Projects

The heart of improving fuel economy on this web site is PROJECTS!

Individuals work on vehicles to make them better! Take a look through any of the projects posted here. Leave a comment. Let us know what you think.

Or, contact us, and get your project added!

Citicar

Ben’s Electric Motorcycle

Electric Geo Metro

Tom’s EV Dodge Neon

{ 67 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Patrick January 26, 2014 at 8:57 pm

Hey.
I was planning on modding my scooter (Aprillia SR50) to electric and i saw a fid of a small motor that would fit on the right side of the engien.
Now i cant seem to find that motor anywere and i was wonderering if you or any of your friends had an idea what motor it is (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bBdLNJgBfEU)
I really want to go electric but i dont really want to spend to much doing it seeing you can get a electric scooter for 1500 euro here.
Could you please tell me how much i would really need to complete the conversion?

2 Ben N January 27, 2014 at 8:21 am

I’m not familiar with that particular motor, but there are LOTS of different motors available by e-mail. Another way that is getting more popular on electric scooters is to use a hub motor.
For any conversion, you are going to need a motor, motor controller, batteries, charger, and a few other things like main fuse, cables, etc. My lead-acid electric motorcycle conversion cost me $2000 USD, but is also fully street legal and a “real” motorcycle.

For a 50cc scooter, you may even be able to use some parts designed for electric bicycles or golf carts, which could save a little cost. Otherwise, please do look at some commercially-made electric scooters. There are starting to be some well designed ones at reasonable cost. For example, here’s one from the middle of the U.S. – http://www.fluxmopeds.com/#specifications

3 aditya bhandari May 27, 2014 at 6:21 am

hey,

i am pretty impressed by your video of solar charging an electric car. I am under going a project of making the electric two wheelers solar chargeable. can you help me out on the same as to what shall be requires?

4 admin May 27, 2014 at 7:46 am

While I can’t help out everyone personally with individual projects, here’s my advice on solar charging – LEARN ALL YOU CAN! Solar electricity is great. Read books on it. Take classes on it. Go visit a solar installation. Solar charging a car is just like solar charging any other bank of batteries. You will need a photovoltaic panel, a charge controller, the battery bank, and a few other things, such as a fuse-box and disconnect. Take a look at Built-It-Solar. It’s a great DIY solar web page, with plenty of info to start learning about solar. http://www.builditsolar.com/Projects/PV/pv.htm

5 Jorge Papadopolo July 4, 2014 at 6:51 pm

Hi there.
I have this idea in my head; to convert my S-10 Chevy truck into a Hybrid electric, by replacing both front wheels with electric hub motors. And I read about that in an article from ecomodder forum that says “…Put two of these (hub motors) on the back of a Metro or Festiva, and you got a hot hybrid!”.
I wanted to buy your instructional video about converting a Metro into electric (here at 300mpg.org) but it seems to me that you talk in there about replacing the gasoline engine with an electric. Do you have any instructional material talking about this hybrid conversion? or can you lead me to one?
I think for this hybrid conversion I would need to dig deeper into controllers and battery packs instead of messing up with the mechanical conversion.
Thanks in advance.

6 Ben N July 5, 2014 at 7:30 pm

Hi Jorge,
Converting a vehicle to a hybrid by adding hub motors to two wheels would be a great project. In effect, you would just add all the electric parts to a vehicle that is already I.C.E. powered. Assuming you can find some appropriate hub motors and connect them properly to the vehicle, this would work great. My electric car DVD set will get you through the basics of a simple electric conversion. To build a hybrid with hub motors, you still need to know about motors, controllers, chargers, batteries, etc., you just don’t need to mount the motor where the engine was. Most the information on when I ran my Metro as a hybrid is at: http://www.instructables.com/id/DIY-Plug-In-Hybrid-Car/

7 Mick White July 29, 2014 at 7:24 am

Greetings,
We have completed our first project and made a video presentation about how it works and why we made it. The objective was to start conversations about unobtrusive plug-in hybrid designs that would appeal to crowds that typically avoid electric cars. What we believe we have stumbled on is a true plug-in hybrid design that everyone can appreciate. Our hope is that this will further the goal of every vehicle on the road being some form of hybrid by shifting the grassroots movement into new markets.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TLPR2-7-xpM

8 Bill Thompson January 20, 2015 at 8:49 pm

We built an electric GEO Metro based as a class project based on your DVD. We just finished it last October and recently presented it at the Minnesota School Board Association state conference at the Minneapolis Convention Center. Our school board and many other schools across the state enjoyed learning and asking questions about how students could do an EV conversion. Thanks Ben!

There is an article on our GEO metro on the website of our local paper: Rock County Star Herald.

9 Zrei Kamarul April 8, 2015 at 11:10 pm

Hello,
I am planning on converting my bike into a hybrid bike. I would like to use the lead acid battery as supply for the electric motor when I’m not using the petrol engine. Is it adequate? Also, what type of DC motor should I use? Can you please advice?

