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{ 25 comments }

1 dan maranon February 27, 2021 at 10:16 am

where can i get the battery for this truck

2 admin February 27, 2021 at 8:27 pm
3 Irish Mike February 28, 2021 at 9:48 am

I’ve experienced high powered EV motorcycles and I describe them as having
suicidal torque. The Zero has 3 battery options and the lowest isn’t available at the Wis Zero dealer but the middle has frightening torque and the top dog is a suicide waiting to happen EV.
Torque KILLS.

4 Danny C++ March 1, 2021 at 1:24 pm

I believe it’s possible to have a number of Dynamo’s (alternators) generating electricity from the rotation of the car wheels (axles) i.e independent from the motor. I once had a bicycle with a Dynamo that powered lights through the rotation of the real wheel.
You don’t need a rocket science degree to know that this is possible.

I’m sure the Admin is paid a lump sum to deceive us all.

I see you @John B. Hite September 11, 2020 at 4:40 pm
I understand that electrical to electrical energy will not work due to power demand being greater than output, but what about rotational to electrical energy? They use regenerative braking so why not belt driven at every axle during acceleration?

5 admin March 2, 2021 at 5:14 pm

If the wheels are spinning INDEPENDENTLY of the motor, then YES you CAN generate energy that way.
However, for the wheels to spin independent of the motor, you either need to be going down hill or slowing to a stop!

Bicycles that had a dynamo on them to power a light were not powered by the rotation of the wheel, they were powered by the bicyclist PEDALING the bike. Pedaling the bike with the light on is MORE work than pedaling with it off.

The Admin is NOT paid a lump sum to deceive anyone. No idea who would be paying anyways!

The reason regenerative braking works is that it converts the motion of driving the car forward into charging the battery. The car slows down because the power is going into charging the battery. Trying to charge the car by driving forward while regenerative braking would essentially be like trying to drive a gas car with the parking brake on. Nothing good would come of it.

6 Danny C++ March 4, 2021 at 3:47 pm

The following YouTube links explain the whole theory, it’s just a matter of scaling up the technology for a car or anything that rotates:

https://youtu.be/WhrE0BnM1qU

https://youtu.be/M0DKjnAeIq8

https://youtu.be/OhjA4K3rT_w

https://youtu.be/8qv5PxIYY1c

7 Ben N March 4, 2021 at 6:20 pm

Dynamos work fine for powering a bike light. The energy comes from the bicyclists legs.

But if you were trying to use a battery to power a light, it’s much more efficient to just do it directly than to use a battery to spin a motor to spin a generator to make electricity for a light.

This is the same reason that electric cars don’t have alternators.

8 Nathaniel March 7, 2021 at 2:35 pm

The engine turns into an alternator when deceleration. It should be called regenerative deceleration to make it less confusing. With using the wording regenerative braking it makes it seem like the brakes are create the energy to go back into the car. Also is magnetic braking possible? If you have coils over the rotors that create a magnetic field around the rotors would it slow down? Could it be modulated using a break which tells a junction box how much volts to send through the coil depending on how much force is being applied to the brake?

9 John Krage March 9, 2021 at 3:55 pm

Looking for valence U-27 lithium ion Batteries. Do you have any left that are for sale?

10 Ben N March 9, 2021 at 4:38 pm

I don’t have any, but you can try: https://mullerindustries.com/product-category/products/

11 Clay March 10, 2021 at 7:50 pm

Hi Ben, I have followed your projects for a couple years, especially the conversion of the Metro Geo to an EV. This was outstanding work and so creative! It actually inspired me to pick up a 1999 Solectria that I found here in California that had been converted (after the original lead-acid development as a battery power source for this EV built in Massachusetts in 1999) to LiFePO4 (49 BPS 3.2 nominal cells in series), but rodents had done their worst and the original simple BMS and some other cabling was severed and the cells had gone to zero volts. I tried reviving them using a variable voltage power source, but the GBS cells (100AH, 320W) will not hold voltage (aargh!). I just finished watching your video DIY 48V Lithium Battery – Step by Step Build and am again amazed by your ingenuity. Do you think that 3 of these could be connected in series to power my onboard 156V AC motor for the Solectria with AC Motor Type AC21? Sure would like to build up some of these cells and a friend of mine is no stranger to scrapyard cell building and Prius module repair. Please let me know what you think. Thanks, Clay W.

12 LORENE WALPER March 11, 2021 at 5:52 am

Hi we just bought a 2007 vectrix in really good condition and it only has a 1000 miles on it last tagged 2011 it doesn’t turn on at all we wanted to know how to see if we can charge the batteries at all or are they complete dead .

