First day with Lithium batteries I drove 65 miles. I tried a range test again, but got tired of driving all over the place after 75.
Seems almost insane that a full size vehicle can run around like one of those toy electric cars. But its real. People are doing it all over the world. Its cheaper than gas, I don't do oil changes, tune-ups, and I don't have radiator leaks.
In June 2008, I started converting my Chevy S10 to an Electric Vehicle (EV). When all the parts were here, it would have taken three days. I added the tilt bed and a bunch of other stuff, so its been an ongoing project.
I found that gas is only 20?% effiecient whereas electric is 80?% efficient. My energy purchase for the month went from over $150 in gas to just about $30 in electricity.
I get around a 75 mile range, and only need about 40 miles every work day. The truck has gone 80 mph and is actually faster than a stock S10 with my 500 amp Cutis 1231C controller, and is faster than most vehicles with the 1000 amp Zilla controller. I usually travel on the highway for close to 16 miles at 60-70 mph.
Voltage is speed, amps is acceleration. The S10 is a 144V system with a 1000 amp controller. This gives the S10 a top speed of over 90 mph and acceleration better than most other cars on the street!
It took a day to remove the engine, fuel tank, and other gas burning related parts, and took less than a day to install the electric motor and controller. One more day and the batteries were all wired up in the bed of the truck and it was running.
Its been some time, but since then I've put the batteries under the bed and upgraded the 500 amp Curtis 1231C Controller to a Zilla 1K amp Controller. I have recently (Oct 2010) gone from lead acid batteries to LiFePo4 Thundersky 160 AH batteries which reduces almost 1000 lbs and unlike lead acid batteries, they don't care if its cold out.
Coca-Cola Milwaukee lets me charge (free for now) while working. They have labeled two spots in the parking lot as "Electric Car parking". Close enough!
A vehicle can be converted for almost nothing if you have the right resources. An electric forklift motor can be found for free at some junkyards / recyclers. Most will let you remove them so they can get more $$$ for the forklift trucks metal without having the mixed metals of the motor and other neat devices like those expensive guages and contactors (hint hint)! Used batteries work almost as good as new ones...sometimes. And the controller can be bought used or even home built. Then there's the battery charger....
Better descriptions and pictures can be seen on www.evalbum.com/1752
I have since bought a Chevy Volt! Way more expensive than building your own, but well worth it.