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This isn't really new news as it's been going on for a while now. These seem to be all small lightweight cars. What do you think it would take for one of our more heavier guzzlers? I would think it wouldn't get far on a charge with the weight issues but maybe feasible if a person only had a short distance to go to work. With the VW he's going 40 miles, would that translate to 10-15 on one of ours? Don't see myself wanting to make this transformation but it would be interesting to see just how efficient it would be by comparison. Actually old car vs what is considered old today in the new car world.


Gas-guzzlers go green with homemade tweaks | KING5.com Seattle

Gas-guzzlers go green with homemade tweaks

by MARCUS MOORE / WFAA
Posted on April 9, 2012 at 8:05 PM
Updated Monday, Apr 9 at 8:11 PM

Gallery 11 photos
Gas-guzzlers go green with homemade tweaks | KING5.com Seattle

DALLAS — A growing number of drivers are saying goodbye to the gas pump, and some are doing it in their own garage.
"It is just so simple. I mean it's crazy," said Neal Farris, one of the nearly two dozen people in the area who have turned older gas-powered cars into electric vehicles.
"It's just like a normal car," he explained while driving a white 1999 Volkswagen Golf around the streets of Dallas.
"My wife thought I was completely crazy, which actually was a good thing, because it made me finish the car," Farris said. "Instead of languishing in my garage, I was like, 'I've got to get this thing done!"
It took him six months to convert the car that's now powered by 44 lithium batteries. He drives the car to and from work on a daily basis.
"I drive on the highway at 65 mph," Farris said proudly.
He’s a member of the North Texas Electric Auto Association. The group meets regularly and is made up of people just like Farris who have transformed ordinary autos into something really special.
One member converted a Pontiac Fiero into a battery-powered car.
Students at Bonham High School did the same thing with a Mazda pickup truck.
Farris believes — in a small way — members of his organization are helping make electric cars the norm.
"It's going to take a little while for people to wrap their heads around what an electric car is and what it does," he said.
Dr. Lacey Plachey, an automotive analyst with California-based Edmunds.com, said the high cost of batteries and a lack of charging stations are the biggest obstacles to any move away from the gas pump.
"The infrastructure is key," she said. "I think all else aside, consumer acceptance, price differential... that's a really big thing."
That may be changing in North Texas. Today, you will find six dozen charging stations in Fort Worth, Dallas and surrounding areas. Jason Buckland with eVgo says his company has a vision for all-electric mobility.
"Chargers along the highway that can take you from Dallas into Austin. Stops along the way: Hillsboro, Waco, Temple, that sort of thing," he said.
But for now, the road is much shorter for people like Farris. The car he converted will only travel about 40 miles between charges, and it can take more than two hours to charge his car.
More powerful charging stations can do the same in 15 minutes.
"I feel very successful in the fact that I got the car going," Farris said. "I drive it on a daily basis and I really enjoy it."
Interested? Farris said you can probably convert a car from gas to electric for $5,000 at the low end; you can also spend as much as $20,000. The big variable is the cost of the batteries.
 

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have often wondered about converting my old car over to green power.

I know myself though. I'd be trying to make it run 9's at the strip. Electric is not real complicated for that kind of thing. Cheap it is not if it's anything worth having.
 

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I have a friend who bought a Passat for $2k with a blown up engine. He is an electrical/controls engineer and made his own controller for the car. He ended up putting about $25k into it. Nice car though.

Off Topic- My dad might be the only person in the free world currently converting a car that was electric to gas! No kidding. It's about a 1910 underslung style chassis with a Timken rear axle assembly. It had no engine or trans but he is 99% sure it was electric since there were crossmembers about every 6" in front where every gas engine would have an oil pan hanging down. He's putting in a ~1910 Wisconsin T Head engine (4 cyl with 4.25 bore and 5.5 stroke !! ) like the Stutz Bearcats had along with a 1912 Cadillac clutch and 1910 Buick trans. It'll be one helluva race car when he's done.
 

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Electric conversions have been around forever (a neighbor had a fleet of electric Beetles when I was a kid) and they have the E-drags where they can go VERY fast. How many know about Ford's Electric Ranger of the 1980s and '90s? Cool stuff. But as far as efficiency - they suck. California (UC Berkeley I think) did a study in combination with an E-car manufacturer to determine why electric cars were not gaining more popularity. They provided a bunch of E-cars to all types of folks for a few months. The answer was simple that they generally enjoyed the cars, didn't like the short range, but the biggest reason was that their household electric bills went ballistic. The cost for the electricity to charge nightly far exceeded the cost of fuel for an equivalent gas car. Notice they always forget to mention that part.

Not only that, but the environmental impact of producing and recycling hundreds of pounds of batteries for every car every few years has greenies in an uproar. Sure, technology will improve as we go forward, but right now, the cost of replacing the batteries in that new hybrid are higher than the value of the car when they give-out. Have you noticed how nobody wants any of the old hybrids? Well, duh - who wants to buy one and then spend double just to replace the battery packs to keep it on the road?

E-cars are a nice thought, but their time has not yet come. Maybe fuel cells will make them viable. Oops - but then it's just a different form of fueled car. LOL

David
 

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I think gas/diesel/even external combustion 'engines' running a flywheel and/or genset to a big capacitor bank for acceleration could be the way to go...overloading the aging power grid is just gonna make electricity skyrocket.

think a 5~10hp gas/diesel with a big (huge) flywheel could be pretty driveable, and flywheels can be used for 'regenerative braking' with the right transmission... I still wanna tinker around with one someday. I think a pair of metallic traction drives (one from the engine to flywheel/one flywheel to driveshaft) could be a ideal setup- some of those traction drives are >95% efficient, think they are making them in the 50hp range, at least were years ago when looking at for a machinetool application...

with the gas hybrids, I still dont see why they are stuck on batteries, a capacitor bank could be used for acceleration just as well, long as the engine charging it has enough excess to hold the car at cruise speed(5 hp) plus enough to charge the caps...regeneration could be done to the caps too. battery cost/environmental issues/grid capacity are all major hurdles to the current offerings...never heard of a capacitor based hybrid yet, oil and foil is a lot easier to get rid of than lithium- and caps can last virtually forever if not shorted.
 

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true...at least its BOOM then its over- unlike the sizzle/boom/fire you cant put out with lithium cells :)

crash damage to a large flywheel could be a big issue too...might need a half ton scattershield for a 300 pound flywheel. a buddy told me he was at a big gearbox plant, a runaway dc motor blew parts a half mile away...our chip processing hammermill at work has a half ton+ flywheel- often wondered how far that thing would roll if the shaft broke...my guess wound be till it got stuck in mud somewhere, as it will keep the crusher rolling a half hour after shutdown :)
 
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