Crowdfunding the ideal electric vehicle

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Astroboy
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Crowdfunding the ideal electric vehicle

Post by Astroboy »

Just thought i would throw the idea out there.

It seems like most DIY EV conversions are done to pre 1996 vehicles which i imagine is due to the ADR69 requirement and the necessity to crash test a modified vehicle to pass the test.

So everyone is "forced" to pick the vehicle that best suits their needs from a list of 20+ year old vehicles.

If there was some discussion around what would be the "ideal" DIY vehicle where the ADR69 requirement was removed from consideration and a particular vehicle/model was decided upon.

Then a crowdfunding project set up to share the cost of the ADR69 crash test amongst all the DIYers that wanted to build that "ideal" electric vehicle.

Does this seem possible?

I realise that more modern cars are more complex as well but if it is just the ADR69 test that is holding DIYers back then maybe this is a way forward?

What does everyone think?

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Johny
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Post by Johny »

It's an interesting idea...
But - my take on DIYers is that each person wants to do their own variation. Just the number of different BMS designs that have been developed over the past 3 or 4 years is an indication.

I personally wouldn't take part because I want my own unique vehicle.

However, there may be an entirely different kind of DIYer out there who isn't interested in the experimental side (and perhaps has been held back by a lack of technical knowledge) and would take part.

A discussion on finding the ideal donor if there were no ADR entanglements would be enlightening still.

Last edited by Johny on Fri, 14 Mar 2014, 04:37, edited 1 time in total.

Astroboy
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Crowdfunding the ideal electric vehicle

Post by Astroboy »

Also as this would all be community designed and developed there would be scope for all skill levels to get involved.

Those with the technical background and/or experience in building an EV may want to help out with the design.
Maybe somebody lacks the technical skill but is a wiz at organisation and logistics.
Those that just like to spin spanners could help out others with the actual build.
And with it being a standardised design it would be easier for others to help out and advise anyone with issues, either during the build or at a later date.
Resale value would likely be higher if the EV ended up being a "known" brand.

A while ago i read an article where a person drove their car interstate to get help converting it and once the word got out there was a couple of dozen willing volunteers who helped do pretty much a single weekend conversion.

A standardised design would help this sort of thing happen. Somebody who had built one already would know exactly how everything went together. It's always quicker to build something the second time.

Also there would be opportunities for group buying the components greatly reducing cost. Even things like adaptor plates, i imagine a fabricator would charge less per unit if it was for 30 units rather than a once off.

Enabling DIYers of all skill levels to convert a modern vehicle to an EV sounds like a winner to me.




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offgridQLD
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Crowdfunding the ideal electric vehicle

Post by offgridQLD »

If the car is going to be that standardised then wouldn't people just purchase a OEM EV.

Modern cars (last 5 year present a more difficult platform with all the mod cons and body ECU's. A lot of them are heavy to start with because of all the safety features and mod cons so less headroom for battery weight.

Personally I feel the biggest market for the DIY ev is the classic/ custom car guys. People that want to keep a beautiful old body but want the reliability and advantages of electric drive.

I guess thats why the VW beetle/combi kits are so popular.Pick a car that had a nice body but rubbish engine. Mazda rx7 (every generation)

Kurt

Last edited by offgridQLD on Fri, 14 Mar 2014, 08:13, edited 1 time in total.

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Richo
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Crowdfunding the ideal electric vehicle

Post by Richo »

Astroboy wrote:It seems like most DIY EV conversions are done to pre 1996 vehicles which i imagine is due to the ADR69 requirement and the necessity to crash test a modified vehicle to pass the test.
You assumed wrong.
The crash test is for production vehicles.
You do not need to crash test a conversion.
Astroboy wrote:So everyone is "forced" to pick the vehicle that best suits their needs from a list of 20+ year old vehicles.

No You can go down the showroom now pick one off the floor and convert it.
The bigger issue for DIY will be the extra electrics on newer cars.
ABS, air bag, ESC, can etc...
Astroboy wrote:If there was some discussion around what would be the "ideal" DIY vehicle where the ADR69 requirement was removed from consideration and a particular vehicle/model was decided upon.
So are you now talking about a ground up kit car designed as an ev?
Astroboy wrote:Then a crowdfunding project..(for) all the DIYers that wanted to build that "ideal" electric vehicle.
Does this seem possible?
Possible but remember that DIY is a very small market.
Then trying to get a small % of a small market to do the same thing.
Unlikely.
Astroboy wrote:I realise that more modern cars are more complex as well but if it is just the ADR69 test that is holding DIYers back then maybe this is a way forward?

