Re: [DML] Who Killed the Electric Car?
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Re: [DML] Who Killed the Electric Car?



Bob,

I owned and drove a pure, electric drive vehicle for over a year 
recently. I recently sold it so I could build a better one. I even 
made a profit.

Unfortunately, the DeLorean is a poor conversion candidate. The car 
is heavy, and offers poor placement for the heavy batteries. The bulk 
of them would be in the rear and would make the weight ratio worse 
than it already is. There's almost no space up forward for batteries 
and the frame crumple tube extension couldn't bear the weight anyway. 
The range would be terrible. Perhaps when Lithium Ion batteries 
become more available, it would be worth it. They're much lighter and 
more powerful than lead-acid or nickle-metal hydride batteries. The 
power/weight ratio is better. I know Dave Delman is hot to build one. 
Maybe he has a few ideas to make it feasible.

My electric truck was a 25 year old postal truck. It wasn't 
converted, it was purpose built as an electric vehicle for the post 
office. I typically got a 40 mile range. The top speed was 55 mph. It 
was a little slow, but I kept to secondary roads and I was fine. 
Really, the only reason I sold it was because it was unsafe. The body 
was plastic and the frame was an aluminum roll-cage. An impact with 
even a small car would have put me in the hospital. Remeber, this was 
really old technology. It really worked though. I only bought 
gasoline every 2 months because I never drove the DeLorean except on 
long trips.

The best cars to convert to electric drive are VW's. Old/new Beetles, 
Karman Ghias, Rabbits and Porsche 914's make great conversions 75-80 
mph speeds and acceptable ranges of 40-70 miles on old-style lead 
golfcart batteries. They are cost-effective because parts are common 
and cheap.

I know you like sporty cars. Bradley kit cars are great to convert 
because they're on Beetle chassis, they're aerodynamic and light. 
Here's a pic of my Bradley GT II:

http://i95.photobucket.com/albums/l143/racuti1/PA280019.jpg
http://i95.photobucket.com/albums/l143/racuti1/DSC00974.jpg
http://i95.photobucket.com/albums/l143/racuti1/DSC00975.jpg

I bought it as a little buddy for my DeLorean.

Anyway, to make a long story short, to convert a gas car to an EV, 
you need to make it light, aerodynamic, and it has to facilitate good 
weight distribution once it's loaded up with batteries. Save your 
DeLorean as your cross-country cruiser.

Unfortunately, I've decided not to convert my Bradley GT II because 
it's in too nice of a condition. I'd hate to cut it up to make the 
necessary structural changes. It has a twin carb '74 SuperBeetle 
engine with much bigger pistons. It gets around 30 mpg and I've had 
it over 100 mph. If it ran like crap or it was a gas-hog I might. So, 
I'm on the look-out for an old Ghia or Beetle.

Rich A.
#5335



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