Damon’s Fiat 500e project

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Johny
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Re: Damon’s Fiat 500e project

Post by Johny » Thu, 06 Dec 2018, 09:05

Really amazing time frame. So fast yet obviously done very carefully. Great work.

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Re: Damon’s Fiat 500e project

Post by T1 Terry » Thu, 06 Dec 2018, 11:24

Wow, if we had awards for the neatest and fastest conversion you would win it hands down and probably hold the tittle for life. An incredible transformation showing just how much dedication you had from start to finish. The labour hrs/cost if you were doing that conversion for a client would be high, but the professionalism shown through the whole project would still be money well spent.
Do you think you would ever weaken enough to do another if asked :lol:

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Re: Damon’s Fiat 500e project

Post by Damon500 » Fri, 07 Dec 2018, 20:32

Thanks guys- it’s been quite a journey and certainly much more involved than my initial research led me to believe. No I wouldn’t do another one this way converting a Euro version to electric although a RHD conversion of a US version would be a relative doddle if the new SEVS regulations permit import in due course.
I’m really enjoying driving it (under limitations o& a trade plate at present) it is super quick off the line and very quiet and refined to drive- really looking forward to hopefully getting it on full registration next week reports permitting...
Last edited by Damon500 on Sun, 09 Dec 2018, 20:31, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Damon’s Fiat 500e project

Post by Damon500 » Sun, 09 Dec 2018, 20:28

Was nice to see another EV out and about today in Nunawading- aside from a solitary Leaf in my street there aren’t many around in Melbournes Eastern suburbs. I have put my ICE Fiat 500 up for sale today and looking forward to more adventures in the 500e..
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Re: Damon’s Fiat 500e project

Post by Johny » Mon, 10 Dec 2018, 04:11

Damon500 wrote:
Sun, 09 Dec 2018, 20:28
Was nice to see another EV out and about today in Nunawading- .....
Hey that's my stomping ground too. I'll keep a look out for you. If you see a 1965 Humber Vogue flashing headlights at you, flash back.

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Re: Damon’s Fiat 500e project

Post by jonescg » Mon, 10 Dec 2018, 09:20

Johny wrote:
Mon, 10 Dec 2018, 04:11
If you see a 1965 Humber Vogue flashing headlights at you, flash back.
And then slow down, because there's a speed camera ahead :D
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Re: Damon’s Fiat 500e project

Post by reecho » Mon, 10 Dec 2018, 18:10

That's a seriously good conversion. Gobsmacked....

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Re: Damon’s Fiat 500e project

Post by Damon500 » Thu, 13 Dec 2018, 21:18

Fully road legal now and registered as an Electric Vehicle- thanks Bryce for the EV labels as VicRoads wanted me to put Hybrid stickers on...

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Re: Damon’s Fiat 500e project

Post by jonescg » Thu, 13 Dec 2018, 22:54

Well done Damon! We look forward to seeing it at EV Expos and the like :D
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Re: Damon’s Fiat 500e project

Post by brendon_m » Fri, 14 Dec 2018, 06:50

Yes, good job! I'm super impressed, especially with your time line.

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Re: Damon’s Fiat 500e project

Post by Damon500 » Tue, 18 Dec 2018, 17:29

Thanks everyone for the comments and support along the way- i’m thoroughly enjoying the 500e and it has made my stop-start 45-60min commute each way seem somehow less tedious. The instant torque and smooth acceleration combined with good ride quality and all the usual things I like about a 500 such as compact dimensions, great visibility and excellent use of space make a really enjoyable and practical package.

Electricity consumption has averaged at 6km/kWh in heavy traffic conditions with Airconditioning operating and more than the odd performance demonstration.. it will achieve around 7.3km/kwh on the morning run down the Eastern freeway run towards the city.

Its a huge improvement over the standard 1.2 Petrol Fiat 500 with Automated manual and I commented today that it is so ideally suited to my daily commute that I wouldn’t even swap it for the $80,000 Alfa Romeo company car I handed back when I decided to go Electric instead...

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Re: Damon’s Fiat 500e project

Post by brendon_m » Tue, 18 Dec 2018, 17:58

If you don't mind answering, how much did your electric 500 end up costing you?
If you don't want to share that's cool, I'm just curious.

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Re: Damon’s Fiat 500e project

Post by Damon500 » Wed, 19 Dec 2018, 19:58

Hi Brendon, cost wise it ended up in the mid $30k range in vehicles and components (ignoring my unpaid sweat equity) I however still have the 5000km petrol Motor, transmission and other components I can sell in due course to recover some of that.. The conversion (ignoring labour) could have been done for up to $15k less had I decided to purchase earlier model 500e and ICE donor cars. My decision to but start with the newest, low mileage 500e donor I could find and using a low mileage 2017 model limited edition local ICE car did increase the costs somewhat..

