I've been doing my research, and I've got some questions

I’ve been reading for about six months, and I have to admit, while I’m informed, I still am blurred in some areas. I’ve been casually reading for about a year, but having just secured my rolling chassis I’m getting more focused on getting educated and getting parts bought.

First my background is professional fabrication. I make custom forced induction setups, do engine management tuning, and have been doing professional chassis prep for years. I also have some background in electronics fabrication. This project is something I just wanted to take on for personal use, and to free myself in the event of a fuel crisis or a spike in oil prices again. Having been through Katrina…getting stuck with no gas pumps was an experience to behold in person…it was downright scary.

Anyway, so on to my goals for the vehicle and to my questions. I’m very realistic with the goals and I’m also trying to conform to a certain budget.

The goals:

I need 30 miles range…this area is hilly but hills go up and down.
I want to keep the budget under 5000.00 (this will lead to my questions)
I want to use a quality motor that has an adapter kit available

The questions:

Having spoken about my budget goals as well as wanting certain quality in the motor, I know some corners will need to be cut. I am willing to cut those corners, and expand later.

My questions are, how can I conform to this budget. I’ve looked at home made controllers, so that’s an option. I’ve also looked at avoiding a dc to dc converter to run the 12v systems by possible running an alternator and a seperate battery for that system. Corners can always be cut…they just have to be the right ones.

I’ve been looking at the Advanced motors, and that led me to wondering how many volts the system should be. I am still trying to understand more of this, but basically volts=speed, and amperage=range…is this correct? Is there a good combination of voltage and range that anyone think fits my needs best, with cost considerations in mind?

Basically I’m just looking for some advice, and maybe some direction in certain areas, so I can start to focus my reading in a more specific direction.

Oh and by the way, the car is a 1997 Acura Integra. Pretty aero, pretty light, lots of aftermarket suspension available…on top of the fact I’ve been building Honda’s for about 10 years now…so I’m keepin it in the family.

If your in a hilly area you can benifit greatly from regen. Using an alternator in place of a ‘proper’ dc/dc is a pain in the inefficient a$$. Trust me I’ve been there done that… BUT! If you find a 12v smps power supply, chances are, you can rip out the input rectifier and put your traction pack voltage straight to the main filter cap. Usually this capacitor sees +/-160vdc from a rectified 120v mains supply. The ac input on a smps (switched mode power supply) is rectified and filtered to dc anyways. Some powersupplies have a low voltage cutoff and may not opperate at say 120vdc. If you can find the reference point for the cutoff sensing you could modify the circuit for a lower voltage cutoff point. I used a 50amp 13.6v smps supply used in car audio displays. I paid $40 shipped off ebay. What a deal. Just need to know what to look for. Even a 10amp supply should be enough for daily lighting and a radio but try to find 25a or more for night driving. Swap your taillights, instrument panel, interior, corner, turn signals, ect, with LEDs and you’ll remove quite a bit of draw. I found I only needed a small motorcycle battery in my EV to activate my latching circuit for the main contactor (12v) and to listen to the radio while parked. =)

I’ll be glad to point you in the right direction. Even some computer power supplies make cheap dc/dc convertors. Maybe if I get to it I’ll do a writeup on how to convert a standard ATX supply to be used as a dc/dc convertor for an EV.

EDIT - I wanted to note that -some- smps supplies ARE [B]NOT[/B] ISOLATED FROM THE INPUT!!! Check the output negitive to the input negitive. It should not be connected. On the other hand many ARE isolated and use a opto-isolator for the feedback to the primary (for regulation) and the transformer is isolated as well.