Australian Design Rules

Technical discussion on converting internal combustion to electric
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Shakti
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Australian Design Rules

Post by Shakti » Tue, 24 Jun 2014, 17:59

Is there anything specified in the australian design rules regarding EVs? I have been trying to find something in the Vic Gov site, but there is so much drivel and I cant seem to find it.
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4Springs
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Australian Design Rules

Post by 4Springs » Tue, 24 Jun 2014, 18:23

Do you mean to convert a vehicle or design one from scratch? For conversion you want the NCOP 14 available here:
http://www.infrastructure.gov.au/roads/ ... _ncop.aspx

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Shakti
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Post by Shakti » Tue, 24 Jun 2014, 18:47

That looks like it, you are a champion. I want to change my light ace to electric, so far I think I can get away with taking the motor out and putting an EV with a conversion plate from the EV to the gearbox. I have so many questions before I start just don’t know where to begin, but I definitely want to do this.

Eg.
Do they make a conversion plate for a Toyota Town Ace 1994 3yC?
I was told I need a more abrasive clutch plate any details?
Will double clutch do the job?
Will the axle and diff actually handle the torque? (if the electric motor has much more horsepower tha my current motor)

You don’t have to answer (if you don’t know) but I will get around to this.
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Richo
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Australian Design Rules

Post by Richo » Tue, 24 Jun 2014, 20:59

Adaptor plates are gearbox and motor specific.
The aren't too many off the shelf adaptor plates in Australia.
Most of the overseas ones don't fit our models either.
You shouldn't need to do anything special for the clutch.

My questions is if the Town ace is rear wheel drive why bother with a gearbox at all?
In my opinion the motor coupled direct to the tail-shaft would be a better option.

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Johny
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Post by Johny » Tue, 24 Jun 2014, 21:29

Shakti wrote:Will the axle and diff actually handle the torque?
This comes into your decision making.
At some point you will have to decide what balance of range and performance you want.

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4Springs
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Post by 4Springs » Wed, 25 Jun 2014, 00:10

Shakti wrote: I have so many questions before I start just don’t know where to begin

You've come to the right place! There are lots of helpful people here with experience in all sorts of areas. Myself I have fairly recently put my EV together, so I can remember that "where do I start" feeling. It quickly progressed to "this is too hard", morphed into "well I'm gonna anyway", then gradually the car became a reality. Here are some of my musings. I'm no expert, but if I say something wrong then no doubt an expert will jump in to correct me!

I had my adapter plate made by a local engineer - he needed the old engine, the new motor and the gearbox. It is just a piece of aluminium with bolt holes in the right positions (pictures here).
Generally a smaller (electric) motor will need a gearbox. If you can afford a larger motor then take out the gearbox and go direct drive as Richo suggests (a smaller motor won't have the power you need for a quick getaway).

I'm assuming that your vehicle is a manual? Converting an automatic is problematic.

If you keep the gearbox then you might be able to get by without a clutch, it depends on your gearbox. I assume your vehicle is running now? Try changing gears without using the clutch - how does it feel? Now imagine doing that with an electric motor. The difference is that the electric motor has no compression, and so it just free wheels when you take your foot off the accelerator. For example if I am in second gear and wanting to go into third I push in the clutch and take my foot off the accelerator. If I had to wait for the motor to slow down to the same speed as the drive train then I'd be waiting for a good 10 seconds. So a traditional double-clutch maneuver takes a while! That's why I kept the clutch in mine, but your gearbox may be different.

Some general information about driving an EV with a gearbox and clutch:

Electric motors don't have to idle, they can go down to 0 rpm. So you don't have to ride the clutch to start off (although you can if you want to). This is how I would typically drive off:
1. With the car stationary, turn on the motor (nothing moves at this point).
2. Push in the clutch and select second gear. Release the clutch. This feels weird when you do it the first few times, because nothing is moving and you are used to having to ride the clutch to avoid stalling.
3. Slowly push down on the accelerator. The car moves smoothly away. You can move very slowly if you like - good for parking or hitching up trailers!
4. Accelerate until you reach the rpm limit of your motor (80kph for mine in 2nd gear), then change up in the same way as a normal manual gearbox.

Electric motors have more power at lower speeds, but they are more efficient at high speeds (well, at least my motor is, I'm not sure about every different type). This will be against your experience of other vehicles! So in my example above, I'd stay in 2nd at 80kph. If I needed some more power to get up a hill, I'd change up a gear.

Because I don't need to ride the clutch, and I don't change gears very often, the clutch plate will last a long, long time. Your comment about an extra abrasive clutch plate was probably only if you installed a very powerful motor. As suggested above, if you can afford a motor that powerful then it might be an idea to go without gearbox and clutch. Same applies to the axle and diff. If you use a motor with about the same power as your existing engine then they should be fine - if you want to go bigger then you might need to do some calculations.

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