Instructables
Picture of Solar powered electric car
After converting 1995 Aspire to electric vehicle ,I decided to go 1 step further. I installed 6 solar panels on garage roof , with batteries and inverter in garage. Car charges during the day and I drive it on after work missions. Works great driving around town (usually only 5-10 mile trips) will go 55 mph. If it is cloudy a few hours charging continues due to batteries in garage.
 
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Step 1: Remove engine

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First step is removal of engine and components, radiator , tailpipe , muffler ,etc

Step 2: Build racks for batteries

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Using angle and square tubing to build battery racks. Rack at rear and front 3 batteries are suspended between frame members. Five batteries under hood , four in rear. Rear batteries are sealed in plastic container with fan exhausting under vehicle during charging.

Step 3: Install electric motor

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Mount motor to adapter plate with shaft coupler. Bolt unit to transaxle and either run motor slow (connected to small battery) or turn front wheel , checking for alignment. I also braced motor with angles ,as engine was attached to motor mount originally.

Step 4: Main Wiring

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Wiring is next after installing batteries , speed controller , throttle Box ,and contactor . Welding cable is used to connect batteries in series and from contactor to speed controller to motor. Throttle box is connected to cable from gas pedal and wired to speed controller. Ignition switch controls main contactor.

Step 5: More wiring

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Converter to change 72volts to 12volts (to run headlights etc) is mounted and wired to 12 volt car battery. I mounted 12volt vacuum pump (for brakes) in gas tank because it is noisy. 120 volt Battery charger is connected to main battery bank, and mounted in back of car. Volt and ammeter mounted and wired.

Step 6: Solar panel setup

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Build mounts for solar panels from 1/2" conduit and 2 by 4. Wire 6 panels together inside fused electrical box. Run large gauge wire from box into garage.
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jjaan5 months ago

kindly mail me in brief means which motor shall i used and list of components which i can buy here in pakistan to manufacture these and explore more about it knidly mail me?

ritesh jain jjaan2 months ago
I want to make a car..solar based...
plz mail details about its components ..design..and all other things...plzzzz. ..
davelayde6 months ago
How did you get your hands on a motor like that, I've been looking for a long time but never found anything
acunliffe18 months ago
Great instructable. You could have a hydroelectric generator going 24/7 to power it. 12 motors acting as water wheels then use a DC to DC boosting circuit to get them to 10V each. 10 x 12 = 120V. You could then charge the batteries. 24/7 power and you wouldn't need as any batteries because it would run continuously therefore you wouldn't need as much voltage or motors. Let me know what you think of it, if there are any flaws and any ways to improve it. Thanks.
ANDY!10 months ago
What's your optimal RPM for your motor? I have a differential with a 1:3.5 ratio that I'm considering mounting a motor on, but not sure if I should hook it up with a transmission in between.
bhvm1 year ago
a job well done! a true, pure home made Electric car. why don't you use one of the batteries 12v for headlights rather than 72v to 12v converter? also please think about putting Solar panels on roof and hood. those 100w something may improve driveability of the car!
Frankly.. I think this is a great project. Might change the batteries, voltage & motor a little.. But all else for me is on project ! I'm building a high horsepower for drag racing. Hoping to have a car that will certainly turn some heads and not thinking they have a category for electric cars yet t soul .
please can i hav the complete explanation for this electric car this is my email (georgekaycares@gmail.com)
How many total miles can you go off of one charge?
50... i think.... i would think...idk
DRC8883 years ago
You could try putting vents at the top of the bonnet (Windsheild end) to help the air flow freely through and reduce drag.

I don't know if it will work but could be worth trying :)
Where in IL are you? I'm in Buffalo Grove, and would love to see the car someday if you're not too far away! Regards, Steve
Yes, I too am in IL and wondering how far away from you I am. Also wondering if you do conversions for other, mechanically challenged people? And you total costs? I am very impressed!! Good job!
Awesome job. I've been wanting to go electric with and old beetle for a while now. I hope to have the success that you have.
mrmusty (author)  misterwelder5 years ago
Actually I was looking for an old beetle , before I found this Aspire , If I remember its a little lighter (and I wouldn't have to wear a seat belt) .I'm sure that someone has already figured out mounting motor and other tricks if you search online.
Why ruin a valuable car like an older VW. If it is old enough to not require a seat belt, It is an extremely valuable VW. It would make more sense to restore the Beetle and sell it. There should be enough cash to buy a new electric car if you wanted.
Dr. Al3 years ago
It seems Tesla is also taking this convert a gas car (Lotus) to electric and add solar panels to the garage roof. The better solution is found at Stinger Motors Inc.
Your Car is awesome and gives us great hope for having our own electric cars and the video I posted shows this guy with an electric car beating high class sports cars and using smaller batteries. :)

