Newbie questions

So, I’m a newbie, I’ll just get that out there since you will all figure it out soon enough. I was wondering if anyone can explain what the advantages and diadvantages of AC versus DC are. I’ve noticed that a lot of concept and production EV’s use AC, whereas most DIY conversions seem to use DC. Is it mostly a cost issue?

More specific questions:
How did Tesla Motors get so much range in their car? I read that they have Lithium Ion batteries; is that a typical range benchmark for LiIon?

I would like to build a car of similar performance as the Tesla, but I’m not so fond of it’s styling. I like old VW’s, and would like to use one of them (probably a Karmann Ghia) as a base platform. Any suggestions/thoughts?

Thanks all.

AC systems are more efficient and most use regen braking. DC systems are a bit less efficient, and most dont have regen, or regen is troublesome. AC systems cost a lot more than DC… Double the price, for about 10 to 15% more range.

I dont care for the tesla either, but it weighs half of a older VW… And LiIon is where its at for a EV, if you can afford it… If you have 20 grand to drop, go AC and LiIon… For a more modest EV, go with tried and true DC and lead acid or Nicad

AC systems have more power and lighter weight. They’re also more efficient. But just like Twilly said, AC costs more.

As for the range on the Tesla, it’s not unusual for a Li-Ion car. Check out the AC Propulsion Tzero. The range limiting factor with Li-Ion is cost; it’s about $1.25 per Wh. In contrast Lead Acid is about $0.16 per Wh.

If you go with lithium batteries, use Li-Poly. (Lithium Polymer) They’re safer (don’t explode), lighter, and smaller, but they cost about the same.

The tesla is able to achieve that milage through a variety of different parameters. First off the frame was designed specifically for EV use, therefor light. The body is carbon fiber and aluminum. The motor is very small and light, but very powerful. The aerodynamics are top notch (thanks to lotus) and the battery pack is LifePo4 Li-ion. The best Lithium out there for EV.