Early Construction Photo Robinson E-Spyder FrontRobinson E-Spyder Left Rear QuarterRobinson E-Spyder Right Side Man PhotogrRobinson E-Spyder Rear
OwnerDale Robinson
LocationGuilford, Connecticut United States map
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Vehicle1988 Lotus Custom Esprit
1988 Turbo Esprit chassis, suspension, brakes, steering.
1978 Lotus Esprit transaxle,(Citroen Maserati 5 speed, inboard brakes.
MotorAdvanced DC D&D Motor Systems ES31-B Series Wound DC
8 inch
DrivetrainThe original EV kit was for an aircooled VW beetle. The kit was produced by Rebirth Auto in St. Petersburg, FL. Seb and his cohorts there also built and installed my INCREDIBLE motor adapter (billet aluminum) to the transaxle. They have upgraded this kit and sell others. Call them or go to rebirthauto.com.
ControllerEvnetics Solitron Jr
150 watt programmable 200hp capable 9-340 volt DC
Batteries8, 12.00 Volt, Lead-Acid, AGM
marine type deep cycle.120a 20hr rating. I had to arrive at a range/acceleration/handling/weight median that didn't turn this great handling sports car into a truck.
System Voltage96 Volts
ChargerKelly hwc4b-96/10a
100vac in AGM
DC/DC ConverterCurtis 1400E
96 x 12v 300w
InstrumentationMany from kit aircraft -- airspeed indicator with pitot tubes, altimeter, g-force meter. EV ones are v, amp, and a PakTracker.
Top Speed80 MPH (128 KPH)
I've gotten it up to 65 with ease on test drives.
Acceleration8 sec 0-60
Range35 Miles (56 Kilometers)
car is aerodynamic with flat bottom. Much better than a Beetle, which is also projected to get 35 miles with this kit.
Seating Capacity2 adults
Curb Weight2,100 Pounds (954 Kilograms)
1200 pounds without EV components. They weigh 900 lbs.
TiresToyo Proxes T1 Plus
265/40/40 ZR 17 REAR
235/45/ZR 17 FRONT
Conversion TimeDedicated build. 10 years on and off.
Conversion Cost$25,000 plus.
Additional FeaturesRack and pinion manual steering.
Batteries are in the middle of the car only, behind the driver, ahead of the motor. Four of them are 5 inches off the ground.
Safety includes on/off to main contactor, Blue Sea secondary contactor, E-Stop wired to secondary contactor,
big hi-voltage circuit breaker from KTA services, 60 amp circuit breaker for 12 volt circuit. All 2/0 cables and lugs are correctly crimped and insulated with rubber covers.
Windshield is DOT safety glass (cut down from a replacement 1957 Chevy windshield.
Wheels are 17 inch Forgeline custom made for the car. Will run 45 psi in the tires, which are stiff anyway.
I made the car light, with a carbon/fiber kevlar tub and aircraft ply bulkheads. Too many handmade components to list. I did all of the aluminum work by hand. I imagined the car as a fighter plane, like a P-51 Mustang, or F-14. I did all of the upholstery...I designed the 'exoskeleton' style (Spyder) body lines, the seats, etc. I have restored many antique cars, but wanted to build my own, and this is it. Started it in 1998. Probably have +10,000 hours into it.
I decided to keep the design as light as practical and the EV components as simple as possible. I want it to be a toy I can drive on Sundays on back roads. I like to drive 'em a little and look at them a lot. I will someday go Li-Ion, but really don't anticipate needing any more than 50 mile range.
I am working under State of Connecticut component car guidelines and I have their Electric Car Guidelines. I am installing the final required components now, (November, 2012) -- emergency brake, wipers, and covering the control panel with plexiglass. This will be one of the few hand-built component/electric sports cars, and the only one I know of with the amazing Lotus Esprit chassis. My email is grsriding@msn.com.

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