About

300MPG.org is a web page and blog dedicated to people who take positive action to improve their own transportation options. From electric vehicles charged from the sun to just making sure you have the right amount of air in your tires, we can all make a difference to create a a better future, while still gettin’ around.

The site is administered by Ben Nelson, a self-professed tinkerer, who once almost accidentally built a motorcycle that gets the equivalent of over 300 miles per gallon.

If you have a great project that shows off what the common man (or woman) can do for a cleaner, more sustainable transportation future, let us know, and help share the story.

{ 33 comments… read them below or add one }

1 admin October 19, 2016 at 4:22 pm

The “Open Revolt” controller has always been great! Other when we were in “test to destruction mode” I’ve really never had any issues with it. It’s solid.

2 mitchell campen November 18, 2016 at 10:26 pm

I have a forklift motor I bought for building an electric car – never happened – never found usable batteries. It is for sale. Mitch

3 Rob Lewis November 30, 2016 at 3:14 pm

We installed a Hymotion A123 Conversion Module in our 2008 Prius in October of 2008.

In the past there has been a spark, or arc when we plug in the car to recharge it. We had to discard one extension chord as it had burned out the contacts in the female end of the chord. Recently the female end of the extension chord has welded itself to the male end of the jack in the car and cannot be removed. So does anyone have a suggestion on what we can do to remove it.

Is there someplace that we can take it locally to have it repaired? We live in Shavertown, PA (near Wilkes-Barre). The conversion module was installed by Westboro Toyota in Westborough, MA.

Thanks for your help,

Rob Lewis
rob.scott.lewis@gmail.com

4 John Campbell December 8, 2016 at 7:06 pm

I read that you scored some solar panels. I found this web site that has some great info on the installation of panels…http://www.johnsavesenergy.com/Photovoltaics.html

5 Gavin December 28, 2016 at 11:04 am

Issues with 300mpg car DVD order

6 admin January 3, 2017 at 1:09 pm

Hi Gavin, sorry for the delay, glad we got it taken care of for you!

7 Joseph Whitesell January 19, 2017 at 12:55 pm

Hello,
I am a big fan of your videos, and proponent of what you are doing.
I am considering embarking on an EV conversion myself.
What kind of motor and setup would you recommend for these specifications?
1970 Toyota Hilux Pickup
2300 lbs curb weight with current ICE (and components)
No power steering
4 speed Manual Gearbox

Desired Range: At least 30 miles on a full charge
Desired Speed: 50 mph –> able to attain and maintain this comfortable highway speed for reasonable stints.

What kind of weight would you estimate after conversion?
Do you have any experience or familiarity with hub motors (I am entertaining the idea of using them, highly upscaled of course, after riding an impressive scooter that used them in Burma and reading about the Porsche Semper Vivus a linear drive hub motor vehicle)?
Where do you weigh in in terms of hub motor’s practicality on automobiles/ ability to be used at high speeds?
How difficult is it to integrate the now existing manual transmission into designing a conversion?
Are there any alternative (perhaps maybe even a little out there) methods you have thought about implementing into a conversion, such as alternative drive methods maybe with belts (Such as on a DAF 33 from the Netherlands) or direct chain drives (like on a King Midget) by modifying or perhaps retrofitting them into already existing examples?

Sorry for the novel
Thank You,
Joe

8 Justin January 19, 2017 at 8:54 pm

Hello-
I have a gas powered Vespa in my garage that I would love to convert to electric but I’m not handy – at all. I’m willing to invest, try and make mistakes but 1/2 the sites I read immediately skip over the basics. Can you help? I’m feeling absolutely lost on how to get this project off the ground.

Thanks,
-Justin
Hopefully (hopelessly?) overly ambitious in Pennsylvania

9 Benoit Lafleur March 27, 2017 at 9:42 am

Hello

I bought your CD on vehicle conversion and I just started my project. A 1975 Jeep CJ5. Ok this is not the ideal vehicle for this kind of project but I like this type of vehicle. I would like your comments and your ideas because I am engaging in the unknown.

My web site: http://www.benjeep.com

Thank you for sharing your passion.
-Ben

10 Ben N March 27, 2017 at 9:53 am

Looks like you are off to a great start!
I was going to immediately suggest you take a look at all the Jeeps on the EVAlbum, but when I went there, I saw that your project was already registered there! http://www.evalbum.com/type/JEEP

In general, always take a look at projects that other people have already done, and learn from them. The other great thing going on right now is that the cost of lithium batteries keep falling, and there are even fairly good sources of USED and salvaged lithium batteries out there.

Keep up the good work,
-Ben Nelson

11 Brent J. Roberson June 1, 2017 at 1:46 pm

Hello, that was a very interesting article about the conversion on your S10. I am thinking about trying a similar conversion on my Sonoma, can you please tell me what was the horsepower of the electric motor you used?

