Curb weight and gross weight of utes.

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gregted
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Curb weight and gross weight of utes.

Post by gregted » Sun, 15 Jul 2012, 19:45

As a newb, I have a newb question.

I am aware the registration requirments of a conversion state the converted weight must be the same or lower than the original curb weight.

This would limit the range of an ev but I have a 1980 ford courier ute and can carry much more than the original curb weight legally.

Also a passenger car must allow for say 4 or 5 occupants of possibly 120kg each or more adding another 500kgs to the mix.

I have seen something on this forum about taking out the rear seat to allow for more batteries. I assume this would allow for the extra weight not needed by the other 3 passengers, possibly 300 kilos.

So my question is can I legally register my ute at the curb weight which would include maybe 8 x 12 volt batteries and then carry another bank or more in the tray to extend range when needed for the occasional long trip.

This would be the same as a range extender trailer of course but without the dramas of towing and parking a trailer.

Also I was wondering at what point the extra weight would negate the value of the extra power and range.

The only way might be to go ahead with the conversion and then add batteries and document the battery usage.
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4Springs
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Curb weight and gross weight of utes.

Post by 4Springs » Sun, 15 Jul 2012, 21:13

Hello Gregted,
Have a look at the NCOP 14 document here: www.infrastructure.gov.au (search for "NCOP14"). This is the National Code of Practice guidelines for converting to Electric Drive. I found it a really good document.
The requirements state that the converted weight must be not more than the original gross weight (GVM), not the original curb weight as you stated. You also have to allow an extra 81.6kg per passenger.

Using a ute has these advantages:
1. The GVM is probably fairly high, so you can add heavy batteries above the original curb weight.
2. The seating capacity is probably only 2, so you only have to allow 163.2kg, rather than 408kg for a 5-seater.
3. The battery boxes/trays may be easier to fit.
4. The batteries are likely to be outside, so venting is less of a problem.
These advantages are of greater consequence if you are using Lead Acid batteries.

As an example, my Brumby ute has a GVM of 1620kg, so I was allowed to go up to 1456.8kg. The curb weight was 1000kg before conversion, and I removed 200kg of engine, fuel tank etc.
After conversion the Brumby's curb weight is 1460kg - lead acid is HEAVY! It drives like a fully laden ute.

With your idea of an extra battery pack for extra range, you need to think about:
1. The battery pack is likely to be heavy. Difficult to lift up, and will need to be secured very well. An interesting engineering problem.
2. The spare pack will need to be maintained while not being used.
3. For lead acid, the depth of discharge is important. So having a larger capacity battery, and only using a small amount of that capacity, will extend the battery life.

Personally, I decided to go lead acid because the purchase price was much cheaper than lithium, and the installation was much easier. You need a battery management system for lithium, and there are many cells with many connections. With the lessons I learn on my first battery pack, I hope that I'll be ready to install lithium (and associated BMS) as my second battery pack.

Cheers,
Christopher (also a newb)

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Curb weight and gross weight of utes.

Post by gregted » Mon, 16 Jul 2012, 05:24

Hi Christopher,

Thanks for the reply.

I was hoping to be able to add extra batteries so it looks like my old courier will be the donor roller.

That document is a good read. I will study it later.

Do you have any details and pics of your build? What is the range of your ev?

Did you mount your batteries under the tray or some in the tray and some in the engine bay? I guess the weight may have to be distributed between the 2 axles.

I used the tray off my courier on my other ute and would like to register the ute without the tray initially to keep down weight. So I would make a box or drawers under the profile of the tray so I can add a tray later. What do you think?

It has been suggested to use 6 volt golf cart batteries and a 24 volt forklift motor. I think the motor may be too light for this vehicle.

I only need to have a range of 40kms between charges to get me to work and back and 80kph would be usable.

Looking forward to this project and I already have some volunteers willing to be part of the build just to see it happen.

Greg ( Newb but Learning more every day )
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4Springs
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Curb weight and gross weight of utes.

Post by 4Springs » Mon, 16 Jul 2012, 15:34

For details and pics of the Brumby, go to the Members Machines section of the forum, then 4Springs' Brumby. It is a bit all over the place, but hopefully you can work it out!

I ended up using 12 x 12V 140AH AGM batteries. 7 in the tray, 2 underneath the tray & 3 under the bonnet. As suggested by evric, the battery boxes were the biggest job of the conversion, they need to be able to stand up to high G forces in all directions. Since you can remove your tray, I think yours should be much easier.
I don't know the range of the Brumby yet (still waiting on final approvals to drive it on the road), but I'd say about 40km would be maximum. It readily goes to 80km/h, and I've had it up to 100. First impressions are that there is lots of power at low speed, not much once it gets faster. Drives like a fat wallowing pig. Can't wait to start using it for my daily commute to get a better feel for it though!

Not sure if your 40kms is one way or both ways? If you can charge at work, that would be much better for lead-acid batteries. They like to be kept fully charged as much as possible, and discharged as little as possible. So on my vehicle as an example, my batteries would theoretically die after about 300 40km trips, but should last 900 trips at 20km. Lithium batteries are much better than this, as well as being lighter to start with for the same power.

I spent quite a while researching batteries on the internet, then ended up buying from a local supplier. It is worth pushing suppliers on their prices, I ended up with a discount that amounted to 50% of the battery price (ex-GST) because I was buying 12!

A quick google search shows a few Ford Courier EVs, with the batteries generally under the profile of the tray, as you suggest. I'd think that if you wanted to get it approved without a tray, the engineer doing the approvals would factor that into the weight equations. So your allowable weight would be GVM - passenger weight - tray weight.

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Curb weight and gross weight of utes.

