ClearanceLeopardSeatsDriverSideFront After Box And BatteriesLeopard BackCycle Analyst Instrumentation
OwnerDaniel Gallagher
Owner's Other EV2012 Mitsubishi iMiev - Sold in March 2016
LocationEphrata, Pennsylvania United States map
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Vehicle1980 Renault Lectric Leopard (LeCar)
This car has been parted out/sold in February 2017. Will keep this page up for historical purposes.

Update: June 2015 added an HPEVs AC50 and removed the clutch to run a bit more efficiently, getting regen and a bit more power.

From May-Oct 2012, Updated car to run on LiFePo4 batteries from CALB. Created two new racks, the rear I've sunk under the floor 11" for safety/handling/storage space. Installed LithiumateLite BMS also.

Originally built in Massachusetts by
USElectricar (from Renault gliders shipped from Canada) and sold to an owner in New Hampshire. I have no idea how it got to California ... but it did. I bought it from a guy there, made a few fixes and got it on the road.
MotorHPEVS AC-50 3-Phase AC
DrivetrainFront Wheel Drive 4spd coupled to motor, clutchless.
ControllerCurtis 1238-7601
Batteries38 CALB/Skyenergy SE130AHA, 3.20 Volt, Lithium Iron Phosphate
System Voltage120 Volts
ChargerElcon PFC 2000+
HeaterInstalled heater "core" from household
ceramic appliance into heater fan
assembly with relay off of fan switch.

The fan itself has burned out several times, so it is not currently operational.
DC/DC Converter
InstrumentationCycle Analyst: Battery Volts, Amps, and Watts + Speedometer to give Watt-hours/mile. Curtis Spyglass for motor RPM, Motor Temp, Controller Temp, and torque is also hooked up. Hooked up BMS SOC output to original fuel gauge. I also installed a Lithiumate Hotspot for cell monitoring on any smartphone.
Top Speed60 MPH (96 KPH)
It has gone faster than 60, but that's not really comfortable. If I'm on a highway I'll go 55 and it does pretty well. Make sure you're in 3rd gear for the highway (2nd tops out at about 45 mph)
AccelerationAcceleration is decent, probably better than the gas version - definitely quieter!
Range60 Miles (96 Kilometers)
In decent weather ( > 60). When it gets cooler the range is still ok, but I get more low battery warnings upon acceleration.
Watt Hours/Mile200 Wh/Mile
Update: I put in a Cycle Analyst meter that can calculate Wh/mile and I consistently get better than 220, but sometimes it drops a bit in the cold. This summer (2016) I've been getting 180 Wh/mile on some trips. Consistently around or below 200. In winter this goes up to 220 or so.
EV Miles
Start:4,450 Miles (7,160 Kilometers)
Current:22,500 Miles (36,202 Kilometers)
Total:18,050 Miles (29,042 Kilometers)
Seating Capacity4 adults (though the back is better suited for children).
Curb Weight2,060 Pounds (936 Kilograms)
Old lead weight was 2660. Lithium let me shed 600 lbs!
TiresStandard R13/75 Kumho tires.
Conversion TimeBattery upgrade took 50 hours, roughly. Included a lot of analysis and changes to contain the smaller lithium cells. I had a local welder do the racks and a sheetmetal shop create two stainless boxes. I installed it all and did all the electrical wiring.
Conversion CostImagine 16kwh of CALBs in 2012, a used (but barely used) AC-50, in 2015, and a bit of cash on top of all that for BMS, racks, instrumentation ... etc., and you get an idea of what it cost.
Additional FeaturesI've done two upgrades on this car since I got it in 2010. One to go from lead to lithium and another to go to an AC-50 motor with regenerative braking and overall improvement in efficiency. Both have been worthwhile improvements for performance: handling, range, acceleration, and noise. It's still an old car, so there are all sorts of noises and clunking sounds, but it has passed inspection for 2016 in Pennsylvania which is valid through the end of the year.

code by jerry