Batteriessigns, license
OwnerRichard Pease
LocationOverland Park, Kansas United States map
Email email image
Vehicle1985 Dodge D-50
Ex-4 wheel drive mini-pickup. I removed all
4wd gear
and replaced with 2WD to save weight.
MotorAdvanced DC ADC-4001 Series Wound DC
9.13" double shaft
Drivetrain140 V DC system, standard 5 speed no clutch.
Would prefer clutch, however.
ControllerManzanita Micro Z1K
Curtis blown when car purchased, rebuilt
and repaired six times under warranty.
up on Curtis repair, used a borrowed
Logisystems for a while, then built and
installed Re-volt Cougar kit. It failed,
replaced w/ curtis, which was inadequate,
so replaced with zilla Z1K which has been
Batteries44 CALB/Skyenergy SE130AHA, 3.20 Volt, Lithium Iron Phosphate
Installed March, 2012

Lead-acid pack purchased new Nov 2009.

(Feb 2012) Lead Acid pack dead after 7000
due, presumably, to overcharging causing

Replaced with 44 CALB 130AH LiFePo4
batteries at mile 12293, first run Apr
3rd. Put the batteries in a
workman's pick-up bed tool box.
System Voltage140 Volts
ChargerQuick Charge Reworked by Quickcharge for Lithium
230 volt 30 AMP fixed pack voltage
charger. Will NOT charge with 208 V, the
usual j1772 chargedpoint voltage, however.

Backup K & W BC-20 115 volt 10 amp
charger, swap voltages using Anderson

Both on board.


Am building 10KW 240 volt charger from
HeaterCame with ceramic heater. Works well,
using a 144 V DC to 120 V 20 AMP AC
inverter. Being a very small cab helps.
Runs about 9 Amps at 140 volts.

Add 5k BTU window AC powered by 110V
inverter. Put in bed, piped cool air and
return to cab through cab back with tubes.
Whimpy, should have gone 8K BTU.
DC/DC Converter
55 AMP originally an AC 12 V charger. Had
to replace after 5 years.
InstrumentationCustom dashboard with round analog gauges.
Replaced with homemade arduino/Raspberry
Pi based complete instrumentation incl
MPH, RPM, HP, range, WH/mi, trip, usage
graph, motor/controller/chiller
temps and graph, logging.
Top Speed70 MPH (112 KPH)
Had a little more speed to go in 4th, but
vehicle was 37% battery weight and is
twitchy steering at that speed.

A little more speed with Lithium pack, but
drives MUCH better.

A little bouncy at 70, still has lead-acid
springs in it.
AccelerationWith Logisystems, sparkling up to 35 or
so, will smoke tires. Adequate but NOT
sparkling above that. Returned to Curtis
and Revolt because of unavoidable
jackrabbit starts with the Logisystems.
Acceleration adequate for a retiree.

Acceleration is much better with Lithium.
Better yet with zilla controller.
Range50 Miles (80 Kilometers)
Most ever actually attained on the lead-
acid pack is 40 miles under super ideal
conditions. Never planned trips over 27
miles. Lithium range first day 48 miles
with some to spare. 50 miles is
conservative 80 % depth-of-discharge,
could presumably go considerably farther
with careful featherfoot driving (not
something I do much of). I plan 30 miles
round trips to account for when I get
lost, detours...

Watt Hours/Mile325 Wh/Mile
Was about 375 Whr/mi for Lead-Acid,
numbers from Re-Volt controller info for
around town, highest speed 50, average
about 37.
Steady 60 MPH flat ground 409 Whr/Mile.

Lithium: Measured by onboard computer (see
"instrumentation" above)at 325 watt-hr/mi
on 38 mile trip,
62% thruway at ave 55 with four 100 foot
high hills, remainder stop and go. About
390 Whr/Mile in winter with heater on,
cold tires, cold transmission fluid, et.c.
EV Miles
Current:42,700 Miles (68,704 Kilometers)
Seating CapacityTwo. NOT two people and 55 pound dog, NOT
two people and string bass, NOT two people
and 3 bags of groceries (unless out in the
wind). My one major beef with the
vehicle. It is my primary vehicle, and I
have to rely on a small homebuilt diesel
school-bus-based RV for more than two
people or lugging things.

