engine bay, almost done.battery layout
OwnerPeter Campbell
LocationCanberra, Australian Capital Territory Australia map
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Vehicle1991 Daihatsu Charade
5 door hatch
MotorAdvanced DC 8 Series Wound DC
dual shaft version
DrivetrainADC8" DC motor direct coupled to gearbox,
no clutch.
ControllerKelly KDH14100D
For 2 years I had a Curtis 1231C. It
went fine for most of that time but it
developed a problem where it would not
deliver full current to the motor when
at low revs so it because sluggish to
take off. Remained good at speed.
Problem fixed with a replacement
controller-now much more torque to take
off-not hard to spin wheels
accidentally in 3rd gear. The Kelly is
programmed to limit motor current to
800A, battery current to 270A (3C) and
the motor voltage to 120V, the rated
maxima for the motor and battery.
Nonetheless the controller seems to allow 400-500A from
the battery when I put my foot down quickly, even in
Batteries45 Thunder Sky LFP90AHA, 3.20 Volt, Lithium-Ion
with EV Power (West Australia) Battery
On occasional more lead-footed
acceleration get the BMS
low voltage alarm (less than 2.5V on at
least one cell) to
go off at about 3C (270Amp). I can get
a bit more current
than this without the alarm when things
are warmer.
With some voltage sag I can get 500A out (>5C)
Through winter when it has been been
freezing or a few
degrees less over night in an open
carport the car only
does a bit over 2C or about 200Amp
before the BMS alarm
sounds. This is still adequate but a
bit more pedestrian
performance. In these conditions the
battery compartment
is in the 0-10oC range. In warmer
weather with the cells
at 20oC or more I get noticably zippier
(Update: After 8 years and about 60,000km the battery capacity
has dropped to about 70% of original but the car still performs just
System Voltage144 Volts
Charger 2x Elcon 1500 8Amp Chinese charger
I have a switch to run just one or both. One is certainly
friendly to 10A wall sockets while running both I can get away
with on 10A but it is probably really better on a 15A outlet. It
never trips my 16A breaker when I have both going for a
faster charge (16A to the battery).
HeaterI have two heating elements. Each
element is controlled
with a switch. The fan
comes on automatically if heater is on.
The flaps in the
dash are fixed so air always goes past
the elements.
Two very big 0.4 ohm
power resistors are the heating
With 13.6V these
should be almost 500W each.
The air con is the most effective
defogging and 900W of electric element
is barely adequate.
Also, 2x45W seat heaters-ebay
chinese kit was much more effective for
10% of the energy drain.
DC/DC ConverterIota DLS90
90amp version-more 12V current than
usually needed
because I have a 12V heater.
InstrumentationTBS battery gauge. Original tacho works
with a
signal from a Hall sensor and a metal
disk with two
notches on the second motor shaft. A
signal boost circuit
was required to get the original tacho
to respond-thanks evric
(evric.kestar.com.au). The
overheating switch on the ADC motor is
wired to the
original'engine' warning light. I have
a set of LEDs in the
dash showing 13/12/11/10V from a
battery testing
gadget. The LEDs come on as a system
ready indicator with
the key is ON. Also, if the
LEDs start going out the DC/DC
converter must have
failed and the car is
running down the backup 12V battery.
Top Speed80 MPH (128 KPH)
110kmph is the speed limit on the
fastest road I have driven on so far
and it maintained that easily. I briefly
took it to 135kph
because people ask.
AccelerationBrisk, better than most cars at the lights, but not a
racing car. Better than our iMiEV. I sometimes used 2nd
gear for quicker standing takeoffs
facing up hill or if I wanted
to get across an intersection quickly
but mostly leaving it in
3rd all the time. That was with the Curtis 500A controller.
Now with higher current Kelly I never use 2nd and have to
be careful not to spin the wheels in 3rd. I routinely take off
faster than everyone else at the lights.
Range45 Miles (72 Kilometers)
about 70km. Regularly doing
up to 55km I only once run it way down
to 3% on a day
when I did 135km with opportunity
charging. That is a mix
of suburban and
In Feb 2016, the least good 90Ah cell had reduced to 70Ah. In Jan
2018, the least good cell's capacity was down to 60Ah and 60km
Watt Hours/MileAbout 150Wh/km from the battery on a mix of 60, 80 and 90kph
roads with some hills and traffic lights.
EV Miles
Start:133,000 Miles (213,997 Kilometers)
Current:168,000 Miles (270,312 Kilometers)
Total:35,000 Miles (56,315 Kilometers)
Seating Capacity5 adults
Curb Weight2,070 Pounds (940 Kilograms)
940Kg, 150kg over the original mass of
790kg (according to the book)- I suspect
it was originally heavier than the book said.
Tiresordinary originally. Then I got some
low rolling
resistance Michelin Energy tyres.
Handling and wet braking
much better but did not notice a range
Conversion Time11 months
Completed in May 2009, Still going fine
in Jan 2018 after 55,000km.
Barely noticeable reduction in performance from the battery.
Capacity was recently tested and the least strong cell had lost
~33% from new.
Conversion CostAU$20K-could do it cheaper now. I bought almost everything
at the very worst time for exchange rates. Cost
included engineer's certification and car
with dead motor, reinstating the air con and other mod cons.
Additional FeaturesThe previous owner put in remote locking. I added an
electric windows-kit from ebay.
The air-conditioning is original but now driven by a pulley
on the second motor shaft.
The air con controls required some rewiring by an
autoelectrician to get it to work
without the motor and ECU present.
I have wired the air con to optionally come on with the
brake light so the drag only
occurs when I want to slow down anyway. IE free but
intermittent cooling.
Gear changes without the clutch work just fine but you
need to push a bit more slowly into gear to avoid a crunch, not that I have
needed to change much, mostly stay in 3rd. I used 2nd for optional quicker take off when I had
a 500A curtis controller. Now I have a Kelly with more current (torque is proportional to the
square of current), I never use less than 3rd gear. I occasionally change to 4th gear when
staying over 90kph for an extended time. I had to have beefier springs and new shocks in the
rear. The rear was ~40mm lower than at the start and the original shock absorber were
worn out. The replacements were standard length but heavier duty and restored most
of the original ride height. The front ended up ~25mm higher than at the start with the original
springs and shocks. Eventually these were replaced with slightly shorter springs (a Pedders
lowering kit) and new shocks which had put the car back to level.
Charging is from accredited 'GreenPower', tax-deductible from tinyurl.com/k8wlf6k
Brake booster vacuum pump is MESdea. After initial pump down comes on for a few
seconds every 10-15 mins without any vacuum reservoir. It is quieter than others I
have heard. I have a extra vacuum switch in the line. It is closed without vacuum and
connected across the brake fluid float switch. At turn on the brake warning lamp is
tested because the vacuum is absent and the float switch shorted. The light goes out
as the line is pumped down. The lamp would only comes on while driving if the brake fluid were
lost or the vacuum had failed; either would be worth knowing about!
Now on U-tube: WebPage />
Don't underestimate how huge motor current can be for
modest battery current. The Curtis 500A limit (and later
only 400A when something was going wrong) was more of a
performance limit than the motor or battery. With the Kelly able to do 800A on the
motor side I have much more torque and no longer bother with gear changing unless
planning to sit on 100+kph.

Recently did some 200m (1/8th mile) acceleration test. In 3rd gear did only slightly worse times
than an iMiEV or Leaf but better than a new Mini with 1.6L BMW motor.

Was sold in 2018 after around 9 years and 50,000 km of EV driving still running well. I heard
something went 'bang' in the motor later in 2018.

code by jerry