Finally bought one

Electric cars, trucks, ATVs, NEVs - things bigger than a motorcycle.
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yopappamon   10 kW

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Finally bought one

Post by yopappamon » Jun 04 2014 9:26am

After much looking, I finally bought an EV.

1997 Solectria Force (Geo Metro). Picking it up this weekend if all goes well.

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Re: Finally bought one

Post by alfantastic » Jun 05 2014 5:46pm

Great looking electric car and I hope it serves you well yopappamon.
I think that these lead acid battery cars are ripe for packing with lithium, but that would not really be cost effective :cry:

Interestingly, there's a '95 plated one on eBay at the moment. At least the seller is honest with the faults it has.
Would make a great project car and probably wouldn't need too much skill to fix up like new.

1995 Geo Solectria electric conversion Metro

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yopappamon   10 kW

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Re: Finally bought one

Post by yopappamon » Jun 07 2014 5:36pm

I saw that auction. It's not too far from where my son lives. I got mine for $2,353 and its closer to me. 12,000 miles and needs new batteries. Seems like a decent deal.

9 hour round trip to get it. Going tomorrow.

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Re: Finally bought one

Post by dnmun » Jun 07 2014 5:51pm

i bot my ZENN car about 4 months ago now. the original Valve Regulated Lead Acid pack was down to about 14 miles range. it is 100Ah rated, 72V so i took it out and exercised it several times from full full charge to total discharge and was able to push the original lead acid pack from about 40Ah where it was when i got it up to about 59Ah. that got me to 29 miles range but i did that range test at limited speeds too.

but i was reading the wikipedia article about VRLA gel packs and they mentioned a reference to some of the original literature on gel packs that showed that the cycle life was extended by stacking the electrodes like pancakes instead of vertically as they are arranged in the flooded lead acid batteries. most people still mount their SLA packs that way, with the electrodes hanging vertically like files in a filing cabinet and that is how it was set up in my ZENN car originally.

so when i put the battery back in i mounted all 6 packs ends down so the plates lay horizontal like pancakes and i expect that will help in maintaining them for another 500 cycles. then i added a hybrid 44Ah 21S lipo/87Ah 24S lifepo4 pack on top of the 6 VRLA packs in the rear battery well. so now it is real heavy in back, wheel spin on starting uphill so i added some cement blocks and jugs of water and my splitting wedges and some workout weights in the front where the old 2 VRLA had been and that got the nose down a little bit but i am now 400 lbs heavier, so up to 1700 lbs.

if you decide to go with VRLA now it would be useful to consider stacking them on end if you do that so keep that in mind when you are laying out the battery compartment. so you can buy batteries that would fit side by side stacked that way in the space you have.

i have been able to get 96 miles range in my best range test so far, all at full speed 35-36 mph. i am using about 144 Wh/mile and the battery is about 13.5kWh.

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yopappamon   10 kW

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Re: Finally bought one

Post by yopappamon » Jun 07 2014 9:52pm

I'm hoping to revive the agm batteries it has enough to get some good AH reading to size a proper lithium pack. The current owner said the pack was working well until it was left out without heat in sub zero weather. Now he get very erratic mileage per charge, 2 miles one day 10 the next. Maybe only need to replace a cell or two if I'm lucky.

Then use the lead batteries from the car for my solar system?

I would have considered a Zenn, but my commute needs a car capable of more than 35 mph.
Last edited by yopappamon on Jul 12 2014 1:26pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Finally bought one

Post by dnmun » Jun 08 2014 12:57am

each battery has a specific charging point too, and then float voltage, that the manufacturer speciifies for gel and agm packs.

i can get around most places here by using 35-40mph drives, but so much of the urban area is tied together through the high speed motorways. like across the columbia river here, i have been able to get across the willamette river and the clackamas river, but i have to avoid those bridges at rush hour because there is like 2 miles of heavier traffic associated with getting to the bridge and over it before i can get back on to more restricted speed roads. but almost 35 miles from out in gresham to the river loop out by I5.

eventually we will run outa gas and they will set all the speed limits back to 35 to save gas. it would be great now if they would give bicyclists and low speed vehicles a lane on the freeway and cut the traffic speeds in urban areas so low that high speed commuting traffic would avoid driving on those sections of the freeway and go around the outside of the urban areas like they do in europe.

