All the nasty bits out!Extra space in the bootMotor, gearbox inFuel IntakeRear battery boxesConduits carrying high voltage cables Air con compressor and Rt engine mountEngine BayFront battery box welded and painted
OwnerJason Garrood
LocationAdelaide, SA Australia map
Email email image
Vehicle1999 Mitsubishi Lancer
Owned since new and in reasonable
condition, but ICE starting to leak oil
and lose power.
The Lancer seems to have plenty of space
both
front and rear.
MotorHPEVS AC 50-1 3-Phase AC
Should be able to achieve 60 HP max
DrivetrainManual, front wheel drive
ControllerCurtis 1238-7501
AC with regen capacity
Batteries36 CALB/Skyenergy SE100AHA, 3.20 Volt, Lithium Iron Phosphate
System Voltage120 Volts
ChargerElcon TCCH-36C-12A
36 cell charger
Heater12v water tank and pump
DC/DC Converter
144/12V 30A
InstrumentationCurtis 840
Zeva fuel guage driver - returned
Cycle Analyst 225
Temperature monitor of rear battery pack
Top Speed60 MPH (96 KPH)
60 mph needed but 125 kph achieved!
Range40 Miles (64 Kilometers)
85Km achieved
EV Miles
Start:90,136 Miles (145,028 Kilometers)
Current:97,000 Miles (156,073 Kilometers)
Total:6,864 Miles (11,044 Kilometers)
Seating Capacity4 adults - reduced from 5 by removing centre
seat-belt in rear seat, in order to help
comply with local transport department
regulations
Curb Weight2,227 Pounds (1,012 Kilograms)
Official weight via licenced weigh bridge
prior to conversion is 0.62tonne front and
0.39t at rear
Tires175/70R13 82H
Conversion TimeCompleted after 7 months
Conversion CostAbout A$22,500
Additional FeaturesDual front airbags and air conditioning
were optional extras in the original
vehicle - Retained.
We wanted active Regen capacity - motor
(and pedal braking later?).
Air conditioning re-added in 2014.
Retained clutch to make gear change
easier.
Power steering.
New digital radio.
Remote door locking.

Converter: Nick King, SA Electric Vehicle
Conversions.
Adapter plate: Hackham Precision
Engineering.
Certifying automotive engineer: Stuart
Crosier, Tonkin Engineering
We wanted this to be a reasonably powerful
conversion that would be able to cope
with, and make use of the hilly terrain
where we live and yet be easy to drive.

2010: Car weighed (0.62t front and 0.39t
rear). Engineer engaged
for certification.
Dept Transport permission to modify
vehicle obtained. Conversion
brief detailed and construction engineer
engaged and parts list
modified (several times) and final
suppliers sorted.

2011 Feb and March: Parts ordered and
start to arrive.

2011 April: Slowly all parts have trickled
in including AC motor,
controller kit and Li PO cells, and at end
of the month, are
dropped off with the car at conversion
workshop.

2011 May 4th: Vehicle dismantled and
stripped of all ICE parts.
With the bonnet, under-dash, passenger and
rear seat and most
interior panels removed Wiggl-e starts to
look quite gutted! But
we have found some extra battery space in
front of the spare tyre!
(see photos)
Wiring loom stripped and labelled. 10 pair
cable run from front to
rear compartments for battery management
system (BMS), 'fuel' cap
lock-out etc.
Accelerator Pot box attached to fire-wall.
Some bracket fabrication and controller
platform construction (in
aluminium) commenced.
Battery box planning, in consultion with
certifying engineer,
started.

May 9th: New e-motor and old gear box
sent for adaptor plate
fabrication.

June 4th; By this date the 'little red
button' (low voltage
emergency cut-out)has been installed in
centre console, and a
nifty little interlock switch has been
inserted under the 'fuel'
filler flap to prevent car movement while
charging - old petrol
cap is gone, 240v charging cable with
protective conduit has
replaced the filler pipe, (a weather-proof
3 pin socket will be
used for charging).
We weigh all the old ICE parts - which
come to just under 140kg.
Because there won't be 45kg of petrol and
1 rear seat passenger we
reckon that we have 265kg to play with.
We fit the charger into the back right
side of the boot and
replace the lining panel, with the BMS
above it looks very
business-like.
The new power steering pump is attached by
its bracket to the
front of the RH chassis rail to try for
size, and seems to fit in
well, confirming my choice of donor
vehicle. The inertia cut out
switch is also located here, right at the
front. Lastly, I sit in
the driver's seat and after measuring out
a few locations for
accessibility, we find a spot for the 'Big
Red Button' (the high
voltage emergency cut out) at the rear of
the centre console.

