What got you into electric?

General Discussion about electric vehicles.
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Kneelb4ZOD
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What got you into electric?

Post by Kneelb4ZOD » Mar 09, 2017 10:56 pm

Just wonder what piqued your first interest, and what your first experience with electric vehicles/bikes was. :P

For me, it was in 2006 when I first read about Tesla, and in 2008 when I drove an EV for the first time and was amazed at how convenient and practical they were, especially compared to how they were being portrayed at the time.
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Re: What got you into electric?

Post by LockH » Mar 09, 2017 11:18 pm

Battery-electric traction? For boats. :wink:
ES changed my life (for the waaaaay better).

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Re: What got you into electric?

Post by Matador » Mar 09, 2017 11:25 pm

Found an old « Koolatron » Peltier thermoelectric cooler on the street.
Diassembled it to find out radiator fan needed cleaning = lubrication. Also upgraded the Peltier... All in all, 5$ investment. Works fine now. That person just trew out a 180$ cooler because he/she could not figure that the fan needed a clean. I
I also installed a temperature gauge on the thing.
BUT the thing draws 6 amps on 12 volts....
Dont forget this cooler let plugged in on your car (48 Ah lead acid battery will get ruined is discharged under 50%).... So... Needed a battery.
Bought some laptop cells to make battery for my cooler...
Got Imax B6 knockoff.... Then Foxnovo 4S charger...

I started to check cells for capacity.
At one point I had lots of cells more than 200... Saw a Rinoa Super Genius Vid... Then I though I wanted to use my cells for an eBike instead.
Fond out about hubs... Found out about bolg on BBSHD... I was sold.
Bought a BBSHD last summer. Installed it. WHAT A BLAST (I pay 6 cents to charge my 1.072 kWh pack to make 30 km+)...

Then I found out about Endless-Sphere and some more powerfull lithium cells.
Lithium cells are just fascinating IMHO. Can't stop reading on cell.
My dream is to,one day, make the best battery possible.... And then build an eBike around it... :mrgreen:

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Re: What got you into electric?

Post by Kneelb4ZOD » Mar 10, 2017 12:50 am

Matador wrote:Found an old « Koolatron » Peltier thermoelectric cooler on the street.
The peltier effect is really cool... I got a peltier thermoelectric ice cream maker, haven't used it yet but it looks pretty sweet. Really looking forward to chilling with some homemade ice cream.
Matador wrote: My dream is to,one day, make the best battery possible.... And then build an eBike around it... :mrgreen:
That's a great back story. My dream is to one day have high density batteries and efficient solar panels making a comfortable, dependable solar powered aircraft possible. Flying city baby, I won't ever come down.
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Re: What got you into electric?

Post by Dauntless » Mar 10, 2017 1:14 am

Because of how far away I often had to park when I would work in L.A., I wanted to carry a scooter in my car to cover sometimes more than a mile quickly. A goped would leak gas and oil, an electric would be clean. I got a new 350w Currie which proved less than adequate but not so bad, I just needed something a bit more powerful and maybe more nimble. Actually L.A. itself was a bigger problem than the scooter, not good neighborhoods to be doing that much of the time. Many things hold the electrics back that aren't even the electrics' problem.

From there a lot of electric influences rose up. I wanted to build a car or two, a lot to recommend electric over gas as a home builder. A relative was commuting over 100 miles a day, up to 600 miles a week, for his job and things stood in the way of moving; I tried to figure out a way to do it on electricity at around 20 cents on the dollar for what he was paying on gas, but it just didn't seem feasible at the time for the range and the charging overnight.

I've had a lot of electric toys since then, still haven't cracked the daily driver, or even daily rider scene as yet. Still haven't gotten up the nerve for lithium experiments, but I'd already thought up a new thread today concerning that.
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Re: What got you into electric?

Post by Kneelb4ZOD » Mar 10, 2017 1:37 am

Dauntless wrote:Actually L.A. itself was a bigger problem than the scooter, not good neighborhoods to be doing that much of the time. Many things hold the electrics back that aren't even the electrics' problem.
Could you expand on that a bit?
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Re: What got you into electric?

Post by amberwolf » Mar 10, 2017 1:38 am

My answer is in a couple of the other threads about it
https://endless-sphere.com/forums/viewt ... =1&t=21278
https://endless-sphere.com/forums/viewt ... =3&t=33087
and here's another I didn't post in
https://endless-sphere.com/forums/viewt ... =3&t=61095
Might be more such threads with other members' stories.

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Re: What got you into electric?

