DIY Game Changer?

Open for any sort of non-technical discussion regarding EVs
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jonescg
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Post by jonescg »

EV2Go wrote:I feel like slave straight out history before the civil war. You will pay this much for petrol and not complain about it... YES masser.
At least with electricity I am still a slave but I can buy my freedom with solar panels.
A DIY EV doesn't tie my to another master (manufacturer servicing) but if I go that way, I do get to live in a nicer living quarters. Image


I like that analogy :) Knowing how to fix my stuff is very important to me, for peace of mind as much as cost saving.

As for the environmental benefits, I guess my idea of the "environment" is quite broad. To me, it includes my circumstances as much as the natural, physical world around me. To propel myself down the road with energy produced locally (rooftop = even more local) and not from a refinery in Singapore or the Gulf of Aden, is to do right by my environment. To walk to the shops instead of needing an expensive machine to get me there is also good for my environment.

With the dinosaurs of the auto world packing up and going home by 2017, there is a real chance that a locally produced small EV could really take off. Even if it's got some element of DIY to it...
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Post by BigMouse »

jonescg wrote:With the dinosaurs of the auto world packing up and going home by 2017, there is a real chance that a locally produced small EV could really take off. Even if it's got some element of DIY to it...


Maybe this time the gov't will pay more attention to Ross Blade when he comes knocking? I doubt it, but it would be nice if he could get some sort of assistance.

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acmotor
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Post by acmotor »

Imported ICE vehicle, imported batteries, imported motor, imported controller and the usual expensive Oz Labour. No support for past buyers. (viz. Bernie Hobbs) Actually, I would question the option.

If the Oz Govt was to cough up assistance I would prefer it to be towards a Leaf or something. Get Nissan to fit the tyres in Oz like much of the 'Oz' offering from other 'manufacturers'.

At this stage it will be intersting to see what toyboata does. The Camry is close to an Oz build like commode. What are toyboata's plans re BEV ? The hybrid is a waste IMHO.

Oh, and knowing how to fix the systems in a DIY EV ? Made your own batteries, controller, motor then ? doubt it. You will just have to buy replacement parts, at your own expense, no 5/10 year warranty. Look, I get the point and feel comfortable with some gear being able to repair it.
Is does remind me of the old car mechanic quote... 'the parts are cheap and readily available for this model' read.... they regularly fail so there is a big turnover in parts.
Really, one of the EV advantages (or should be) is the simplicity and reliability.
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Post by CometBoy »

You have a great machine Renard.

Re the “What will I-mievs and Leafs be like after five, ten or fifteen years?” question.

I think they will be very robust in the electronics and electro-mechanical areas for many years to come. Can’t comment on the Leafs, but the i-MiEV is well designed following the KISS principal in most design areas. The very high quality (mostly sealed, moulded and with strain relief) automotive connector’s should go a long way to preventing intermittent connections which has been a long term issue in older vehicle electrics. The modular unit design will make it easy to service them if a problem should arise. The track record is well proven with the 10,000 plus out there. I’ve been told the current price on a replacement battery pack is $7,200 US plus install which is very simple (some good YouTube clips on it). But when many of us will need to replace the pack in 10 years, newer/better battery technology will be used anyway but it is too hard to crystal ball that stuff. Not so sure about how the body and interior will stand up! But I guess no worse than other cheap vehicles on the market today. Because the component count is so low when compared to an ICE vehicle and the fact that there are fewer moving parts, I think EV’s in general should have a longer serviceable lifetime anyway. All the stuff we keep talking about over and over....

Back to the topic...

I’m ONLY looking at the group that would want a short distance urban commute machine. With the price reductions as discussed previously, many that have wanted to drive an EV for whatever reason can afford one now. I think part of the AEVA vision must be to promote more EV’s of whatever type. This slight shift we are seeing involves new owners that don’t have the time (maybe also the skills?) to convert a vehicle, many with various other commitments in life, etc. Supporting this group should be very important. I know Eric (AEVA Adelaide) has spoken about the idea of presenting some basic electrical courses as part of the local association meetings. Ideas like this could help new EV drivers understand more about simple things like the charging process.

