Electric cars-Conversions

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Mandrake
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Re: Electric cars/vans/bikes-Conversions/Secondhand..etc

Post by Mandrake »

So apparently Arnie has a custom EV conversion of a Mercedes G-Wagen. :lol:


Not sure if the full episode is available online yet but it should be a good laugh. :)

Interesting that after conversion it still has the same 500HP (although acceleration is probably better!) and a decentish 190 miles range from an 80kWh battery, and yet ended up 500 lb lighter than the original car! So much for EV's always being heavier than equivalent ICE vehicles...

Here's a video showing a little bit of what went into the conversion:



Somehow I think EV conversions of classic designs will be big business in years to come. :)

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Re: Electric cars/vans/bikes-Conversions/Secondhand..etc

Post by Mandrake »

I've heard of this BEV off road vehicle before but a comment in the interview caught my ear:



Although it looks like a breeze block on wheels the engineering of the vehicle look to be very well thought out and has a number of interesting design features... including inboard brakes front and rear (not sure if that's common on 4x4 off roaders ?) and "height adjustable Hydro-pneumatic suspension". Yes that's right, he didn't say height adjustable suspension or air suspension he specifically said hydro-pneumatic suspension. :shock: =D>

So did the guy misspeak or have they perhaps licensed the rights to use Hydro-pneumatic suspension from Citroen now that Citroen themselves have thrown in the towel on the system ? Wouldn't it be ironic if a brand new BEV off-roader started using it a couple of years (2020) after Citroen abandoned it ? :lol:

BTW for those who obsess over the limited range of BEV's it will come in a 120 mile range 60kWh version and a 200 mile range 100kWh version and include Chademo DC rapid charging. And they have apparently already done the engineering for RHD as some of the reservation holders are in RHD markets like the UK.

One other feature is that the car provides 110v (and presumably 230v in 230v markets) sockets in the car that you can plug power tools and other appliances into and run them off the 60/100kWh battery through a high powered inverter. Clever. :) The video shows them running a mains power bench saw out in the middle of nowhere off the car, and a 2kW saw would run for a very long time indeed off a 100kWh battery...

I have no use for this type of vehicle but it is important if BEV's are ever to take off in large numbers for them to cover every market segment, including large chunky off road vehicles. :lol: One of the limitations of BEV's at the moment is the very limited selection of body and vehicle types - for example so far nobody has made an estate version of their BEV!! [-X

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Mandrake
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Re: Electric cars/vans/bikes-Conversions/Secondhand..etc

Post by Mandrake »

Found a short video of the suspension but it doesn't really clarify the hydro-pneumatic part any further, there is a curious "bulb" at the top but I don't see a hydraulic ram ?

Also appears to have a conventional shock absorber ? Or is that the hydraulic ram and they just haven't shown the piping to it on the cad drawings ? In the on car footage it does look a lot like a hydraulic ram but strange that the shaft is exposed under the car and doesn't seem to have a concertina ?

I do clearly see a ride height sensing potentiomter attached to the bottom arm though - hopefully it's well protected from harm!



Also what's up with the step down gear in the actual wheel hub ? Is that a common thing in off road vehicles, if not, what's the reason for it ? Reducing torque on the half shafts ?

Edit: OK I've just twigged to how it is set up. The thing that looks like a shock absorber is indeed the hydraulic ram, and mounted on the side of it is the "sphere" which will have an internal oil-way to connect it to the ram. Near the top of the ram where it doesn't move much on the cad drawing you can see a connector which will be for the hydraulic supply.

However I have a couple of reservations about the design - one is the extended part of the hydraulic ram shaft seems to be fully exposed in the wheel arch with no concertina. Surely vulnerable to rust, and being scratched by debris ?

The other is, why have the sphere sitting in the wheel arch bobbing up and down with the suspension, or for that matter why have a ram that is articulated at both ends and thus needs a flexible hydraulic hose instead of one where one end is stationary so no flexible supply is needed ? (Like a Xantia) I'm sure they have their reasons and that it will work well enough but it does seem a bit odd.

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Mandrake
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Re: Electric cars/vans/bikes-Conversions/Secondhand..etc

Post by Mandrake »

Little bit better view of the hydraulic part of the suspension here:



Sitting on a desk those spheres are actually a lot larger than they appear on the car! :lol:

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Re: Electric cars/vans/bikes-Conversions/Secondhand..etc

Post by bobins »

Mandrake wrote:
04 Feb 2018, 09:05


Also what's up with the step down gear in the actual wheel hub ? Is that a common thing in off road vehicles, if not, what's the reason for it ? Reducing torque on the half shafts ?