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Re: Finally bought one

Post by yopappamon » Jun 08 2014 8:45pm

Had to push it on the trailer but we made it home.

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Re: Finally bought one

Post by alfantastic » Jun 09 2014 7:59am

Great looking car for the price.
Was just wondering, how do the brakes operate on these cars, are they still hydraulic?

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Re: Finally bought one

Post by dnmun » Jun 09 2014 9:35am

mine is regen, with disc brakes at the end. i have the AC motor/curtis controller so it will regen lightly as i let up on the throttle but the controller will cut in with a strong regen when i push on the brakes. too strong almost but it will regen down a steep steep hill and push a ton of voltage back onto the battery.

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yopappamon   10 kW

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Re: Finally bought one

Post by yopappamon » Jun 09 2014 2:20pm

The car is in beautiful condition other than one dent and oxidized paint. The interior looks new.

It has the factory Geo Metro brakes with a small vacuum pump for power assist.

The AC has an electric motor belted to the compressor.

It has regen and a switch to turn it off if you are on slippery roads. The accelerator pedal doesn't engage the motor drive until it's press down a ways and it regens when the pedal is released past that point. So it's regen when released, middle coast, down accel. The previous own said the regen is pretty aggressive.

I believe it is just manual steering. But it's a very small car, so shouldn't be an issue.

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Re: Finally bought one

Post by oatnet » Jun 23 2014 12:06pm

Congrats Yopappamon!

I look forward to seeing what you do with it!

-JD
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Re: Finally bought one

Post by MitchJi » Jun 23 2014 4:20pm

Hi,

Great!
Great looking electric car and I hope it serves you well yopappamon.
I think that these lead acid battery cars are ripe for packing with lithium, but that would not really be cost effective
I disagree!

Nissan Leaf modules are very cost effective!


The best bang for the buck in large format lithium cells (30 Ah) are used Nissan Leaf modules (2s2p -7.2v nominal, 60 Ah) available for about $140 shipped. Check the links in my signature for more information.
Best Wishes!

Mitch
>


The best quality batteries and lowest priced batteries for DIY EV's are tier 1 OEM Quality Cells from salvaged (wrecked) EV packs. Three examples are Chevy Volt and Nissan Leaf and Tesla Model 3 packs.

Nissan Leaf Module specs are here
Chevy Volt Pack Info - Salvage 16kwh Packs Under $2k here

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oatnet   10 MW

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Re: Finally bought one

Post by oatnet » Jun 23 2014 4:39pm

MitchJi wrote: I disagree!

Nissan Leaf modules are very cost effective!
I dont have direct experience, but I thought I read that without active cooling, the leaf cells were best at loads below 1c cont, Is that correct? If so, a 600a controller would need a 600ah pack to meet discharge requirements; 600ah would make for a nice range, but it would weigh a ton and be pretty expensive.

-JD
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153v DUNE BUGGY © 164v Vectrix E-Moto © 72v Norco A-line/x5403 © 60v Specialized Enduro Comp/BMC © 72v x5tracycle © 48v TF IO/BMC © 36v Kepler FrictionDrive © Spot-Welding a123 © Pelican Front Packs © Vectrix Battery Replacement © MORE !!


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yopappamon   10 kW

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Re: Finally bought one

Post by yopappamon » Jun 24 2014 9:31am

Going to go Lithium. Harold found this Chevy Volt pack and we are splitting it.

Image

Anyone know if I can use the battery management system and keep the cells in their pack groups?

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Re: Finally bought one

Post by alfantastic » Jun 24 2014 9:20pm

alfantastic wrote: Interestingly, there's a '95 plated one on eBay at the moment. At least the seller is honest with the faults it has.
Would make a great project car and probably wouldn't need too much skill to fix up like new.

1995 Geo Solectria electric conversion Metro
Looks like they're struggling to sell this one, as it got relisted at the same price as before :?
Is it really worth $4,500?

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Re: Finally bought one

Post by MitchJi » Jun 28 2014 8:55pm

oatnet wrote:
MitchJi wrote: I disagree!

