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Thread: Getting Serious on Electric Cars?

  1. #1
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    Getting Serious on Electric Cars?

    You’ll soon be able to buy an electric Chevrolet motor just as easily as one of its gas engines. After years of prototypes, the automaker plans to start selling crate electric motors and batteries to consumers by the second half of next year (via autoblog). And to showcase what you’ll be able to do with the tech, Chevy detailed a 1977 K5 Blazer conversion its Performance team completed using a near-production eCreate motor kit
    https://www.engadget.com/chevy-ecrat...174002305.html

    This could be a new industry on to itself.

    jtk
    Last edited by Jim Koepke; 11-01-2020 at 2:48 PM.
    "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
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  2. #2
    Seems to me the problem will be where to put the batteries. They probably take more space than the gas tank.

    And you'll have to do some conversion on your air conditioning unit - probably add an electric motor to drive it. And electronics to control the AC. The electrics (lights and some motors, like the wipers) on the vehicle will probably remain 12 volts so you'll probably have to have some conversion electronics from the car battery to the 12 volts. You'll need a new heater because you won't have any more hot water from the engine. You'd also need a solution for power steering and power brakes.

    The labor to do the conversion is not going to be cheap either.

    I don't see this as a cost effective solution. It would probably be much less expensive to just purchase an electric vehicle.

    Mike

    [I think the only market for this is hobby people who just want to convert some older vehicle.]
    Last edited by Mike Henderson; 11-01-2020 at 3:06 PM.
    Go into the world and do well. But more importantly, go into the world and do good.

  3. #3
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    The idea does have merit, but yes, there are challenges with implementing the conversion. But it's the possibilities, rather than the problems that are nicely compelling. There's already at least one company that takes "junk yard Teslas" and does conversions, such as an older VW bus/van that I saw photos of recently. Vintage vehicle conversions is a pretty interesting niche, for sure!
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

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    It's a great way to keep body on frame cars running, when drivetrain parts run out.

    It's not cheap - and will likely cost more than the straight up replacement.

    https://evwest.com/catalog/

  5. #5
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    I don't think they intend this as a replacement for the motor in your everyday Camry or similar. It will probably go mostly into classic cars that need repower anyhow.

    I am assuming GM has provisions for heat and A/C. An electric A/C compressor is likely included, or available as an accessory.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Elfert View Post
    I don't think they intend this as a replacement for the motor in your everyday Camry or similar. It will probably go mostly into classic cars that need repower anyhow.

    I am assuming GM has provisions for heat and A/C. An electric A/C compressor is likely included, or available as an accessory.
    I did some reading about EV conversions after Jim posted here. There are some significant problems in the conversion, especially for cars after about 1966, unless you want a basic car without heat, AC, power steering, power brakes, etc. In later cars, the electronics makes it very difficult to convert and keep the features that the original car had. There are also concerns about center of gravity, crash worthiness, suspension, and fire from the batteries.

    To my reading, the basic problem is that an ICE car was designed around an ICE and converting it to carry batteries and using an electric motor is a pretty major problem - and expensive. I can't see this as anything more than a niche product. I wouldn't be surprised if GM never makes this commercially available.

    Mike
    Go into the world and do well. But more importantly, go into the world and do good.

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    This report does not make me want to buy GM stock. I think they need to devote their development dollars to projects for which there is a significant demand.

  8. #8
    I once knew a guy who shoe-horned a V8 into a Chevy Vega that had somehow survived into the late 90s. It was a cool trick, but it sure wasnt a good drive. I think the same will happen with electric crate motors. You'll have some guys who do it just to see if they can. But I'm betting you'll mostly see them go into show (or show-off) cars - another way to show that the builders did something new/unique. But these conversions arent likely to be driven on the freeway - as Mike said, center of gravity, etc would be a concern. [Though could you picture a Hennessey or Callaway limited production conversion? Yowza!]
    "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing."
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    Iíve seen the ICON motors all-electric rebuild of the Ď49 (I think) Mercury, and yes, the client base is relatively small.
    Itís all doable, but as an old hot rod nut, some things that can be done donít make a lot of sense once completed.
    Young enough to remember doing it;
    Old enough to wish I could do it again.