Ian thanks for that post. I agree it is a very difficult call. In our travels we look up DIY EV’ers using EVAlbum in various places around the world. It works very well and we have met some amazing people with equally amazing machines. One such person we met found a niche market in converting farm equipment to electric drive using Li-Ion technology and state of the art controllers and BMS systems. The move towards certified organic farms in the western USA and Canada has a market for such conversions and one else was doing it. So I guess new markets are out there? Here is a photograph of the one we checked out.

Image

BigMouse I’m curious about why you think the Blade Vehicle should be supported from the tax payers’ dollar? Can you list your top ten reasons why? I ask this because I (like acmotor) have very mixed views about the Blade and want to be convinced it would be a good idea. After Mitsubishi and now Holden shutting up shop in Adelaide despite significant government support, I’m not so sure about subsidies. Don’t they just become a form of welfare?

Bruce

Last edited by CometBoy on Sun, 15 Dec 2013, 11:34, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by BigMouse »

CometBoy wrote:BigMouse I’m curious about why you think the Blade Vehicle should be supported from the tax payers’ dollar? Can you list your top ten reasons why? I ask this because I (like acmotor) have very mixed views about the Blade and want to be convinced it would be a good idea. After Mitsubishi and now Holden shutting up shop in Adelaide despite significant government support, I’m not so sure about subsidies. Don’t they just become a form of welfare?

Bruce


1. EVs are unlikely to be accepted on a large scale in Australia without either some sort of government support (either on the supplier or consumer end)

2. An ongoing subsidy is not necessarily what I am suggesting. More likely some sort of start-up loan or grant similar to what Tesla Motors (and GM among others) received in the US. Something to be paid back, with interest.

3. If we don't support innovation and manufacturing in Australia, we'll be buying it from overseas like the Chinese Commodore.

4. The Blade is already a workable EV. Yes, it is a conversion/retrofit, but so was the Tesla Roadster.

5. BEV already has manufacturing authority from the RTA.

6. Ross has been responsive to technical issues (change from Azure Dynamics to Curtis controllers for example). I expect many of the customer support issues we've heard of have their origins in limited finances rather than simply poor service, though that's a hunch. I expect these issues would improve as the company grew.

7. Efforts are being made to improve the company even without government assistance. There were recently job postings for improvements in the website and marketing. He recently relocated to Sydney, though I'm not sure if it's for business or personal reasons.

8. Even as a small operation, BEVs are being offered at prices competitive with commercial offerings from Nissan and Mitsubishi.

9. As the company grows, there could be opportunities for new models (not using Hyundais anymore). This could result in support for other entities in Australia with interest in EVs, such as Tritium or Universities.

10. Starting a car company is beyond the means of any but the richest individuals in Australia. You may suggest that the solution then is to have the richest people support it rather than the government, but then BEV would suffer the same fate as other Australian manufacturers, ie. moving the business overseas to save costs.

I'm skeptical about BEV as well, and I leave it up to Ross to make the case to government (again), but I do hope they'll be a bit more open to the idea than past governments have. If his timing is right, the government may be eager to "save face" for losing Holden and Ford (and soon Toyota most likely). I certainly don't expect this will happen, considering how conservative the "liberal" government actually is, but I can hope.

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Post by acmotor »

Just debating here.Image

1. EVs are unlikely to be accepted on a large scale in Australia without either some sort of government support (either on the supplier or consumer end)

But why throw $ at BladeEV vs other true mass produce EV suppliers ? Remember the appathy in Oz is not govt. driven. It is the public... and price of EV. BladeEV wasn't going to help there.

2. An ongoing subsidy is not necessarily what I am suggesting. More likely some sort of start-up loan or grant similar to what Tesla Motors (and GM among others) received in the US. Something to be paid back, with interest.

Tesla started up with Elon Musk money, true US govt have now stepped in but the product is hardly a comparison in technical or target market areas. Given the track record of Oz vehicle manufacture in recent years it would be money you will never see again.

3. If we don't support innovation and manufacturing in Australia, we'll be buying it from overseas like the Chinese Commodore.

OK, agreed, but exactly where is the innovation ? Electrifying a very average ICE vehicle without even the world leading battery build and management technology of the tesla battery is not wise. If we had left it to Hold'n et.al. we would not have EV technology like iMiEV and Leaf in Oz. I mean, if we had protection for Holden then the iMiEV price could have been double its already big ticket.... and Hold'n wouldn't/didn't have the resources to develop an EV. Are you suggesting we should have driven BEVs and not imported iMiEV and Leaf ?