Post by Dauntless » Mar 10, 2017 2:05 am

Kneelb4ZOD wrote:
Could you expand on that a bit?
Specific to this scooter I just thought it was too dangerous on narrow, crowded L.A. streets because it could barely get out of it's own way. Going uphill wasn't a big requirement but it couldn't really handle what hills I saw, etc. The government makes its' plans around electrics getting around short range on flat ground, so there's any number of electric bikes on the market that few people can make much use of. I've bought quite a few broken bikes and fixed them, predominately 250-350w, too small to be comfortable, I'd say representative of why there's been so little interest in electric bikes over the years as they've been so impractical. But this is all that's legal in so many places.

A few things I've built aren't necessarily legal, yet still not impressive performers.
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Re: What got you into electric?

Post by Kneelb4ZOD » Mar 10, 2017 3:29 am

Dauntless wrote: I'd say representative of why there's been so little interest in electric bikes over the years as they've been so impractical. But this is all that's legal in so many places.

A few things I've built aren't necessarily legal, yet still not impressive performers.
I think you've really hit the nail on the head there. For the past 8 years at least, the only thing really keeping e-bikes from being practical are legal hurdles. A lot of things people associate with electric bikes, being slow and under-powered for example, are really just a reflection of the current laws in most places. It's also why DIY is so popular. Not necessarily because great solutions don't exist on the market, but because electric bike laws are enforced the most not on the road, but at the border. Right now if you want to build a bike in China and sell overseas, you have to cripple it in 10 different ways to sell to 10 different countries. Slight hyperbole, but you get the point.
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Re: What got you into electric?

Post by The fingers » Mar 10, 2017 11:25 am

When I moved, my commute went from 20 miles a day to 34 miles a day. I needed some help to go the distance and to help out with the time element, and thus continue to ditch the car and save money as well. :mrgreen:
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Re: What got you into electric?

Post by spinningmagnets » Mar 10, 2017 11:47 am

My son got his drivers license suspended for a year, at just the moment when I wanted him to attend a 2-year college. So I reserched the options for a gasser bicycle (staton-inc), which led me to electric bikes. Then VisforVoltage, then endless-sphere...

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Re: What got you into electric?

Post by eflyersteve » Mar 10, 2017 3:25 pm

Several reasons, but it started with glow engine u-control airplanes.

Back in the 70's, when I was a kid, my dad bought me a u-control cox .049 powered airplane. Getting that thing started and running consistently was an obvious struggle for my dad. Never really had a lot of luck with them but we both remembered the smell and mess. Along came the very early 80's and manufactures started offering electric single channel R/C aircraft. I remember getting one and being impressed (hey, I was maybe 10 at the time) with how easy it was to charge and install the nicad battery, press a button and instantly have what seemed like a lot of thrust and no smells and oil over everything. That foam model didn't last me long but it really left an impression with me that from a convenience standpoint, electric beat the heck out of internal combustion engines.

A few years later, I got back into r/c and converted a glow r/c heli to electric and built quite a few electrics and had a lot of success (even had the opportunity to review some kits and was a mod. for RC Groups back in the day). Electric always just made more sense to me but it was challenging to find a hobby shop that would even order something electric related. I think it was that challenge of proving that something could be done that not a lot of people had experienced that was exciting to me.

I've always had mini-bikes or motorcycles growing up but I always longed for something with the convenience and low maintenance of electric. It wasn't until just this year that I was finally able to build my first electric bike and I'm pretty much hooked. I think the ever reducing cost of large lithium cells (or lots of little ones) was a major factor. I also work for a company that processes a lot of 18650 packs that get rejected so I reap the benefits of having a source for a lot of batteries (most are murdered by their own BMS and sitting in the shelf too long). We just switched to 18650GA 3500 cells and I'll hopefully have about 144 cells coming back from testing that I'll be able to turn into a nice battery for my next project. :twisted:

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Re: What got you into electric?

Post by titusmc » Mar 13, 2017 11:55 am

I spent a couple weeks in Norway back in January 2015 (attending a conference during grad school) and saw Teslas and bikes everywhere. I don't even remember seeing an ebike, but I probably did and that got me wanting one. I was commuting by bike a short distance already, but I remember thinking how great it would be to have the bike be able to pull me up the massive hill to my school. Then I think I saw Rinoa Super Genius on YouTube and got fixated on the idea of making a recycled 18650 battery. I ordered a crappy 1000W DD hub on ebay and got about 100 dead laptop batteries from the campus computer repair shop and went to town on an old Trek 4500. I was hopelessly addicted at the first twist of the throttle. Since then I've built 3 BBS02/HD bikes and acquired a spot welder to make packs from true high-power cells (30Q, HG2, HE4, VTC5A). Each iteration gets a bit more professional, functional, and polished.

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Re: What got you into electric?

Post by neptronix » Mar 14, 2017 2:15 am

I'd been reading about electric cars since 2005 and was really psyched on them, although i knew a lot of them were vaporware or overly expensive etc.. but i hated all the political / war stuff involved with oil for a long time and always wanted to get off of fossil fuels.