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    I saw a company will convert you Jaguar XKE to electric power for only $500,000. They give you back the engine etc and claim it is fully reversible.
    Bill D.

    https://www.caranddriver.com/reviews...ic-ev-vintage/
    Last edited by Bill Dufour; 11-02-2020 at 1:18 AM.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Art Mann View Post
    This report does not make me want to buy GM stock. I think they need to devote their development dollars to projects for which there is a significant demand.
    This is a very close minded outlook. There are many things in use today with vehicles that are the result of the racing programs they are involved in. If you never explore the possibilities beyond what you know at this moment progress becomes non existent. Proto types and experimental vehicles are being developed constantly. I read the article and they aren't creating a kit from scratch. Straight from the article.
    Chevy says approximately 90 percent of the new components it installed in the Blazer are Bolt EV parts straight from the factory, including the 200 horsepower motor that makes up the heart of the retrofit.
    This seems like a great plan to me. Not for these but this is laying the groundwork for fleet conversions in the future. Companies that run vehicles for long periods of time and repair them as needed would be great candidates for this. Repower with electric and keep them going. Most service vehicles typically don't travel long distances in a day. Especially if they create kits for other brands this seems like a wide open market going forward.



  12. #12
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    I am afraid you are speaking from a position of very little knowledge as to what it would take to do such a conversion. I spent an entire career as an engineer for a major automotive manufacturer and understand the challenge a little better. I even know a guy who used an old Nissan to create an EV. He could have bought a new car for what he put in it. The best one could hope for in such a conversion would be a collector's item with little practical value. Some other posters have already listed several reasons why this is true. The biggest one I see is cost. It isn't even cost effective to replace the batteries in a vehicle that was designed as an EV, much less replace an entire motor and battery pack in an ICE vehicle. Perhaps GM has money to invest for hobby purposes but I am not interested in investing in it.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ronald Blue View Post
    This is a very close minded outlook. There are many things in use today with vehicles that are the result of the racing programs they are involved in. If you never explore the possibilities beyond what you know at this moment progress becomes non existent. Proto types and experimental vehicles are being developed constantly. I read the article and they aren't creating a kit from scratch. Straight from the article.
    Chevy says approximately 90 percent of the new components it installed in the Blazer are Bolt EV parts straight from the factory, including the 200 horsepower motor that makes up the heart of the retrofit.
    This seems like a great plan to me. Not for these but this is laying the groundwork for fleet conversions in the future. Companies that run vehicles for long periods of time and repair them as needed would be great candidates for this. Repower with electric and keep them going. Most service vehicles typically don't travel long distances in a day. Especially if they create kits for other brands this seems like a wide open market going forward.



  13. As tech develops lighter and smaller motors and batteries, it may become financially bearable option. I see dozens of motorized bicycles using those cheap conversion engines available on line. I don't believe they are legal to be licensed for road use here, but see lots of them anyway. I can actually understand an e-bike as more desireable. Less weight to drag around. easy to park and store. Actually a good short commute vehicle. Knew an attorney in DC that used a home converted electric bike to commute the 4 miles each way to his office, except in snow, rain and extreme wind. Some small motor bikes now have weather problem partially licked, they have a roof windshield and doors and a goofy training wheels system of outriggers that comes down as the speed reduces. As the vehicle slows to one or 2 miles per hour, the "training wheels are holding it up. As is pulls away from a stop, the wheels slowly go up. I see a few electric vehicles around, but major drawbacks are lack of sustained highway speeds and lack of range. Plus the delay, twiddling thumbs while the thing recharges at a charging station.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ronald Blue View Post
    This is a very close minded outlook.
    You don't suppose his VCR still flashes 12:00 do you?

  15. The two things required for electric vehicles are a motor and source of electricity. right now batteries are the usual source of electricity. Foe a few decades now, there has been a line of thought that the electricity needed could be generated as needed. this was the futuristic promise of fuel cells a few decades back. Another example, if you believe such myths, was the alleged Gamma ray converter reported to have been developed by Tesla, and for which conspiracy folks say he was killed. There are also several scattered news accounts of motors that run on the earth's magnetic field. These are generally from around 1920. but there are several of these reports about different inventors independent of the others. I once had a collection of these news reports. Allegedly an airplane that ran on the earth's magnetism out in Western Pa. An electric car that generated it's own electricity out in Denver. Even a motor that did not use electricity, but ran on magnetism, which is what electric motors do. The reporter said that as the armature of the motor was turned parallel to the earth's magnetic axis, the motor sped up, turn the motor away from such alignment and it slowed. Some or all of such things may have been snake oil. However any body who ever used two pieces of wire to find a buried pipe or septic tank, knows that there is some force that causes those wires to move.

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