June 12th: BMS master control unit has
been tidied up internally
and finally attached in its place. Curtis
840 guage has been
fitted into a new instrument cluster with
tachometer that the
original lacked, in the place of the now
unnecessary fuel guage -
looks very neat. Serendipitously we
discover that the tacho is
redlined already at the exact place for
the new motor - 6500 rpm.
After admiring the excellent job done on
the adapter plate we
lower the motor+gearbox assembly into
place. This needed some
jiggling to fit it onto the original 3
gearbox mounts. We have to
loosen the longitudinal cross-member to do
this. Bracket
construction commenced for final engine
mount.

July 12th: New clutch plate fitted because
we are expecting the
clutch to handle quite a lot of torque. A
new bracket to connect
the end of the e-motor to the right side
engine mount has been
constructed and neatly extended around the
front of the motor to
hold the 12V brake vacuum pump. This also
holds a bracket to mount
the old aircon compressor which we realise
we will have room for.
This looks very neat because it makes use
of part of the original
mount from the old engine. Thus it is in
almost the same position
as before. As a bonus the new motor has a
drive shaft at both ends
of its rotor, allowing a simple belt drive
to the original
pulley(see photo). Unfortunately the power
steering pump needs to
be repositioned and now sits horizontally,
but in the same place.
Gearbox and clutch connectors reattached
and half shafts replaced.
Electrical connections to the loom are
tidied up, bundled and
sheathed.

July 17th: More work on the cabling. Use
of spare and redundant
fuses in the fuse box for many of the new
fuses keeps the 12V
circuits neat.
We finish construction of the electronics
bridge across the engine
bay above the motor(see photo). This
carries the controller so
must leave plenty of room under the bonnet
for heat dissipation.
Fabricated from extruded 50mm aluminium
bars it will conduct some
of the heat to the side chassis rails. It
also holds the DC to DC
converter, front 96V main contactor with
slave relay (driven by
controller - 24V) wired into a high
voltage switch box - in
retrospect could have been 30% bigger; and
the old 12V battery
which slots back into its original
housing.
We also start construction of the brackets
to hold the front
battery box onto the same chassis members.
Fixing bolts for these
will need anti-compression sleeves and
will need to have about 1
tonne shear strength between them (the
battery box of 10x 3.1 Kg
cells needs to withstand 20G to comply
with regulations). We start
on the lower 40x3mm angle iron framing too
- leaving room for 4mm
teflon packers which will allow the cells
to be slid easily into
place.
We start work on wiring up some of the
thick power cables to the
contactor, the converter and motor.
Crimping the big connector
lugs on is very satifying work, and the
bright red cables look
good against their black surrounds.

July 24th: Rear battery main contactor
wired into boot and tested.
Under dash wiring tidied up and tested and
new instrument cluster
connected up with some change to warning
lights (eg oil pressure
light now indicates 'power steering
enabled" and red engine fault
symbol changed to green "power on-drive
system enabled").

August 7th: Front battery box welding
finished (see photo). Teflon
strips cut. Chassis brackets and subframe
drilled. Battery
Management System (BMS) wiring cut and
trimmed.

August 21st: Chassis brackets painted and
bolted to front
subframes and front Battery box. Rear
battery boxes (2 x 10 cells
each) completed and bolted through boot
floor into rear chassis
subframes where possible with wide
rounded-edged under-floor
plates to withstand the 20G forces as per
regulations. Teflon
strips glued in and Li Phos cells slid
into place and locked in
with a holding bracket over the last cell
in each row. Rear main
contactor and fuse fixed onto the forward
rear box.
Connecting bus bars and BMS voltage
modules bolted onto each cell
and connected to BMS master unit in the
boot (photos).
Heavy duty cables run through transmission
tunnel via protective
conduit connecting rear battery boxes,
contactor to controller
(and the Big Red Button). Cables to
charger and input socket
completed.
Big red 'on', inertia switch 'on', battery
voltages checked, BMS
modules glowing green LEDs, key turned
fully 'on' and gentle
pressure applied to the accelerator pedal
- motor shaft rotates
and wheel hubs turn - We have power!!

