Motor in placeRear battery boxPower Steering By-PassThrotle linkCeramic heater in OEM heater coreVolts and Amps meters in old ashtray cov
OwnerAlejandro Meneses
LocationDouglasville, Georgia United States map
Web/EmailWebPage email image
Vehicle1994 Saturn SL1
Original SL1 with faulty clutch.
it for $470
MotorAdvanced DC FB-4001A Double shaft Series Wound DC
From EV of America
DrivetrainOriginal Transmission, FWD
ControllerCurtis 1221C
From EV of America
Batteries19 Johnson Controls Energizer EGC2, 6.00 Volt, Lead-Acid, Flooded
220 AH at C/20, 105 min capacity @75
60lbs ea.
System Voltage114 Volts
ChargerQuick Charge On Board 120V/10A
From EV of America
HeaterCeramic 1500W
DC/DC ConverterDelco
29 Amps. From EV of America
InstrumentationAnalog Voltmeter and Ampmeter, Fuel
Top Speed68 MPH (109 KPH)
City driving on 2nd gear up to 50
Highway driving on 3rd gear.
Acceleration0-30mph in 7 to 8 sec
Range48 Miles (77 Kilometers)
Watt Hours/Mile327 Wh/Mile
EV Miles
Current:3,350 Miles (5,390 Kilometers)
Seating Capacity4 adults
Curb Weight3,200 Pounds (1,454 Kilograms)
TiresFront: BF Goodrich P175/65R14
Rear: BF Goodrich P185/70R14
Conversion TimeStarted May-10-2008 working on the
weekends and
occasional evenings.
Completed on Sep-05-2008.

About 150 hours of direct work.
Conversion CostConversion cost: $7050 plus $650 in
suspension upgrade
Additional FeaturesUsing our 3 year-old niece words: "It sounds like an
Update may 21:
209k miles engine will come off this weekend. I
put in on
craigslist as "for free if you come, bring tools
and get it out of the car"

Update may 23:
Ordered all the components above except batteries.

Update may 28:
Engine is out and the compartment still needs to
be cleaned.
Hoses and unnecessary junk has been removed.
I had to order new shifter cable's retainer clips
(the little
metal clips that secure the shifter cable
to the transmission).
EV of America says they will ship my order
tomorrow (they have
been having more work than ever now that the
gasoline passed

Update may 30:
Car is clean inside and out, ready for the
components to start
being installed. Spline shaft will be measured and
drawings for the mid-shaft support, front battery
adapter plate and coupler will be made this
weekend. I'll also
try to remove the clutch pedal.

Update june 4:
Website is updated and second video is up. Motor
and some
components arrived today. I also gave the mock-up
for the
trans-axle support to the welder, it will be ready

Update june 11:
Cables arrived today, they will not be needed yet
but it is
better to have everything on hand.
The support for the trans-axle is mounted and the
plate and coupler are being made at the machine
shop; with
some luck they will be done over the weekend.

Update june 16:
Chargers arrived, some 12V wiring was done over
the weekend
and I also removed the heater core.
Will be working on prewiring for the motor
overheating buzzer,
vacuum pump, contactor, controller cooling fan,
KSI relay,
mounting gauges and heater during the week. If
time allows it,
I'll mount the DC/DC converter and wire it to the
12V battery.
The vacuum pump I got at the Pull-a-Part is
leaking, I'll go
next weekend and exchange it for another one.
The heater will use the A/C relayed switch for
safety, that
way it can not be switched on unless the fan is
running; the
old A/C compressor harness will close the relay
for the heater

Update june 23:
The A/C switch theory did not work; the switch
goes to an
integrated circuit... I located the cable within
ventilation switch that gives me 12V at any fan
speed and used
it to power an illuminated switch that closes the
relay for
the heater.
Circuits board is almost complete; main contactor
is due to
arrive soon after being in back order for weeks.
potbox and arranged all the cables in a single
harness to keep
a good appearance in the compartment. I will
design and have
the rear battery box fabricated this week.

