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Hello from beyond the pond

Discussion in 'Introductions' started by Mookuh, Apr 20, 2012.

  1. Mookuh

    Mookuh Member

    Feb 9, 2012
    When I first registered I was looking for a forum section like this, I believe it was introduced recently then. Anyhow...

    I'd like to introduce myself a little, mostly because I consider myself an enthusiast of electric mobility.

    I'm a student from Germany (Aachen, to be precise) and am currently working on my Bachelor thesis. I'll spare you the details, but it does involve electric cars and charging them ;)
    When I first heared about Tesla I could hardly believe they have a vehicle for public sale that goes over 300km on a single charge and looks good while doing so. After some research I found that it is, in fact, the truth, and started following the company via online means. After stalking the forums there for a while I found this site, which seems to have a slightly more advanced forum than the original tesla site. I've spent hours here since.

    The thought that an American car company could show "us Germans" how to do an electric car right stung a little at the start, but the signal Tesla is flaring for all the lazy carmakers out there will not go overlooked. I'm very glad the company exists and hope they will be succesful in the long run. Things look very good at the moment tho, reservations remain. (I'm also awesome at puns :redface:)

    What motivates me personally for EVs is that whenever I'm stuck in a traffic jam, I can't help but look around and see hundreds of cars standing still, doing nothing and burning gas while doing so. I think to myself that if these were all EVs, there'd still be a traffic jam but we would at least not pollute while standing still...
    Another motivation is probably that I study in electical power engineering, and more demand for electricity equals more demand for my kind :rolleyes:

    For my university work I come into contact with a lot of studies regarding electric vehicles, their feasability and their total eco balance. I will try to share said information where appropriate. Most of the stuff I read is German though, so providing sources can be difficult at times.
    On the other hand I found this site a great resource for discussion about EVs (tho a bit one-sided at times :) ), and I wish I could quote forum posts as sources in my thesis. Now I have to go and read the articles :(

    Greetings from Aachen!
    • Like x 1
  2. rabar10

    rabar10 Model 3 >> Focus Electric

    Dec 3, 2010
    Indianapolis, IN
    Welcome to the forums, Mookuh!
    Haven't we all.. ;-) I know I was an avid reader and lurker before finally getting an account.
  3. Robert.Boston

    Robert.Boston Model S VIN P01536

    Oct 7, 2011
    Portland, Maine, USA
    Welcome, Mookuh.
    Yep, about 10,000 of them!

    As much as I'm a big fan of EVs, this particular issue could be solved with stop/start technology. Most traffic jams, however, are not quite "standing still" and so you can't turn off the engine. So, EVs still win. :smile:
  4. Mookuh

    Mookuh Member

    Feb 9, 2012
    Thank you for the reception :)
    I was shocked to learn the the guy working next to me, also on EVs, didn't actually know the Tesla Motors name yet.
    I've taken to go on a subtle quest to spread the word, now. The Model S makes a very good desktop background and its amazing design usually pipes peoples interest.
    Downside is the more I look at it the more I really want one while having nowhere near the means. The Suzuki Swift is more appropriate for a student anyhow... *sob*
  5. PV4EV

    PV4EV Member

    Oct 26, 2011
    Area 51 / UK
    #5 PV4EV, Apr 24, 2012
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2012
    Welcome to the forum !

    I appreciate that real Tesla's cost $$$, but you could always convert a Suzuki swift and ask your university for research funding … :)

    You could take the car, remove the engine, exhaust system, petrol tank, cats, radiator, cooling system, all unnecessary engine ancillaries etc, which might add up to 300-400kg removed, before adding it all back in with an EV subsystem.

    Then decide if you want a DC or AC motor to go in (lots of pros and cons pricewise and functionality) make up a mating-plate to link the chosen motor to the existing gearbox (assuming you keep it), add in 20-30kwh of LiFEPO4 batteries distributed front and rear (using all the new space at the front, and in place of the petrol tank at the rear), hook up the motor control system, info displays and control inputs, battery charging system and BMS, and you'll have a very nice EV for 1/5th the cost of a Tesla.

    Off course, its far easier said than done, but people do do it, and it might take a year or two to install !

    There's actually a wide choice of suppliers for all the parts, new or used, AC or DC, and you may of course want to experiment with building your own controller etc.

    Heres a range of powerful DC motors here :-

    End User Pricing

    DC controllers here :-

    Manzanita Micro

    OR, AC motors and controllers below. I'd suggest something like a Siemens 1PV5135-WS14 because Siemens AC induction motors come with a matching controller that also has features like tuneable Regenerative braking built in! Theres also some excellent Brusa EV systems on the same site, and alot of in-depth articles about the authors own EV experiences.

    EV Motors | Metric Mind Corporation | Page 2

    Here's someone who's already converting a Suzuki Swift using their own choices, and apparently for NZ$25k / 15k Euros :-

    Michael's 2005 Suzuki Swift

    (and there's lots of other examples of some amazing home-brew conversions !)

    Let us know how you get on :smile:
  6. Adm

    Adm Active Member

    Jun 7, 2010
    The Netherlands
  7. Mookuh

    Mookuh Member

    Feb 9, 2012
    I have a feeling if I came from a foreign University and asked the people in Eindhoven for money to fund my project I would not be too succesful.

    On the topic of my own university, they're currently in the process of developing, constructing and marketing an "innovative" electric vehicle... a "SRV", or "Short Range Vehicle". While the idea has some merit, especially since they're aiming at a base price of 5.000€ (+ battery lease), it is not something I can grow hot for...
    (Range is 45km/about 28 miles "per battery", with options of 1-3 batteries available). Another problem is the fact that I find the design, well, unpretty.
    Old link about the project in english: RWTH Aachen - Street Scooter Enters Development Phase
    Newer link in German with a picture: Link
    The project website, also sadly in German only (and with truely terrible design): Link

    On the conversion front, if I was to convert anything it would probably my parents Mitsubishi Space Runner instead, as that one has pretty much reached the end of its natural life (270.000km or something, that's around 165k miles) and offers more space, while at the same time using more gas than the Swift, thus the savings would be bigger. It also has a bumped in side which is more costly to repair than the vehicle is worth, thus it is "economically totaled"... means nothing could be lost, really!
    However, currently my plan is to be done with my studies in about 2 years and see where the market is then. I already discussed with my fiancé that a house would have priority over an eletric car. But it's number 2 on the list! (expensive wishes, but the students of today are the engineers of tomorrow :) )
    My current work is not in the field of the cars themselves but in the electric mobility concept, stuff like how we integrate them into the low voltage grid without overloading specific nodes, and remotely triggering charging on the vehicles when renewable energies are available, that sort of thing. I could probably make a conversion work, however I don't have the time.

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