No your original point is wrong.
An electric conversion is an "engine modification".
You don't see Holden/ford DIYers crash testing cars because they want to go from a 302 to a 351...
Astroboy wrote:What does everyone think?

Convert what you want or move to WA...
So the short answer is NO but the long answer is YES.
Help prevent road rage - get outta my way!

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Post by Astroboy »

Some people will go the OEM EV route.

Personally i like the idea of building my own.
I like a car that looks nice, not like a prop from a sci-fi movie Image
I don't want to enter a leasing agreement for my batteries that ends up costing me more than the petrol car would have.
I don't want to be told 5 years down the track that a particular circuit board is no longer available so we can't fix your car. Give me a generic controller, bms and charger that can be swapped with other brands if required in the future to fix faults or improve performance.
I don't want super complex/propriety drive trains that only a few people on the planet can fix/diagnose.

But i DO want a car with some of the benefits of the last couple of decades of vehicle development. Safety being number one on the list.
A driver and passenger air bag doesn't seem to much to ask.
Passenger safety cell would be nice. ABS would help.
Most of the safety systems are deliberately separate from the drive systems so should be easy enough to keep when converting to electric.

That is where selecting the right car is very important, it has to be:
   relatively easy to convert.
   within the budgets of the DIY converter.
   a popular choice
   available
   
There are probably more criteria but i can't think of them all right now.

What i was really after was people to respond with what car they would like to convert and why. Any issues that they can think of.

Who knows, maybe 90% of people will want the same car? Never know till you ask.



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Post by poprock »

Once again, NSW RMS mod sheet for EV's is only classed as an engine mod.
In 1986 my son & I shoehorned a 253 with Celica cast iron 5 speed and Torana 2.78 diff centre into a 149 3 0n the tree EH. All that was required was front seat belts and brake upgrade to the equivalent Torana model.(Torana boosted front discs and rear compensator valve).
The easy way then was to upgrade to the highest powered factory model. The higher specs were euphemistically called "mandatory option"in the dealer catalogue, but it was easy paperwork for the converter. Yes, life was simple back then (to be read in Morgan Freemans voice). The airbag re-connection was the hardest part on my Sirion,but an old forum contributor, "the electric echo journal" detailed it .

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Post by Astroboy »

Richo wrote:
Astroboy wrote:It seems like most DIY EV conversions are done to pre 1996 vehicles which i imagine is due to the ADR69 requirement and the necessity to crash test a modified vehicle to pass the test.
You assumed wrong.
The crash test is for production vehicles.
You do not need to crash test a conversion.
I recently sent out an email to several VAAS engineers local to my area (Melbourne). The resounding response was that they won't approve anything with air bags.
Apparently ADR69 is the show stopper.
Here are a couple of the replies.
EngineerA wrote:Yes I have approved a number of Electric vehicle conversions, and would have
been happy to assist were not for the SRS Air Bags. Based on my experience
designing motor vehicles with SRS at Ford in my past years I am not
comfortable modifying a power / driveline of a vehicle with SRS air bags, as
I have witnessed the effects such changes have on the ignition point, and
bag behaviour when this occurs. Sorry
EngineerB wrote:I suppose you could, but please be wary, as the only way to validate such
modifications is to crash one, or up to three depending on the applicable
ADR's.
I would suggest selecting a pre ADR 69 compliant vehicle as project car ie
one not fitted with SRS air bags
I would be very happy to be wrong on this point but it is the engineer that has to sign off on the car that is saying no.

Maybe there are other engineers with a different point of view. If you have contact details for them i would love to speak to them.


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Post by Troglodyte »

After a few months investigating the merits of conversion vs a factory built EV, I'm left with the distinct impression that the latter is probably more viable from both financial & reliability perspectives, particularly if one wants or needs to push the boundaries of range & end up with a few creature comforts (airconditioning anyone ??). Whilst it does appear possible to cobble together something like a pre-historic v-wobbly or a slightly less ancient Charade with DC motor & maybe even lithium batteries on a restricted budget, the end result is only suited to a run around a suburban block. Some of us however choose for one reason or other to live in the sticks and consequently the 'around the block' bit doesn't quite fit the bill. That said, there are presumably reasons that make sense to those who prefer the conversion route to something from a showroom and indeed until I'd done extensive research, I was inclined to believe conversions were the only way to enlightenment. Mind you I've owned a dilapidated chaff-cuttter (albeit several lifetimes back) & a G11 Charade, neither of which arouse fond memories. Then again I've also owned a few vehicles which are supposedly collectors items these days and I've always been unable to fathom why any of those disasters are considered desirable. For example, a restored 1942 Jeep (dangerously underpowered for modern traffic, non-existent braking ability & not particularly capable off-road), an EH Holden (whats all the fuss, its EXTREMELY ordinary at best)& HT 350 Monaro (terrifyingly overpowered given the abysmally poor brakes / handling). I have doubts that anything but a very expensive conversion could compete with a Renault Fluence ZE, an i3 BMW, a B class Mercedes ED or a Tesla. Even a Leaf or iMiEV is probably a more usable proposition than the typical conversion & given the number number in fleet use, used examples are likely to appear on the market in the not too far distant future. I spoke to one particular fleet manager during the week who advised me the aforementioned have both proven to be virtually faultless.

