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The "Electro-Metro" Project.

Can't afford a Nissan Leaf? No Problem!

Build a cheap electric car yourself by removing the the car engine, replacing it with a forklift motor, and adding batteries.

I have plenty of videos about this project at:
http://www.youtube.com/user/BenjaminNelson
and 300MPG.org

The primary "build blog" for this project is at:
http://ecomodder.com/forum/showthread.php/ben-nelsons-electro-metro-build-thread-848.html
but watch out! That is a good read for when you have WAY too much time on your hands.

For a good intro to basic electric car construction, stick with this Instructable.

For more in-depth construction information, check out the instructional Video DVD available at 300MPG.org

Step 1: Get a car.

The first thing you need to do is get a car. They are not all equal.

I was looking for something lightweight, with no power anything.

Heavier cars need more energy to push down the road, thus limiting your range on batteries.

Things like power steering and power brakes run off the engine, which is going to be removed anyways, rendering them useless. Power windows and locks add weight and complexity to the vehicle.

I ended up finding a Geo Metro for sale, for $500. The engine ran fine, and the body wasn't too bad, but I couldn't drive it home because the clutch was messed up. Oh well, this conversion isn't going to use a clutch anyways!

Make sure the car doesn't have anything major wrong with it (other than maybe a blown engine!) You want to do a Conversion, not a Restoration!
<p>The ecomodder and 300mpg links aren't working.</p>
Hello!<br>I just tested them, and the links worked fine on my computer. Maybe it's just some difference between the web browser on my computer vs. yours. I haven't head any comments from anyone else about the links not working. It's even possible that the particular web page in question was down briefly while you were trying to go to it.<br><br>Thank you for bringing this to my attention. If the links still don't work for you, please just use a Google search to try to bring them up.<br><br>Thanks,<br>-Ben Nelson
why try and build some type of altenator that way while u drive it can charge batteries and drive unlimited
<p>because you would be breaking the first two laws of thermodynamics which make doing that impossible</p>
It is not impossible.
<p>It's possible to build, but it wouldn't work so why bother?</p>
<p>To generate electricity you need power, as in a power station with hydro, coal or solar power going in, and this power in converted ( not made ) into electricity. A generator with a 1 horse power gas engine can output a bit less than 1 horse power of electric power. If you use the cars electric motor to run a generator/ alternator you use as much power ( little bit more actually) as you convert, so no extra energy is made. Any power used to generate electricity is not available to power the car.</p>
<p>a kers system would be excellent on a setup like this, get back some of that power wasted stopping after all that's supposed to be the general purpose of electric vehicles Is efficiency</p>
<p>How do you change gears without a clutch?</p>
<p>It's surprisingly easy. Just rev the motor up to the right speed, and push it into gear. It took about a day to get used to for me.</p>
<p>MPaulHolmes, does changing the gears in this way not damage the gears? I'm asking, not to be critical, but because I am hoping to build my own EV. I'm wondering whether I need to try to keep the clutch. It seems like most people don't use a clutch, but to me, that sounds like it would damage the transmission pretty quickly.</p>
<p>when the gearbox gear driven by the motor ( the motor side gear ) and the gear on the wheel side are turning at a matching speed they will engage smoothly, If the gears are not turning at matching speed then they will grind when trying to engage. With no clutch you use the motor (electric or gas ) to adjust the motor side gear to match the speed of the gear to engage. With a clutch the motor side gear will free-wheel, is very light and in synchromesh 'boxs is adjusted to matching speed by the synchromesh system ( small friction clutch on gear ). In a dog box ( no synchromesh ) you need to match speeds by waiting for the gear to slow or reving the engine with the clutch engaged. </p>
<p>That's how most truck drivers do it...</p>
<p>Automotive transmissions aren't made the same way truck transmissions are. Truckers don't shift like that right off the get go, either. Takes some time of learning the truck and how it shifts by shifting properly. I'll be doing this conversion to a 2009 Base model standard jeep compass, and I'll for sure be keeping the clutch. I guess It'll be easier to maybe take out the clutch? But for longevity, keeping the clutch is the smartest way to do it. <u>In my own opinion!!!</u></p><p>More fun that way as well.</p>
<p>an electric motor doesn't spin if you're off the throttle, and there's no flywheel to worry about, so the clutch isn't necessary.</p>
<p>This is a great project. Awesome.</p><p>I would like to ask, how long can the electric motor keep running on a single charge? I saw you mentioned that the max distance was 20 miles at 45 MPH, is it about half our?</p>
<p>If I wanted to build a sports car, would I need to make my own custom motors or buy different ones? Also, in most electric cars, does the motor transfer motion through a transmission... I thought they were connected directly to the wheel and the voltage was controlled to change speed.</p>
<p>and is there any way to make the battery last longer? Would a battery salvaged from a prius for example give longer runs. I know to get a car to run as long as a tesla would be very expensive but maybe around 100 miles per charge would work with a few solar panels on top to make that even more?</p>