Nissan Leaf modules are very cost effective!
I don't have direct experience, but I thought I read that without active cooling, the leaf cells were best at loads below 1c cont, Is that correct? If so, a 600a controller would need a 600ah pack to meet discharge requirements; 600ah would make for a nice range, but it would weigh a ton and be pretty expensive.
I think 2c is a more accurate figure, but a 600A controller :roll: :?:
156 volt nominal battery pack (from the factory thirteen 12 volt lead–acid gel cells)
22 Leaf Modules = 158.4V nominal 60AH = $2,860
44 Leaf Modules = 158.4V nominal 120AH = $5,720 (full Leaf pack is 48 modules)
So a 120AH pack is 90% of a full Leaf pack. I think the Leaf is a heavier car and it works fine. If anyone wants to build a dragster then I agree that the Leaf Modules are not a good choice.
Best Wishes!

Mitch
>


The best quality batteries and lowest priced batteries for DIY EV's are tier 1 OEM Quality Cells from salvaged (wrecked) EV packs. Three examples are Chevy Volt and Nissan Leaf and Tesla Model 3 packs.

Nissan Leaf Module specs are here
Chevy Volt Pack Info - Salvage 16kwh Packs Under $2k here

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Re: Finally bought one

Post by MitchJi » Jun 29 2014 2:07am

Hi,
yopappamon wrote:Going to go Lithium. Harold found this Chevy Volt pack and we are splitting it.

Sweet :mrgreen:
How much did it cost and where did Harold get it?
evalbum solectria builds wrote: Batteries: 58 Calb CA100, 3.20V 100AH, Lithium Iron Phosphate
System Voltage: 185 Volts
Range: 125 city, 105 hwy

Batteries: 13 Deka Group 27 Gel, 12V, AH: 90, Lead-Acid, Gel
System Voltage: 156 Volts
Range: 35 miles on new batts

Batteries: 13 MK Battery 8G27M, 12V, AH: 88, Lead-Acid, Gel
System Voltage: 156 Volts
Range: 30 Miles (48 Kilometers)
Can you keep the entire pack? It would be almost 90% of the capacity of the 185Vx100AH pack, which would give you a hwy range of over 90 miles.
yopappamon wrote:Anyone know if I can use the battery management system and keep the cells in their pack groups?
AFAIK you are the first on ES to get a Volt pack, be sure and post everything you find out :D.
Best Wishes!

Mitch
>


The best quality batteries and lowest priced batteries for DIY EV's are tier 1 OEM Quality Cells from salvaged (wrecked) EV packs. Three examples are Chevy Volt and Nissan Leaf and Tesla Model 3 packs.

Nissan Leaf Module specs are here
Chevy Volt Pack Info - Salvage 16kwh Packs Under $2k here

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MitchJi   1 GW

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Re: Finally bought one

Post by MitchJi » Jun 29 2014 2:10am

Hi,
alfantastic wrote:
alfantastic wrote: Interestingly, there's a '95 plated one on eBay at the moment. At least the seller is honest with the faults it has.
Would make a great project car and probably wouldn't need too much skill to fix up like new.

1995 Geo Solectria electric conversion Metro
Looks like they're struggling to sell this one, as it got relisted at the same price as before :?
Is it really worth $4,500?
Not in my opinion. $4,500 for a rust bucket?
Best Wishes!

Mitch
>


The best quality batteries and lowest priced batteries for DIY EV's are tier 1 OEM Quality Cells from salvaged (wrecked) EV packs. Three examples are Chevy Volt and Nissan Leaf and Tesla Model 3 packs.

Nissan Leaf Module specs are here
Chevy Volt Pack Info - Salvage 16kwh Packs Under $2k here

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Re: Finally bought one

Post by oatnet » Jun 29 2014 4:51pm

MitchJi wrote:I think 2c is a more accurate figure, but a 600A controller :roll: :?:
Your right, 600a is conservative for an electric car, I did just get that 2,000a Zilla controller for my dune buggy build. However I figured going that low would be a more inline with a typical build, like one of the HPEVS AC-35/51/71 motors running the Curtis 650a controller. One of those would require a 325ah pack @2c to achieve a 650a discharge. Many people would want that big of a pack for its range, while many others would not want that mass or expense. :D

-JD
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153v DUNE BUGGY © 164v Vectrix E-Moto © 72v Norco A-line/x5403 © 60v Specialized Enduro Comp/BMC © 72v x5tracycle © 48v TF IO/BMC © 36v Kepler FrictionDrive © Spot-Welding a123 © Pelican Front Packs © Vectrix Battery Replacement © MORE !!