12 Josh Millstein November 8, 2017 at 3:25 pm

Hello! Awesome videos. I’ve got an escape hybrid battery pack just like the one you have in your motorcycle video. I’d like to use solar panels to charge the hybrid battery and use it as a ‘powerwall’ type deal for my garage. I’m wondering about the charge controller right now and whether or not I need one or if the battery pack has one build into it that I can use with a solar array. Have you done anything similar or know where I might be able to find information for putting something like this together ?

13 Ben Nelson November 9, 2017 at 7:38 am

Hi Josh, I’m actually working on something similar right now, at least I’ve got the idea going in my mind…

I have 9kwh of Nissan Leaf batteries in my Vectrix electric motorcycle. Keep in mind that an electric motorcycle is basically just a battery bank that you can roll around!
Yes, you would need some sort of charge controller for the batteries. The first thing to do is to look up the specs on the batteries, and make sure that you can charge appropriately for them. Common solar charge controllers are designed for 12/24/ or 48V systems. You could take apart a battery pack and rebuild it into one that is 48V nominal OR you could find an appropriate charger (that can run off DC) to power the high-voltage battery pack as is. Some people have had good luck using switching mode power supplies, such as those made by Mean Well as battery chargers. Depending on which model you use, some have fairly high output voltage and can be run on a range of input voltages, both AC AND DC.

Beyond that, you need an inverter to convert power from the battery pack to AC power. That inverter needs to be designed to work with whatever voltage your batteries are.

As you can see, having the batteries is only ONE PART of a complete power backup system, and will require some custom work using an unusual battery pack like a recycled hybrid pack.

I already did one battery backup system using my original electric motorcycle and a 48V UPS. It was a fun experiment and worked pretty well. You can see that at: http://www.instructables.com/id/Poor-Mans-Smart-Grid-Blackout-Protection-by-UPS-/

Currently, I’m looking for a solar inverter which does NOT have anti-islanding built in. Series solar strings can run typically from less than 200 up to 600V. Electric car batteries are often in the range of 360V. A solar string inverter WITHOUT anti-islanding could theoretically draw power directly from an electric car battery and convert it to 240VAC. I haven’t had a chance to experiment with that yet, but I hope to soon!

Good luck with your project!

14 ken June 8, 2018 at 2:43 pm
15 Philip H Millies September 11, 2018 at 11:04 am

Hi Ben,
I’ve been watching your videos for a while now. I would like to build my own electric motorcycle. What is the cheapest way to get a bike to convert C but also have a title)?

16 admin September 11, 2018 at 4:14 pm

Look through Craigslist or classified ads. There are plenty of used motorcycles out there that need a little TLC. Just find one of a style that you would like to convert and make sure it comes with a title.

17 EZ kats November 13, 2018 at 9:45 pm

I am totally new to this EV world and I have been researching a lot. Thank you for posting all the youtube videos and the blogs, it has helped me and 1000 of others a lot.
just a quick question though, what kinda of motor (preferably brand and model) should I use to achieve a max speed of 65mph on a 200cc ktm duke 2016 motorcyle. Also what kinda battery should I use to achieve approx 120 miles of range if thats possible?
I obviously wont be building it myself, I will have someone build it for me.
Thank you
Big fan.

18 admin November 14, 2018 at 8:15 am

Which motor you want is up to you. Budget, performance, availability, and personal preference will all effect your choice.
How FAR you can go on an electric motorcycle depends on the size of the battery. More details on that at: https://300mpg.org/projects/electro-metro/battery-range/
How FAST you can go on the motorcycle depends on how fast the motor spins times the gearing. https://300mpg.org/projects/evcycle/driveline-sprockets-and-gear-ratios/
Online gear ratio calculators can also help you figure out your top speed.

On a DC motor, the higher voltage it runs, the faster the motor spins AND the lower current it draws vs the same amount of work at a lower voltage. In general, higher voltages make a motorcycle faster and more powerful.

Here’s some links to places that offer components for electric motorcycles. https://300mpg.org/projects/evcycle/ev-cycle-parts-suppliers/

Good luck on your project!

19 charging cycles November 29, 2018 at 8:06 pm

https://science.wisc.edu/event/wntl-designing-electric-motorcycles-for-the-isle-of-man-tourist-trophy-the-pikes-peak-international-hill-climb-the-worlds-oldest-and-most-dangerous-motorcycle-races/

WN@TL: “Designing Electric Motorcycles for The Isle of Man Tourist Trophy & The Pike’s Peak International Hill Climb – The World’s Oldest and Most Dangerous Motorcycle Races”
December 5 @ 7:00 pm – 8:15 pm