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Re: Damon’s Fiat 500e project

Post by brendon_m » Wed, 19 Dec 2018, 20:36

Pretty good going for a 2017 ev.
Congratulations on the successful build

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Re: Damon’s Fiat 500e project

Post by Damon500 » Sun, 30 Dec 2018, 06:16

Hopefully the next generation 500e will be available off 5he showroom floor fully assembled without the need to bring your own tools.. https://cleantechnica.com/2018/12/29/ne ... in-europe/

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Re: Damon’s Fiat 500e project

Post by T1 Terry » Thu, 03 Jan 2019, 13:16

I bet they will sell for a lot more than $30,000 and not have the personal "feel" that building your own EV gives. I wonder if anyone will follow in your tracks and build one themselves?

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Re: Damon’s Fiat 500e project

Post by Damon500 » Fri, 12 Apr 2019, 19:32

Thought it was time for an update on the 500e as it’s been my daily driver since November last year and I have just clicked over 7000km since the conversion was completed.

In this time it has been used mainly for commuting but has also taken on some of the family duties previously carried out by my wife’s ICE vehicle too. It’s been to Geelong and Baxter and we tested its range with heater on and using various inefficient driving techniques as my son wanted to see the turtle on the dashboard...

I’m still thoroughly enjoying it and it has been trouble free- I have installed the My 500e telematics interface which enables remote control of the climate control, SOC and door locking functions via phone app and working with the developer in Switzerland on some improvements.

The only other change was to fit a rear anti roll bar as the American Fiat 500’s don’t have one and I have become accustomed to the handling of the European version which has been fitted with one since 2010 models. Given the improved weight distribution of the 500e it seemed a shame not to be able to enjoy it...

Unfortunately I couldn’t use the Euro rear axle as the American one is much stronger to cope with the increased weight but I was able to track down an aftermarket version from America which was relatively straightforward to install and it now feels much more balanced and stable in cornering- especially at high speed.

While I was at it I completed the 20,000km service which took less than 15 min and consisted of simply rotating the tyres and topping up the washer fluid- there really wasn’t anything else to do!
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Re: Damon’s Fiat 500e project

Post by jonescg » Sat, 13 Apr 2019, 09:25

Very tidy. Getting consistent range with it?
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Re: Damon’s Fiat 500e project

Post by T1 Terry » Sat, 13 Apr 2019, 13:14

What's the story with the ribbons? A very tidy conversion and the addition of the sway bar would have improved the handling quite a bit. I really notice the difference between my wife's ex taxi Prius and mine with the body stiffener braces and better sway bars.
A real credit to you, had any one request you to build one for them?

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Re: Damon’s Fiat 500e project

Post by Damon500 » Sat, 13 Apr 2019, 16:43

Thanks, yes it’s been getting consistent range although it’s starting to dip slightly as we go into the cooler mornings- it will automatically knock 10% off the estimated range (approx 10-15km) if you turn the heater on although it doesn’t seem to affect it quite that much in real world.

The handling is pretty good really but unfortunately I was comparing it to the European ICE version with lower and stiffer springs, less weight and rear anti roll bar. Flip side is that high speed straight line stability and the ride quality is dramatically better plus the potholes and speed humps I have to contend with on my daily commute are nowhere near as intrusive.

The rear ARB has been a nice compromise in stiffening the back just enough without losing the refinement of the factory setup. I may try a set of Koni adjustable or Frequency Selective Dampers in the rear in due course.

Yes I have had some requests to build others which I have politely declined- the way I went about it isn’t commercially viable- there may be an opportunity to take the simpler approach of converting them to RHD in due course if the promised relaxed SEVS regulations for EV’s come through but I’m still not convinced that there is enough of a market here yet.

The picture with the ribbons was at the recent EV Expo in Melbourne- I bought it along for the show and shine and it won ‘Best converted car’ and ‘Best converted vehicle’ awards which aparrently caused some controversy among other participants who maintained that it was a factory built vehicle...

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Re: Damon’s Fiat 500e project

Post by jonescg » Sat, 13 Apr 2019, 17:57

I'm sure they could appreciate the effort involved (mainly just jealous :) )
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Re: Damon’s Fiat 500e project

Post by T1 Terry » Mon, 15 Apr 2019, 11:45

I'm sure if you had a photo display of just how much effort you put into that conversion, those complaining would soon shut up. After all, their conversion was once a factory built vehicle once ..... I'm guessing they didn't realise just how much work went into building such a great conversion, it really does look like a factory build, just done properly 8-)

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Re: Damon’s Fiat 500e project

Post by Bryce » Mon, 15 Apr 2019, 13:56

I was there with my conversion - and no complaints whatsoever about the winner. You got a bloody well deserved award Damon! (Personally, I would have also awarded you the 'certifiable nutter for doing it' award to go alongside it ... but perhaps there are too many others deserving of that one in the AEVA for you to win that too ;-) )
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Re: Damon’s Fiat 500e project

Post by blwnhr » Thu, 18 Apr 2019, 11:53

Damon500 wrote:
Sat, 13 Apr 2019, 16:43
I may try a set of Koni adjustable or Frequency Selective Dampers in the rear in due course.
I would highly recommending talking to MCA Suspension if you decide to change anything. They are absolute guru's and will develop something vehicle specific.

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