Tuesday, September 15, 2009

The Requirements

I've taken some poetic license with the Opus cartoon above to map it to my solar and electric car choices.

With the unstable price of gasoline and diesel, the evil that is Big Oil, coupled with my free supply of electricity, I've decided to build an electric car. My new job commute is about 35 miles each way and I should be able to plug the car in during the day so I only have to engineer it to last for one leg of the drive. I already have a VW Beetle that gets 49 mpg and I run it on B99 biodiesel, so a hybrid is a step backward for me.

- 40 mile minimum, 60 mile maximum range
- Handle 3 mile, 7% grade hill
- 60 mph sufficient
- One or two passengers
- Work-day and overnight recharge cycles are sufficient
- Regenerative braking charging would be nice, with the long hill down in the morning commute

I reviewed many electric conversion project web sites and came up with this list of potential project cars: Volkswagen Rabbit, Porsche 914, MG, Honda CRX, Toyota MR2, Honda Civic, VW Beetle, Mazda 626, Ford Ranger pickup and Chevy S-10 pickup.

In the end I chose the Porsche 914 as my project car. There are both AC and DC motor kits available and a lot of conversion experience from the people who have gone before me. Now the hunt is on to acquire the right car and get started!