Speaker: Lennon Rodgers, Grainger Makerspace – Engineering

20 Ruth Salomone December 15, 2018 at 7:00 pm

Hi I’m new to this site. I recently bought a Mitsubishi I Miev. I also bought it in Ill. I watched you video of you bringing it back. I had a fun time bringing my back also. Stopped 2 times to get it back to Germantown WI, from Downers Grove. I am still learning the car and how to get the best range. Unfortually it doesn’t have the fast charge on it, thank god I had only found the level 2 charger. Thank you for your videos I learned a lot. Thanks Again. Ruth

21 admin December 16, 2018 at 9:12 am

Hi Ruth!
Congrats on the car!
It’s a very practical commuter and city car. Unfortunately, the heater on it isn’t great and runs the battery down. Use the pre-heat feature before leaving in the winter, and leave your seat heater on. The electronic traction control works well, and I’ve never had any problems with it on snow.
If you have more questions about the car, feel free to stop by here again and ask.

22 Wayne S Bennion December 18, 2018 at 12:45 pm

Hi, Ben. I had a Ranger EV from 2011 to 2015, when I gave up on keeping it running and bought a Kia Soul.

My Ranger was a 2001, and reportedly had been purchased new by the Ventura (CA) water department. It was converted from lead-acid to lithium using 104 LiFePo CALB 100wh cells.

I bought a converter to use the new J1772 standard from the nice folks at ranger-ev.com. when I brought the Kia home I swapped cords on my EVSE, and it worked great until the 7kw Kia charger killed a contacter in the EVSE.

Drop me an email and I’ll tell you more.
Wayne

23 Marcus Pinson December 21, 2018 at 1:43 am

I’m looking for a lightweight electric motor with a really high power to weight ratio for a part 103 aircraft. What would you recommend and do you have product links?

24 admin December 21, 2018 at 9:05 am

Hi Marcus,
I’ve never worked on an aircraft before, so I really couldn’t give you a recommendation. You are right about the high power to weight ratio though! I guess if it were me, I might start looking at high-end motors for electric motorcycles, probably permanent magnet AC motors. Induction motors can be more powerful, but are less efficient and tend to be heavier.

25 Shea Nyquist February 4, 2019 at 4:03 pm

I love your videos! Especially the Motorcycle build!
I have a new project I’m working on and I just spreading the word to like minded individuals.
I’m building an Electric Streamliner Motorcycle to break the current landspeed record.
I’m just looking to expand my social media presence and spread the word.
Please have a look at my channel and some of the videos. If anything, give me a follow on IG or Youtube and enjoy.
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCYyWbIfM9ZF6cWWAiTYRHXg
https://www.facebook.com/shea.nyquist
IG :shea_nyquist

26 Zach February 21, 2019 at 9:42 am

Hi Ben – I’m actually considering a similar solar project for my parents house less than 10 miles from you. I stumbled across your site after looking through the energy fair’s schedule of events from 2018. Any chance you offer tours? (Maybe I’m actually just jealous of your Ranger EV…)

27 Ben N February 21, 2019 at 9:46 am

Hi Zach!
Yes, please come visit. I’m happy to talk solar. I’ll send you an e-mail.
-Ben

28 Thomas u March 11, 2019 at 8:21 am

Hi I watch the video a couple years ago if you building a electric car. I was thinking about starting my own project. What are your thoughts on converting a Mazda RX-8

29 Ben N March 11, 2019 at 8:47 am

Sports cars have been popular for conversion to electric. A front-engine, rear-wheel drive setup is straight-forward to convert, as it allows for plenty of space and mounting of the electric motor.
The biggest limitation will likely be the size and position of the battery pack.
I know that in Mazdas, the Miata was a popular car to convert to electric. I see a couple of RX-8s listed on the EV Album as well.
http://evalbum.com/type/MAZD
Good luck with your project!

30 Scott Castleberg March 31, 2019 at 1:35 pm

Interested in electric car/truck/motorcycle. Have access to electric GMC Sonoma that is sitting unused. Need help and noticed that you live in Oconomowoc. I live in Petoskey, Mi, grew up in Madison, wi. Can I call you?

31 BenN April 4, 2019 at 9:12 am

Hi Scott, I just sent you an e-mail. Let’s chat!
-Ben

32 Micheal Jones April 27, 2019 at 1:39 pm

I caught your video on YouTube, “Build Your Own Electric Motorcycle” and you mention that you got you. . .sre r forklift motor for $50.How did you come across a forklift motor at such a great price? I have spoken with another YouTuber and he got his for $100; what is a good place to locate motors at those prices? Is there a site to a location where I can go?

33 admin April 27, 2019 at 5:41 pm

I got my forklift motor from a rummage sale! The guy had a small forklift he was planning to use the hydraulics to build a lift!
There are salvage yards that specialize in industrial equipment. If you talk to any local salvage yard place, they are tied in to the industry and can probably recommend a salvage yard in the area that specializes in industrial equipment or even a “Hey, go talk to Bob….” kind of a situation.

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