Saturday, January 20, 2007

More Delays

Over the past few weeks I've been trying to contact the folks at Electro Automotive to get the status of the EV 914 kit. They finally responded last night and apparently they're completely buried under the demand for EV conversion kits. Mike and Shari both have colds and the welder that creates the frames for the battery holders is quite backlogged. It looks like this is going to take some patience.

On a brighter note, John Benson (who lives a ten minute drive away) showed me his 914 EV conversion car today. He got one of the earlier DC motor kits for the 914 from Electro Automotive. Quite a fine fellow, he's been through three different battery types. He also highly recommends the BMW320i brake upgrade for the 914 to handle the extra weight of the batteries. After listening to him, I get the idea that the biggest issue with these vehicles (no surprise) is maintaining battery health. Having a high-current charger and a BMS (battery management system) is a must.

I'm working with an analog design engineer at HP to come up with a homebrew BMS system that does charge sharing similar to the PowerCheq systems, but for much cheaper, hopefully around $10 per battery instead of the $75 that PowerCheq units cost. Besides, the PowerCheq units only handle 12 volt batteries and the ElectroAuto kit is designed for 8-volt golf-cart batteries, so a homebrew system will be required.

Craig out at camp914 is still working on the stock 914 that will be the platform for the conversion, but the weather is quite cold here and working in the unheated hangar at camp914 is rather difficult. I hope to visit sometime this next week to see the progress on the yellow car.

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