<p>a prius battery is no different than a regular car battery. ideally you would use marine deep cycle batteries. for more life you can also just use another battery bank hooked up in parallel to the existing battery bank.</p>
<p>This is a great project. Awesome.</p><p>I would like to ask, how long can the electric motor keep running on a single charge? I saw you mentioned that the max distance was 20 miles at 45 MPH, is it about 27 minutes? </p>
Can I use 3 phase ac motor without amp regulator just with ac-dc inverter and frequency inverter?
Does the gas engine need to run?
Also what was the total cost
<p>Electric cars are gaining more exposure in the mainstream market of various states due to the proven environmentally-friendly and costs-saving features that the whole idea has got to offer. If you are able to build one of your own in your own backyard, it would only mean more savings for you!</p>
<p>Could you please tell us the total kWh of the 6 batteries you used? Thanks!</p>
<p>Would a couple of these forklift motors be enough to make a hybrid drive like on a locomotive? I'm fabricating most of the truck, I just don't know much about electric engines. I also have access to a 40&quot; 3 phase but it weighs like 1300 pounds. It's for a rather large vehicle. It'll have two large generators, so I'm not too worried about batteries. I can control acceleration with the rpm of the generators.</p>
Through my scrolling I haven't been able to discover the voltage of the motor you rebuilt.
I'm sorry I just saw how much it cost :) you're amazing!!! :)
Hi :) how much did your conversion cost in total?
<p>This is great! I have a little 1995 Ford Aspire, automatic transmission but manual everything else, with medium mileage (80,000). The plan was to run the little bugger into the ground while saving up for a Leaf...but converting it in advance of that (and selling the engine!) sounds much more appealing. Does this process work with an automatic transmission? And 90s Aspires are basically Geos, right?</p>
<p>Are these the regular lead acid batteries we have in cars to start the engine, lights etc?</p>
<p>Hello</p><p>I want my production Electric Car</p><p>But I do not know where is the best engine and the best battery</p><p>Where To Buy</p><p>Please tell me</p>
<p>Who is your insurance provider? I have spoke with 3 so far and they all wont insure a car with a BOM.</p>
<p>You are my hero ! ;-D<br>I will build my own electric car :-D</p>
<p>This project is so advanced but yet does not look that complicated after all. However, I think you would still require a tyre and rim insurance after being done with the conversion job. This is just to help safeguard yourself against any possible unfortunate events that might follow you in your DIY masterpiece.</p>
<p>but does'nt the motor overheat</p>
<p>but does'nt the motor overheat</p>
<p>but does'nt the motor overheat</p>
Awesome sauce!
I thought that transmissions were only for gasoline cars. Why did you have to put one on an electric car's motor?
<p>Most motorized things require some form of a tranmission, electric, diesel, propane, and gasoline engines all typically do dependin on application. They do so for two reasons, one in earlier rwd cars the crankshaft of the engien couldn't directly be hooked up to the wheels, so a gearbox drive shaft, and rear differencial are needed, to change the direction of the power output. Secondly and more importantly, without a transmission of some form the engine would always be engaged to the wheels, meaning the second you start it up, even while idling it will be moving, constantly moving, and with such a setup the brakes would be fighting the motor all the time making for horrible stopping power and great potential of either a damaged motor or failed brake system, the clutch/torque converter allows them to disengage from eachother, allowing you to stop.</p>
<p>Mate that was awesome well done something to be proud of :-)</p><p>One thing is I was wondering to save battery power would there be an advantage installing a light flywheel to install the clutch so you can change gears?</p><p>I know electric motorcycles benefit greatly if they have a manual gearbox.</p><p>It requires a lot less power to take off and maybe a smaller motor could be used.</p><p>It would not be that hard to do.</p><p>Regards Rik</p><p>Home Mechanics</p>
<p>This is a great project, thumbs up..I have 2 points to raise: did u do the math how much $ u will save till batteries ascend to God ? the other thing is what about all those bloody sensors hooked all around the notorious combustion engine ? how to keep them quiet from making the computer stop the car ?...oh.. on a 2nd thought, what can the computer do ? cut the fire from plugs? or shut the carbeurator ? they re kicked out of the car anyhow..still some sensors that bring signals to dash may need to modify.</p>
<p>For someone who claims to have a low level of knowledge about cars I salute your ability to soldier on in any case. I am a mechanic and looking at your project for the hints on how to go about the conversion. LOL</p>
Why did you put a trans. To the motor, i thought that transmissionswere only for gasoline cars, why?
Ever put a solar panel on electric car????
<p>hello</p><p>i wanted to now more about it </p><p>i like elec car wil you help me</p><p>greetings sam</p>
<p>Hi guys,</p><p>you are the pioneers of electric cars so I would like to invite you to join 80edays, the hardest EV endurance test driving around the world! </p><p>I would like to make a link exchange with this great website.</p><p>Kind regards</p><p>Rafael de Mestre</p><p><a href="http://www.80edays.com" rel="nofollow">www.80edays.com</a></p>

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Bio: Ordinary guy with no special skills, just trying to change the world one backyard invention at a time. See more at: http://300mpg.org/ On ... More »
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