Thursday, December 22, 2011

Motor Removed

Well I finally got the motor (including tranny) completely out.

Took a while since I wasn't really working very often on it, maybe once a weekend.
I was rather complacent once the engines were removed, it was something I needed to get out of the way, but haven't bothered. I'll let the pictures do the talking.

Finally got the wheels off thanks to my new impact

The transmission had to be removed from beneath the car


Glory shot

In other news, I managed to pick up a sponsorship from Headway Batteries for their new high power cells.
The discharge curve for these cells is even better than their predecessor, not to mention they are now a fire red.
I expect some really nice discharge from these cells. Hopefully they last a couple of cell cycles too. Only time will tell.

Discharge curve for the new cells

Since I have picked up the motors, I have been designing a 3d model to aid in constructing a common plate for them. Its interesting learning a new program, but it gets tiring having to learn multiple programs just to meet a single goal.

Im sure I will have some more news in the days to come, stay tuned!

Los Motores ~

About two weeks ago I traveled to Rebirth Auto in Tampa to meet up with Steve, and pick up my motors.
Everything went smoothly, received a guided tour of the company, and got some free stickers and shirts! I can definitely recommend them to anyone building an electric car. Best of all, both motors successfully fit in the back of the Benz.

Here are the pictures!!

Monday, November 28, 2011

A Small Update

Back again!

Well this build is going slower than I had hoped :/
My father insists that we order one component at a time, since he isn't in any rush, but I was really hoping to finish the vehicle by the end of the year. Oh well, better safe than sorry.

Approximately 6 weeks ago I ordered the motors from Rebirth Auto, hoping they would arrive within the week, however they still haven't arrived which is upsetting but understandable. I ordered a transwarp 9 and a warp 9, which I intend on coupling together. I don't fully know how I am going to couple them together, but I hope for it to be rather straight forward. 

Once the motors come in, I will post pictures of them for you guys to see. I also plan on picking up some small little tid bits while I am down in Tampa picking up the motors. Wire, connectors, contactors...
As soon as the motors arrive, I plan on ordering a 3 or 2 speed gear vendors transmission to finish off the drive train. I know that Ron (Team haiyan) and John Metric (DC plasma) are using the gear vendors, so I know I am purchasing a tranny that has some proof in the pudding.

The transmission!!

Since my last update, I have disassembled the car to the bare engine and transmission. I Have yet been able to remove the drive shaft, which is the only thing stopping me from extracting the drive train. Its STUCK on there, since the dumb honda engineers decided to use 6mm, galvanized steel hex nuts to hold the driveshaft in place. So of course they stripped out, and now have to be cut off.

These pictures were taken a while ago, since then many more components have been removed

My Zilla 2k EHV also arrived too! The first thing I noticed was how heavy it was. It came nicely wrapped in a cardboard cocoon, ensuring it would get to me safely. Manzanita Micro made the process very quick and easy, something I applaud them for.

The hair ball has so many inputs, so many possibilities

Hopefully, next weekend I will be down in Tampa picking up my motors and a bunch of other components. Once I get the motors installed in the car, the batteries will be ordered, something I cant wait for.


Sunday, October 2, 2011


Although I had announced earlier last month that a final parts list had been compiled for the car, plans have changed.

The idea of running a single Warp 11HV was ruled out after I contacted George of Netgain Motors, and he advised me to stay away if I were to use direct drive. From what I have heard, direct drive delivers no significant advantages over a transmission, especially when using a 50 pound 2 speed tranny. In order to achieve the highest efficiency possible, I will have to use a transmission.

Another factor that helped sway me from the idea of using the 11HV was the implementation of a smaller armature coil, relative to the regular non-HV 11. This was imperative in order to achieve higher RPM's. Unfortunately, with every reaction there is an equal or opposite reaction, and in this case it results in less torque from 0 rpm. 

Based on these findings, I have decided to run a more 'John Metric' style of car, utilizing dual 9" motors, with a small transmission at the end. Hopefully this will supply me with enough power to zoom from 0-60 in less than 4 seconds. My only concern with running dual motors is the increased length, which I hope will fit in the transmission tunnel underneath the car. 

On another note, Netgain is planning to release new revisions to their motor line ups, which means that I may have to wait a little longer than anticipated to receive my motors. 

