We would like to converse with you. Please write us. Share your questions, thoughts, ideas, and even your EV project. Nothing will be posted without your permission. We hope that this web site picks your brain and gets you to thinking about EV stuff. We want to hear from you! Until then live real, live wise, and be Blessed.
Why an EV?
Reason #Why put off till tomorrow what we can do today?
There is a lot of discussion that floats around about conservation or even if it matters. Are there lasting consequences of pollution or does the earth just go through cycles. And of course the most burning question of all, should I drive an electric vehicle, or are EV’s not worth the trouble. Well let me tell ya something that my momma told me. Don’t put off till tomorrow what we can do today. That’s right my friends. The real question that one should ask is not do I want my grandchildren to breathe polluted air or have contaminated water. Letting tomorrow take care of itself is well worth it when you are focusing yourself for taking care of TODAY! Not that I’m not concerned about your grandchildren, but presently I’m talking to you about your money going to the gas tank. About the quality of air you want to breathe in your city now. About how much time you want to spend over the years filling your tank with your hard earned money. Why put off till tomorrow what you can do today. Your EV is waiting for you.
Reason #Petrol filled air for Orphans?
Warner Bros. new horror movie Orphan proclaims that it must be hard to love an adopted child as much as your own. Let me tell you about how an orphan changed my life. More than two years ago we were working with street children in East Africa helping them learn to read, teaching basic health and science, and some fun cooking classes. And though we could tell something wonderful about each and everyone of those girls we spent time with, I'll tell you about one.
Sara didn't know how old she was. Nor did anyone else, but she was smart, spirited, and driven... and she drove right into our hearts. I don't know if it was the long wonderful stories she'd tell, or the gentle way she held our young son. But, we knew we wanted to be her family. And so we spent almost half a year sharing our home with Sara. She became our daughter. Unfortunately, we had to leave East Africa because of an emergency health reason, and was not able to bring Sara with us due to various laws.
There is not a day that goes by that we do not think about her. When we think of Sara's life before we met her, on the streets, eating trash we are so blessed that God has allowed us to be in her life. But we are still saddened by the poor conditions of the petrol filled air she still breaths, the polluted water she currently drinks, and the general poverty of the land on which she lives. There are a lot of reasons why we do what we do, but Sara, is one of our biggest ones.
Reason #Tired of the Green Thing?
Growing up in a logging community, the 'Green Thing' was far from most peoples minds in Paul's hometown. I grew up in Texas where 'Living Green' meant living out on the farm. Today, these terms have morphed into meanings attached to various ideas that some folks may find expensive, offensive, or extreme.
Being in a culturally and politically blended family, we understand that not everyone wants to be identified as doing the 'Green Thing.' But, most people love to save money. We would like to help you get started in that path. Building an EV doesn't have to be expensive or offensive. However, you can be as extreme as you want to be.
Great questions from Great people...
Q. David said: I would like to build one of these controllers for my Dodge Ram hybrid, but need some detailed instructions. I understand electronics, but have never done any board building or programming. Do you have any suggestions on where I should start?
A. Sounds like a great EV project. I love these type of jobs because you get to do a wide range of fun stuff. You don't need any programming experience if you buy a pre-programmed chip. ...As for base plate and copper bars, we need to add them to the BOM, but we don't have a specific supplier right now... We will even supply pre-drilled bars and things like that with the kit down the road a bit. Basically, our plan is to have a sliding scale of costs, depending on what people want done. We will be selling preprogrammed chips so people don't have to worry about it if they don't want to. I would like to add a boot loader too, so people could update the software without any special hardware of their own. I do have some pictures, but I don't have them all. I need to do them, and we will post them.
Q. Hello my name is Brett. I am building an EV and I am at the point of needing a controller. I am very interested in building one and wondered do You know a specific place to get all the parts or do I need to find them wherever I can.
A. You should check out the Bill of materials (BOM) list in the Wiki which is linked from our motor controller page and our Power Section page. If you click on the items on the list, it links over to the web site locations to get each part. By the way, If you need help, let us know. We'll soon have a posted list of parts and supplies that we can put together or make for those that need help.
So, What's Your Fear Factor?
I think my biggest fear would be coupler failure. Even though I managed to make my own, with the tools and everything I needed to rebuild the truck, my wife and I have about 6K invested. To have to pull it apart, and have a coupler machined, is frightening to me.(not to mention kind of expensive).
Glenn, it turns out that this was one of our fear factors. Thank you for sharing.
For me my biggest fear in doing a EV conversion was the motor/gearbox coupling and adaptor plate. In the end it was no problem because I got someone that knew what they were doing to do it. :)
After that it was deciding where to put all the various components and drilling big holes in my poor little car. It was a lot more work than I had originally thought... but I have learnt a lot and would do it all again.
Thank you Simon for sharing your Fear Factor.
Your EV Story!
Rich sent us a very nice letter:
I'm really digging your open source motor controller project. I need a controller for my EV bike conversion. This is great because I can reuse the same controller for my car conversion. Sweet!
Larry sent us a wonderful e-mail. This is what he had to say:
Hi Paul and Sabrina I love the blog been watching the progress along the way. You are doing awesome!! I definitely think you are going to make the August goal of a real controller. My best part of building a EV is getting the forklift and getting the Geo Tracker for a donor car. I'm still working on the coupler and adaptor. I'm gonna run the GE-EV1 forklift controller at 84VDC until I can build the Cougar. YeeHaaa! I mean Grrrr.
Thanks Larry for such an encouraging letter and your very generous support. Grrr... go cougar go!
