s computer monitor program during a low current, cell balancing charge.  The cells at the upper, 3.8(ish)V level are balanced whilst the others are not.  In due course they will all come up to the 3.8V level.

01/10/09 - Free Tax arrives!!

04/07/2010 - Miles now up to nearly 6500.  See the latest update at www.evalbum.com/2092

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