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Gav’s electric car

Energy & Sustainability

Gav caught the EV bug. He also caught the video bug, and made a bunch of great videos of his process to convert his glider to an EV.

During the next few months I’ll be converting an old gas powered car to run on clean, cheap electricity. It’s a serious learning curve for me but I’m up for the challenge – and hey, if I can do it then believe me, anyone can do it!
After years of wanting to do this I thought, “hey, why not start now?” and started looking around for a cheap donor car. Ideally something that had a damaged engine but a good body and gearbox. I was looking for an 80’s Mitsubishi (I’ve had a few) and found this one for sale locally within a few weeks of searching.

This segment shows the conversion process in a slimmed down version:

Gav mentions DIY Electric Car, which he credits as having excellent resources for people doing their own conversions. Their forums look active and polite. Here is a bit from electric motors section:

When searching for cores, look for insulation that is wine colored with yellow banding, brush leads that are still copper color and not scortched, and a commutator that isn’t grooved or pitted. Don’t be afraid to remove the cover band and have a look inside the motor (and while you’re there take a pic to send me). I get a lot of “I wish I had wrote you before I bought this emails” and it’s a bummer to read them honestly. I’d bet that almost half the motors I’ve built are still not up and running yet, so you might not need that motor as fast as you think you might. Sometimes looking to eager to buy not only drives the price up but might also cause you to buy something ill suited for your needs to boot.

Looking to do a conversion? Already driving an EV? Just looking? Check out how Electric Vehicles fit in to our future.

6 thoughts on “Gav’s electric car

  1. Simon says:

    Ah yes, this is a local(ish) Kiwi chap. It’s a very good web site and cool to see someone just jump in and do it.
    Funny thing is if everyone in NZ had electric cars the national grid would collapse! Too many years of too little investment while governments used (and still do) it as a cash cow. In 1998 all of the Auckland (NZs largest city) CBD was without power for 5 weeks.

    If electric vehicles are the way of the future NZ needs to start thinking about the power requirements now but I hold out little hope.


    1. KiwiAviator says:

      Dr Mike Duke from Waikato University explained last year that if every single vehicle switched to electric overnight (putting aside the fact it’s a ridiculous and impossible scenario) New Zealand’s power usage would increase by only 40% and not collapse.

      You’re right in regards to power availability though, we need more generation and we have the resources to do it – but will we? I doubt anything will change until we have another black-out scenario like we did here in Auckland 11 years ago.

  2. Karstan says:

    A truly useful post! While I really love the idea of the maker revolution, I’ve been a bit disappointed that the vast majority of the items featured here have no real function other than looking or sounding pretty. This is something I can really sink my teeth into!

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