Proud ConstructorMotor with adapter plate fittedMotor fitted to gearboxFront battery rackJust plug it in.The Big Red KnobParts of power boxPower boxChaos theory revisited
OwnerChris Northover
LocationWanganui, Wanganui New Zealand map
Web/EmailWebPage email image
Vehicle1993 Nissan Sentra SGS
This model is a "liftback" model. So
chosen because of its useful format;
the rear seats fold down and give a
good sized luggage space in the rear.
The batteries are carried four in the
front and six in the back.
The liftback gives good access above
the rear batteries, which are stored in
a newly fabricated well where the spare
wheel well was cut out. The top of the
battery case is 200mm above the
original boot floor, so suits the extra
space of the liftback. It is sealed
with a nylon cover, itself covered with
marine ply.
Motor Permanent Magnet DC
120 volt, nominal power; 11KW (14.7 HP)
Peak power 22KW (29.5 HP). It is a Rare
Earth Permanent Magnet brushless motor.
Not sure if anyone else is running one
of these.
Only rated at 11kw/22kw, but seems to
as well as higher rated "brushed"
DrivetrainManual 5 speed operating without a
clutch. ATF instead of gear oil for
lower resistance. The motor is attached
to the front of the gear box through an
aluminium adapter plate, and drive is
through the collar of the clutch welded
to a Toyota drive shaft spline. Mounts
have been fabricated from steel (square
section, round, flat and angle) and
attached to the original engine and
gearbox mountings.
Provided by factory along with the
The controller senses motor position
and sends measured width pulse of
electricity through one of three
cables. Just a stepper motor,
really. Very smooth system with very
little heat loss.
Batteries10 Exide DC12v115, 12.00 Volt, Lead-Acid, Flooded
As supplied for fork lifts. 30 kgs each
System Voltage120 Volts
120 volt DC /230 volt AC charger with
usual algorithms giving programmed
Heater1 x 370 ohm ceramic wound coil from a
Conray heater running from the 120 volt
traction circuit. This is fitted in a
stainless steel base contained in a
high density plastic frame. It is
switched by a 12 volt solenoid
controlled by on/off switch, together
with two thermal cut-outs (80C on the
stainless base, and 70C on the outer
body of the heater near the element). I
will also fit a thermostat into that
DC/DC ConverterIota DLS 45
120 volt AC or DC input, 12 volt output.
InstrumentationPaktrakr, original electronic speedo
(off gearbox) battery compartment
ventilation indicator light, brake
vacuum warning, traction motor circuit
Top Speed62 MPH (99 KPH)
100 kph in fifth gear. Limited in speed
by the model of controller I am using;
the newer controller maxes out at
using the same motor, instead of
rpm my "older" one does. The new one
also has "Regen".
AccelerationProbably less than the acceleration
of the petrol engine I removed, but
around town I don't notice it; I
normally drive quite conservatively,
and the seven minutes it takes to get
into town in my Honda Civic has not
changed when I use the battery car.
Range60 Miles (96 Kilometers)
90 - 100 (kms)
Watt Hours/MileI think it is 345 Whrs/km. Watch this
EV Miles
Start:176,200 Miles (283,505 Kilometers)
Current:181 Miles (291 Kilometers)
Total:-176,019 Miles (-283,214 Kilometers)
    As of 1/23/2014
Seating Capacity4 adults.
Curb Weight2,690 Pounds (1,222 Kilograms)
1220 KGs. It weighs about 10 kg less in
the front, and 100kg more in the rear than
in original state.
Tires175/60/14, pumped up to 40 psi.
Conversion TimeAbout a year on and off. I stopped
work on it completely for about four
months at the end of 2011 when a contract
Conversion CostAbout $US9000, but this includes repairs
to car, re-registration, certification,
insurance etc.
Additional FeaturesThe motor is a Rare Earth, permanent magnet, brushless
motor. It goes very well, and runs cool. Only
disappointment is the range, but it has been cold, and
perhaps my driving technique needs work.
I have fitted a Sollit Electronics Ventilation timer;
this great little device runs a computer type 80mm
permanent magnet fan. The fan turns on when I open the
fuel filler flap to charge the vehicle; then turns off
ten minutes after I close the flap when the vehicle is
charged. Also, it shows a red LED if the fan should
"hang" for any reason or get blocked by a mouse or
anything... Another feature is the Voltage Leakage
detector (also from Sollit Electronics) which will alert
me if a short between the 120+ volt traction circuit and
the chassis should arise; good idea, because 120 volts DC
can kill you!
I am really quite pleased with the end
result. Driving this car is no different in effect to
driving my ICE car; I get to places in town as fast as if
I was using petrol; only a lot cheaper.

If I was to do another project I would spend more money
at the beginning and buy a much newer donor car in better
condition. Why spend $NZ11,000 and a year's work on a
project car when you only end up with a 19 year old

However, I can't stress enough the value of cleaning the
donor car inside and out before you begin. Water blast,
brush, wipe, and make sure you shampoo the seats at the
end of the conversion process.

I made the mistake of buying a car from a scrap yard;
great condition, seized motor, not too many miles, but
unknown to me, when the motor went west, the previous
owner had used it as a dog kennel! Took a lot of time and
hard work to get the smell and the dog hair out. I had a
bad cold the day I bought it so couldn't smell anything;
imagine my surprise when my sense of smell returned...

code by jerry