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Old 02-11-2009, 05:15 PM
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Plugged In - Electric Street Rod

I've resumed posting in my journal, but I figured I would post here too to open a discussion about this project since it was pretty much birthed on this forum.

I had a thread about creating an old school style hot rod with new sheetmetal and, in that thread, it was also brought up that Thom Taylor had been pushing teh same idea in Rod & Custom. Well, a lot has changed in my life since then and I had to put everything on hold for a while. I sold pretty much everything but this project and my driver, sold my house/shop, and moved to Columbus, Ohio.

I am resuming work on the project now, but it's not going to be a budget truck project. I am using the door and cab corner skins from the truck, with wood, metal, and body filler, to create a buck to build a carbon fiber car body. I also decided to go green and build an electric street rod.

Enough of my blabbering, here's some pics:

Excuse the mess, I was packing to move. Excuse the crappy pic, it's from my cell. This is it pre-electric plan:


The EV plan (photo-based rendering):


The guts:


Couple sketches of the track nose. The trim conceals what I call the Guidance Assembly - headlights and mirrors:


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Old 02-11-2009, 07:22 PM
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Looking good, Todd, keep us posted.

You know, if a guy ever HAD to go electric, no choices type of thing, I'd want to look cool while I was doing that.

Here's both worlds. Nice work.
Dan
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Old 02-11-2009, 07:39 PM
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We need good looking electric cars instead of the goofy looking motorized roller skates like...the smart car ...gimme a break.


You can put lipstick on a pig, but it's still a pig.
Vince
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Old 02-11-2009, 08:21 PM
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Thanks guys Hey Dan, how's life treating you?

I ended up debating the merits of electric on another forum, and my skepticism eventually turned into fascination. There's a lot of potential in it that is often lost in the "green" shuffle. Don't get me wrong, I have nothing against real green technologies and efforts. It's just that most of the current hubbub is just a bunch of hot air.

Anyway, the first thing that appealed to me is that I wouldn't have to design around a relatively large engine, and then try to make all its support systems (cooling, exhaust, etc.) blend into the vehicle. Since I am building this vehicle to showcase my design and fabrication skills, that mean I can spend my time on the important stuff.

Then, I found what's going on with performance EVs:
http://www.plasmaboyracing.com/whitezombie.php
http://www.evalbum.com/035.html
http://www.killacycle.com/
http://www.evconsultinginc.com/34ford.html

The thing that I always hated about EVs is they end up being a thousand pounds heavier than a comparable internal combustion engine (ICE) powered vehicle. The solution for that is here - lithium batteries. They are still too pricey to make building an EV to save money practical (because you'll still spend more to build it than you recover) but for a guy like me who's after performance, they open serious doors of opportunity. The final cost of building my electric powertrain should be in the same basic neighborhood as say a Bill Mitchell all aluminum 427 SBC.

I'm going for maximum performance with this car. With instant-on full torque and huge rear tires I should be able to post some impressive straight-line numbers; and with the weight lower and centralized it should handle pretty good too.

Last edited by toddshotrods; 02-12-2009 at 05:51 AM. Reason: Fixed links...
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Old 02-11-2009, 08:54 PM
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Sounds cool, good luck with the project and keep us informed.

What I hate everytime I see an article on the tube about a "green" or "eco friendly" car I gag. They never cover the fact that the batteries are anything but "green" or "eco friendly". Not only the manufacture of the batteries, but the eventual disposal. Lithium batteries have some of the highest density power levels of any battery, but they are also pretty volatile to deal with. FWIW the space shuttle is powered by three suitcase sized hydrogen fuel cells. Each fuel cell power plant is 14 inches high, 15 inches wide and 40 inches long and weighs 255 pounds, they also provide water as a by-product of their operation. How long is it going to be until we see these in cars so we can get the battery from around our neck.

Vince

Last edited by 302 Z28; 02-11-2009 at 09:00 PM.
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Old 02-11-2009, 09:22 PM
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I get error message on the last three links. Only the first one works.
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Old 02-12-2009, 05:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cboy
I get error message on the last three links. Only the first one works.
I fixed them. That was my fault because I tried a shortcut in posting them. Here they are again for convenience:
http://www.plasmaboyracing.com/whitezombie.php
http://www.evalbum.com/035.html
http://www.killacycle.com/
http://www.evconsultinginc.com/34ford.html
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Old 02-12-2009, 07:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by toddshotrods
I fixed them.
Thanks. I can see them all now.
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Old 02-12-2009, 02:12 PM
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Those are awesome! Great stuff, I have been a fan of electric power for years. Great stuff!