4. The Blade is already a workable EV. Yes, it is a conversion/retrofit, but so was the Tesla Roadster.

Similar but hardly the case now with the model S !!!

5. BEV already has manufacturing authority from the RTA.

Of little concequence in the scheme of things.

6. Ross has been responsive to technical issues (change from Azure Dynamics to Curtis controllers for example). I expect many of the customer support issues we've heard of have their origins in limited finances rather than simply poor service, though that's a hunch. I expect these issues would improve as the company grew.

No Blade purchaser should ever have been left out in the cold. They paid so much money for a conversion. This was done and is just bad business if you want to build reputation. If the product or the business was not up to it then how can you sell it to govt. ?

7. Efforts are being made to improve the company even without government assistance. There were recently job postings for improvements in the website and marketing. He recently relocated to Sydney, though I'm not sure if it's for business or personal reasons.

Well that is business. Hey I wish them all well. The heart is in the right place. But vehicle manufacture in Oz needs more than good intent.

8. Even as a small operation, BEVs are being offered at prices competitive with commercial offerings from Nissan and Mitsubishi.

We can debate that. They are also not the same product. Comparison Leaf vs BladeEV ???

9. As the company grows, there could be opportunities for new models (not using Hyundais anymore). This could result in support for other entities in Australia with interest in EVs, such as Tritium or Universities.

Yes, the future may be bright. But not if Nissan and Mitsubishi experience in Oz is anything to go by.

10. Starting a car company is beyond the means of any but the richest individuals in Australia. You may suggest that the solution then is to have the richest people support it rather than the government, but then BEV would suffer the same fate as other Australian manufacturers, ie. moving the business overseas to save costs.

That's business. We often wait for someone with money and imagination. Too often when a govt. drives something they simply shouldn't get involved in it just costs the public money and tilts the playing field for the real entrepeners and manufactuers.

I'm skeptical about BEV as well, and I leave it up to Ross to make the case to government (again), but I do hope they'll be a bit more open to the idea than past governments have. If his timing is right, the government may be eager to "save face" for losing Holden and Ford (and soon Toyota most likely). I certainly don't expect this will happen, considering how conservative the "liberal" government actually is, but I can hope.

Perhaps RB should talk to toyboata re Oz manufacturing of an EV ? I actually think that may have more future to it.

I'll hit the post button and see who I have upset this time. Image
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jonescg
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Post by jonescg »

acmotor wrote: Imported ICE vehicle, imported batteries, imported motor, imported controller and the usual expensive Oz Labour. No support for past buyers. (viz. Bernie Hobbs) Actually, I would question the option.


As opposed to our imported motor parts, chassis dies, windows, wiring loom, ECU etc etc that go into our current crop of Australian made vehicles? I can't see how your Leaf idea is any different, except that Nissan can milk the tax payer for a bit longer than Ross could. Couple that with a dealership network that has no interest in selling to the public, and you might as well give up all hope in this place.

Big deal - we already import lots of parts. We import canned vegetables from China, dairy from New Zealand, citrus from the USA and textiles from the subcontinent. That's global trade for you.

Who in this country dares to dream big? To establish a big project manufacturing cars or motorbikes from imported components, but assembled for sale in our small but viable domestic market? Or heaven forbid, an export market? If I was starting a manufacturing company I would try to do it using the best people around, and where a cheaper production system exists, farm it out. Tesla can do it in the USA, why couldn't one do it here?

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Post by carnut1100 »

Best way to get EVs out there is to do something like what Norway have done.
Registration is free or nearly so for several years.
Charging stations are being rolled out in most towns.
Import duties and luxury taxes etc are exempted soft EVs.
Hybrids get a partial credit in the scheme...Prius retails for about the same as a Corolla...

People see an immediate financial advantage in driving an EV and they see the downsides melting away as charging stations are rolled out...net ressult is Norway has the highest per capita rate of EV ownership in the world.

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Post by BigMouse »

acmotor wrote:4. The Blade is already a workable EV. Yes, it is a conversion/retrofit, but so was the Tesla Roadster.

Similar but hardly the case now with the model S !!!


That's exactly the point I was trying to make. The "next generation" Blade could be something novel and polished.

