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.

{ 27 comments… read them below or add one }

1 admin October 17, 2019 at 8:36 am

Hi Tom,
It is possible to build a budget-based Electric Vehicle, but there’s usually a pretty steep learning curve, and you want to make sure you have reasonable expectations up front.
Please read my article on what it takes to get started, which also includes links to the Build Your Own Electric Car video series, and other resources to get you started.
https://300mpg.org/buildelectriccar/

2 admin October 17, 2019 at 8:38 am

Hello Andre!
What you most likely want to do is just to switch out the chargers for some more typical single-phase chargers.
I know that some of the other versions of the Smith trucks used single-phase and had J1772 inputs on them. Seth, at Muller Industries had at least two trucks like that, but some of the parts, including the single phase chargers, had already been stripped off.
There are a lot of different chargers out there, and I’m sure you could find one compatible that runs on single phase.

3 Timothy Work November 17, 2019 at 6:26 pm

Hi Ben
I just want thank you for sharing your projects and advice, I really enjoy them. I hope to build my own electric vehicle. Thanks Tim in Ohio

4 Ben Nelson November 17, 2019 at 7:13 pm

Hi Tim!
Glad you like them. Thanks for the kind words.
-Ben

5 Saket J November 24, 2019 at 9:21 am

Why can’t I see what I post here ?!

6 Saket J November 24, 2019 at 9:23 am

How can I see the comments I post here ?
Where can I ask the questions or doubts or give feedback ?!

7 admin November 24, 2019 at 1:14 pm

You can’t see it until after I approve the post. People often leave personal information here, so I make sure it isn’t publicly viewable right away.

8 admin November 24, 2019 at 1:15 pm

Right here is a fine place to ask questions.

9 Paul November 25, 2019 at 7:17 am

Hi Ben.
I can’t believe my luck that I have found your website and associated videos. As I’m gathering a list of parts needed for this project, I visited the Lovejoy shaft connector website. Other than the many shaft diameter options, they have quite a range in torque options. How did you calculate yours? Did you add a certain safety factor? What value did you end up with?
Thank you so much.

10 Frank Tucker November 26, 2019 at 10:00 am

Hello Ben,
First …. I LOVE all your videos.
Second … I need your advice.
Is this solar generator and panels a good buy?
I’m looking for something to power my natural gas fired furnace and blower in the event of a blackout this winter. I was thinking of getting the unit and 2 panels for this purpose and camping out.

https://www.snowjoe.com/products/sun-joe-sj1440sg-battery-powered-portable-indoor-and-outdoor-inverter-generator-1440-watt-wheel-kit

https://www.snowjoe.com/products/sun-joe-sj1440sp-folding-solar-panel-with-cable-for-use-with-sj1440sg-60-watt

https://snowjoeecm.blob.core.windows.net/product-manuals/SJ1440SG_MANUAL_ENG_10242018_M_FINAL.pdf

Sorry to bother you, but it seems like it might be a good deal not to pass up.
Thanks,
Frank

11 Ben N November 26, 2019 at 10:27 am

Hi Frank, with just a quick review of the product, it looks fine. It’s basically a 100AH battery, an inverter, and a wall charger.
That should be fine for powering the blower on your natural gas furnace.
One thing to keep in mind is how long it can take to recharge the battery with solar.
That folding solar panel is only rated for 3.23 peak amps of current. A dead battery could take 30 hours of direct sunlight to recharge. In the winter (because you mentioned the furnace…) that could be an issue. In my area, we have very short days and the winter is the cloudiest time of year. In that case, you need enough solar power for the WORST CASE SCENARIO.

Sounds like a great product for camping and occasional brief power outages. If you are worried about a longer power outage, and blackouts in the winter, you may want to double up the solar panels or just buy a much larger one. Just depends on how much money you want to spend vs “how prepared” you are.

-Ben

12 admin November 26, 2019 at 10:29 am

Truth be told, I didn’t calculate torque at all for the Lovejoy coupler for the Geo Metro. The parts looked sturdy, and I didn’t expect any issues.
The trouble that I did have came from the fact that one half of my couple was an off-brand foreign-make part, clearly of lesser quality metal. I also originally had a bit of a mis-alignment, which I should have corrected first, but I had already put so much work into the car and was just excited to have it on the road.

13 Saket J November 27, 2019 at 10:19 am

Hello Ben !
Once again Congratulations on your Geometro project !
What I want to ask is about your transmission in Geometro.
Is it really fine to run the transmission without oil ?
Is it safe ? Is it advisable to use pre existing transmission in motorcycle ? Because there will be problems running the transmission without oil & with oil, it will spill out of the casing if not sealed properly.
Also is it safe to shift gears in an oil-less fast rotating transmission ?
Upto what speeds is it safe to shift gears like this after all ??
Also what was the power torque (& peak torque) & max rpm of the motor of that forklift ? Any idea ?
If you could answer all of these questions, it will be like a boon to me…..
Especially about the transmission…..
God bless you for what you are doing for us all !
I’m watching your YouTube series as per your suggestion.
Thanks for a prompt response !

