Sunday, September 30, 2007

UPDATE: September 30, 2007

http://electricvw.blogspot.com/2007/09/update-september-30-2007.html

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

1990 Suzuki Across

http://emotorcycle.blogspot.com/2007/09/1990-suzuki-across.html

1990 Suzuki Across

I found a 1990 Suzuki Across at a wreckers, I bought the complete bike minus engine for $800. It had been dropped with most of the damage being done to the front panels. It needed a good going over and a new paint job (the picture left is after the panel repair and respray, its not all together yet).

The original colour was black with a metallic fleck through it. I think the new paint will make it standout a bit more. I am also replacing the screws that hold the panels on with stainless steel allen key screws.I cleaned up the frame and touched up the paint. Also recovered the seat.There is heaps of room where the engine and petrol tank was for the electric motor, batteries and controllers.

Choosing a bike

http://emotorcycle.blogspot.com/2007/09/choosing-bike.html

Choosing a bike

There were many factors to consider when choosing the motorcycle to convert. The major factors were:

  • Cost
  • Aerodynamics (better airflow=more efficient)
  • Weight (less energy to accelerate)
  • Appearance
  • Ease of conversion

After taking these factor into consideration the ideal bike to convert was the Suzuki Across. They are classed as sports-touring. The Across is fully faired so the aerodynamics are pretty good (at worst they are better than a cruiser), also the conversion can be hidden underneath the fairings with the main thing to distinguish it as different would be the absence of the tailpipe.The bike is relatively light weighing in at 160kg dry according to spec sheet. The Bike is big enough that i would be comfortable riding it (I'm 6" tall). They are getting old now so they are cheap to buy and get parts for. The other big advantage to the Suzuki Across is where the petrol tank is on a normal bike the Across has a boot big enough to fit a large helmet, and the petrol tank is under the set. This is perfect for the electric motorcycle because the unused petrol tank can be removed without affecting the look of the bike.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Project Aims

http://emotorcycle.blogspot.com/2007/09/project-aims.html

Project Aims

The aims of the Open Electric Motorcycle Project are to take an existing motorcycle and to convert it to be an electric vehicle, this bike is then going to be registered and use for daily commuting.Using an existing motorcycle eliminates the need to design and engineer a complete bike. Only the electric motor brackets and battery pack will be need to be engineered for registration. The time in building a bike from scratch takes a lot of time and resources too.

  • A range of at least 100 kilometers is required.
  • A top speed of at least 100kph is required.
  • All schematics and software for the battery management and motor control are released as open source.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Where the Rubber Meets the Road

When I last posted to this blog in May, the news was a mixed bag. Martin (Founder Martin Eberhard) had just officially revised our range expectations down from 250 miles to greater than 200 miles, but we remained committed to holding the line on 4 second 0-60 mph acceleration and delivering the Tesla Roadster [...]

Handing Over the Keys II

A critical part of the sales, marketing, and service function at Tesla Motors is to help inform product development and engineering decisions based on a customer perspective, a part of what we call “product marketing.” When validation prototype 10 (VP10) was built, one of the things we planned to use it for was to put [...]

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Thunder Sky Batteries; Dark Cloud or Silver Lining?

I’ve received quite a few email over the last few months asking about one Chinese battery manufacturer who appears to be offering the backyard EVer the ultimate battery solution; Lithium on a budget. Thunder Sky have been making Lithium batteries for years but unfortunately it is a name that sends shivers down many an EVer’s [...]

http://www.electric-echo.com/blog/?p=53

Thunder Sky Batteries; Dark Cloud or Silver Lining?