August 28th: Unfortunately the power is
very limited even after
cells are fully charged, BMS is rechecked,
accelerator pot box
recalibrated and controller shows normal
status. Downloading
controller manual is of little help, nor
are the suppliers! We are
now looking for a hand held programmer or
soft ware to interrogate
the controller.
However rear seat is back in. Centre
console is reinstalled with
both the 'Big and little Red Buttons'
prominently positioned.
Housing the former is not easy because of
the bulk of its
contactor, but it does fit into the rear
pocket between the front
seats, by fabricating a suitably insulated
protective cover over
its bitey bits.
Power steering pressure hose connectors
have arrived and so this
is finished off too.

September 11th: Woo Hoo!!! First test
drive and we are blown away
by the performance - much better than we
expected; and the critics
predicted! Now we know what that EV grin
feels like!! Acceleration
is similar to the old ICE especially mid
range, and we get up to
110 kph (at about 2700 RPM in 4th)before
we run out of road - and
the front end feels a bit 'floaty' too.
Looks a bit low at the
rear also, later found just due to low
tyre pressure in the rear
tyres. A casualty of no use for several
months, as was the cause
of the low power previously - the 12v
battery had died. A new one
fixed that.
2 corflutes bought too a)to deflect any
wet road spray that gets
in through the grill down and out away
from the electronics, b)to
line the space under the engine bay for
the same reason and also
to improve aerodynamics, but allow enough
space for adequate motor
and controller cooling. Photos of the
underfloor plates taken to
be emailed to the compliance certifying
engineer (circuit diagrams
and plans have been sent previously).

Sept 16th: Lancer is driven 72 km into
town (Adelaide) for the
enginer's inspection and passes with
flying colours and a
compliment on the standard of the
conversion! Unfortunately we
will have to wait 2 weeks for his report
and then we can get the
final registration inspection done with
the local Dept of
Transport, and we will be street legal!
After 78 km of peak hour
traffic and highway driving back, the car
runs out of juice just
as it's turned into the 'home' road. Now
we know the range!
Obviously time to fit the Zeva fuel guage
driver to the old
temperature guage for a more accurate
reading. The small Curtis
840 guage shows battery capacity by a few
LEDs only. But it can
display regen too (-20 amps looks so
good).
Also purchased are a 15amp charging cable
(the charger is rated at
12 amps) and a reversing warning device.
The car sounds so eerily
quiet when backing that we are concerned
about the safety of
pedestrians in Carparks. We find a neat
unit that plugs straight
into the reversing lamp socket and
provides a brighter halogen
globe too.
Car re-weighed as per regulations at 0.60t
front, 0.42t rear. Only
10kg heavier than pre conversion, and well
within the guidelines.
Although 20kg lighter at the front and 30
heavier at the rear it
should not be noticeable in every-day
driving.

Sept 18th: Official shake down runs after
bonnet replaced, prove
that range under heavy driving is only 58
km before controller
shuts down (not much warning either). But
official top speed is
125kph on the flat - most impressive.

Oct 5th: First attempt at passing local
Dept Transport (DTEI)
Registration inspection fails because
engineer has not sent
report, and we are informed that the dash
mounted fan heated is no
longer allowed (nothing that might dent
heads) necessitating much
rapid research - first into possibility of
adding a newly found
recycling valve into the air con system
which seems too difficult
at this stage, secondly a quicker option
of a small water heater
tank and 12v pump is shipped over express
and fitted along with
the old radiator fan for the air con
anyway, with special slot
created in front corflute to allow some
airflow to the controller
heat sink.