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yopappamon   10 kW

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Re: Finally bought one

Post by yopappamon » Jul 01 2014 12:00pm

MitchJi wrote:How much did it cost and where did Harold get it?
I'm not sure how he found it originally, but it ended up on ebay before we had a chance to close a deal. $1,400 plus $360 freight. Still over a grand cheaper than new lead.
MitchJi wrote:Can you keep the entire pack? It would be almost 90% of the capacity of the 185Vx100AH pack, which would give you a hwy range of over 90 miles.
He graciously has let me have the whole thing. I'm very excited to find out my car's controller which normally takes 156 volts, is capable of handling 336 volts. So I can take the 4 cell groups, parallel 2 x 2, and make a 193 volt pack. You should be correct on the range.
MitchJi wrote:AFAIK you are the first on ES to get a Volt pack, be sure and post everything you find out :D.
I'm hoping between my self (industrial controls engineer) and my brother (retired Delphi Automotive electronics engineer) we can reverse engineer the CAN interface to the battery manager.

I should go from 820 pounds of lead to 450 pounds of lithium (minus the Volt mounting assembly). I may have to add some ballast to keep the tires on the road! :mrgreen:

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Re: Finally bought one

Post by MitchJi » Jul 02 2014 12:29pm

Hi,
yopappamon wrote: I'm not sure how he found it originally, but it ended up on ebay before we had a chance to close a deal. $1,400 plus $360 freight. Still over a grand cheaper than new lead.
Wonderful :D! That's an excellent price :mrgreen: ! About $3k less than Nissan Leaf modules (about 1/3rd the price)! Thank you! Time to google the Volt pack specs and to start looking for a used Volt pack!
MitchJi wrote:The best bang for the buck in large format lithium cells (30 Ah) are used Nissan Leaf modules (2s2p -7.2v nominal, 60 Ah) available for about $140 shipped. Check the links in my signature for more information.
I hope you start a dedicated thread on the Volt pack and convince me to change my signature!
yopappamon wrote: I should go from 820 pounds of lead to 450 pounds of lithium (minus the Volt mounting assembly). I may have to add some ballast to keep the tires on the road! :mrgreen:
Under $5k for a nice EV, with a range equal to or better than a $28k Nissan Leaf! Congratulations! Well done!

How many amps is the controller rated for?
Best Wishes!

Mitch
>


The best quality batteries and lowest priced batteries for DIY EV's are tier 1 OEM Quality Cells from salvaged (wrecked) EV packs. Three examples are Chevy Volt and Nissan Leaf and Tesla Model 3 packs.

Nissan Leaf Module specs are here
Chevy Volt Pack Info - Salvage 16kwh Packs Under $2k here

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yopappamon   10 kW

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Re: Finally bought one

Post by yopappamon » Jul 02 2014 1:00pm

MitchJi wrote:How many amps is the controller rated for?
268 amps max.

15kw continuous shaft output power (@4000 rpm), 35kw peak.

I need to find out if the DC/DC converter can handle the extra battery voltage.

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Re: Finally bought one

Post by Hillhater » Jul 03 2014 8:24pm

MitchJi wrote:.AFAIK you are the first on ES to get a Volt pack, be sure and post everything you find out :D.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0c01VgkT4UM
This forum owes its existence to Justin of ebikes.ca

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Re: Finally bought one

Post by yopappamon » Jul 08 2014 10:12am

The battery is on the truck. Should be here by Thursday.

I have found a guy who has already put a Volt battery in this same car. He said the weight reduction really makes the car perform. He only used 2 of the 4 modules so he has reduced the weight by over 600 lbs and gets over 50 miles range.

I could be on the road in a week or so!

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Re: Finally bought one

Post by yopappamon » Jul 09 2014 4:57pm

Thought I had the shipping under control. Talked to the shipper, found out the hazmat category and labeled it accordingly. Declared all the relevant hazmat info. Shipper picked up the battery and now wants an MSDS on the battery or they wont deliver.

Called Chevrolet, called a dealership, called LG Chem. No luck with Chevy or the dealer. LG was helpful, refers me the person at the factory who could help. That person asked why I needed the Msds and what my relationship was to LG. I explained what I was doing. Fingers crossed I gets positive response tomorrow.

Otherwise its road trip to Minnesota!

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