Does this build seem okay?

Hi everyone,

I have never done this sort of project before, so I’m sorry if I overlooked something obvious when I was selecting my parts that won’t allow them to work together.

I have been viewing these forums, the ev album, and several other places with EV-related topics, and I found some cars with the best specs, and I want to pretty much make a similar car cheaper. I was looking into using an original 300zx as the donor car, mostly just because I like it for its looks. But if that’s not possible, I’m just going to go for any light car in good condition (I don’t already own a donor car).

I need a fair mix of range and performance, but I think I’d prefer performance a little bit over range. However, my commute is a little over 8 miles each way, so I need the car to be able to go about 20 miles on a single charge. I want good acceleration, and to be able to go at highway speeds. My budget is 6-7k.

I have selected a number of parts that I think would do well in my EV. I wanted to know what you think of my selection, where I could improve it, where I could shave off a bit of the cost, anything that won’t work together properly, etc.

Powersonic PG-12V42FR - 12 Volt/42 Amp Hour Sealed Lead Acid Long-Life Battery with Threaded Insert - 6mm STUD (10 batteries for a total of 120 volts, or 12 batteries for a total of 144 volts)

Cafe Electric Z1K LV Controller

Motor, Advanced DC #FB1-4001, 9.1", single shaft

Powersonic PSC-124000A Sealed Lead Acid Battery Charger - Automatic Switchover 12 volt/4 Amp Nominal

Todd PC40LV DC-DC converter

That’s my list, please let me know if anything’s missing.

Also, what do I need to know about maintenance? What’s involved in watering the batteries (although the batteries I found apparently don’t need to be watered)? What about replacing the brushes on the motor? How often does this stuff need to be done? I’m sorry for the noob questions, but I hope you understand that everyone has to start somewhere!

Thank you for your time and patience,

EDIT: I’ve decided it would be a good idea to add where I got my inspirations.

White Zombie (although unfortunately he used too many custom parts to make it feasible for me)

Old Reliable

Joule Injected

Thanks once again!


Would this be an even better idea than getting all the parts separately?

It looks to me like your batteries are way too small to get any range… and the 9" motor is probably overkill unless you really want to go fast; in which case you will drain these batteries really fast. Look at some deep cycle batts from trojan or us battery.

as far as components go… there are a lot of ‘little’ ones that you’ll have to round up. You might want to check out the near complete kits from or

How’s about 10 Trojan SCS225 batteries? I just want to know how much they cost, and where I can get them. Also, what’s a good place to get general parts (such as the motor, controller, etc)? What is okay to get used, what isn’t?


I agree with DT; 42 amp/hrs won’t take you very far. A very rough rule of thumb is 20# of lead/acid batteries will drive you 1mile. This obviously depends on lots of variables, but in my case (MItsubishi pickup) it was pretty close. For parts I go to EV-America in New Hampshire-a guy named Bob Batson. Knowledgeable and very helpful. To save a buck I put used batteries in my first EV (a riding mower); I quickly replaced them with new. Before deciding on a donor car you might want to spend some time with a yardstick and see if you can find a place to put all those batteries.
Good luck

I agree with Tom Thompson Bob Batsun is a great guy, very knowledgeable as he has a business converting Autos and Trucks to EV’s. He helped me through my build. Check out my thread
you might find some helpful advice and avoid some of the pitfalls I came across.
His phone number is 603-569-2100 Tell him Bob G. - new dawn from Michigan sent you.:cool:

Your battery charger will need to be rated for your pack voltage unless you want to disconnect all of the batteries to charge and 4A is not much.

Bob is very knowledgeable as others have said, but I was surprised when he recommended 12V batteries for my application. IMHO, 12V batteries just are not very good for deep cycle, high current applications. When you are looking at batteries, look for the best compromise of capacity, cycle life and weight for your application. Look to golf cart batteries. This is a very mature industry with lots of commercially driven development.

I do not think the 9" motor overkill for your application, in fact the 11" with current limit would give you even better range.

Thanks for all the info, everybody. I’m starting to think that I would be better off just using a kit, such as this one. I thought that 12 volt batteries were supposed to offer the best performance, and that’s why I had been looking in to them. If this isn’t true, can you recommend a specific battery I should be looking into?