Brian
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Old 02-13-2009, 02:08 PM
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The more I learn the more I love it! There is so much untapped potential in electric propulsion. Most of the development right now is concentrated on "green" or racing efforts. We hotrodders have a different way of looking at things that is adaptable to electric vehicles. There is a learning curve, like there was with EFI, that has prevented more experimentation. Hopefully, now that computer control is becoming more common, things will change. That biggest need right now is for more dependable, more sophisticated, controllers. If aftermarket, hot rod EFI, conrol unit manufacturers would get into this the potential of an electric hot rod would come to light.

Here's an example: When you give it partial throttle, the controller feeds power to the motor in pulses. The sound you hear is a result of the frequency of those pulses. Conventional electric motor thinking is to raise that frequency above the range of human hearing, so at most you just hear the distinctive electric motor whine. We hotrodders love sound - so much so that we spend hundreds of dollars to make our quiet cars rumble. Rather than tune the sound out of the range of our hearing, what if time was spent by companies like Flowmaster and Borla to develop proprietary frequency curves and patterns that we could listen to all day? No they wouldn't sound like a big block Chevy, with a big cam, but what could they sound like?!

So you purchase and download programming for a certain sound, plug up the old laptop and in seconds you're making new music! That's just the tip of the iceberg...
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Old 02-13-2009, 07:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 302 Z28
What I hate everytime I see an article on the tube about a "green" or "eco friendly" car I gag. They never cover the fact that the batteries are anything but "green" or "eco friendly". Not only the manufacture of the batteries, but the eventual disposal.
I think "green" is destined to be as over-used as that "e-" tag was when the financial world discovered the Internet. Maybe on a going-forward basis we'll get some green e-commerce eco-market investments that innovatively enable e-consumers to cyber-vett buzzword compliance of market droids and e-government stakeholders. (Sorry about that, must've gotten a press release stuck in my brain).

Lead acid batteries are relatively "eco friendly", when compared to other off-the-shelf fuels:

"Nearly 90 percent of all lead-acid batteries are recycled. Almost any retailer that sells lead-acid batteries collects used batteries for recycling, as required by most state laws. Reclaimers crush batteries into nickel-sized pieces and separate the plastic components. They send the plastic to a reprocessor for manufacture into new plastic products and deliver purified lead to battery manufacturers and other industries. A typical lead-acid battery contains 60 to 80 percent recycled lead and plastic."
-- U.S. EPA -- Wastes - Resource Conservation - Common Wastes & Materials -- Batteries


I'm really interested in toddshotrods project; my own EV has been on hold for a couple of years now. I'm planning to sacrifice range for performance and use lead acid batteries for the cost savings. Using 12V batteries gives up range but yields more volts for less weight.

Quote:
Originally Posted by toddshotrods
We hotrodders have a different way of looking at things that is adaptable to electric vehicles.
Amen to that. If it ain't fun to drive, I don't want it. If it looks like that thing 302 Z28 posted, I don't want it.
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Old 02-14-2009, 04:20 PM
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Sweet deal It'd be great to see it some time (when it's finished). I'm about an hour and a half west of Columbus.
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Old 02-14-2009, 04:33 PM
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Originally Posted by 38 special
Sweet deal It'd be great to see it some time (when it's finished). I'm about an hour and a half west of Columbus.
If miracles still happen, I would like to take it to Goodguys here in July (under construction - not finished). So far, things are not leaning in my favor though. If I don't make Goodguys with the car and/or if you don't go there we'll figure something out. Are you anywhere near the Springfield Swap Meet?
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Old 02-15-2009, 05:19 AM
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I'm about an hour and a half north west of Springfield too. I've met Kev45, Kev's son who I don't see on the board anymore and Centerline there a couple of yrs. ago. I've been laid off a lot here lately so I don't get around near as much.
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Old 02-15-2009, 08:35 AM
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Well, it may be a little while before it's "finished" but we'll figure something out so you can check it out it.

Right now, we're working out the technical details; developing a powertrain that meets my goals, and packaging it so that you see a street rod - not an sci-fi style electric vehicle. Granted it's not a conventional street rod, but that's because I am not a conventional street rodder. It looked pretty much like this with the Chevy motor - the only thing that changed in appearance is the track nose, and that's something I wanted anyway. It just wouldn't fit over the V8.
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