Mittwoch, 19. Dezember 2012

Winter time...

And not much to do on the car itself without a garage that is at least somewhat insulated against the cold temparatures and the wind. I'm still driving the car with it's ICE and enjoying the luxury of the car. But every time I have to fill up, I somewhat regret not having spent these 120.- CHF on EV parts instead. It uses about 9l/100km - just way too much.

So, my main EV related activities currently are limited to:
  1. Catching up 3 years of (within 5-6 months)
  2. Collecting data on batteries, motors, controllers, chargers
  3. Planning a renovation of a shed into a garage (one needs a place to work)
  4. Looking for a car lift
  5. Reading the S80's service manuals
  6. Reading, reading, reading.
My favourite option currently is a HPEVS-75 or -76 as proposed by Jack Richard. Might be a tight fit in the engine compartment but it sure would be a powerful beast to move the sturdy S80. The installed clutch and gear-box should be able to deal with 350nM to 400nM. This should suffice for the AC-75.
I do want to go with AC because of regen. Not that I expect much improvement on range but because there are many hills and mountains here. Driving down a hill for 5min or more would certainly get my brakes smoking.
There are a few interesting things installed in the S80. Going with a modern car with lots of electronics seems to have its advantages and disadvantages. I will have to fake some signals to get the ECU and other parts into thinking that the engine is running. Also picking up the gas pedal signal might be tricky. It is digitally transmitted to the ECU which in turn controls a throttle step-motor. In order to get cruise-control working, the signal from the ECU has to be used as input for the controller - somehow. But other parts like a vacuum-pump or a ceramic heater elemet magically already are available. Very convenient.
One thing I think most about is the 12V power supply. I would like not to have to install a 12V auxiliary battery - but still I need enough power for the ABS motor in an emergency in case the fan is blowing at full power, the seat heater is on, rear-window defogger is on and the wipers, turn-indicators and head-lights are on. Probably requires some current measurements.

Unfortunately no one is interested in the original engine or other parts. Well, did you ever hear of a Volvo engine fail? Well, neither did I. In the worst case I'll mount it to the garage wall as a trophy :)

Mittwoch, 7. November 2012

And so it begins..

My first conversion of a car with an ICE (internal combustion engine) into an EV (electric vehicle) is getting into gears. After looking for a possible target for some time, a 2008 Volvo S80 2.5T Summum with a high milage (170'000km) but in very good condition caught my eye. It has all I want in a car that should last for a couple of years, probably a decade. First test drive was yesterday and tomorrow it shall be mine.

  • Very safe - it's a Volvo after all
  • Quiet + Comfortable - perfect for a daily commute when you're 40 or above ;)
  • Luxurious - ideal for a great "boyz with toyz" feeling
  • Lots of space under the hood and in/under the trunk for batteries
  • Good aerodynamics
  • It's heavy.. 1630kg / 3600lbs. Hence it requires a more expensive motor, controller and more batteries and in the end more electricity.
  • Lot's of electronic gadgets and support systems whitch have to be integrated with the new solution somehow (automatic engine start, BLIS, ABS, Traction Control, Cruise Control, SIPS, Airbags, motorized xenon lights, seat heating, seat ventilation, navigation system, etc.). This certainly requires custom tools to integrate them on the CAN bus and also a reliable and powerful 12V supply.
After I got some re-assurance from Jack Richards and some very helpful guys on diyelectricar , I think it's feasible to convert even such a stout car into an EV that performs sufficently. (140kph, 80kph uphill, 10sec from 0-100kmh, 150km range). The conversion of a V70 by RebirthAuto made my remaining doubts vanish.. because their's is really well performing.

So, for this winter, I'll drive her with the ICE to make final preparations and in spring 2013, I hope to start taking her apart - for a new beginning.


With some luck, this sedan hits the streets again before the Tesla S does ;)