This weekend I began disassembling my S2000, which was a momentous checkpoint in my build. At first it was easy, removing small things like the air box and hood, however as time progressed, it became more tedious. Nothing hard work and perseverance wont solve! So far, I have removed both radiators, the air conditioning system, air box, battery, exhaust, headers,and the engine cooling system.

The job was going smoothly, until it came time to remove the wheels, at which point I was stumped to find out there was a unique lock nut on each rim.

Only Honda will have this key, so come the business week, I will venture out to purchase a graciously overprice piece of steel the size of a big toe. I am not in much of a hurry to disassemble the car, since I know that there will be unbearably long lead times for my parts, which I hope to soon place an order for.

More to come next week.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Final Parts List

Finally some news worth publishing!

The electric car is coming along, slowly but surely! After a couple months of planning, hundreds of emails, innumerable calculator buttons pressed, and buckets of tears and blood, the car has finally recieved its final parts list. Here she is:

  1. Zilla 2000 EHV -Ordered
  2. Warp 11" HV, custom modified by Dennis Berube, owner of the 'Current Eliminator'
  3. 1008 Headway 8ah 38120P battery cells
I know you must be in disbelief, how can picking 3 parts take two months? Well, it took a while to figure out which motor to get, and who to modify it for me. That said, the single most time consuming choice was undisputedly the battery pack. Not to mention, figuring out how to couple the engine to the transmission in direct drive. 

Crodriver battery pack

The pack will be run in 112 series / 9 parallel. This will allow for 375.2v, and 2000 amps at 28c. 
Theoretically, this pack would be able to release, 751Kw, which in gear head terms, is 1008 Hp. Unfortunately, we live in an imperfect world, and using a simple formula, it is easy to uncover the peak Hp after accounting for 'inefficiencies'. The battery pack should be able to release 551 Kw, aka 740 Hp. Not too shabby! To make good news a little worse, we will only be able to get about 500 hp out of the poor motor, which is running nearly double its recommended current. As each individual cell weighs 300g, the battery pack as a whole should weight 665 lbs. Painful, I know, however there isnt much I can do. The good news is that I expect an average battery usage of 250ish WhM^-1, so with almost 26kwh's of energy I should be able to travel 105ish miles on a charge!

I originally wanted to use a 16ah headway pack, however the impedance on each of the individual cells was too high (>8 milli-ohms). Then, I wanted to get A123 batteries from a so called 'reseller' of their batteries. In the end, the batteries would cost about $27k. Simply too much for me to afford. 

The good news is, according to similar cars, the s2000 should be able to zip down the street quickly, hitting 60mph in about 2.3 +/- 0.5 seconds from a stand still. Some may say I'm being optimistic, but my excitement inundates all outside errors. 

I am basing my battery packs construction on crodrivers battery pack, using plexiglass or 'sipas' to hold the assembly together. The only problem I am sure to encounter is in regard to the car's minuscule size and free space. The battery pack is going to contain 1009 cells, each of which have a size of 138cm^3.
So theoretically, I would need a cube with sides 52cm long to store all that juice, but once again, nothing ever works out the easy way (a reoccurring theme). I know for a fact, that I will need to separate batteries into the trunk and engine compartment. I do plan on installing a recessed area for the batteries in the trunk, however I don't really know what will happen in the engine compartment. 

Crodriver completed battery pack (10ah Headway, 108s/8p)

Until next time!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

The Host

When I brought up the idea of an electric car to my father, who would be the patron of this project, he didn't initially like the idea of a super fast motor, in a small, lightweight car. I explained how I was in need of a car that could handle a big motor, and was light weight, and he counter argued me by laying down some criteria for the car;

  • It had to be more recent model, newer than 2000
  • It had to have air bags
  • It had to be around $6k
  • It had to be in Florida, within driving distance
Not only did I have to meet my fathers expectations, but I also had to find a car that was lightweight as it would be more efficient than a heavier car. Truthfully, I knew I could reach this criteria, however I didn't know if I wanted to. Originally, I looked into salvaging a Honda CRX since they only weigh about 1700 lbs. However, after lots of consideration of cars, I ultimately decided that I didn't want to convert a cheap, second hand car just because I didn't originally have enough money to invest into a better platform. Long story short, after multiple suggestions, and failures I had a firm decision on converting a Honda S2000 Convertible. Why? Simply because it met all my fathers criteria. Diving deeper into my decision; The cars manual transmission, RWD, light weight, and god looks sealed the deal for me. 