Nov 3rd: We pass the DTEI rego inspection
with flying colours and
commendation on the quality of work on the
conversion! Well done
Nick!!
I proudly drive Wiggl-e home, managing the
110kph expressway dips
and rises and the climb into the Adelaide
Hills with ease.
Unfortunately the solenoid switch for the
brake vaccuum pump burns
out, rather disconcerting (and hard on the
Rt foot)coming downhill
to the intersection at the end of our
street - the distributor now
recommends using a relay, and he is happy
to supply a new switch
by express mail.

Nov 16th and 19th: Driving down to the
local AEVA meeting and
picnic produces massive regen down the
freeway but unfortunately
the controller heats up to its safety
point (85 deg C) and slows
the car drastically on the way back uphill
- longer than 2 minutes
unfortunately. I will have to rethink this
route. All part of the
EV driving experience really. One learns
to adapt eg to different
gear changes (much less than with the old
engine), but all the
while revelling in the FREE power (we have
solar PV), and
demonstrating (showing off!) the
conversion to its many admirers,
and hopefully future electric transport
converts. An ongoing and
entirely enjoyable experience!!

2012: Controller overheating solved by
gluing an appropriate sized
heat sink onto the back, and replacing in
the same spot at front
of engine bay. Cut a hole in the corflute
splash guard to guide
cool air in-flow onto it. Worked
brilliantly. Temp never over 60
deg C even on the hottest day, and turning
on the air conditioning
'radiator' fan drops it even further. No
problems with it since.

Rear fuse blows after one of the power
leads on the controller
loosens. Interesting experience with the
RAA (local auto club)
repair guy "What is it? I can't touch
that!" even though I had
warned the call centre that it was an EV.
But they did pay for the
tow home. I replace the fuse attached to
the rear contactor for
convenience, but this also works loose and
starts to melt the
contactor and fuse. "I recognise that
smell". Another tow home,
reconnect new fuse and do without that
contactor as we still have
the front one.

Get sick of the sound of the electric
power steering pump which is
worse inside the car than out, due to
vibrations transmitted along
the chassis member. Local auto
electricians engaged to fit rubber
bush mounts and it sounds much better.
Though I probably would
choose a different brand next time.

After experimenting for several months
trying different resistance
levels finally gave up on the Zeva and its
Hall effect sensor.
Purchased a Cycle Analyst monitor from
Canada and fitted easily
into the place where ashtray was (non
smoker now). Large shunt
fits well over rear battery pack

2013: Tacho driver fitted, via photo
electric reflecting off shiny
patches glued to the face of the air con
compressor pulley from
original ICE, 2 pulses per rev. However
while on demonstration at
a sustainability expo a small child
reaches around the clear
acrylic sheet that I had placed to keep
prying fingers out and
pulls on the lead - zero revs! Eventually
replaced and working
well so far.

2014: As the Curtis controller is able to
handle up to 120V I
decide to purchase 6 more cells and have
these fitted abutting the
other 10 in the front (engine bay). This
evens up the weight
distribution and the car handles more like
it used to. Power
increase seems massive and I have to be
careful accelerating in
the lower gears to avoid too much wheel
spin!

We finally fit a new air conditioner
pulley as the original
developed a 'wobble' under strain due to
not quite a tight fit.
Unfortunately a/c compressor needs re-
positioning necessitating
the fabrication of a new mount in front of
the motor. About this
time the brake vacuum pump packs up.
Interesting coming down hill
to the corner onto our main street -
again! New and better quality pump
bought and fitted to the same mount.

I can now fit another piece of corflute
(old election posters) as
a splash guard beneath the engine bay (not
quite all - to allow
sufficient airflow for cooling) as
recommended to reduce drag and
increase confidence during Winter driving.
The old Water temperature gauge is still
be able to be used - it
was going to be the fuel gauge. I sourced
a suitable air
temp driver which was fitted over the rear
battery pack as that is where the cables
currently end, it's bigger
and less accessible than the front.
Also the cabin heater/demister has proven
to be pretty hopeless
and I would like to replace this
eventually. Fortunately now the
air con is working demisting is safe, but
running it increases the
cold! In the meantime I have an old fan
heater which plugs into
the cigarette lighter socket to keep the
chill off.
The Cycle Analyst is picking up a tiny
discharge over time so I am
concerned that there may be small short
somewhere. This was found to be due to a
power steering cable chafing and shorting.
Replaced and working okay now.

code by jerry