Energy & Sustainability
The 2 Electric car

md_ecar.jpg
You might have though making your own electric car would be an expensive project. However, with a little ingenuity and a LOT of luck, you can make a fairly inexpensive, street legal, electric car. Of course this car involved several “donated” items, like the batteries, but it seems like this can be done for a reasonable amount of money. – Link

Related:
md_e0.jpg
Wind powered electric car – Link
md_e2jpg.jpg
Maker Faire: X1 electric car does 0-100mph in 6.8s – Link

32 thoughts on “The $672 Electric car

  1. Nice idea, but, it can’t be done “fairly inexpensively” when you count in the batteries. My FZ electric motorcycle has about $600 worth of batteries (72v). A car would need about $1000 or more, plus the donor car, the time to take it apart (so add in tools), getting rid of the environmental left overs (gas tank, engine, exhaust system), then you need a controller that’s capable of handling the amps continuously, the electric motor (ac or dc…Ford/Siemens maybe), and a million other things. Plus you have to certify it and insure it. It’s a misleading idea you can do this for no money.

  2. Tercero – double-check the article.

    It can be done “fairly inexpensively” IF you don’t need a highway capable vehicle, which this car obviously isn’t. It only has a 48v pack and a golf cart controller. Even buying brand new batteries *might* have doubled their final cost. I’d still call $1400 pretty inexpensive.

    And “getting rid” of the engine and gas tank were actually mentioned: they sold them, and recouped money to the project.

  3. This is a great project. Thee are millions of people in the US who almost never drive faster that 40mph. They live in suburban or urban areas, and could do very well with a car like this. Leave the highway car in the driveway, and let this be a city car. The money saved on fuel costs and maintenance for the highway car could easily pay for a project like this. Great car guys! We need to show the Jonses that we can be enviromentally responsable and frugal!

  4. So does this car plug into a wall to recharge? If it does consider this: where does the electricity come from to charge the batteries? Answer: Coal and other fossil fuels. You know about coal. Its that dirty burning stuff that puts mercury in the air and water. Mercury is some pretty bad stuff for you and your loved ones. Most of the electricity in the U.S. is produced from fossil fuels (coal, oil, and natural gas). Until we have cleaner ways of producing electricity (wind, solar) being widely used this will be the case. Coal plants can be made cleaner, but there is no such thing as “clean coal.” Between mining and burning the coal there are too many things going on that pollute for it to ever be “clean.” Coal power generating companies do not want to spend the money necessary to actually make the upgrades to the plants to cut down on pollution.

    It is a trade off. Electric cars might make the U.S. a little less dependent on foreign oil (which I’m all for), but most likely they are not that much more “environmentally responsible.” It is either pollute with burning gasoline, or pollute with electricity.

    I didn’t mean to sound preachy. If I did I apologize, but I think it is important for people to realize that electric cars aren’t going to save the world or anything just because they don’t burn gas. It is important for everyone to learn about energy and how it is generated, and the pros and cons of each method.

  5. Electricity does not have to come from fossil fuels, and certainly not from coal.

    In terms of greenhouse gas output, nuclear power is very clean – and paranoia aside, it’s safe too.

    And there’s renewable electricity sources – solar, wind, hydro, wave power.

    Yes, all of these have other environmental impacts – only an idiot thinks there’s totally ‘green’ anything – but with an electrically-powered car there’s more flexibility in the energy source.

    And while today most of the American electricity might be derived from coal (and from Canadian gas-fired stations for the East coast), there’s nothing that says that needs to be true in the future.

    Personally, I’m pro-nuclear as a means to generate cheap electricity to facilitate a switch to electric vehicles.

  6. The page about the Metro mentions “renewably sourced, clean electricity” for charging (whatever that means). But I’d be surprised if it means coal power!

    I used to live in Ontario (where the car is), and I seem to recall the “regular” grid mix was already something like 1/3 nuclear and 1/3 hydroelectric.

  7. John what do you do with the nuclear waste that comes with nuclear power though?

    The whole point of my original post was to point out that there are always negative consequences with making the amount of electricity humans use. I was also trying to show everyone that drives a Prius or an electric car they are still polluting the earth….only in a different way now. You are right there are no truly “green” ways of producing electricity. When it comes down to it, most people do not have wind farms or solar panels powering their houses or these types of cars. Most people plug the car in the wall and don’t think where their electricity actually comes from.

    “Electricity does not have to come from fossil fuels, and certainly not from coal.”
    John I hear you and I agree with you. The only problem with this is that right now most of our electricity comes from fossil fuels, even though we have other ways that we can generate it. So until we use the other ways of generating electricity more (whether its through solar, wind, hydro, nuclear) people using electric cars still get the power from fossil fuels. There is no “flexibility” when someone gets all of their power straight from a fossil fuel burning power plant.

    I guess my main point is that people need to educate themselves about how our power is generated and the pros/cons of each method of production. I wanted to hopefully get people to start thinking about where their power actually comes from, and to realize that there are trade offs with every different method.

  8. “what do you do with the nuclear waste that comes with nuclear power though?”

    You don’t discharge it into the atmosphere like coal and gas plants do with their pollution…

  9. “You don’t discharge it into the atmosphere like coal and gas plants do with their pollution…”

    Thank you for showing a trade off. We can either discharge the junk in the atmosphere, or we can risk putting nuclear waste underground and having it leak out of its container someday.

  10. “Most of the electricity in the U.S. is produced from fossil fuels (coal, oil, and natural gas). Until we have cleaner ways of producing electricity (wind, solar) being widely used this will be the case. Coal plants can be made cleaner, but there is no such thing as “clean coal.”

    Agreed. However, a power plant has a much higher efficiency than the engine in ones car. So a central, high efficiency but not yet clean form of generating electricity is always better than X separate regular car engines, each running at 25-40% efficiency.

    A central power plant would also make it easier to filter waste instead of trying to make all cars exhausts clean.

    “what do you do with the nuclear waste that comes with nuclear power though?”

    “You shoot it into the Sun.”

    Shooting into the Sun is not an option:

    1. Too dangerous. If the rocket comes down or explodes, you can have a large area which is just sprayed with radioactive material.

    2. Takes too much energy: it’s often thought that a rocket will ‘fall into the sun’ just by the effect of the Sun’s gravity. This is not true. Because we are circling the Sun as a planet, any rocket launched from that planet is traveling at the same speed around the Sun. Before gravity takes over, this speed of around 29.8 km/sec has to be reduced to zero… and that takes a lot of energy.

    As a comparison: to leave planet Earth an escape velocity of ‘just’ 11.2 km/s is required.

  11. Nuclear energy is perfectly safe when used properly. Modern nuclear reactors do not have the problems found in Chernobyl or Three Mile Island.

    As for what to do with the waste, what’s wrong with mixing it with inert materials (such as the ore that it was originally mined from) and sticking it back into the ground? When we leverage on nuclear reaction, we are only speeding up a natural process, that would have happened over millions of years in the ground anyway. Nuclear fission happens in the environment around us every day, and does not cause any major problem. Mixing the spent fuel back into the ground is a rational and logical way to deal with this.

    The material is less radioactive when we are finished with it than it was before we put it in the reactor. Otherwise, it would violate the Second Law of Thermodynamics. It is a different kind of radioactive, but no different than what can be found in nature anyway.

  12. putting nuclear energy aside and getting back to the matter at hand, this is a great project! I applaud these guys for their ingenuity and resourcefulness!

    i wonder though… why keep the transmission shifter? it’s apparent from the underhood shots that they are not using the tranny, why not just replace the shifter with a switch?

Comments are closed.

Tagged