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Post by Richo »

Conversions aren't for everyone.
But to be fair if someone had spent $60-100k on a conversion I'm sure it would give a BMW, Merc or Tesla a run for it's money!
So the short answer is NO but the long answer is YES.
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Post by Richo »

Astroboy wrote: I recently sent out an email to several VAAS engineers local to my area (Melbourne). The resounding response was that they won't approve anything with air bags.
Apparently ADR69 is the show stopper.
Here are a couple of the replies.
Yep that would be a result of they are a mech engineer not electronic.
They don't know so can't approve.
EngineerA wrote:I am not
comfortable modifying a power / driveline of a vehicle with SRS air bags, as
I have witnessed the effects such changes have on the ignition point, and
bag behaviour when this occurs. Sorry
Ok a bit vague.
Perhaps a polite way of saying no.
EngineerB wrote:I suppose you could, but please be wary, as the only way to validate such
modifications is to crash one, or up to three depending on the applicable ADR's.
I would suggest selecting a pre ADR 69 compliant vehicle as project car ie
one not fitted with SRS air bags
That's bogus.
Yes the only way to test an electronic system is to crash it Image
Astroboy wrote: I would be very happy to be wrong on this point but it is the engineer that has to sign off on the car that is saying no.

Maybe there are other engineers with a different point of view. If you have contact details for them i would love to speak to them.

Tough break - Like I said move to WA where the engineers are a bit more up with the times Image
So the short answer is NO but the long answer is YES.
Help prevent road rage - get outta my way!

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Post by Johny »

I think if you could adequately prove that the airbag system was completely independent of the ECU and anything else that was to be removed, some engineers would be amenable to signing off.
Emphasis on "prove" though.

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Post by offgridQLD »

Troglodyte, Regarding OEM vs DIY. I think it depends on who did the conversion. What components where used and how well planed and followed through the conversion is.

If you want to end up with a home build that can be compared to a OEM ev. Then you need to start with the same basic building blocks. AC liquid cooled motor and controller, lithium batteries, electric air conditioning, power steering and heating or your not even on the same page.

I'm sure if you took the starting entry level list price of a OEM ev in Australia about 40k you could purchase a nice car and fit it out meeting the above but skimping out on any of the above is a compromise on the essentials.

Could you build it for less than a OEM ev (wouldn't think so) but you will have a project to entertain yourself and the ability to tweak some aspects of the completed ev like battery capacity. Maintenance is most likely simpler particularly if there was issues with complex oem electronics and not a lot of info on them.

Personally I went the OEM road but I can see in the future of my car (perhaps in 10 years) might just become a dona car to hack and modify to keep on the road or perhaps just make use of some of the drive line components and OEM EV accessories to use in a home build. Time will tell.

Kurt
Last edited by offgridQLD on Mon, 17 Mar 2014, 13:03, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by Shirker »

Getting back to the original question... I reckon a good target recipient would be the Mercedes B-class (with an A-class extension to follow perhaps) as discussed in detail previously.

I know it's a stretch, but significant crowdsourcing support might convince Mercedes to loosen up some details of the CAN messaging, which would go a long way to solving some of the "impossible" items as outlined in the above thread...

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Post by poprock »

Back to ADR 69. Spoke to a local engineer today who referred to VSCCS bulletin #2 19/11/2012. Page 10 69/00 reads: " The vehicle is exempted from crash-test requirements of ADR 69/00. A label warning passengers that the vehicle has not been crash tested must be affixed on the dashboard in front of the passenger seat. The label should state:
'this vehicle has not been tested to Australian Design Rule No. 69/00 Full Frontal Impact Occupant Protection, and ADR No. 72/00 Dynamic Side Impact Occupant Protection, and ADR No. 73/00 Offset Front Impact Protection. The vehicle may not provide the level of occupant protection required by the rules.' Estimated total cost of Engineers report was $1,500-$2,000 tops, including cost of electricians inspection.