You mention "that's business" several times in your counterpoints. My view is that government should get involved when business interests do not line up with the interests of the country as a whole. If it's left up to private interests, we're not going to see EVs become more prominent in Australia for quite a long time.

Your points are all valid and I've pretty much given up hope for any viable EV market in Australia, either DIY or commercial, while the current government is in power anyway.

I think Australia will fall even further behind when it comes to personal transportation until oil supplies start drying up and the price of petrol makes EVs a necessity. But even then, we can just run everything on LPG and frack the heck out of the continent.

Sorry for the pessimism.

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Post by Jeff Owen »

BigMouse wrote:
4. The Blade is already a workable EV. Yes, it is a conversion/retrofit, but so was the Tesla Roadster.

In what way is aTesla Roadster a conversion/retrofit?

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Post by Gabz »

it used to be a Lotus Elise http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tesla_Roadster

edit: some more substance

Australia is one of the few counties (high gdp) that have no incentives for buying a EV even the USA has charging stations as a 30% tax rebate. (certain states have purchase price reductions etc)

China will push forward with it's EV program faster that Australia.

We are in the process of decommissioning our first EV highway. which was tax payer funded to the tune of 400 000 dollars.

Mitsubishi is committed to releasing 2 PHEV or EV per year for the next 5 years. next 2 will be 4x4 and a small imiev replacement.
Last edited by Gabz on Sun, 15 Dec 2013, 17:31, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by Jeff Owen »

Gabz wrote: it used to be a Lotus Elise http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tesla_Roadster

The first two "test mules" were based on a Lotus Elise. By this definition, virtually every car built is a conversion as most car makers begin by testing components in existing cars.
The Tesla shares only 6-7% of components with the Elise. These include windscreen, airbags, front wishbones and dash components. This would be much lower percentage than many other brands, and yet they are not deemed to be conversions. The Tesla chassis is of a different design to the Elise and has a longer wheelbase.

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Post by jonescg »

Gabz wrote: ...
China will push forward with it's EV program faster that Australia.

We are in the process of decommissioning our first EV highway. which was tax payer funded to the tune of 400 000 dollars.

Mitsubishi is committed to releasing 2 PHEV or EV per year for the next 5 years. next 2 will be 4x4 and a small imiev replacement.


Meanwhile, back in Australia...
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Post by g4qber »

http://www.goauto.com.au/mellor/mellor. ... 450017732E

reason to DIY

only thing is possibly missing safety features
a) ESC
b) ABS

hopefully this can also be sorted?

pretty innovative ideas for the day, article dated 11/11/11, about the same time I got my imiev

a) 6kW charging
b) ultra fast battery charging.
c) even is J1772 compatible.
d) 200km highway range
Last edited by g4qber on Mon, 16 Dec 2013, 06:03, edited 1 time in total.

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Richo
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Post by Richo »

There are people out there that just bought another new ICE car.
Even though they really would like an EV.
Problem is the current ev's are pretty mediocre / poor styling.

We have so many popular petrol cars that an EV isn't even on the menu.
Car advice wrote: Top 10 Best-selling Vehicles – 2013 to date
1.Toyota Corolla – 32,039
2.Mazda 3 – 30,781
3.Toyota HiLux – 29,917
4.Hyundai i30 – 22,499
5.Holden Cruze – 19,190
6.Holden Commodore – 18,806
7.Nissan Navara – 18,726
8.Mitsubishi Triton – 17,952
9.Toyota Camry – 16,700
10.Ford Ranger – 16,070
Seriously how much imagination does it take to make an EV that is a copy of Corolla, 3, i30 etc..
An iMiev and leaf is a pale comparison compared to these cars.
Do you think the iMiev and Leaf will be popular like these cars?

The DIY market is still going to be around for some time in Australia until we get more realistic choices.
Either that or some of the manufacturers with better ev's get off their high horse about our dirty power..

So the short answer is NO but the long answer is YES.
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Post by g4qber »


one reason to DIY.
Bill Caswell test drives EV West's BMW conversion.
"it's like Star Wars in here".

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-i5v7tMljHw
Last edited by g4qber on Wed, 18 Dec 2013, 05:43, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by bga »

Go BigMouse!

Didn't land where it should have - ref the motor controller progress.
Last edited by bga on Wed, 18 Dec 2013, 14:37, edited 1 time in total.
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