Under the HoodVehicle Power Train and Frame CAD DrawinPrototype Motor and gear boxView of installed electric motorUnder Hood Battery Box with BMS BoardsRear Battery Box 1 of 2 (36 cells each)J1772 Plug and SocketCab of Truck with 12System Level Design
OwnerUW-Madison & Orchid International
LocationMadison, Wisconsin US map
Web/EmailWebPage email image
Vehicle2002 Ford F150 XLT Crewcab
Electric research vehicle built for my Electrical Engineering PhD research project at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Designed to be a highly instrumented vehicle which can be used as a testbed for various research projects involving: vehicle modeling, battery management algorithms, motor controls, electric motor design, wireless charging, power electronics, hybrid energy storage, etc.
Motor Orchid IPM Prototype 3-Phase AC
460Nm / 135kW, 3ph Interior Permanent Magnet (IPM) Machine. Air cooled with 300CFM variable speed fan, motor is large due to air cooling rather than oil or water cooling: 450mm diameter case & 400lb mass. 2800RPM base speed, 7000RPM peak (currently derated to 4000RPM, new rotor design in process).
DrivetrainTwo wheel drive, 460Nm/135kW 3ph IPM motor, two speed (3:1 and 1:1) IEdrives EV3 gearbox, 3.55:1 rear differential, 1000Nm torque sensor built into driveline.
Controller Rinehart Motion Systems PM150
3ph regenerative AC motor controller, 450Arms/150kW output, water cooled, more details: WebPage
Batteries108 CALB/Skyenergy SE100AHA, 100Ah,, 3.30 Volt, Lithium Iron Phosphate
35kWh pack with custom BMS utilizing the now discontinued Maxim 11068 battery management chip, three forced air cooled battery boxes with variable speed 300CFM fans. The pack has been fast charged at 120A, charging 70% in 40 minutes with a maximum cell temperature of 43C. The pack is usually charged at about 15A, resulting in a 6 hour charge time
System Voltage350 Volts
ChargerElcon PFC6000 TCCH 312-16.5
6kW/16.5Adc/417Vdc peak forced air cooled charger, 120Vac or 208/240Vac, with J1772 socket and Modular EV Power J1772 EV interface board.
HeaterMES-DEA RM4 200/450V-4000W, this seems to be enough to keep the cab heated well even on a cold day, but more cold weather testing is still needed.
DC/DC Converter Delphi U2C Universal 2.2kW Converter
350Vdc in, 13.2Vdc out, water cooled DC DC converter with CAN communication, available from New Eagle.
Instrumentation12" industrial touchscreen with NI Compact Rio and custom software to control vehicle and measure 350 vehicle parameters. Battery pack: 108 cell voltages, 81 temperature sensors, pack current, and pack voltage. Motor: HBM torque sensor, three phase LEM voltage and current sensing, Tamagawa Seiki resolver, 9 temperature sensors embedded in the windings. High voltage current sensing: DC DC converter input, cabin heater, and battery charger. 12V current sensors for coolant pump, power steering pump, brake vacuum pump, radiator fan, battery box cooling fans, motor cooling fan, air compressor, 12V battery, DC DC converter output, and sensing equipment. Garmin serial 5Hz WAAS GPS.
Top Speed95 MPH (152 KPH)
Motor torque and gear box ratios were designed so the vehicle will supply approx. the same power to the wheels as the original 4.2L V6 truck.
AccelerationDesigned for 0-60mph in 11 seconds, however a new motor rotor capable of 7000rpm is needed to achieve this, current 0-60mph time of 14.5 seconds (est).
Range70 Miles (112 Kilometers)
About 80-100 miles range for slower speed city driving, 60-70 miles for 55mph country road driving, and 50-60 miles for expressway driving.
Watt Hours/Mile450 Wh/Mile
From 700 miles of driving data: 325Wh-dc/mile for 30mph peak city driving without too many stops, up to 450Wh-dc/mile for faster or more aggressive city driving, 450Wh-dc/mile for 55mph driving on country roads. Estimated from vehicle model: 550Wh-dc/mile for 65-75mph expressway driving. The battery efficiency for driving is about 95%, and the charger efficiency is about 90%, so divide the above estimates by these efficiencies to get Wh-AC/mile.
EV Miles
Current:3,592 Miles (5,779 Kilometers)
Seating Capacity6 adults, crew cab, 3 in front and 3 in back.
Curb Weight5,960 Pounds (2,709 Kilograms)
The original truck weighed 4948lbs,
1136lbs or equipment was removed (ICE and transmission: 698lbs; Exhaust system: 90lbs; AC system, heat shield guards, motor mounts, etc: 72lbs; Fuel tank, radiator, starter motor, & alternator: 122lbs; 25 gallons of gasoline (full tank): 154lbs. Approximately 2148 lbs of equipment was added, bringing the weight to a measured 5960lbs.
TiresGoodyear Assurance Fuel Max Tires
Conversion Time20-30 hours a week of planning for about 8 months (it's a research vehicle, so lots of custom design!). To assemble and wire everything, I spent 6-10 hours a day, 5 days a week, for eight months from mid-April 2012 to mid-December 2012. The battery boxes and mounts, as well as the prototype motor and associated mounting and drive-train hardware, were made by machinists and welders at Orchid International.
Conversion CostAbout $70k not including labor, prototype motor, battery boxes, vehicle wrap, tires and rims, and donated equipment which includes: $5k of Turck cables, $1k of LEM voltage and current sensors, $1k of Gigavac contactors, and $500 of isolation measurement equipment from Bender.

Donor vehicle: $7k
Motor controller: $10k
Prototype motor: Priceless! Well quite a bit, it's a prototype.
Gearbox: $6k
HBM torque sensor: $4.5k
Batteries: $15k
Industrial touchscreen: $2k
NI Compact Rio Hardware: $4.5k
DC DC converter: $1k
Custom BMS circuit boards: $3k
Other custom circuit boards: $2k
Power steering pump: $0.9k
Brake vacuum pump:$0.3k
Compressor: $0.3k
Miscellaneous components: $13.5k - there's a lot of miscellaneous parts expenses, partially because it's a research vehicle.
It took a long time to design and build this vehicle, but I think it was worth it! The vehicle drives great now, plenty of power, good steering and brake performance, and slightly better efficiency than predicted. Not sure if I'd recommend building such a vehicle for fun, but with similarly spec'd equipment you should expect similar performance to what we've observed so far. I'd expect with more standard equipment you could do the conversion for $30-$40k.

If I could change a few things, I'd got with a lower resistance battery pack, the 130mOhms or so of pack resistance is limiting the power out of the motor to closer to 110kW. I'd also go with an off the shelf BMS, the custom BMS with the Maxim chips was very time consuming to implement, due to PCB design, board assembly and conformal coating, and a large amount of software development. Also the BMS is a bit sensitive to EMI. I'd also try and use the manual gearbox from the vehicle, the IEdrives gearbox works fine, but it doesn't have a clutch plate which can change the speed of the motor like in a manual transmission, so the motor speed has to be correct prior to shifting gears or the whole drive train will shudder and you may even lock up the wheels. Also the 3:1 gear in the IEdrives gearbox is quite loud, like louder than an ICE engine and more harsh. I've been told by my more mechanically oriented colleagues this is likely due to straight cut gear teeth, which allow for a more power dense gearbox but make the teeth really noisy.

Otherwise it's a great vehicle, and it's quite fun to drive a very silent vehicle around town (in the 1:1 gear at least). It also has the standard charging port, so it's nice to be able to use the free charging stations around Madison too.

code by jerry