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Daniel's EVPorsche 911 conversion

Discussion in 'Electric Conversions' started by daniel, May 7, 2009.

  1. daniel

    daniel Active Member

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    #1 daniel, May 7, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: May 22, 2009
    Moderator's Note: Split off from here: Conversions in Florida
    ---------------------------


    This seems a good place for my first post. I have an electric Porsche on order from Paul. I've been waiting a very long time, due to various delays, but they tell me it will be shipped tomorrow. I'll believe it when I'm driving it. So many time-related promises unfulfilled that I'm skeptical now of promises.

    However, he has been converting Porsches for a long time, and has a reputation for doing very good work.

    A big difference between Tesla Motors and Paul, is that Tesla is a production company, currently turning out 15 cars a day, if I've been told correctly, with plans to ramp up production and expand to lower and lower priced electric cars. Paul's is a conversion shop that takes existing cars one at a time, and converts them.

    The price comparison can be misleading, because if you are on a budget you can buy a very old, relatively cheap donor car, and install smaller components for less range and power. But if you want a car as beautiful, as new, as fast, as a Tesla Roadster, and with the same range, The Tesla itself would probably be cheaper than a conversion.

    The car I'm getting is a recent model Porsche 911 in very nice condition. To my eye, it's as nice looking as the Roadster, but of course beauty is in the eye of the beholder. From the promises Paul has given me, and based on his reputation I have no reason to doubt these, my Porsche will have about half the acceleration of a Tesla (0 to 60 in about double the time) and about half the range (125 to 140 miles). I am happy with these numbers because I'm not a speed freak, and I never drive more than 75 miles in a day unless I take a 300 to 400 mile road trip. The 911 has about double the interior space of a Roadster, and the 911 is MUCH more comfortable to sit in. (I have sat in a Roadster, and was given a ride, though I've not driven one.) Price was in the same ballpark. The Roadster is very small. Zero space behind the seats, and a microscopic trunk, the size of one golf bag. Batteries do take up space. The Roadster uses lithium-ion batteries with a liquid cooling system. My Porsche will have lithium-iron-phosphate batteries, which are thermally stable and do not require cooling. They are supposed to be good for 2,000 cycles, which would be 250,000 miles; the life of the car.

    I'll post pictures once I have the car. Knock on wood that it actually comes. (*Raps knuckles on head*) Below is a picture of the car at the used car dealer before conversion.

    Daniel
     

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  2. JRP3

    JRP3 Hyperactive Member

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    Cool, I hope it works out for you and I'm interested to hear a report on the vehicle. The one thing that sort of bothered me about these guys is I've seen very little mention of their products in the EV community, good or bad.
     
  3. vfx

    vfx Well-Known Member

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    If anything you are a great argument for why some will buy a Focus EV or a Model S, a Nissan EV02 or a Mini EV.

    Everyone has different tastes, budget, needs like range and speeds and trust in the maker.

    I think it's cool too.
     
  4. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

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    Forum member SByer recently switched from a Porsche to a Tesla Roadster so hopefully he chimes in on the pluses and minuses of the change in experience.

    (Although it sounds like he would have rejected the Porsche conversion over 0-60 time without even considering other factors.)
     
  5. JRP3

    JRP3 Hyperactive Member

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    I wonder what the 0-30 time will be. With all the torque available off the line it could be impressive.
     
  6. SByer

    SByer '08 #383

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    You also have to consider that I think the 911 is too big. I like smaller cars - I went from an MR2 to the 911. But yeah, the Roaster has very little storage area in an odd-shaped trunk (volume wise, it should fit 3 cases of wine, but fits just one and a half).

    But yeah, I'm guilty of liking the 0-60 time a little too much ;-).

    And, I know this is probably heresy among Roaster owners, but compared to the factory 911 stereo (model year 2000), the JVC unit is nice. FM reception is crap, but I really don't listen to FM much anymore.

    There are definitely things I'll miss about the 911, though.
     
  7. daniel

    daniel Active Member

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    BTW, my present car (shown in my avatar) is a Zap Xebra SD with an aftermarket LiFePO4 battery pack. As someone remarked above, everyone has their needs and/or preferences with regard to size, range, and performance. I bought the Xebra about two years ago, after looking at and riding in a prototype of the Roadster and deciding I didn't want to wait a year to go electric. And the Xebra was a lot cheaper. :rolleyes: The Xebra goes from zero to 35 in 31 seconds. Not exactly powerful. But it's a 4-door, 4-passenger sedan (well, the aftermarket charger/BMS occupies one rear footwell) and with its 40-mile range (due to the bigger battery pack) is all the car I really need most of the time. But I really want to be able to go on the freeway and make it to Coeur d'Alene and back, which the Xebra won't do.

    Maybe the reason Paul is not better known is that his is a one at a time conversion shop. His cars are out there, but there are not a lot of them.

    The zero-to-30 time in the Porsche should be pretty good. Probably about double the time the Roadster takes. Paul recommends driving it always in 4th gear. Starting out in second I'd probably burn rubber. I don't intend to try that. As I said, I'm not into speed except that I'd like to be able to go on the freeway, and keep up with the flow of traffic in town, which the Xebra does not do.
     
  8. daniel

    daniel Active Member

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    P.S. With regard to the sound system, a plain-Jane stereo is all I need. I had the cheapest Kenwood CD/FM unit put into my Xebra, and I plug the iPod into it, or listen to FM, and I'm happy.
     