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Post by Troglodyte »

Richo wrote: Conversions aren't for everyone.
But to be fair if someone had spent $60-100k on a conversion I'm sure it would give a BMW, Merc or Tesla a run for it's money!


Possibly, but I bet the BMW / Tesla / Mercedes resale value would be infinitely higher & thats an issue I'd be considering with a $60 - 80,000 investment.

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Post by Troglodyte »

Shirker wrote: Getting back to the original question... I reckon a good target recipient would be the Mercedes B-class (with an A-class extension to follow perhaps) as discussed in detail previously.


There will probably be quite a few A / B class Mercedes available in the not too far distant future as they are inclined to develop a few expensive issues with ECU & various electronic crap that are far more difficult / expensive to fix than they should be. Personally I don't mind the things but they do have their issues, eg two utterly moronic things about the design are the ECU mounted on the engine where it cops all the heat and vibration, and the necessity to remove the engine to replace things like starter motor & oil quality sensor. Surely Mercedes designers should have more sense than to incorporate such crazy 'features'. On the other hand, the double floored W168 / W169 models have that space which is just begging to be filled up with batteries.

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poprock1 wrote: Back to ADR 69. Spoke to a local engineer today who referred to VSCCS bulletin #2 19/11/2012. Page 10 69/00 reads: " The vehicle is exempted from crash-test requirements of ADR 69/00. A label warning passengers that the vehicle has not been crash tested must be affixed on the dashboard in front of the passenger seat. The label should state:
'this vehicle has not been tested to Australian Design Rule No. 69/00 Full Frontal Impact Occupant Protection, and ADR No. 72/00 Dynamic Side Impact Occupant Protection, and ADR No. 73/00 Offset Front Impact Protection. The vehicle may not provide the level of occupant protection required by the rules.' Estimated total cost of Engineers report was $1,500-$2,000 tops, including cost of electricians inspection.


Checked out the situation here in Victoria as the document you referenced is for NSW. Here in Victoria the wording is changed and the sticker option is only available for individually constructed vehicles not for modified ADR-complying vehicles.
Basically if it has passed the ADR69 in the past and it has been substantially modified (ie. electric motor) then it has to pass ADR69 again. I tried to convince one of the VAAS engineers that the sticker option was a valid option but the answer was a resounding no.
I still don't understand why the electric motor is the line drawn in the sand by the engineers but they all seem to be following the same line. At least here in Victoria. To me adding a bullbar to a car would change the crumple zone performance and timing (and hence the air bag deployment timing) more than swapping an ICE engine for an electric motor of the same weight.
Bullbars are ok but electric motors are not?
Maybe i will have to get a NSW engineer to certify it, get it registered in NSW and then transfer it to Victoria.
Had a look at the VicRoads site and moving a registration from NSW to Victoria doesn't require a Road worthy certificate but it has to be going from and to the same name. Dang. :(
Maybe once it has its compliance plate it will be able to pass a basic roadworthy here in Victoria. So maybe get the compliance done in NSW and then register it in Victoria???

And i thought building the elctric car was going to be the difficult bit. :)



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Post by poprock »

There's still hope; but first to the bullbar. In NSW they have to be certified when fitted by factory or an engineer. A home made one would need to be approved in NSW. However, and I do not encourage you to break any laws,there is a complicated way around the engine change issue.If you were to have a friend who lived in Qld, it is legal for you to buy a car there, provide his address for registration and insurance contacts, then you can use the car interstate.I did this when I bought a Crewman on the Gold Coast. When the renewal came it was more expensive than NSW so I switched states. In times past in NSW we were allowed six months to change the rego over but now with a mobile population and military personnel moving regularly common sense prevails. At this time in Qld an inspection is only required when the vehicle changes hands. Complicated, but it's a possibl solution.

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Post by Richo »

And yet the Aust govt websites state:
(ADRs) are national standards for vehicle safety, anti-theft and emissions. The standards apply to vehicles newly manufactured in Australia or imported as new or second hand vehicles, and supplied to the Australian market.

The only exception to this is:
other laws may call up the ADRs. For example, each state and territory generally requires vehicles manufactured to a particular set of ADRs to continue to comply with them (or a later version) while in-service


Which I think is not practical in all cases since at some point the manufacturer may not supply air bags.
And there is no proof that it does or doesn't comply when some part of the car is modified or becomes non functional over time.
I'll also point out you can go to your local auto store by a steering wheel with NO air bag and fit it to your car.

If an alternative engineer can prove that the system is still functional then the registering engineer must accept this.

What is the local law that references the ADR?
So the short answer is NO but the long answer is YES.
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