I’ve received quite a few email over the last few months asking about one Chinese battery manufacturer who appears to be offering the backyard EVer the ultimate battery solution; Lithium on a budget. Thunder Sky have been making Lithium batteries for years but unfortunately it is a name that sends shivers down many an EVer’s spine. Basically this web site explains why.
A few years ago Thunder Sky (TS) were offering large format Li-Ion cells which they promoted as being suitable for electric vehicles. As far as I know – several individuals, at least one university (QUT) and a couple of groups (UK and USA) bought batches of various sizes and quantities of these cells. I also was very tempted to part with many thousands of dollars to be part of the action. Fortunately for me, I only went as far as requesting a price list from them and that was enough to encourage me to try something less expensive first.
Victor Tikhonov from Metric Mind Engineering organised the USA group buy of TS batteries. Victor is no dunce, he is an electrical engineer and sells advanced AC EV motors and controllers that are to drool over, he sources other EV components from Europe which just ooze quality (read $$$!) and he recently designed the ultimate in EV instrumentation – EVision. (As a matter of fact Victor’s conversion web site was the inspiration for me to do my own conversion and to document the process on the web.) Anyhow, if you were to ask Victor what he thinks of TS now he wouldn’t be inspiring. TS simply ripped him and many others off with poor quality, grossly under performing cells.
OK so now TS are making large format LiFePO4 cells and initial independent testing shows that these cells are performing as specified but the BIG question is how long for??
I notice that for their 160Ah cells they specify a maximum constant discharge current of 480A (3C) yet a “standard” discharge current of 48A (0.3C), presumably to get >2000 cycles (80% DOD). 48A is barely enough to maintain my EV at 40km/h on the flat. So how many cycles do you get when you need much more than 48A for normal driving? I don’t know and as far as I know neither does anybody else.
Be warned; if you purchase TS LiFePO4 batteries you are participating in an expensive experiment, a one year warranty is no protection for poor cycle life.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Handing Over the Keys

A critical part of the sales, marketing, and service function at Tesla Motors is to help inform product development and engineering decisions based on a customer perspective, a part of what we call “product marketing.” When validation prototype 10 (VP10) was built, one of the things we planned to use it for was to put [...]

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Listen Up, Detroit Are Talkin’ Badderies!

Ok, so the doco Who Killed The Electric Car may have stung GM into full blown counter-spin mode and hence the knee-jerk announcement of the Chevy Volt, AKA “the electric car that runs on press releases” but I’ve got to admit that after viewing this interview with GM’s Bob Lutz my scepticism is waning. Which [...]

http://www.electric-echo.com/blog/?p=51

Listen Up, Detroit Are Talkin’ Badderies!

Ok, so the doco Who Killed The Electric Car may have stung GM into full blown counter-spin mode and hence the knee-jerk announcement of the Chevy Volt, AKA “the electric car that runs on press releases” but I’ve got to admit that after viewing this interview with GM’s Bob Lutz my scepticism is waning. Which can only mean that my excitement is building!
Yes, I am now fully convinced that the Chevy Volt will be built and that it just may be the catalyst that triggers our departure from the Fossil Fuel Age and finally propels the human species into the into the Lithium Age. If GM are telling us that they have 150 engineers working on the Volt and another 400 engineers working on the “flexible” drive trains of the near future then I ain’t gunna fight it any more, I believe ‘em.
David Vieau My Hero; David Vieau, President & CEO, A123 Systems.
Of course, it isn’t GM who’re the real catalyst, it’s the Apple Computers of the battery industry, A123 systems, that are really changing the world and to GM’s credit, they know it. If you want to get a good idea where we are at the moment with Lithium batteries and EV’s and you have a spare half hour then I can highly recommend this “Lithium-Ion Live” video (also from Autoline Detroit), in particular, the Q & A video at the end is very interesting.
Now, back to the garage to do some more cycle testing on MY A123 batteries… ;-)
(Thanks to Steven Lough for posting these links on the EV Discussion List.)

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Electrical Survey

Okay everybody, I need a little help from you.
What is the biggest EV charging circuit that could be installed in your house? This sounds like an easy question, but it turns out not to be. The answer depends on a lot of factors, all spelled out in the National Electrical Code (NEC).
Now those of you [...]

On the Road with Hyatt

I’m always excited to be setting out from San Francisco to Lake Tahoe. But it’s usually because I’ve packed the ski equipment into the car and I’m looking forward to getting away from work. On Wednesday morning, August 29, I was excited as I’ve ever been to head to Tahoe, but on this occasion, it [...]