Being a long distance bicycle commuter for many years, the idea of an electric bike appealed to me as a way to make my 36 mile commute faster and less tiring.. i saw and rode a couple ebikes in 2009, but they were super overpriced and forking out $3000 for a 15 mile range 20mph electric bike just didn't make sense.

Then i found ES.. built my first ebike with RC Lipos and a 250w geared rear motor kit from cell_man who is now em3ev... the kit was $150 and the lipos were $360.. it was a really cheap long distance build.. i fell in love and wanted more and more.. the rest is history that played out here :)
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Re: What got you into electric?

Post by markz » Mar 20, 2017 9:26 pm

I am lazy and was sick and tired of walking up minor hills because I am out of shape.
Also I liked the silent aspect, otherwise I would have went with a gas engine 80cc or something. But to ride in the parks, Fish Creek Park which is a Provincial Park within a city, I required to be silent and stealthy. I have no regrets, even though I am a cheap guy, but for a couple grand it was well worth it. Saved lots of money on insurance and gas.
Last edited by markz on Apr 20, 2017 12:56 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: What got you into electric?

Post by Nordle » Apr 19, 2017 9:53 am

3 years ago i started motorizing my longboard, roughly the same time i heard about Tesla (the genious, not the car) and i was fascinated from the inventions he made already 100 years ago.
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Re: What got you into electric?

Post by neptronix » Apr 20, 2017 12:32 am

Back in the late 2000's, i saw the killacycle on youtube. It was the coolest thing in the world to me.. because it'd been demonstrated that lithium batteries were finally capable of pushing electric motors beyond what gas could do.

Being an electronics tinkerer and bicyclist, the next step was pretty obvious for me. But i didn't know about DIY until i started lurking here. We had some shops selling shitty overpriced kits locally but $1400+ for a ~250w kit with a small battery just didn't make sense to me. I spent a while just waiting for ebike tech to come down in price before adopting it.. but what did you know, cell_man was selling geared motor kits for $150 on here. I picked one up and did my first conversion for $700 in total, and the rest is history.
My first major build: 8T MAC motor on a Trek 4500.
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Re: What got you into electric?

Post by flat tire » Apr 20, 2017 12:55 am

Basically because an ebike is the ultimate vehicle for having fun anywhere a motorcycle would be desirable but prohibited.
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Re: What got you into electric?

Post by Chalo » Apr 20, 2017 3:01 am

flat tire wrote:Basically because an ebike is the ultimate vehicle for having fun anywhere a motorcycle would be desirable but prohibited.
Desirable for the rider, perhaps, but prohibited for good reasons-- many of which also apply to e-bikes.

I got my first taste of e-bike stuff when in 1998 or 1999, I had a coworker who was fixated on building a better than state-of-the-art solar e-bike. He got the Heinzmann hub motor system, the Sanyo nicads, and the GaAs spacecraft grade cells. I built the frame from a piece of sailboat mast, a Softride beam, and a monocoque aluminum swingarm from a homemade MTB. He laid up two PV arrays on a frame mounted panel and a carbon disc front wheel. I laced the rear wheel and made a custom slip ring for charging from the front wheel without having to plug or unplug it. He built a 36V 5Ah nicad pack that slid inside the frame boom. I got him a 700c Manitou elastomer fork, and after a lot more fussing around, he had an e-bike.

It had 800W of motor power geared for 28mph. The motor-only range was short, but he pedaled as fiercely as necessary to make it work. It charged at about 100W in full sun. He was rightly proud of his bike, and I was proud to have been a part of it.

I wasn't interested in riding an assisted bike at that time, but I learned a great deal about the engineering principles back then, when the limitations of available batteries and motors were pretty harsh compared to today.

It was the early to mid-'00s and I was living in Seattle before I thought to try building one for myself. Several e-bikes later, I still have not yet had an e-bike as my main ride. But the better the tech gets, the more feasible it looks to be able to build an e-bike that is more or less as satisfactory as a pedal bike.
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Re: What got you into electric?

Post by Eskimo » Apr 20, 2017 3:52 am

1. I owned 22 motorcycles one after another. I got kinda bored.
2. I had a stack of lipos because of my RC habbit. One day i figured suddenly that i only need a motor kit which would be cheap coz i have batteries waiting.
I was already half way there, so why not to try? My first E-bike cost me 300 euros and it was 48V DD beast. I bought only motor and controller and torq arm. 300 euros well spent.
3. My pedal bike back then was horrible heavy anchor that did not go anywhere no matter how hard you pedalled, and i occasionally towed a trailer with it what was really hard work. I consumed something like half a gallon of soda per every ten miles and had to stop to breathe often. Motor really changed that:)
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Re: What got you into electric?

