Thursday, October 13, 2011

Street Legal

Registering a car has never been so much fun! The inspection went without a hitch and all the mechanics came around for a good look. The emissions and exhaust checks were especially fast.

To get a Clean Special Fuel plate in Virginia requires a "permanent waiver", which means a trip to Woodbridge (so an expert can declare it electric) and then writing to the state capital. The regular plates will do for today.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Inspection Ready

I just can't wait for the emissions part of the inspection. Hey! Where's the tailpipe?!

The power brakes are now powered and the all systems look to be ready to go. If all goes well, it'll pass inspection Thursday and be registered in Virginia. The plate reserved last Spring is "Z3 EV", which will be mostly meaningless to neophytes. Long ago, I had the plate "2F 2F", the meaning of which is known only to certain people. The non-classified explanation is that it was pronounced "too fast too fast."

Anyway, we have ~20 people visiting tomorrow for rides. It's a great group of folks and this should be a lot of fun.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

First Day as an EV

… and what a thrill! The main battery pack was charged and ready to drive when Bob arrived this morning. Wow! The car is quiet, yet surprisingly peppy. It feels like magic to accelerate so quickly and not hear the roar of an engine.

There's more to do to look into a vibration, get the power brakes powered, beef up the 12 V supply, etc. It's coming along great.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Thursday's Update and a Short Video

Steve remounted and rewired the speed controller. Nice and solid. He configured it, too. The motor speed sensor will go on Friday and maybe the vacuum pump and parts related to the battery charger. It will probably be driveable Friday afternoon, but we're not getting home in time to try it out. He may take it around the block if it's ready. We'll get a chance on Saturday.

A couple of weeks ago, there was a gathering of EV conversion enthusiasts. This short video struck me as showing an interesting fact: *any* car can be converted to electric. You really have an enormous number of options in getting the exact car you want + electric.

Click here -> EVCCON Parade (2:36)

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Batteries Complete!

I got home tonight and found Steve has all the remaining batteries in and wired!

The last component needed before it can drive as an electric car is the motor speed sensor. Definitely getting close.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Tuesday's News

Steve made an enclosure for battery electronics today and mounted it where the gas tank used to be. The rest of the BMS wiring is run, too. He also got the heater core out from under the dash. That's a relief -- I was dreading getting access to it.

The throttle unit is operated by the cable from the "gas" pedal and sends a 0-5 volt signal to the speed controller.

The old heater core had engine coolant running through it. The replacement will be a simple ceramic heater, similar in power to two hair dryers wired together. That will be more than enough to heat the interior, especially because it's a small car.

Wednesday should see the last batteries squeezed into place. And then ... ?

Monday, October 3, 2011

More Parts In Place

Since Friday, Steve has the air conditioner installed, as well as the emergency disconnect, the throttle arm, most of the really beefy power cables, more battery cells and some other items. It's getting closer every day.

We opened our home on Sunday for the solar tour ( and a lot of people came, even though it was raining most of the time. People have so many questions and everyone learns something, including me. There was a lot of interest in the electric car, of course. The idea that this simple batch of panels can power a long commute was especially appealing.