After a lot of searching, I came along this little gem on craigslist for 8k. I low balled the guy offering 6k, he counter offered me 6300, and I agreed! It was in Orlando, and I live about an hour away, so it was really close! Anyway, I ended up paying the guy $6500 to get a tow truck deliver it since he hasn't registered it for 4 years to evade the taxes. It has a clean title, and 80k miles on it, but it needs a new top, and there are miscellaneous small parts that need repairing (the top is ripped, one headlight doesn't work, an AC vent is missing, and the clutch is slipping). I figured since Im going to be working on it anyway, those problems will be rather trivial. Without further explanation, here is a picture of me in my driveway right after she was delivered!

The tear down will begin soon, just sit tight!

Monday, May 30, 2011


If you're reading this blog, odds are that you are either a personal friend of mine, or someone who is interested in electric car conversions. Either way, I hope the blog is both informative and motivational to you and whoever you may share it with. This blog will follow my progress in the conversion of my 2002 Honda S2000, and although it may be unachievable, I am anticipating a completion date of about 6 months. As time passes through the next 2 weeks - month, I will address multiple aspects and components of the electric car, ranging from the motor choice, to the BMS (Battery Managment System). It will surely be a tough, and interesting (to say the least) journey from internal combustion gas guzzler, to speedy electric sports car, but I am itching to get started. 

Anyway, about me; I'll try to be relatively terse here. I am a 16 year old attending Spruce Creek High School, enrolled in the IB program. I don't have very much of  a background with cars, since this electric car will be my first. I've never changed oil, or replaced a tire; the most I've ever done is fill the water for the windshield wipers. That said, I am fairly practical by nature, and if I devote myself to something, I can generally complete it within a couple of months. My main motivation in life is in the pursuit of scientific knowledge, and at school, I have more friends than I can count on 2 hands, that are encouraging and interested in the project. 

One last thing I will address in this post; what is the point of creating an electric car? 
1. Efficiency: The average car uses about 20% of the potential energy of the fuel in useful motion while wasting the other energy as heat, noise and pollution. Electric cars use upwards of 80% of their 'fuel', a percentage which can be increased relatively easily as most of its losses are electrical. So in essence an ICE car is a heater with the side effect that it can move people from A to B.

2. Economical: This is a no brainer, America imports more oil than any other country. Not only that, but a lot of people don't realize how subsidized it is. The gas station up the street is currently selling premium for $4.05 a gallon. However, in Italy, where it is subsidized but not as much, the price of a US gallon, is $6.00. 

3. Enviromental: Most people are informed of global warming, and how our cars are inundating our world in CO2. Electric cars emit no hydrocarbons, and now toxic gases whatsoever. 

And finally, for the people who say, "well, the electricity for electric cars comes from huge complexes that are still killing our earth." 
Well, you guys are right, to a point. Even if all cars become electric, we will need a source of energy, but that doesn't mean that it has to be from harmful and inefficient fuels. We have solar farms, water turbines, and wind turbines, that could, in the near future, produce enough energy for electric cars. Also, coal and nuclear power, although they have negative externalities, are cleaner, cheaper, and domestic compared to foreign oil. Gas cars only use about 25% of the energy in their fuel, and electric cars are capable of using 99.999% of their energy, something gas engines cannot achieve. 
One last aspect is that, electric cars are the way of the future. Why? Because all the types of green and upcoming energy sources will be incompatible with gas engines. Internal combustion engines need a combustible liquid to function, and petrol basically has the best combustibility of anything else. If we were to change to Hydrogen Fuel cells, everyone would have buy a new car, since you can't just put a hydrogen fuel cell in a gas engine. On the other hand, if we all invested in electric cars, the hydrogen fuel could be converted to electricity at our local power plants, and then used when we plug our cars into the wall outlet. 

I'm not saying that the gas car you are driving sucks, and that you need to get rid of it, but rather that there are better ways of running cars, that I, and many others, hope will catch on soon.