Partly due to reducing the torque, partly due to (a theoretical) increase in ground clearance, but probably so they could lessen the extreme angles the driveshafts / CV joints have to operate through at maximum suspension travel. A pay-off of having portal axles was probably the need for inboard discs for the braking. The portals would lead to greater unsprung weight so the discs were probably engineered to be inboard to counter this.
Portal axles are common in serious and/or commercial offroad vehicles - the old Unimog I used to drive had them.... ground clearance was never a problem with that :-D

As for the B1 itself - I thought one of the main reasons Land Rover dropped the Defender line was because they couldn't make it pedestrian (crash) friendly. The B1 seems to be remarkably similar in outline to the Defender... so I wonder how Bollinger will manage to make it pedestrian friendly ????

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Re: Electric cars/vans/bikes-Conversions/Secondhand..etc

Post by white exec »

For a small engineering company, that's quite an achievement. Looks like some serious engineering and construction, inevitably with lots of straight parts and flat panels. Some massive castings in there. And a grease nipple on the steering track rod end!

Don't like the look of a (presumably heavy) sphere bracket-attached to a rapidly moving suspension strut; recipe for metal fatigue. Agree about the exposed piston rod, too.

Can't see the top half of it getting through a crash/roll-over test; roof and pillars look extremely fragile. Agree with comments about parallels with Defender.

Production costs will be high. Expect that a mass-production version (body pressings, curves, rethinking of weighty components...) will follow.

Really good to see thinking outside the box (no pun intended). Decidedly attention-grabbing for those into EVs.

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Re: Electric cars/vans/bikes-Conversions/Secondhand..etc

Post by Mandrake »

Came across a video from their initial launch that has a lot of details in it and gives a better look:



A few facts I picked up from the video: (and a couple from other videos)

The entire chassis and all body panels are aluminium. The A pillar and roll over cage is steel. Can be converted between a full cab and half cab by rearranging the roll cage members.

3,900 lb curb weight, rated for a gross weight of 10,000 lb, so able to carry a payload of 6,100 lb. They say that that it can also tow 6,100 lb with no payload or that combined payload and towed weight can be 6,100 lb.

Now we start to see why they used Hydro-pneumatic suspension with a 2.5 to 1 weight ratio between unladen and fully loaded! The suspension uses double A arms (front and rear I think) and the ground clearance can be adjusted between 10" and 20" by adjusting the ride height.

The portal drive in the hub has a 2 to 1 step down ratio. Locking differentials front and rear.

Unlike most EV's with a single gear ratio it has a helical dual ratio gearbox, a normal road going high ratio with a top speed of 127mph and an ultra low ratio with a top speed of 30mph for rock climbing.

Motors and drive inverter liquid cooled. 470 lb ft torque, 360 hp, 0-60mph in 4.5 seconds in the high ratio.

Can fit 4' x 8' sheets in the back with the rear seats folded to the sides. Front trunk storage with a "ski flap" through to the passenger compartment allows 12 foot long poles to be carried between front and rear down the middle between passengers.
white exec wrote:
04 Feb 2018, 11:43
For a small engineering company, that's quite an achievement. Looks like some serious engineering and construction, inevitably with lots of straight parts and flat panels. Some massive castings in there. And a grease nipple on the steering track rod end!
There's only about 6 people involved in the project so I agree that it's quite an achievement to basically design and build the whole thing from the ground up in house. It sounds like the manufacture of production models is going to be outsourced to a commercial engineering company though.
Don't like the look of a (presumably heavy) sphere bracket-attached to a rapidly moving suspension strut; recipe for metal fatigue. Agree about the exposed piston rod, too.
Yeah, there is no reason why they couldn't mount the sphere stationary on the chassis somewhere, although maybe there just wasn't room to. And leaving the piston rod exposed seems odd, unless that portion of the shaft does not actually pass through a support bush.
Can't see the top half of it getting through a crash/roll-over test; roof and pillars look extremely fragile. Agree with comments about parallels with Defender.
Regarding the roll cage - it does have a very sizeable steel roll cage, which is considerably more solid than the roll cage you'd see in a typical saloon racing car - and remember that safety standards in the US are very high so there is no way they could sell it in the US if it wasn't safe in a roll over.