desotojohn4 years ago
Have you thought about mounting the solar panels on top of the car?
pmartinez4 years ago
Great project.!
I though about making a conversion myself, however; I live in Costa Rica and hill are steep here, I assume battery life would not last the typical 40-60 miles. I have a question:  Sorry if it sound "dumb", can a small generator be attached to the car, in order to "boost" the energy going up hill, and charge batteries on a long trip. I understand it defeats the purpose of going "electric", however; is a though for "emergency" boost.
Thank you

tristantech5 years ago
Is something like this street legal? or did you have to get this approved with the government before you could drive it on the street?
rommel5435 years ago
What kind of speed and distance do you get out of the car? I was looking into a conversion kit but it only went 60-75 miles per charge and took 8 hours to charge the batteries.
mrmusty (author)  rommel5435 years ago
Car will go 55 (but will cut range down) . Driving to work is about 25 mile round trip at 30-40 mph and a few miles on interstate at 55. Thats as far as I really want to discharge batts . But on a warm day at 30 mph I'm sure it would do better. Temps below 30-40 degrees slow you down. With my solar setup I am sometimes affected by cloudy weather. I used 9 - 8 volt batteries ,if you used 12 -6 volt batteries you could get more range. Maybe with a small pickup and a whole bunch of batteries you could get 60 - 75 miles per charge. You may have to move up to higher tech batteries !
If ur car ran on 48V, you could use a couple of 48V LiFePo batteries, which have a vary high energy to weight ratio.
How does lower temperature slow you down? I thought electricity conducts better at low temperatures. Or perhaps you're talking about something else...
mrmusty (author)  guitarman63mm5 years ago
Yes the wiring has less resistance but the lead acid batteries lose quite a bit of power when they get cold , maybe 50% when its below zero. Also grease in wheel bearings and transaxle gets thicker.
you are correct with the temperature situation about the circuits, but batteries like the temp just right, not too hot, not too cold
how many voltage is the electric motor?
rankhornjp5 years ago
You can check out http://www.diyelectriccar.com for all kind of information about conversions.
Skitter3025 years ago
I like the plan, food for thought here>> how about mounting a fan for a generator about were a trailer hitch would go( just under the rear bumper).
sebberdreng5 years ago
You allready have a mac you maket the on it i can see.
muell2915 years ago
Nice to see your combat robot skills going to good use here! What are the amp-hour ratings on your batteries on both the car and the home station?
mrmusty (author)  muell2915 years ago
Yea gotta keep buildin stuff ! There are 9 - 8 volt 170 AH batteries in car and 8 - 6 volt 225 AH batteries wired up for 12 volts in garage.
blksheep5 years ago
What kind of motor did you use? It looks so dinky compared to the engine you removed. Could you give the specs on it? I'd like to know where I can get one.
mrmusty (author)  blksheep5 years ago
Its made by D and D Motors and has 40 peak hp. It measures 6.7" dia. x 12.28" long and weighs 62 lbs. Its a series motor and several ev conversion web sites sell them.
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srharvey5 years ago
There has to a be a better way to charge the car off the solar battery pack. Converting from DC to 120V AC and then back to the DC in the car seems like a waste.
mrmusty (author)  srharvey5 years ago
You are so right, If I connected the 6 -12 volt panels in series it would be just perfect for charging. It would eliminate loss from inverter and battery charger. But I like to use solar panels and batteries as a back up during storm etc. I still might do something like that if I can figure out a way to switch panels from a parallel connection to series, and back again.
AdHd mrmusty5 years ago
Plus, your setup allows you to recharge the car anywhere you go, not just at home. If you had enough batteries at home, you could also drive the car to work and charge it overnight from the solar batteries. Your setup gives you lots of flexibility at the cost of some efficiency - I wouldn't change a thing.
Funk_D5 years ago
What if you had a gearing system that activated whenever you pressed the brakes that kicked in alternators and regenerated energy while providing a little bit of stopping power? (in union with the regular brakes of course).
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