13 admin March 11, 2021 at 10:48 am

The batteries are probably completely dead.
The early motor controller board on the Vectrixs always put a small load on the batteries, even while off. So, if the cycle was left a long time without recharging, that slow drain will take down the charge until the battery dies. It’s similar to parking a gas car for a year. Just the radio memory is likely to kill the battery because it’s making a low draw that we don’t normally even think about.

If the Vectrix is parked for a long time, the battery should be disconnected.

If you open up the cycle (take off the seat, pull off the battery box cover) you can get at the batteries and connections. Connect a different battery up to the cycle (using the existing battery cables) to see if you can power it up. I don’t remember what the minimum voltage is to power it up, but something like 130+DCV should work. Like many motor controllers, you also want to connect through a resistor to pre-charge the capacitors in the controller immediately before connecting full voltage.

Take a look through all the Vectrix videos to get the best sense of the cycle before you start.


Good Luck!
-Ben

14 admin March 11, 2021 at 11:03 am

Hi Clay!
The Solectria was a car ahead of its time! I looked at one for sale way back when I built my own electric Geo Metro. (The seller wanted WAY too much money at the time, but it was still cool to see!)

Used lithium batteries from a commercially-built electric car are probably THE most affordable way to get your Solectria back up and running again. Besides Nissan Leaf cell modules, Chevy Volt modules have been pretty popular on DIY projects and might work fine for you as well.

Just make sure that your total final voltage is in the same range as what the inverter in the car needs to run properly. You will also need to make sure your battery charger matches your cells. Some chargers are programmable, or can be tweaked a bit. Lastly, make sure you are using some sort of appropriate BMS to prevent your cells from becoming over-charged or over-discharged.

If you did want to go with used Nissan Leaf cell modules, keep in mind that they are generally degraded, so they will have less capacity. Related to that, lets say you used 21 cell modules – You might charge up to 175V but depending on degredation, you might only have 7 kWh of capacity. If your car can go 4 miles per kWh, that’s a 28 mile range – rather on the low side. You may also be pulling relatively high current from the cells (I have no idea off-hand how many amps that car can draw) but you want to keep the current draw low, as that’s healthier for the batteries – extending their lives.

When I upgraded my Vectrix electric motorcycle, that ran on 18 Leaf Cell modules, but that’s a motorcycle – lighter weight that a car.
You would probably want to double up the modules (in parallel), that would double your capacity/range and cut the current draw from each cell in half.
Doubling would get you 42 cell modules. A Nissan Leaf uses 48, but they are all in series for a higher voltage, and half the current at the same amount of work.

Good luck!
-Ben

15 KONRAD March 15, 2021 at 1:41 pm

would an Audi A4 or Chevy Cobalt conversion be available using this method?

16 admin March 15, 2021 at 1:44 pm

You can convert pretty much any brand or type of car to electric. Just keep in mind that a lighter and more aerodynamic car will be more efficient. Avoid cars with automatic transmissions, unless you plan to otherwise completely replace the gear reduction and differential anyways (such as replacing a front wheel drive car with a Nissan Leaf motor AND gearbox.)

17 James R Hemond March 31, 2021 at 11:29 pm

I’m tired of people saying an alternator setup wouldn’t really work. You put four 250 amp alternators in a Tesla, one on each drive axle or drive axle running through each or if the rpms wouldn’t be enough, put a pulley on each with a better ratio for maximum output at lower speeds. If you can run a house off car batteries with an inverter, you can keep a battery powered car charged while it drives. Stop making excuses and build it! There are magnetic generators being built that run infinitely on their own once you start them and I’ve also seen a modified alternator run an electric motor that supplied the alternator with power to keep it running but it had to be manually started at first. Another thing, alternators put out alternating current before they put ouyout direct current so something could even be done with that. Too many excuses and not enough trying. We are Ameri-cans not Ameri-cants!

18 Ben N April 2, 2021 at 9:22 am

Magnetic braking IS possible and is actually used in a number of industries. For example, I know that there are some elevators which essentially use an electric generator, with the output just run to a heavy heating element as a load. That creates the electro-magnetic resistance which then slows the elevator descent.

There’s also something known as “plug braking”, which is where polarity is reversed inside an electric motor to oppose the mechanical force. Very common on machines like forklifts. Of course, the energy has to go somewhere, so typically, it is converted to heat and dissapated in the motor.

It’s also completely possible to use reversing magnetic fields to INTENTIONALLY cause heat. That’s basically how induction heaters work.