14 Saket J December 1, 2019 at 2:49 pm

Why is my question not being answered ?
😔

15 admin December 1, 2019 at 6:04 pm

No. You want oil in your transmission.

It is not safe to run it without it, as it wasn’t designed for that, and friction will wreck the transmission.

Very few EV motorcycles have transmission. It’s easiest to simply NOT use one. Just use and electric motor with some gear reduction to the drive wheel.

I had no specs at all on the forklift motor which I used in the Geo Metro. It was a completely unmarked motor. It was a 10.5 inch diameter series wound motor pulled from a Nissan forklift. I have no specific info on that motor otherwise.

16 admin December 1, 2019 at 6:05 pm

Really long questions.
Ask specifics. Be clear.

17 Blair Fraser December 4, 2019 at 11:33 pm

Hi Ben. I’m making a plug in prius at the moment and I’ve got all of the electronics sorted and would love to show you some pictures of the progress so far. Do you have instagram?
Regards Blair Fraser
Kyneton Victoria Australia

18 BenN December 5, 2019 at 7:29 am

Hi Blair,

I don’t use instagram, but would love to see some photos. I sent you an e-mail. If you could send some photos, or a link to those photos, by that e-mail, that would be great!
-Ben

19 John December 18, 2019 at 9:17 am

Hi Tim
In that there is no BMS how do you protect the Valence batteries from low temperature cut off?

20 Jeff Sorge February 19, 2020 at 10:55 am

Thanks for all the time you spend sharing your projects. I too have deconstructed a Smith truck and for the life on me, I can’t get the logging path set in the Valence software. I have gotten all this way, built the cabling and have hit this brick wall. Any time I try to read it states denied to the path log. I have set the path as a file on my desktop via the browse icon in the Valence page just as you describe. Why am I lost??lol

21 admin February 20, 2020 at 11:29 am

Hi Jeff,
To start with, I have to say that I’m not much of a Windows person. I’ve been exclusively on Mac for years, and had to run the software through an emulator on my Mac Laptop.
That is to say – I’m NO EXPERT, and probably NOT the person to ask about PC software problems.

That said, I remember that one issue I had with the software, and I don’t remember if it was for the log path or not, that one problem was caused by PERMISSIONS settings in Windows. The software won’t tell you that’s why there’s a problem, it just errors on you.
Try looking through all your PERMISSIONS settings and see if it helps.

Best of luck,
-Ben

22 Greg Dronkert February 29, 2020 at 8:02 pm

Hey Ben! Wow what a great site and blog you have! A friend just gave me a Dynasty IT (that does not run) and I am trying to research where I might be able to find parts. I discovered your YouTube channel with your review from several years back. Any idea if there is a user group or a trove of parts anywhere or perhaps a manual out there? I live in the Seattle area and discovered these units where originally manufactured in Delta BC. Thank you for any info you can provide and nice job on all the information you’re getting out there! All the Best, Greg

23 Rex March 20, 2020 at 4:59 pm

Hi Ben
Older farmer here from New Zealand. I’m enjoying your tractor conversion videos and would definitely like to see how the battery holds up once you start cultivating with it.
I am a little concerned about using the side plates alone to support the front of the tractor given the amount of force even small tractors can generate. Those plates were intended as extra mounting points for the likes of loaders, belly mowers and mid mounted cultivators. My suggestion for what it’s worth would be to roll a sheet of steel into U shape and mount it where the side plates go or perhaps use angle iron instead.
I like alt energy and have built a water ram, a solar mirror for water heating and am in the process of making a wind turbine. There is also an old 30 hp JD crawler tractor here that I would like to make electric someday.

All the best
Rex

24 Ben N March 20, 2020 at 5:40 pm

Hi Rex, Thanks for the input.
On the tractor, as it was built, the engine – through a quarter-inch steel plate – mounts with multiple heavy bolts to the cast-iron transmission bell-housing.
On the other end of the engine, the front end – radiator, axle, etc – mounts to it.
There is also sort of a heavy pipe that goes from the front axle, under the engine, and mounts to the bottom of the transmission.
I think what I want to do is pull some frame rails from a sister tractor that used the same transmission. I will attach that at the same point on the transmission that the engine attached, and then run the other end to the front axle. The part that connects from the front axle back down under the transmission would be reconnected just as it was before.
I think that will essentially be the same strength as what was already there.

PS: Some of this gets hard to describe in just words! That’s a big reason why I shoot so many videos!

25 Ben N March 20, 2020 at 5:43 pm

Hi Greg!
Seems like there’s a user group for everything, you just have to find it!
Seattle has a GREAT electric car club. I suggest you contact them, as you would then have somebody local to talk with and help aid you on finding other Dynasty IT owners or help you fix it up. They probably have a meeting you can attend. https://www.seattleeva.org/wp/

-Ben

26 Richard H March 25, 2020 at 3:29 pm

Ben,
Keith in BC Canada has Nissan Leaf electric motor mounting adapters he’s been making would you like his contact info?

27 Ben N March 25, 2020 at 6:41 pm

Yes! That would be great!
Thank you.
-Ben

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