Update july 10:
I had to wait for the heat sink plate for the
controller, I
found it at
Machining of the adaptor plate and coupler is not
In real terms, the EV is stalled as I wait for
that and the
rear battery box (which, surprisingly, is still in
Circuits board is finished, I installed quick
terminals for everything on the board so it can be
neatly and
easily installed and removed.
I also found a vacuum pump in a 1989 Cadillac
DeVille, it was
not controlled by a vacuum switch or I could not
find it in
the few minutes I had before they took it to the
crusher... I
ordered a MPL vacuum switch from and
it will
arrive on monday 07/14; the pump will be installed

Update august 18:
Almost there. The motor went in about 10 days ago
and it
really paid off to take a long time aligning the
plate and
marking the holes with gasket sealant to be sure
of their
location. I finished painting and installing the
rear support
for the motor this morning and 6 of the batteries
are already
in the trunk (more to come this evening).
At this point I'm only waiting for the front
battery trays (on
which I have to change the design) and then I'll
rent the 2/0
cable terminal crimper to do the high voltage
I had to reduce the voltage to 114, down 6V
because I
could not fit the 20th battery if I wanted to have
chargers on board; now, the chargers are rated for
120, so,
talking to the manufacturer, we agreed that I can
use them on
the AGM function. The charger will charge until it
thinks each
of the 60 cells has 2.4V, but in reality, it will
be 57 cells
at 2.55V, which is fine for flooded cells. I
regret a little
bit not buying a Zivan charger instead, but again,
the Zivan
pulls 17Amps from the grid, to little for a
decently timed
recharging time and to much for many outlets when
I need an
opportunity charge.
One day LiFePo4 will be affordable, I will have
mile range and a big 50A or 100A charger at
home... how's that
for a dream??

September 5, 2008!
The vehicle is completed, only suspension and
breaks work to
be done before allowing it on the open road. The
neighbors at
the apartment complex have had an interesting
weekend seeing
the car zooming around for its test laps.

Update September 25:
The car has been certified as a Zero Emission
Vehicle by the
Environmental Protection Division.
The new springs will arrive on Monday and the car
will look
leveled again.
I have been taking it to work since Tuesday and
feels great.

Update January 27-2009:
The car is running like never before; range has
improved and
has been inspected for safety a couple times (old
needs to be evaluated regularly)
The DC/DC converter failed and I got a replacement
from EVA,
added some rubber bushings to isolate the
vibration from the
motor to the mount and from the mid-axle support
to the body,
feels smoother than ever.

I still consider this car a testing bench, a mule
from which
I'm still learning. One day we will build a more
robust EV
using also a more modern donor.

Update March 10-2009:
Spring has arrived and the batteries are getting
stronger, both in range and acceleration; I can
now go 17
miles using only 25%-30% of the total capacity of
the traction
pack. I also discovered that it can do highway
speeds of 60 to
65 mph on third gear and I can still keep the
Amperes low to
avoid overheating the controller. Also, thanks to
the low drag
coefficient of the Saturn body, the energy use is
not greater
that driving on smaller roads at 40-45 mph.

I ordered custom decals for the sides and rear of
the car; the
original quotes from various places here in the US
were around
$100... ouch!
I contacted a company in my native Colombia and
they will make
them and mail them to me for under $40.

As of 3/17/09 I'm getting tired of the Georgian
I'm entertaining the idea of placing a "Danger,
High Voltage"
OSHA-type sticker on the back just to scare them

Update 4/6/09:
I finally decided to move the charging plug from
under the
bonnet to the "gas port"; not at all hard, just
matter of
making my mind about removing the lower console
again to feed
the cable tru the firewall under the center
console and across
the boot to the gas door. I'm ok with this cable
being inside
the habitacle as it is energized only when the car
is charging
and nobody is in it. Pics coming soon.

Update 4/14/09:
The stickers arrived, pictures updated

Update 4/27/09 Time for a rear-brake inspection:
The rear brakes where making a dreadful noise at
stopping; not
knowing how complicated to inspect the drums might
be, I took
it to the garage. The inside had a good amount of
brake dust
but otherwise it all looked okay. Cleaned up, had
a laugh or
two with the mechanics (one of then drove for a
couple of
blocks) and I was o my way out. That is about half
maintenance an EV needs, the other half was about
3 liters of
distilled water that I added to the batteries last
week after
3,000 miles (4,800 km) of driving.

Update May 15 2009:
We have decided to part with the EV as we only
need one vehicle now and as great as the EV is,
itself would not take us everywhere we need to go.
You can just drive the car as is or transplant the
system with all the pre-assembled components to
convert your own. email or phone ######### to

Last Update, Jun 29 2009.
The car has been sold and delivered. I have
learned so much throughout this conversion that I
can hardly wait to convert another vehicle in the
future, maybe a small Jeep or even a WWII-type
motorcycle with LiFePO4 or Li-Polymer batteries
on-board and on the sidecar (for short and long
range choice)

code by jerry