Here is the specifications for my bike
http://www.mymotorcycle-reviews.com/yamaha-fz-150i-specifications.html

10 admin April 9, 2015 at 8:12 am

Hi Zrel,
Electric bicycles and electric mopeds are becoming extemely popular in the hobbyist world. It would be challenging to fit all the components for a fully hybrid motorcycle into a standard frame, but I’m sure some clever person could make it happen. You might get some ideas from my hybrid car project – http://www.instructables.com/id/DIY-Plug-In-Hybrid-Car/ A great source of information in pedal hybrids and smaller battery packs can be found at: http://endless-sphere.com/forums/

11 Sharif April 24, 2015 at 5:01 pm

Hi Ben,

I am looking to covert my car! I rebuilt at restored a 71 Triumph GT6 (classic British car) to find out that my little car is a big polluter! I am on a budget but determined to convert my car…I only need about 40 – 50 MPH and 30 miles of range. Can you suggest good products, or perhaps have any parts laying around for sale?

Kindest Regards,

Sharif

12 Ian August 11, 2015 at 7:36 am

I was really digging the idea of the super truck. I am a German diesel fan plus the idea of an in line electric engine was really interesting. I haven’t been able to find any updates past 2013 or 14. Did you mothball this project? I would love to hear what happened to it Ben.

Thanks

13 admin August 11, 2015 at 8:56 am

The “SuperTruck” has been sort of a back-burner project. I have the engine and transmission in my garage, but other various projects have popped up, taking priority. Right now, I’m rebuilding my garage. When it’s done, I’ll be able to finally use it as real winter work-space. (Heat AND insulation!)
I need to learn a little more machining too to figure out how to exactly adapt the transmission. I may be doing that this winter at the Milwaukee Makerspace.

14 Pezz March 3, 2016 at 10:07 pm

A project to add to your list:
I am converting a 2003 VW Golf GL 2.0L to electric, I always appreciate constructive feedback and started this blog recently to reach out before and hopefully get a “watch out” before I do something lethal.

15 Jimmy September 10, 2016 at 11:50 am

I have a 2009 Vectrix VX –1. It has nickel metal hydride batteries. I am looking for someone in the New England area who can replace my batteries with lithium ion batteries like you did with the Leaf batteries for your Vectrix. I have ridden over 15,000 miles on my bike thus far. Do you know anybody in my region that has the knowledge and skills to do such a conversion; I live in southeast Vermont? Thanks and I’m excited to hear back from you. Jimmy

PS I commute approximately 30 miles in each direction to work on my Vetrix VX-1. As you can imagine I am tired with the memory affect problem and relatively short range.

16 BenN September 10, 2016 at 1:02 pm

Hi Jimmy,
Please try taking a look over at the “V is for Voltage” forums. That’s where I found the best info on Vectrixs. You might be able to find somebody in your neck of the woods on there.
http://visforvoltage.org/forums/vectrix

17 Jeffrey Gillette February 5, 2017 at 11:42 pm

I am in the process of changing out my lead acid batteries in my
GEM electric car to Leaf Lithium–10 modules. My housemate owns HybridBatteryRepair. He is and electrical engineer and is
slowly getting into lithium(as the repair market evolves)
but mainly rebuilds Honda and Prius nimh battery packs. He looked at
what I was doing and came up with this:

It sounds like you have a 20s2p pack, and they’re going to need to get to
~84VDC fully charged (slightly less is good too) AND that you need a battery charger,
1000W (12A) and 72V (programmed to stop at 83.16V, 4.16V a cell)
With 10 of these Leaf Batteries, and roughly 488Wh per battery (each
battery containing 4 cells in 2s2p format), That gives you roughly
4880Wh.
————————————————————————————————-
Sorry for some of the redundant vague info but I am new to this. I just
don’t want to bother with FLA Trojans batteries anymore and this
opportunity to get LEAF battery modules came along.

Do you have a similar Elcon Charger? Does it come with a lead
so the BMS24 I am buying can control it. Or would I have to
rig my own relay?

Thanks, Jeffrey Gillette
—————————————————————————————————————
And this is what your competitor is trying to sell me:
CHARGER Lithium Li-Ion for 14S 10A 84V nominal, V max voltage [1]
>
> $ 295.00
>
> CHARGER LITHIUM LI-ION FOR 14S 10A 84V NOMINAL, V MAX VOLTAGE
>
> CHARGER Lithium Li-Ion for 14S 1200W 17A 54V nominal, 58.8V max
> voltage
>
> The charger comes as a set with the following components:
> – AC 120V – US standard charging cable made with thicker – 12AWG
> cable,
> – D6C plug with Anderson connector 50A,
> – EXTRA MATCHING ANDERSON CONNECTOR (GRAY) – CAN BE USED TO CONNECT TO
> THE BMS,
> – fuse(s)

Any electrical engineers out there have any advice?

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