With the Lithium pack there is now room
for the bass, groceries and dog in back.
Still two people max, though. One of the
big reasons I bought a MIEV.
Curb Weight3,130 Pounds (1,422 Kilograms)
Was 4340 with Lead-Acid. Batteries were
1600 pounds of that weight. At or near
the driveability limit considering weight.
It is a very small pickup, made by

New weight with Lithium measured at 3130
pounds. Huge difference in driveability
and range.
TiresOff the shelf 4WD type tires. I did a
coast down test with them at 35 pounds and
again at 50 pounds
pressure, and the difference is DRAMATIC,
both in increased coasting range and in
increased roughness of ride.

Ride much smoother with Lithium, but
springs are
now too stiff, not too loose as with lead-
acid. Bouncy
at 65-70 MPH. Comfortable on thruway, for
Conversion TimeBought barely working. Complete rebuild,
Eventually replaced all EV components
except motor, incl batteries,
controller(s), and high voltage cables.
Also replaced all truck components that
turn (except steel wheels and steering
wheel); incl transmission,
coupler, drive line. Added DC-DC
converter, electric power steering pump
(which failed, had to replace),
onboard charger, new 230 volt outlet on my
mail box. About 450 hours (most of a
summer's spare time, I'm retired)
Conversion CostBase partially converted vehicle was
$3500. Added about $6800 including PbA
batteries, Re-volt controller kit,
mechanical upgrades, charger, et c.

Replacing failed controllers, dc-dc,Ps
pump added $3000.

Total cost with Lithium is #@!%(!*@#, but
I have 30,000 miles on them, so cost is,
per mile, already less then lead-acid.
Additional Features110 V AC 20 amp inverter.
MR2 power steering pump.
Two onboard chargers, 110v and 220V.
Homemade control and performance instrumentation suite.
cobbled up home Air conditioner.
The friends at MAEAA car club recommend that if you want to
build an EV, buy an already-converted used one first to find
out what you like and don't like, it is cheaper than buying
new parts and making the mistakes yourself. Very good
advice. I find a small pickup isn't adequate as a
primary vehicle, even if there is just me and my wife.
Lithium helps, gives me my bed back with a cover so I can
haul stuff. My upright bass and amp fit, and I have
range now for most gigs.

I purchased the vehicle as previously converted with 4710
electric miles on it. The mileage reported above reflects
all of it's electric miles, not just mine,
the original converter having installed a new speedometer.

More than 30,000 of those miles are on the lithium pack.

Vehicle was priced considering a known dead battery pack,
however, had numerous other issues, especially trying to
rehabilitate a Curtis controller with the end blown
out if it. 2 WD drive tranny I installed to replace the 4WD
was different size, so I had to fab new engine mounts, new
tranny cross member, new crossmember attach scheme, rebuild
the driveshaft, all difficult to obtain because the base
vehicle was over 25 years old. Advice - convert something
new enough so you can still get ordinary replacement vehicle
parts. Replacing brakes, rotors and drums was really
difficult considering age, cost over $1900.

I have been stranded many times, but never due to powertrain
problems. Brakes, bad dc-dc, bad 12 V battery usually.
Having a non-driving 90 year old wife I can't be stranded
anymore, so I added a MIEV for reliability and IT stranded me
the first day I had it. Battery problems.

Retired vehicle Jan 2018. Because of disabled wife, I did not
dare to take her on trips where we might be stranded, so I bought
a use Miev and let this vehicle sit for 6 months with it on
charger not realizing that charger didn't trickle, and it ruined
the lithium pack. Rather than replacing pack, I bought a friends
S-10 with 81 calb 180's, about 20% were dead, as was his
controller. I put my zilla controller in it and used the best 48
calbs. Range is now 60 miles, about 410 watt hours per mile, it
being much heavier vehicle.

code by jerry