The old configurationCurrent under hood configuration
OwnerRicky Suiter
LocationGlendale, Arizona United States map
Email email image
Vehicle1992 Saturn SC2
MotorAdvanced DC 4001A Series Wound DC
DrivetrainStock "Performance" 5 speed transmission (taller gears, works well for an electric motor)
ControllerCafe Electric Zilla 1K
Batteries18 Trojan T-875, 8.00 Volt, Lead-Acid, Flooded
Upgraded to 18 T-875's from 12 - 30XHS's a few years ago. Had one of the 875's cells die on me, but they're otherwise been good and are now reaching 3 years old and are on their way out as expected.

The 30XHS's realistically lasted 6 months, don't use them in a conversion.
System Voltage144 Volts
ChargerManzanita Micro PFC30
2 Hours is about all it needs!
HeaterPreheat with a $8 120vac heater. Doesn't get that cold in AZ.
DC/DC ConverterIota DLS 55
I had a 240vac version before, but it would brown out once the pack voltage went down. The 120vac version works fine and is left on continuously.
InstrumentationE-meter + Stock Speedometer and Tachometer both work.
Top Speed85 MPH (136 KPH)
It was still pulling the one time I tried it, but this lady wouldn't get out of my way, plus there was a speed camera coming up at that point.
AccelerationWant more.
Range35 Miles (56 Kilometers)
I've avoided deep discharging this pack. The farthest I've ever driven was 33 miles in a "cold" Phoenix winter night and I still had an indicated 40% left. At one point I was regularly driving 26 miles one way on about 50%, then recharging and driving home. This was on less than ideal freeway at 55mph, plus HOV lane home i the evenings. It took about 40Ah to drive it one way.
Watt Hours/Mile250 Wh/Mile
I've done as low as 190wh/mi but that was in almost perfect conditions.
EV Miles
Start:162,007 Miles (260,669 Kilometers)
Current:174,800 Miles (281,253 Kilometers)
Total:12,793 Miles (20,583 Kilometers)
    As of 8/14/2010
Seating Capacity4, but 2 comfortably.
Curb Weight3,200 Pounds (1,454 Kilograms)
TiresMichelin Energy MXV4 S8 195/65R15 on light weight Kosei K1-TS wheels. These tires are wearing great and have a 91 load rating, which it working well under the weight of the lead.

Previously had Goodyear Integrity ("fuel efficient") 185/65/15. This is the OEM 2004+ Prius tire. These lasted 10,000 miles before they wore out.
Conversion TimeLong story, 4 years from engine pulled to working EV. Motor was installed in 2001, the rest of the work happened in summmer of 2005. Painted in the summer of 2006. Installed the T-875's in the winter of 2007.
Conversion CostHave not cared to add it all up. Consider it like building a hot rod, they just don't make sense financially, but it just makes sense to me.
Additional FeaturesWater cooled Zilla is great for Arizona summers.
Fast recharges with the PFC30 charger
Battery boxes in trunk sit below floor. Only lost 4 batteries worth of trunk space plus the rear seat is intact.
"Performance" version of the transmission has higher gear ratio's so unlike other conversions I actually use 3rd in the city and 4th on the highway with the motor turning close to optimal.

Continued to have problems with Saturn's motor mounts, but finally filled the gaps with a medium density polyurethane to essentially make them solid rubber like mounts and the problems have gone away.

Zilla actually died on me in early 2010, but luckily the repair was only a few hundred dollars and really that was the first time I had to have the car towed in 5 years. I've had gas cars that were significantly less reliable than that. I also upgraded to a hall effect pedal in the process and it was worth every penny.
The car still has the power steering rack in it, but unassisted it is really not all that bad. I attribute this to the car being relatively light up front. .31 Coefficient of Drag, pretty good for a 15 year old car.

Stay tuned, this car might get a lithium upgrade late 2010 or early 2011.

code by jerry