Post by DRMousseau » Apr 20, 2017 8:16 am

I had a great fascination with electricity from and early childhood age, even before the new 9v transistor battery had powered my "miniature" 6-transistor radio taped to the handlebars of my bicycle. By the time I had begun my senior year of high-school in the late 60's, I had built my own transistorized radio transmitter/receiver, powerful tube-type amplifiers, and more. With great interest in perpetual theory, I had also developed and built a highly efficient, regenerative brushless motor of unique mechanical design,.... not quite perpetual, but damned efficient!!! There was little or no available resources to draw upon at the time. Slide-rules and log tables were the tools of such trade then.

I watched with amazement and great interest, as alternators replaced automotive generators, semi-conductors replaced tubes, color TV's became more and more common, the Radar-Range, computers, batteries of all kinds, "Bulletin board" services evolved into a "network", the "party-line" became private, bag-phones and pagers became todays cell phone/pocket computer, and jus so much more as to be nearly overwhelming in quenching my thirst for even more! Heck, it took nearly 50yrs for the sealed-beam headlight to finally evolve from a stage that rapidly advanced it to todays unique auto lighting systems.

Many job and work opportunities also advanced my skills and knowledge in various fields of mechanics, electronics and electricity, including an opportunity over 25yrs ago, to assist in the introduction of the first prototype fleet of 48V regenerative golf cars utilizing newly introduced 8V deep-cycle batteries, and which I had serviced, repaired and maintained before they were eventually brought to the consumers market and made widely available. And even more, independently, as I learned all that was necessary to service and maintain my god-daughters hybrid compact jus keep it affordable and economical for her, and to feed my banks of desired knowledge.

And surprisingly,.... NONE of this truly influenced my choice of bicycle technology that I use today. And neither did the emotional issues of "energy" or environment, or even economic matters. To be honest, after much consideration of MY personal needs and desires, the 1500w 52V e-bike build jus BARELY edged out an efficient tiny 2-stroke engine, that would likely have been "boosted" with a nitrous system, for a bit of excitement and occasional fun. :shock:
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Re: What got you into electric?

Post by Lessss » Apr 20, 2017 8:20 am

Ridiculously high insurance rates.
Give me nuclear batteries I say!! Ripped off by Joshua Goldberg to the tune of almost $900 re headway groupbuy for batteries, no $ no batteries
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Re: What got you into electric?

Post by RonnieBrowen2106 » Apr 27, 2017 11:03 am

I originally built a gas powered bike as a fun way to get to work, not to mention much faster then the bus. Then I found out that a 66cc motor is classified as a motorcycle and I do not have a motorcycle license. I don't even have my drivers licence, so that barred out 48cc. So I built an electric bike instead. MN law states that you do not require a license to operate an electric bicycle. The biggest motor you can have is 1000W nominal. It doesn't state peak power or voltage. I might run 1500W through my 1000W hub motor. I have had a lot of fun building and operating them. My first bike was a 36v 500w DD hub motor. I use that to get to work when the weather is nice. I have over 400 Miles on it already this year. I have had it for a few months. I built it when there was still snow on the ground, I have driven it every single day I can tolerate the weather conditions. I have even driven it through the heavy rain for short dashes to the grocery store. I am currently working on my 48v 1000W bike. It has disc brakes, front suspension, 21 speeds and a 48V 15Ah battery. The battery was $317 and has great range from what I can tell. 11 Miles and half full. so fully charged might get 25 miles per charge.

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Re: What got you into electric?

Post by whereswally606 » Apr 27, 2017 11:31 am

I am struggling to remember.

Cant remember what came first, my honda insight mk1 or the golden motor mk1.

I bought the GM motor, stuck it on a GT agressor 3 hardtail and kept blowing rear tyres due to the weight of the battery. Then I was at the new forrest in the south of England and there is a bike shop there. I asked the main mechanic and he suggested a rugged scott ransom would be better with a coil shock not the air as it would die a quick death with all the sprung weight of the hub.

Since then ive made good friends with other DIY ev'ers, like the folks who used to run the BVS (battery vehicle society) in the uk and Bobc who has helped me so many times with one silly project and another. There are numerous folk on here that are similarly helpful albeit not as conveniently located (for me at least). Even managed a detour to Grin in seattle on my honeymoon but Justin wasnt in at the time and i didnt wanna out stay my welcome.

What always impressed me was the resourcefulness of ES members, the sharing of ideas and pushing the boundaries of what can be achieved by a man or woman in a shed. Now i have a 3d printer and soon a fully functional mpcnc machine i feel my tools might soon be better than my ambition/designs.
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Re: What got you into electric?

Post by nutnspecial » Apr 27, 2017 4:28 pm

What got you into electric?
Opted outta the hail of bullets?

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