The battery pack consists of twelve individual 12 volt deep-cycle Hella Endurant MDC24/85 batteries, rated at 85A/hrs and 515 CCA.
The 12 batteries will be connected in series to create 144 volts. Electric Vehicles must use deep-cycle batteries as they can handle a serious discharge much better than regular car or marine batteries. They're more expensive than marine or car batteries but last generally six times longer under standard use. While my battery pack is small with an unimpressive range, New Plymouth is a small town that's less than 10km (6 miles) across so range isn't important in our situation. The typical life expectancy of deep cycle lead acid batteries in an EV is generally about 3 years.
- The charging system I originally used consisted of 12 individual Calibre 3.5 Amp Australian made chargers - one for each battery. The reason for this setup was the cost. Overall this method cost me $708 NZ ($490 USD), as opposed to $1400 NZ for a single "pack" charger.
Now while this method was definitely cheap, it was slooooow. It ended up being cheaper to buy a $1400 Zivan 16 amp pack charger than replacing all the individual 12v chargers with 16 amp ones. So now that I've bought a 16 amp pack charger I'd have to say that I prefer it for speed and convenience.
The budget so far is made up of EV Conversion related purchases only. I have not included paint or basic tools as these are not applicable to every EV, and many tools I will use for other purposes. My own labour has been excluded also, unless I'm paying someone else for it of course!
The EV budget so far in New Zealand dollars is:
Advanced DC FB1-4001A Motor $3100 (including freight & import taxes)
Curtis 1231C Controller $2608 (including freight & import taxes)
Curtis PB6 Pot Box $140 (including freight & import taxes)
Recharging Socket & Plug $15
Turbo Timer $15
Motor Bracket/Mounts $80
Gearbox/Motor Adapter Plate $1112
Calibre Battery Chargers (8) $708
Thomas Vacuum Pump & Switch $110
Digital 200v DC Voltmeter $24 (including freight)
Digital 500A DC Ammeter + Shunt $74 (including freight)
200V DC 10A Solid State Relays(2) $154 (including freight)
160V 250A DC Circuit Breaker $175 (including freight)
SW200 Main Contactor $137 (including freight)
Extraction Fans for Battery Box $18 (including freight)
High Voltage Fuses & Holders (2) $180 (including freight)
70mm2 Welding "Main" Cable (12m) $202
Inertia (Crash) Cutoff Switch $112 (including freight)
Choke Cable (for circuit breaker) $25
Aluminium Cooling Plate $68
MDC2485 Deep Cycle Batteries (12) $2580
Materials for Rear Battery Box $40
New Recharging Plug & Socket $250 (including freight)
TOTAL (so far)....................$11,927 NZ Dollars (approx $9100 USD)
While the whole project seems like quite a lot of money as a lump sum, it was spread out over a year and not so noticeable that way. Unfortunately around $2000 of the whole conversion was simply wasted in freight costs which happens when you're down here on the bottom of the world. The currency difference stung a little too. Don't be put off however. My conversion has only cost so much because I want an EV that will perform well in on the highway and general city traffic too. You could easily build an EV for half the cost if highway capability isn't needed.
Basically I wanted to create a car that dispels the myth that EV's are all slow, lethargic jokes on wheels. :) It's cost more than originally planned but it's absolutely worth it.
I hope this and the FAQ section proves useful, especially to the other Kiwi EV Converters out there!
Watch the conversion unfold right here!A