The important thing to always remember is that energy is never created or destroyed – it just changes from one form to another. In the case of regenerative braking, kinetic energy (movement) is exchanged for electrical energy (charging the battery).
There’s no such thing as a free lunch! But cleverly making use of this, we can do some pretty cool things!

19 Ben N April 2, 2021 at 9:28 am

If you can run a house off car batteries with an inverter, you can keep a battery powered car charged while it drives.

In the example of the house with an inverter, you could make AC power from the inverter and batteries, but you would NOT also be able to power a battery charger from it to CHARGE those same batteries. You can’t get out of a system more than you put in to it. And there are always losses (usually heat) when converting from one form of energy to another. So, even if you DID use batteries to run a charger (whether an AC battery charger or alternators on the wheels of an electric car) to then charge those batteries, you would always end up with LESS energy than you did before.

20 Mattias Håberg April 21, 2021 at 2:39 pm

Hi Ben!
I rediscovered you when i did a search for electric conversion of tractor or something similar. I have now watched the whole playlist and I am dying to see the rest of the farmtractor project. When do you think you will continue working on it?

Your a true inspiration!!

Mattias, northern Sweden

21 admin April 21, 2021 at 3:11 pm

Hello Mattias!
Thank you for your kind words.
The project has been slow, partly to Covid, health issues, and some other things.
Subscribe to my YouTube channel and you will see continuing videos on the project as they come out.
https://www.youtube.com/user/BenjaminNelson
Thanks!
-Ben

22 Ronald Smith April 25, 2021 at 1:06 pm

Climatologists agree that if we haven’t managed to keep the mean global temperature from increasing more than 1.5 degrees Celsius by 2050 the Earth is in big trouble. There are approximately 1.3 billion internal combustion vehicles on the road right now worldwide. These vehicles spew about 25% of the total carbon emissions into the atmosphere each year. Self charging electric vehicles could basically eliminate this 25% of fossil fuel emissions. This technology is not complicated. Your bloggers have come up with many logical ways this could be done. I have a few ideas also, including attaching an extra wheel to the frame to spin a 110/220 volt belt driven alternator or tow a little trailer with an alternator driven by a wheel; attach a small wind turbine somewhere on the vehicle. Primitive but the point is simply to spin a 110/220 volt alternator to recharge the vehicle’s drive batteries while the vehicle is in motion. This is not perpetual motion, not regenerative braking, not a power drain. It’s a separate circuit entirely, no different than plugging the EV in at home. This is so obvious, I have no doubt that this has been considered by the tall foreheads in the EV industry and I also have no doubt that Tesla and others have been warned by greedy energy providers. “You can have the EV market but hands off fossil fuels!”. It’s a disgrace, that in this day and age of catastrophic global warming this has not been implemented and I would like to challenge EV manufacturers and engineers everywhere to step up the the plate and do the right thing.

23 Ben N April 25, 2021 at 7:28 pm

This is not perpetual motion, not regenerative braking, not a power drain. It’s a separate circuit entirely, no different than plugging the EV in at home.

The big difference is that when you charge an EV at home, the energy is coming from somewhere else – typically a power plant on the other end of some electric lines. If you are trying to charge a car by having a wheel making an alternator spin, it’s like driving with a parking brake on. Energy has to come from somewhere.
It simply can NOT come from the car and then somehow make MORE energy than it is draining.

24 Ronald Smith April 27, 2021 at 9:41 am

Ben N. ; The energy is not coming from the car. Picture a belt driven 110 volt alternator mounted in the storage well of an EV. The belt is connected to a pulley which is attached to a wheel mounted under the vehicle. The pulleys are sized to spin the alternator at about 3600 rpm at an average speed of 60 mph. The car’s charging cord is plugged into the alternator–just like in your garage at home or at a charging station. I know there are minor issues with this particular scenario but nothing that couldn’t be overcome by engineers. The point is it is certainly possible to continuously charge an EV’s drive battery pack while the vehicle is in motion.

25 Ben N April 27, 2021 at 6:54 pm

The energy is not coming from the car.

So where is the energy coming from?
Alternators do NOT make energy for free. They convert mechanical rotary motion energy into electrical energy. In a gas car, if an alternator is running, your engine has to work harder and burn more fuel.
If an alternator was mechanically connected to a wheel, it would provide more resistance, and that wheel would slow down. To avoid slowing down, the car would need to use MORE energy than it would without the alternator connected.

If the output of an alternator mounted to the wheel was fed to the charger of an electric car, you COULD feed power to the car’s propulsion battery, but you would also need to use even more power to push the car down the road.
The result would be a net discharge of the battery rather than a charge.

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