BatteriesMotorControllerComputerBatteries SafetyInstallHeaterWelding
OwnerJohn and Julie
LocationFairfield, Montana United States map
Email email image
Vehicle1990 Toyota XtraCab Pickup DLX
The conversion was designed by me (Andy Goodman) and built by myself, with John helping, in Fairfield, Montana. It was financed by, and will be used and owned by John and Julie.

MotorAzure Dynamics/Solectria AC-55 3-Phase AC
Actually, the controller and motor are sold by Azure Dynamics, but my understanding is that they are the same items originally made and sold by Solectria.
DrivetrainFront mounted 3-phase AC motor, original transmission and drive train.
ControllerAzure Dynamics/Solectria DMOC445
Pretty neat unit! You can hook up a laptop to it and change the parameters that control its operation, see what torque it's producing, see what the controller thinks the pedal is doing, find the exact motor RPM... lots of good stuff.
Batteries40 US Battery US8VGC, 8.00 Volt, Lead-Acid, Flooded
A bunch of heavy lead-acid, but weight does equate to Ah.

Pack should give between 34kWh (80'F, c/1) and 17kWh (0'F, c/1).
System Voltage320 Volts
ChargerManzanita Micro PFC-50
The charger is now installed and wired, as is the 240VAC-50A circuit in the garage, so all is working.

The charger produces around 10kW, so we should be able to get the batteries from full discharge to full charge in less than 6 hours.
HeaterI removed the elements from two 1500W ceramic heaters and installed them in the heater core, and they are powered by the 320V pack. The relay was donated by a EEControls, NY, a real nice piece. I was a bit conservative the way I wired the elements, so they are not real hot, but they do defrost the windows in 20'F weather, and they do not melt the plastic heater core.
DC/DC ConverterVicor BatMod
One 200W output BatMod and one 200W booster. On order, should get to Montana in a few days. Will hardwire to the pack, so it will continually charge the 12V deep-cycle. The BatMod chip will taper the current to zero as the battery charges, so there should be no unneeded draw on the pack.
InstrumentationHas a voltmeter and ammeter for the high voltage system, and also an ammeter and voltmeter for the 12V system. I was looking to install a VDO tach also, buy timewise that did not work out.
Top Speed70 MPH (112 KPH)
Charger is working, and we started road testing on Dec 8. As of Dec 13, we have discharger and recharged the batteries maybe 6 times.

70 is really too fast for all the weight, but the truck feels real solid and secure in the 55-60mph range.
AccelerationJust like a VW bus. Actually, its better then the 1974 bus my parents used to have, and in first gear its got impressive starting power for a 5400lb vehicle!
Range85 Miles (136 Kilometers)
On Dec 11, I drove from Fairfield to Great Falls and back to Fairfield. It was an 85 mile trip and it got down to 20'F on the return and was really windy! I charged the 12V in Great Falls (as we don't have a DC-DC yet), but the lights were dimming on the return, and the pack was getting low, so I was creeping up hills. Made it, though.

The new batteries are maybe 80% of their actual potential, and they were cold. It might end up being a three season car, or maybe we will organize a little helper charge over the day when it is cold. I'm still pleased with the early results, though.

Designed to get 85 miles when the weather is not so good. That might give over 200 miles in ideal conditions. We will see...
Watt Hours/MileI did not install a fancy meter, and I have trouble doing the products and time integrations from the voltmeter and ammeter, and steering, and dodging wildlife at the same time, so I don't know.

On that note, I did hit a pheasant, that was too bad. We are wondering if that might actually be a problem, with all the animals about, as it is almost silent as you cruise along at 60.
EV Miles
Start:214,052 Miles (344,409 Kilometers)
Current:214,791 Miles (345,598 Kilometers)
Total:739 Miles (1,189 Kilometers)
Seating CapacityTwo adults, and a kid in the back jumpseat.
Curb Weight5,400 Pounds (2,454 Kilograms)
Pretty heavy on the back end, as expected. We added air suspension, and super nice tires, so it rides stiff, but not too bad. It handles like a loaded cement truck. No hotrod here, but should be safe under 60mph.
TiresContinental Vanco8 195/70R15, an 8 ply tire rated to 1985 lbs per tire at 65 psi, installed and ready to roll.
Conversion TimeDesign time... over the summer of 2007.

Build time: Sept 12, 2007 to Nov 2, 2007, a pause, then Nov 26 to Dec 14.

Will still have to install the DC-DC converter when it arrives. I have draw up a wiring diagram, and John will install it.
Conversion CostA little more than the original estimate, my bad. It will add up to be about the cost of a new Prius.
Additional FeaturesJohn and Julie of Fairfield, MT, are the owners, I (Andy Goodman) was the designer and did the build, with assistance from John. John and Julie have a wind turbine that produces surplus electricity, so if this has the necessary range, they will have their commute for free! And they will be saving the world for everyone- they are good people!

My girlfriend and I watched "Who Killed the Electric Car" over Thanksgivings Holiday, 2006. From there, I got what books I could find and started reading, and lucked into a conversation with John and Julie, good friends of my sister. We decided that I should build one for them.

We bought ElectroAutomotive's "Heavy Vehicle Conversion Kit", which contained the motor, controller, adaptor plate, vacuum brake pump, power steering pump, and wires. The adapter was good, but late, and the motor and controller arrived directly from Azure at the promised time, but we have had trouble with many other late deliveries from ElectroAutomotive, which set us back time-wise. The quality seems good.

All other EV parts suppliers have been delivering as they promised, much thanks!

The batteries are great (from what experience we have had so far) and came when expected.

I would like to thank everyone who published information on the site, as I have referred to it many times, especially to "Red Beastie".

I would also like to thank the SEVA people for answering many questions, the EVDL members, fellow Azure motor/controller owners Matt and Tim, Beth from Azure, and Roland (the only other EV'er that I know of in central Montana).

Thanks also go out to the EEControls. They sent me a super nice free relay for switching the heater. Neat stuff!



code by jerry