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Video A Honda Civic With no Gas Tank (Video) 331

It took Dr. Adam Blankespoor two years and $14,000 to convert his 1996 Honda Civic into an all-electric plug-in vehicle. He's an automotive engineer and researcher, but if he can do it, you can probably follow in his footsteps and create your own electric vehicle if you are so inclined. He talks about a 45 mile range, with 30 miles as a practical limit. That's not competitive with the Tesla S, but there's also a massive price difference to consider. This is another person Slashdot met at the Ann Arbor Maker Faire. If you want to see what kinds of electric vehicles other have made, possibly for inspiration, the Electric Vehicle Photo Album is a good place to start. And if you want information on how to build your own electric car, using "electric car conversion" as your Google search term will put you on the track of more electric car information than you can shake a Tesla Coil at.

Adam Blankespoor: My name is Adam Blankespoor and this is my Honda Civic, a ‘96 Civic that I converted to full electric battery power. Took out the engine and added the motor and a lot of batteries. So, I drive it every day to work and back. My commute to work is 15 miles and it takes about three-and-a-half hours to charge that. If I use the full battery capacity, I could probably go 50 miles, but I rarely do that and rarely have a need to do it, living here in Ann Arbor. If I use that full battery capacity, then it would take 10 hours to charge on a 110 outlet. The charger that I have, it can use 110 or 220, automatically switch between the two. And so that would cut the time in half. I finished it a year ago. It took me two years to convert and I finished it a year ago and have about 2,000 miles on it. And one of the things that amazes me still is that, I haven’t had to do any maintenance really or any kind of tuning. Once I got everything connected, it’s basically been trouble free for the first 2,000 miles. And I think it’s less of a testament of my prowess and more of a testament of the simplicity of this system and the elegance of an electric drive. Interviewer: Could you walk us through the various parts of the system? Adam Blankespoor: Sure. So, everything from the flywheel to the lug nuts is original Honda and I have a WarP 9 motor and it’s a DC series wound motor. It can handle 160-volts nominal and up to 1,000 amps of output. This is a WarP-drive controller. It acts a lot like a dimmer switch. So my accelerator pedal controls this controller and it controls how much power goes to the motor. I have 45 lithium ion battery cells and they are 100-amp-hour capacity at about 150 nominal volts. This controller is liquid cooled and that’s regular engine coolant. And then I have 25 cells in the back along with the charger and a DC-to-DC converter.

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A Honda Civic With no Gas Tank (Video)

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