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Electric conversion?

Discussion in 'Tips and Tricks' started by dmerc, Sep 26, 2008.

  1. dmerc

    dmerc Member

    Has anyone considered, or heard of, converting a Kei to Electric?
    I can't stop thinking my Suzuki would make a great EV.

    BIGSTEVE77 New Member

    How to books

    I found 2 how to books while looking for something else on google.

    these are both commercial products and I don't know if the are very good, but they are interesting to look at anyways.
  3. Acerguy

    Acerguy Moderator Staff Member

  4. dmerc

    dmerc Member

    With the engine out, an adapter plate for the electric motor would even allow you to keep the 4wd.

    Best of all, I could then have it titled and licensed as a self built vehicle!!:D

    I'm gonna' do some research, thanks for all the links!!

    Thanks Guys!!
  5. myazel

    myazel Member

    Looks like a Subaru wold be the way to go here as you cold put all of the batteries under the bed with the drivetrain in the rear. This would keep the center of gravity low and you could still use the bed/ Looks a win win to me.
  6. dmerc

    dmerc Member

  7. myazel

    myazel Member

    Saw the article about the Hi Jet Van. I am going to ttry and find a Sambar with a bad engine that is priced right. Would make a very interesting project.
  8. Don-in-Japan

    Don-in-Japan Member

    I helped a customer by welding in some motor mounts for his Daihatsu van a few years back. He had an adapter plate made in the US, and an electric motor powered by a bank of Optima batteries via speed controller. Also had a rack of solar panels up top. seemed to run very well, but he could never get the Japanese inspection to pass. It was too far from the norm for them I suppose.
  9. dmerc

    dmerc Member

    Wow, that happens in Japan too?:D
  10. Dan

    Dan Member

    tiger trucks and vantage trucks already offer electric vehicles. might get some ideas from their models.
  11. Ravk

    Ravk Member

    Electric Kei, great IDEA!

    I have built a electric motorcycle (www.evalbum.com/2053) and it is great!
    Original bike would have cost me about $3 a day to drive. The electric bike cost $0.20 to charge a day! :eek::D
    I have considered converting my Acty and have a basic 72Volt kit from Cloud electric (cloudelectric.com motor, controller, cables, etc.). The weight will be about 100-200 lbs heavier but the balance will be better due to battery position.
    Coodos on you for trying! I will try next summer!

  12. dmerc

    dmerc Member

    Very nice! I ride a 1250 Bandit, so I would realllly miss my wheelies!!:D

    The research I've done so far has been very disheartening. Motors and controllers are SO expensive. I figured there would be plenty of surplus type possibilities, but I'm not seeing much.

    And, I'm not familiar with watts,amps, etc. so really wouldn't know a useable motor/controller, even if I found one!

    We have big electric forklifts at work, I'm guessing something like that would be a possible donor. Problem is, the motor would be too big to fit in my lunchbox!:D:D:D:D:D

    (total joke, I'm no thief!!)
  13. misterturbo

    misterturbo Member

    I have a 1992 Subaru Sambar from the last container I brought in which developed a bad case of rod knock..

    I am in the process of stripping out the engine and related and will be turning it into an EV.. Cloud Electric seems to have to best pricing, so I will be ordering from there.. E-Volt seems to offer a more turn key system as they provide a generic motor faceplate plus they include the custom shaft coupler in their price..
  14. dmerc

    dmerc Member

    Now I wish my Suzuki was 2 wheel drive.

    If anyone wants to trade, I might consider it??
  15. SpikeFiend

    SpikeFiend Member

    I think you would have good luck with an ADC FB1-4001A. A lot of full size EV trucks use that and seem to get good performance out of it. It's rated for 28HP continuous and up to 100HP peak (at 144V).

    Considering that the mini-trucks have about 65HP peak (at high RPM's), and that electric motors have their peak HP at 0 RPM, that would be an upgrade in power I imagine.

    Motors and controllers are relatively cheap once you realize that they don't require any maintenance (a brush change every 2 years or so).

    Batteries are the ones that will kill you. Lead is cheap but heavy, and LiFePO4 are more $$ (and generally need to be imported from China) but have improved power and lighter weight.
  16. aspera

    aspera New Member

    battery box

    How many batteries do you think would fit on the 4'x6' truck bed? At least you wouldn't have to build a battery box...

    As for the electric motor, what do golf karts use?
  17. dmerc

    dmerc Member

    A golf cart motor wouldn't be nearly enough. The bed would hold many more batteries than you'd need, tho' I'd hate to lose use of the entire bed.

    I'm guessing 72V would be absolute minimum. 12-6v's, or 6-12v's....plenty of room for either.

    Converting is still on my mind, but getting started on such an expensive journey is hard to do right now, with the price of gas so low. A decent motor is $1000, a controller, another $1000 or more, and that's just the beginning.......:confused:
  18. Don-in-Japan

    Don-in-Japan Member

    I believe the van I worked on had 8 12vdc deep cycles, and just as many solar cells up top. They extanded the range more than actual charging though.

    It is quite a major undertaking as well as expensive to convert over. Maybe a good consideration if an engine locks up or something. I think there is enough room under most Kei trucks to mount that many batteries. You could extend the stock side battery holder (if the batteries are narrow enough), to hold 3 or so on each side.
  19. aspera

    aspera New Member

    How about a trailer full of batteries? When you need to charge it, just swap it for a fresh trailer full of batteries.:D That would greatly simplify the actual truck and make it much lighter. You'd keep full use of your bed and even be able to haul a little more weight.
  20. Ravk

    Ravk Member

    For those who think the conversion is too expensive, look at the facts.
    An average driver drives 35 km (25 mi) to and from work and 50 km on weekends.
    The average cost to run per day is $5.
    Adding in oil, maintenance, tune ups etc, add $1.25 / day.
    An electric vehicle can travel up to 150 km (90 mi).
    Maintenance is checking the water level every 2 weeks, changing brushes annually.
    Average charge is 3 kw/h at $0.10/ kwh = $0.30 / day
    If batteries are kept in good condition (50% state of charge max depletion) a battery will last 5 years.
    This year the highest i paid for fuel is $1.50/l (a little less than $6 / gal), lowest is $0.95/l (about $3.80 / gal)

    I worked it out that my electric motorcycle has paid itself off in 6 months.

    It cost me $2500 to build.

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