Hey all- I signed up today so I thought I would introduce myself. I have been contemplating an EV build for the past several years and am getting closer to actually doing it. I have been looking for a forum to exchange ideas and learn from. I found this site a few months ago and have been an avid lurker.
I have a love for cars and I am an engineer. I am always looking for a new challenge. I have a good understanding of mechanical things, materials, fabrication etc. Electronics is my weak point so I thought that building an EV would be a good way to work on my weakness. I manage a manufacturing plant that makes green (as in Eco-friendly) building materials. And although I am not a tree hugger I do associate with a lot of Ecovangelist. I am mostly interested in EV’s because of the engineering challenge and I hate buying gas. Yes, I understand that the monetary payback on an EV is not a good reason to build one- it is the principle of buying gas that I do not like.
My goal is to build an EV that will go up 90 mph, have better than average acceleration, and a 60-70 mile range. I am leaning strongly towards using a kit car as my base primarily for the the light weight, the flexibility of design, and because it will look different. Unfortunately I am stuck on choosing one because there are so very few kit cars in the states that are not a replica of a classic or muscle car, have a roof, and actually look good.
Anyway while I debate what car to use and while I wait until we move to a larger house with more garage space I decided to get my EV feet wet a bit and build a electric go-kart for my son. I started this around Christmas. Here is a photo album of the progress :http://www.flickr.com/photos/13206324@N06/sets/72157603629220023/
I thought it would be a good way for me to learn about EV’s and also get my 6yr old interested in motorsports. As he gets older I can swap the batteries and motor for more speed. I took it for a test drive a few weeks ago and fried the controller so I sent it back to the guy I bought it from and he is repairing it and beefing it up for me. I should have it back on the pavement this weekend.
Anyway- looking forward to some good discussions and education!