Post by drgrieve » Fri, 28 Sep 2012, 03:35

Hi all,

Was wondering how others have managed this weight issue?

It would seem that most donor cars when converted with a reasonable pack size to drive 100 to 150 kms will go over the GVW by 100 KG or so.

Is is just a matter of reducing the number of passengers seats by 1, or will the engineer allow you a bit of slack?

Has anyone run into weights issues getting their conversion registered?

Thanks

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Richo
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Curb weight and gross weight of utes.

Post by Richo » Sat, 29 Sep 2012, 00:41

I have heard of one having weight issues.
But this was more due to the battiers being in the boot and loading up the back too much.
So the ratio of weight front/back was out.
Not too sure which way they fixed it.
It was either remove some batteries from the boot or up the suspension in the rear.

Every car conversion will have a range limit based on battery chemistry.
Not much way around this other than pay big $$ to upgrade suspension/brakes and certify or design your own Tesla ;)
Reducing the seat capacity by one will be a re-register as a 4-seater.
Not too sure if trying to get an extra 81.6kg is worth the hassle.
Esp when the car will already be loaded up.
It will also depend on your local testing agent - dept of transport etc
They may accept it - they may not.
Do you want to spend the money on a conversion and not get it passed as he can see it is 100kg over the weight limit?

Driving around with 8x12V will also reduce your peak power and top speed - probably make the car undriveable.

6V golf batteries aren't good value for money.
Lead acid batteries aren't good value in the long run anyway.
For a lead acid pack to do 80km in a ute I would think ~25kWh's might do it.
So 12 x 12V 170Ah perhaps.
Really depends on your driving habit and terrain.

Even in my Handi, which weight wise has similar benefits to a ute, is small and reasonably areodynamic I would still struggle with 150km range using LiFePO4.

As for adding batteries for the odd trip doesn't sound particularly useful.
You will at some stage have worn batteries in the car and good ones added.
The good ones will only be able to work while your worn ones are working.
Unless you treat them as 2 individual packs and connect one when the other is flat.
Either way isn't value for money compared to a permanently installed complete pack.

Edit: gimme a break it's Friday Avro!
Last edited by Richo on Fri, 28 Sep 2012, 14:43, edited 1 time in total.
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Curb weight and gross weight of utes.

Post by AMPrentice » Fri, 02 Nov 2012, 05:17

##6V golf batteries aren't good value for money. ##
in australia very true in the USA different story

##Lead acid batteries aren't good value in the long run anyway.##
Even if they can be reconditioned after a certain amount of use?

##For a lead acid pack to do 80km in a ute I would think ~25kWh's might do it. So 12 x 12V 170Ah perhaps. Really depends on your driving habit and terrain.##

look at the Evalbum on one of the best Utes ever was using 6v

http://evalbum.com/037

40 Trojan T-105, 6.00 Volt, Lead-Acid, Flooded
Top Speed     85 MPH (136 KPH)
Range             120 Miles (193 Kilometers)
freeway,        150 city

There was also the mazda 1200 ute in NSW owned by
http://www.evmotors.com.au/

it was supposedly charged at a supermarket everyday for 8 years its 6v pack lasted before eventually going to lithium.

http://www.evmotors.com.au/vehicles/index.html
Last edited by AMPrentice on Thu, 01 Nov 2012, 18:18, edited 1 time in total.
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Richo
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Curb weight and gross weight of utes.

Post by Richo » Fri, 02 Nov 2012, 20:57

AMPrentice wrote: ##6V golf batteries aren't good value for money. ##
in australia very true in the USA different story

Since we are in Australia what is the shipping charge for 1T of 6V flooded cells from USA?
I seriously doubt that you can get in 1T of 6V batteries from USA and be cheaper than 1T of 12V cells in Australia.
AMPrentice wrote: ##Lead acid batteries aren't good value in the long run anyway.##
Even if they can be reconditioned after a certain amount of use?
IF?
nobody should be using flooded cells thses days on Austrlain roads.
So are you suggesting poeple try recondition a gell cell?
AMPrentice wrote: ##For a lead acid pack to do 80km in a ute I would think ~25kWh's might do it.##

look at the Evalbum on one of the best Utes http://evalbum.com/037
40 Trojan T-105, 6.00 Volt, Lead-Acid, Flooded
Range 120 Miles (193 Kilometers)
So you think 54kWh is enough?
1.1T of batteries.
Half of that is acid sloshing around.
Bet it handles like a Bi*#h too.
And completely useless as a ute for ever more.
AMPrentice wrote: There was also the mazda 1200 ute in NSW owned by
it was supposedly charged at a supermarket everyday for 8 years its 6v pack lasted before eventually going to lithium.


Sure put a large pack in a car and only use a small part of it the life will be long.
Without driving conditions and usage it's pointless.
I've had a LiFePO4 for over 10 years and it still makes it on the occational trip around my workshop...

Sure there are exceptions to the rules but I don't recommend them.
So the short answer is NO but the long answer is YES.
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Jeff Owen
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Curb weight and gross weight of utes.

Post by Jeff Owen » Sat, 03 Nov 2012, 03:03

Richo wrote: nobody should be using flooded cells thses days on Austrlain roads.

Could you explain why

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Curb weight and gross weight of utes.

Post by AMPrentice » Tue, 06 Nov 2012, 20:41

I never said gel but flooded acid t-105 6v is what I meant and they are recyclable if not shorted, Ive heard they can be reconditioned to almost new isnt that correct?.
I still feel if its only short KM required there is no reason not to use them considering thats all that is available to poorer parts of the world and we have a lead pollution problem everywhere.
As for safety if in a ute they can be put below the chassis line and handle better that most 3 tonne 4wd/suv with good suspension investment.
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