Manual Charge ControllerBack SeatMain Disconnect and pack monitorEmpty Battery trays12V Distrubtion and DC-DC ConverterMotor, mount and transmissionOne Battery with chargeSci-FiMain battery Pack
OwnerTom Gralewicz
LocationGreenfield, Wisconsin United States map
Email email image
Vehicle1999 Dodge Neon ACR
The factory race version of the Dodge Neon (the ACR) is stripped down - no options and has beefed up suspension and brakes - all the better to carry batteries with!
MotorBaldor M2516 3-Phase AC
Standard industrial 25HP 3 phase 240V
Drivetrain2.2L 5 speed manual
Controller Baldor 900 series VFD
Reliant 3000. 75HP AC Drive. Industrial motor controller 310V DC in - 230V AC out
Batteries25 C & D Technologies TEL1270, 12.00 Volt, Lead-Acid, AGM
I originally got some 12-270 UPS batteries for free and they drove the design of the car. Recently I got the Telephone batteries and they are almost new and only cost $15 each surplus.
System Voltage310 Volts
Charger Individual 12V 10A
One charger per battery. $25 each including shipping from Hong Kong - seller has an e-bay store and gave me a quantity price on 30. Added a swicthed power strip to allow turning on and off each row of batteries - this controls power draw so I don't blow breakers.
Heater120V Ceramic heater rewired for 240V AC
(326V DC operation) - not installed yet.
DC/DC ConverterVicor V300A12
Computer DC to DC converter - designed
to run on rectified AC input, works
fine on a main pack voltage of 300V.
Adjusted for max output 13.2V, rated
at 500W (over 40A!) I have yet to draw
more than 20A and it runs nice and
cool. Its about the size of a thick
chocolate bar.
InstrumentationExperimental systems monitor.
Microcontroller on the main battery pack to monitor V and A another on on the 12V system. Sending data back to a 7" screen on the dash. Plan to add per battery monitors as well. - Still under construction. Embeded PC running Windows 98SE reads status from the controller and displays it on the same 7" screen.
Top Speed70 MPH (112 KPH)
Will comfortably cruise at 70MPH. A little slow getting up to speed but holds it just fine.
Acceleration0 to 55 in 30 seconds
Range50 Miles (80 Kilometers)
Motor controller automatically reduces the draw when the pack voltage goes below 250. This is an automatic limp mode.
Watt Hours/Mile277 Wh/Mile
Wall to wheels calculation of 1 charge

EV Miles
Start:119,000 Miles (191,471 Kilometers)
Current:120,000 Miles (193,080 Kilometers)
Total:1,000 Miles (1,609 Kilometers)
    As of 3/19/2012
Seating Capacity2 adults
Curb Weight4,100 Pounds (1,863 Kilograms)
Originally 2680, subtract the usual parts and add a motor and batteries. These are real car weights with the same driver - A local scrap yard lets me use his truck scale.
Conversion TimeStarted in Summer of 2008. I spent months deciding what car to use and
then finding the right one to convert. Current status: Motor is mounted and installed. Battery trays need to be painted and installed. Road tested September 2009
Conversion Cost$1200 for the car (- 300 for parts sold). $750 for the chargers. $450 for the new batteries, $300 for 3450RPM motor (replaced original free motor)
$700 for AC Drive (replaced original
free drive) $500 or incidentals. The
rest has been scrounged for free.
Additional FeaturesFactory Speedometer and odometer working (electronic sensor)
Factory Tachometer showing 3x electric motor speed (its fun to pin the gauge, but I need to divide it down to be a little more reasonable)
Dashboard lights and gauges: Check engine light shows motor controller fault - added fault reset button.
The AC motor has a lower RPM range than the DC motors so I do shift the car when driving.
A group of like minded builders meets once a month in Milwaukee, WI at the Milwaukee Makerspace to work on their cars, help each other out, and find materials. Anyone interested in joining us please e-mail me.

Ben Nelson has shot some videos of the conversion and posted them on youtube, search for "Benjamin Nelson electric car".

Got the car running Labor Day Weekend 2009. Broke the
transmission 3 days later :-) Turned out to be a broken coupler - a few tweaks and some wire EDM to create the splines and I have a solid connection using Lovejoy couplers.

code by jerry