OwnerDonnie Hoover
LocationTiffin, Ohio US map
Email email image
Vehicle1996 Chevrolet S-10
Paid 780 dollars for truck. Sold engine for $300.
MotorAdvanced DC 4001 A Series Wound DC
Fly wheel with working clutch mounted on motor.
DrivetrainFive speed manual with working clutch.
ControllerCurtis 8601C
Runs a bit hot on days when the temp goes past 90.
Batteries23 Crown CR-225, 6.00 Volt, Lead-Acid, Flooded
System Voltage138 Volts
Charger ?
ex military charger, adjustable up to 156 volts, 20 amps.
DC/DC ConverterIota 45 amp
Top Speed60 MPH (96 KPH)
AccelerationA bit better than the 2.2 when the battries are fully charged.
Range40 Miles (64 Kilometers)
Watt Hours/MileAfter 800 miles we average .475 watt hours per mile.
EV Miles
Start:147,932 Miles (238,022 Kilometers)
Current:148,932 Miles (239,631 Kilometers)
Total:1,000 Miles (1,609 Kilometers)
Seating Capacity2.5
Curb Weight4,690 Pounds (2,131 Kilograms)
Enough that we needed air shocks to bring it back up to stock height.
Tires215-65-r15 Douglas light truck tires at 50 psi.
Conversion TimeOn and off for six months in spare time.
Conversion CostUnder $10.000.
Additional FeaturesTilt up bed for battery access. Emergency stop button mounted on shifter. Vacuum Pump and switch for power brakes.
Crown battery seems to be the best kept secret of the EV community. If you want to spend your money paying for fancy colored cases and a big advertising budget get the other ones. If you want a solid great performing battery check Crown out. These things deliver exactly like you expect, and do it for $10 to $15 dollars per battery less than their competition. When you are buying this many batteries that is a lot of savings. Personally I would rather spend that money upgrading my controller or some other critical component.

Building an EV is somewhat difficult and time consuming but anyone with the ability to do auto repair should be able to figure it out. Having a place to do the work is important. This is not something that you want to be doing in an unheated building during the coldest January in 60 years, trust me on this.

5/22/09. Put 75 miles on it this week and used about $1 worth of electricity to recharge.

Not needing to buy gas, priceless!

6/05/09. Have been driving around town for 2 weeks and used less than $3 worth of electricity.

6/6/09. After driving for a while it is obvious that the clutch really isn't necessary. It shifts fine without it if you are careful. If we did it again we would not spend the extra money to have the clutch functional.

6/20/09. Easily cruises at 55. Range up to 35 miles per charge and climbing. At 35 miles the battery voltage is down to 6.05 V. Could probably go further but we want to baby the batteries till they are broken in. Just sitting for a couple of hours, the batteries recover to 6.1 V +. Manual steering is not that bad once you get used to it.

6/23/09. Just passed 300 miles. Have used 130 kwh in recharging. At our rate of 4.5 cents per-kwh that is just under $6. Less than 2 cents a mile!

7/5/09. At 400 miles we have used 175 kw for charging. This is still below 2 cents per mile at our rate. The learning curve on the charging profile can be a bit confusing. The engineering guys at Crown battery have been very helpful and always take the time to explain things in an understandable way.

7/7/09. Made a 42 mile trip that brought the voltage down to 5.71V per battery. It felt like it would have gone further but we did not want to push our luck.

7/18/09. At 600 miles we have used just over $13 in charging.

8/7/09. Just over 700 miles. Charging cost so far is $17.38. Took my van to buy gas last week and I got 50 cents change back from $80.

That really makes you appreciate an electric vehicle.

8/31/09. After 800 miles we average .475 watt hours per mile. Our electricity cost for charging just passed $20.

How far are you going to get with $20 worth of gas?

Just passed 1000 miles. Charging cost seems stable for now at 2.6 cents per mile. Total electricity cost for charging to date $26.39.

Resting in the barn till thing warm up a bit. We just had two weeks where the temp. never got above freezing.

Battery voltage is very stable in storage. Just a minimal charge about once a month keeps them topped off.

Took the truck to a couple of shows. No prizes, but a lot of interest, questions and smiles. Everything worked as intended during the summer of 2010. Only change was a new accessory battery. The old starter battery was being stretched to its limits keeping up with the vacuum pump and contactor for a full days driving.

Installed a new Crown Deep cycle. This has a lot more reserve and keeps the vacuum pump running at normal capacity all day. A voltage check of the batteries shows all 23 maintaining between 6.2 and 6.4 volts (after 24 hours off charge) at the end of the second summer driving season. This was better than expected.

Currently working on a Tesla style battery pack made of 18650 Lithium cells recycled from discarded laptop batteries, configured to achieve the proper voltage and kwh. There is quite a learning curve here and It is difficult to source the number of batteries necessary. This gives us some time to learn the charging and and battery managing circuits necessary to pull this off safely. If you are aware of an inexpensive source for retired laptop batteries we would appreciate an email.

code by jerry