  9. JRP3

    JRP3 Hyperactive Member

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    Not even once :confused::wink:
     
  10. WarpedOne

    WarpedOne Supreme Premier

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    Hi Daniel!

    I hope you report back about your new EV. I want to know *everything* :biggrin:
     
  11. daniel

    daniel Active Member

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    Well, maybe just once. :wink:

    If it actually comes, and after eleven months of waiting I have zero confidence that it will, I will definitely report.

    I won't be reporting on its top speed, though, because supposedly it will be governed somewhere around or slightly over 100 mph, and I would not drive that fast even with a gun to my head.
     
  12. WarpedOne

    WarpedOne Supreme Premier

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    In situations like this i try to remember Hoffstadter's law: It always takes longer than you expect, even when you take into account Hofstadter's Law.
    It's somewhat comforting :wink:
     
  13. vfx

    vfx Well-Known Member

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    The longest owner listed wait time for a Roadster is 925 days. 671 is also listed.
     
  14. daniel

    daniel Active Member

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    Is that the longest time anyone has waited (which could be the first reservation long before the Roadster was expected to be built) or is that the longest time someone is still waiting?

    When I visited, roughly two years ago, they told me the estimated waiting time then was about a year IIRC. Of course, there were delays. I imagine I'd have gotten it about now plus or minus a month or two.

    They also told me there was a priority list, for people who deposited $50,000, and a low-priority list, for people who put down a smaller deposit, and who would have to wait until the priority list was all delivered. The first person on that list could conceivably still be waiting.
     
  15. daniel

    daniel Active Member

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    My 2003 electric Porsche 911 Carrera arrived yesterday (Thursday). I was a bit disappointed in the acceleration, but it's possible that it's merely so smooth that it doesn't feel like it's moving as fast as it is. More likely I was just expecting too much. But it does seem that I'm not getting the six to eight seconds zero to sixty that Paul had told me to expect. However, I have not yet taken it anywhere I could go sixty. Once I have, I'll report. It's a six-speed manual transmission. Paul had told me I'd probably just drive it in 4th gear all the time, but in fact it seems to do best in second gear in town, or first gear if I want to start out as fast as I can. One snag: they forgot to include the charging cable, so until I can get my electrician to build me a cable I have only the charge that was in the battery pack when it arrived.

    Once I have a charging cable I'll take it on the freeway and log amperage vs speed in 4th and 5th gears, and then I'll have an idea of my actual range. But I found a chart of speed vs range for the Roadster on this site, and my battery pack is 28 kWh, or just over half the 53 kWh of the Roadster's, and the battery importer said I can safely go down to 20% SoC, so if the weight and efficiency of the two cars is similar, I'm estimating I should have a safe range of 94 miles at 55 mph, down to 72 miles at 70 mph, which is the freway speed limit here.

    I am disappointed that Paul disregarded my requests on a few design points, and I should not have had to wait eleven months for the car, but he is definitely on the level, and it's a beautiful car, and it works. And if you want a freeway-capable EV and didn't get on the list for a Roadster two years ago, there are not a lot of choices out there. And I sat in a Roadster prototype a couple of years ago, and the Porsche is a lot more comfortable. :biggrin:
     

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  16. WarpedOne

    WarpedOne Supreme Premier

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    Yes!

    Great great great! :biggrin:

    You'll find out that performance will improve over time. Primarily because you'll learn all the little secrets of gear selection and SoC. Also batteries probably need some break-in.

    Can we get complete specs? Like motor, battery, controller, voltage, weight, etc :)
     
  17. daniel

    daniel Active Member

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    I don't think the LiFePO4 batteries need break-in, but Paul told me the motor does because the bearings are tight at first.

    My original contract specifies eleven inch warp motor, 1000 amp controller, 225+ volt system. My battery pack is actually 144 volts, but I don't know if the "system" is at a higher voltage than the pack. I know my Prius has a 201-volt pack but the "system" operates at about 500 volts with a voltage converter. Maybe the Porsche does something similar???. I have not yet looked under the hood, but when I do I'll post pictures. I don't know the weight. However, at a very rough guess it should be similar to the stock Porsche 911 since the batteries replaced the engine.

    Unlike most folks driving EV conversions, I know nothing about this stuff. I just hate gasoline and I love electric transportation. Be it cars, trains, or trolley buses, I like electric. And unlike some Roadster drivers, if I can merge and pass quickly and safely, I've got enough acceleration. My previous cars have been a CJ5 Jeep 1976-1988; a Honda Civic 1988-2004; a Prius 2004-present; and a Zap Xebra 2006-present. I'll keep the Prius for road trips but I'll sell the Xebra if I can get an acceptable price. It also has LiFePO4 so may be worth more to me, for my investment in it, than anyone will pay. :frown:
     
  18. vfx

    vfx Well-Known Member

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    Crazy!


    !
    (Pretty EV though)
     
  19. WarpedOne

    WarpedOne Supreme Premier

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    That's because most EV's so far are DWYBs - Drive What You've just Built. Buying one is not so common yet.

    And yes, it is beautiful. Can you make a video or two and post it to youtube? A general walkabout the car and a piece from behind the wheel? We're dying too see those :biggrin:
     
  20. doug

    doug Administrator / Head Moderator

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    Yes please. And more photos, including interiors. Perhaps you can post your photos to flickr.com? Our current picture attachment system kinda sucks.

    How does your conversion compare to the RUF Porche conversion?
     

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