Monday, February 04, 2008

Well, if I do say so myself, the Tercel is looking pretty good. Can you tell I like orange? Since the last post I've finished the component board mount and I have the battery racks mostly done. It's not perfect, but it'll get the job done. Since I'm going to be mounting batteries underneath the front crossmember, I had to remove the brace underneath it. I had to add a whole bunch of extra bracing to make up for it. You can see that in the pic below.
Below you can see the front battery rack. This is going to hold three batteries. I would have liked to have had four up here, but there isn't quite enough room on the left side. I can always modify it later on. Hopefully I'll eventually be able to cram one or two more in there to take some weight out of the back. There's actually quite a bit of room here- you just have to spend the time to figure out how to use it all. I'll also have to find room up here for the 12v accessory battery.
Here's a look at what I'm working on for the rear battery rack. It's really just temporary. I'm going to be stuffing 10 batteries back here. Once I get the car dialed in, and get the batteries all where I want them, I'll sink them into the floor. This should let me have almost all of the original trunk space.

I have a lot of work to do yet. I still have to run all of the wiring (something that I'm going to think through a little more with this car than I did with my truck), assemble the component board, set up the gauges, work out the vacuum system, and of course, purchase and install batteries, along with a bunch of other little stuff.

This is going a lot faster than my truck, though. It really helps to know the basics of how everything is going to go together. I'm hoping to have this car on the road by the end of the month- we'll see what happens. Now that I've gotten this far, I'm getting really anxious to get it rolling. It looks like it's going to be a really fun car. Stay tuned!


FridgePidge said...

Hi there! I'm Brigitte, a student journalist at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa. I'm a write for Drake Magazine and we want to do a story on you and the pickup you transformed into an electric vehicle. This is the only way I could figure out how to reach you, so I hope you read this soon (sorry that it's so informal).
If you could please contact me back at my college email that would be amazing!: Whether or not you comply to do the story, I would still appreciate some sort of reply. Thank you!!

Noelle said...

Hi Andrew! I wanted to let you know that there's a competition out there for great GREEN IDEAS by teenagers. The prize is $10,000, a meeting with a famous green activist of your choice, and a guest blogger role on Leonardo DiCaprio's 11th Hour Web Site. The web site is if you want more information. I think your idea is great and could be a real winner!

Keane said...

Andrew, a couple of questions for you if you don't mind...

1) What is the typical charge time for your battery array?

2) Does your listed 40 mile range account for idle time where the vehicle is off and parked? For example, does the effective range decrease while you are at work or in class?

Good job on your EVs!

Andrew said...

My truck seems to take about 10 hours to charge from a full discharge.

The range does decrease slightly when the truck is sitting in the parking lot, but it isn't enough to matter.


Mike said...

I noticed that you removed the spare tire. Are you planning on not putting it back? If so, you could cut a hole in the trunk floor the same shape as your battery box and mount the box in it. This would allow you to keep your spare tire handy (on top of the batteries), as well as give you a little bit of trunk space.
Where are gas tanks located on these vehicles? Did you pull that out too? The gas tanks are usually located between the front and rear wheels, or sitting over the rear axel to give the car better balance. You might be able to fit the batteries in there too (???). Just a few thoughts.

Great projects!!! I wish I had a pole barn, etc. to be able to do all this fun stuff.