First day on the road
OwnerGreg Fordyce
Owner's Other EVs1990 Fiat 126
1999 Daewoo Matiz
LocationGalashiels, Scotland United Kingdom map
Web/EmailWebPage email image
Vehicle1994 Volvo 440
5 door hatchback. Similar size to a Ford Escort maybe slightly larger.
MotorNetgain Impulse 9 Series Wound DC
This motor is a very good choice for smaller front wheel drive vehicles were the length of a Warp 9" or Advance DC 9" motor can be to long. It is a 9" diameter motor that is the same length and mounting pattern as most popular 8" motors.
DrivetrainFront wheel drive 5spd manual. No clutch, motor directly coupled to gearbox.
ControllerCurtis 1231C-8601
Popular controller that whines on low throttle positions, personally I think it gives pedestrians some warning when you start to pull away although Curtis says in their manual that it provides better control at low speeds.
Batteries12 other SEC Industrial Battery Company 12FTG 100ah, 12.00 Volt, Lead-Acid, Gel
SEC Industrial Battery Company was very helpful in advising on types of batteries. I chose these batteries not because they were the best option but because they had 17 old stock that they sold me cheap. They are a front terminal battery designed to go into 19" equipment racks for back up power supplies. I try not to pull more than 300 amps from them because the voltage drops quite a lot at that level, but the good news is that the car doesn't need to pull much more than 200 amps even climbing hills at 50mph.
Their website is
System Voltage144 Volts
ChargerZivan NG3
I have replaced my 13 Ring RSC16 Smart Chargers with a Zivan NG3. This charger works great and has improved my watt hours/mile by about 80 watts due to it being more efficient.
The Ring chargers were disappointing, they have a soft start feature that wouldn't always start on very cold days and overheated and shut down in the Scottish summer, which is not very hot. I was intending mount these permanently in the car, 1 for each battery but had to return 5 chargers after they failed.
HeaterNone yet, although it does have heated seats! On my to do list (I have ordered a unit off of ebay)b.
DC/DC Converter none
Since I have some spare 12v 100ah batteries I am using one for the 12 volt system and recharging along with the traction pack using one of the Ring Smart Chargers.
InstrumentationPakTrakr, This is a good unit for telling you of any problems with the batteries but using as an amp gauge or fuel gauge has been less successful. I also have a watt/hour meter to measure electricity used to recharge.
Top Speed80 MPH (128 KPH)
The speed limit on our local roads is 60mph which the car will do quite happily. I usually cruise at 50-55mph but it has power to overtake slower vehicles if required. I have had it to 80 breifly, it draws a lot of amps at that speed but could still go faster.
AccelerationVery brisk, surprises most people who drive it.
Range24 Miles (38 Kilometers)
This area is rural and hilly. My commute to work is 11 miles one way. I can charge at work or home which will be handy in the winter, cold batteries mean less range so I have to charge both ends of the journey.
Watt Hours/Mile420 Wh/Mile
This figure has been calculated using a electric meter mounted in the car and takes into account losses due to charging the batteries. Changing the battery charger has made the biggest improvement to my Whr/Mile figure, removing roof bars and mud gaurds and having the tracking set has helped maybe 20 watts/mile. However putting a christmas tree on the roof to take to the recycling centre after christmas returned a Whr/Mile of over 900 watts! Streamlining does matter after all.
EV Miles
Start:90,035 Miles (144,866 Kilometers)
Current:95,600 Miles (153,820 Kilometers)
Total:5,565 Miles (8,954 Kilometers)
Seating Capacity5. All the original seats are intact.
Curb Weight3,040 Pounds (1,381 Kilograms)
The car had a curb weight of 2,200 lbs according to the owners handbook. After removing engine and related bits the car weighed 1,590lbs. The GVWR of the car is 3,480lbs leaving a payload capacity of 440lbs.
TiresWhat was on the car when I got it.
Conversion Time3 months approx.
Conversion CostHaven't looked yet.
Additional FeaturesVacuum pump for the brakes was sourced from Volkswagen (part number 8E0 927 317B). This is quite a compact unit but doesn't have a vacuum switch so it is temporarily wired to the stop light circuit. I will probably add a timer circuit so that it only runs for a few seconds at a time.

code by jerry