This EV story comes from David. He writes:
I am just starting to build a 95 Hyundai Elantra. I have a Advanced DC motoFB!-4001 with the double shaft. I am very interested in how you are building the 500 amp motor controller and how it is coming along. Thanks for any information you could give me.
Thank you David for sharing your story. Your information has been sent. Please let is know how your EV conversion goes.
We received a great letter from Alexandro. He writes:
I am planning to convert a Nissan Qashqai here in Spain...
We are looking forward to hearing more about this project. Also, thank you Alexandro for sharing the global EV link and the link to your web site electro-propulsion . Both of which are now listed in our links page.
Here is a great EV project that Phil is working on.
I have begun the process of building my own EV. I have purchased a 1998 Cavalier w/ a manual transmission and a FB1-4001a DC motor. I plan to leave my tranny in place as I live in a very hilly area. I have been in the process of building my own electronics for quite a while now. Thus far, I have built my dc-dc converter and have re-built (not tested yet) my battery charger from an old Curtis motor controller ($25.00 Ebay) w/ some additions and subtractions. I am also generating my schematics for putting the cars 'other' functions under plc control and have incorporated a touch screen to interface with the plc and hopefully the motor controller. I have been following your Eccomodder controller thread carefully and am highly interested in your progress as I know next to nothing about motor controllers. Please keep up the good work. I plan to make the items I am doing 'open source' as well, when I get them debugged and tested.
Thank you Phil for doing this. We are excited to hear more about this. Please, keep us informed.
******************Here is an Inspiring EV Story from a young man named Andrew:
Hi Paul and Sabrina! I've watched your videos on YouTube, and I really like your car and especially LOVE the open source motor controller! I think it's great that you are doing all of this. Here is my story...
Last July, my girlfriends grandpa planted the idea in my head of building an electric car with a forklift motor as the heart of it. As hard as it all sounded, something about the idea of it attracted me. Each week, we would eat at a restaurant downtown on our Main Street in a little town in Kansas (about 3,000 people), and each week he told me about electric cars. Keep in mind, I was only 16 at the time, and gas was up to about $3.79 a gallon (yikes!). I knew that if I wanted to be able to afford driving to school each day, I was going to have to do something. We have a little 50cc moped, but in Kansas it gets too cold to use in the winter (not to mention icy roads and 2 wheels don't mix!). In early August, I finally broke and started looking for a small car and a forklift motor that I could buy. I found the motor on eBay for $60 with no other bidders, and the shipping ended up costing $62 (more than the motor!), so I was set as far as the motor goes. I decided that it would be a really good time to maybe ask my parents if I could redo a vehicle in the garage........and I received a very short "no" from both of them. Still thinking they could break, I went ahead and called the guy who had the 1995 Ford Escort for sale, and he said that he would sell it to me for $150, and for $20 more he would tow it 40 miles to my town. Knowing that I wouldn't likely find as great a deal any time soon, I told him I would buy it, and he said that he would deliver it in two days. He also told me that it was already loaded up onto a trailer to take to the junk yard the next day, but I called and saved it just before he went to bed! I was terrified, because I was having a car delivered in two days and the bid that I put in on eBay as just a "fun" bid ended up winning the auction! I was going to have to explain to my mom why there was a 120 lb. crate sitting on the porch in a few days, so I sat down and typed up a 6 page letter to her and left it on our counter at home as I left for work. When I got home from work that day, I found my mom and her coworker sitting at our kitchen table with the letter. I thought that my life was over...until she started quoting the letter and laughing! Her friend had convinced her not to kill me for disobeying, but rather use it as a learning experience. Before I got home, she told her, "Joy, I don't know what you're worried about. Here is your kid, wanting to build an ELECTRIC car so badly that he sits down a writes you a 6 page letter begging for your approval. He could be out drinking or doing drugs like some kids do at that age, but instead he's asking to do something constructive! Let him try it, and if he fails he has at least learned something useful!" (That's almost the exact quote) Now that I was in my mom's good graces, I still had to tell my dad, who was my strongest opponent yet. My parents are divorced, and my mom remarried, but she still talks to my dad regularly. It's really good that they can still communicate with each other! I don't exactly remember when it was, but my mom called my dad and told him the whole story, and after she calmed him down, he called my phone. I didn't know that she had already talked to him, and I was ready to tell him everything, until he answered and said, "Is this Mr. EV Grin?" Yep...that's what my parents started calling me for 3 moths, every time I talked about my car. It was well worth it though, because here I am today! I turned 17 last September, and on June 18, 2009 I got my car legally insured and registered in Kansas as an electric vehicle! I drive it to work every day, and I drive it between my parents' houses across town (it's only about 2 miles). This car saves me about 66% on my gas bill each month, and I couldn't be happier with that fact! The only problem is that my car is underpowered. Right now, I'm saving up money to buy parts to build the open source controller that you have posted! If I can prove to my mom and dad that I have put $300 in savings, then they will let me buy the parts and build the controller! I wanted to ask your permission for building it as well...considering you're the mastermind who put in countless hour researching it! If I build the bigger controller, I will be able to park on our Main Street and not get stuck trying to back out of the 1% grade from a stand still! Also, I will have the $1200 I've saved by not buying a large Curtis motor controller, and then I can buy more batteries, and eventually a larger motor! Thank you for all you have done for the EV world, and thank you for allowing me to share my whole story with somebody who knows what I'm talking about! You and Ben (Nelson) are my 2 biggest EV heros!
Way to go Andrew! We are proud of you!
For those of you who don't know who Ben Nelson is... you should! Let us introduce you to him. We consider him a good friend. greencarvideos.blogspot.com