Regarding pedestrian safety - that might or might not be an issue, remember in the US it is competing with all kinds of large "trucks" which are also very high off the ground, often have bull bars and vertical fronts and are anything but pedestrian safe! :lol:

Another thing to consider if comparing to a Defender, is that the body panels including the bonnet are aluminium instead of steel, and there is no engine in the front for the bonnet to wrap around on pedestrian impact. So if they deliberately make the bonnet and front hatch a crumple zone with empty space behind it, it may not be as bad as you'd think in a pedestrian impact vs a car with a steel bonnet and heavy engine right behind the bonnet.
Production costs will be high. Expect that a mass-production version (body pressings, curves, rethinking of weighty components...) will follow.

Really good to see thinking outside the box (no pun intended). Decidedly attention-grabbing for those into EVs.

Yeah I like that someone has thought outside the box on the design, it's not for me but I can see a lot of thought went into the utility of the vehicle and it seems extremely practical if an offroader or 4x4 truck is what you need.

It also tickles me that it has a form of Hydro-pneumatic suspension, as that ticks two boxes for me:

* Since Citroen abandoned Hydro-pneumatic with the demise of the C5 I thought we'd never see a BEV with Hydro-pneumatic suspension made - well now we will, although it won't be a car and it won't be from Citroen! :lol:

* I've always been disappointed that the system was never adopted for any large off road vehicles or trucks, where it seems like it would have a massive advantage. So now we have a 3,900 lb off road vehicle that can carry an extra 6,100 lb payload - what could be more perfect than Hydro-pneumatic for that ? Bravo. :-D
Last edited by Mandrake on 05 Feb 2018, 10:01, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Electric cars/vans/bikes-Conversions/Secondhand..etc

Post by myglaren »

Mandrake wrote:
04 Feb 2018, 21:49
* I've always been disappointed that the system was never adopted for any large off road vehicles or trucks, where it seems like it would have a massive advantage. So now we have a 3,900 lb off road vehicle that can carry an extra 6,100 lb payload - what could be more perfect than Hydro-pneumatic for that ? Bravo. :-D


It has - I used to work for an advertising agency that did the adverts for DJB articulating dump trucks *and they were fitted with hydro-pneumatic suspension that I imagine was licensed from Citroen.
Also fitted with Caterpillar engines. Caterpillar moved to the DJB factory and Komatsu moved into the Caterpillar factory - I work in the factory adjacent to it :)

Some JCB earth movers/diggers also have the same system and IIRC one can buy some spares and LHM from JCB.
There is also, or perhaps was, a Russian tank with hydro-pneumatic suspension that is quite impressive.


*I printed all those photo's :)

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Re: Electric cars/vans/bikes-Conversions/Secondhand..etc

Post by Mandrake »

Here's something interesting that I wasn't expecting:

https://www.autocar.co.uk/car-news/new- ... nt-network

The National grid stepping in and setting up their own EV charging network ?

Is there any conflict of interest here if they also have to supply power to independent charging networks ?

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Re: Electric cars/vans/bikes-Conversions/Secondhand..etc

Post by CitroJim »

Mandrake wrote:
20 Feb 2018, 16:12
Is there any conflict of interest here if they also have to supply power to independent charging networks ?


I was going to say that it's no different in principle to the major oil refiners (BP say) running petrol stations but on further thoughts it is as the National Grid hold a monopoly over the distribution network so yes as there's no alternative to using their wires to ultimately supply the charging points...

Something that does not apply to petroleum distribution to the same extent although the tanker drivers are almost a monopoly as has been ably demonstrated in the past..

350Kw? That's one heck of a charger :o Is that right or is that a typo? Or hyperbole...

Seems an awful lot of power to be let loose on the unwashed public handling the charging leads/connectors/infrastructure...

Lots of scope for a big disaster I'd think...

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Re: Electric cars/vans/bikes-Conversions/Secondhand..etc

Post by white exec »

Bit like British Gas/Centrica/NationalGridGas/ or whatever 'cloaking' company name is currently in use. "Nothing to do with us, Guv'...".

Looking on the bright side, there's a chance UK might actually get a network of charging points, centrally planned. Maybe.

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Re: Electric cars/vans/bikes-Conversions/Secondhand..etc

Post by Mandrake »

CitroJim wrote:
20 Feb 2018, 17:31
350Kw? That's one heck of a charger :o Is that right or is that a typo? Or hyperbole...

Not a typo. :-D

350kW has been adopted as part of CCS - the EU's DC rapid fast charging spec, however to reach those high power levels without ridiculously high current through the cable it is done at 800 volts, 440 amps. At higher current lower voltage the cable would just get too thick and heavy and have too much dissipation. Even so, at 440 amps I think it requires active liquid cooling of the cable!

There are no cars currently on the road that can support 350kW charging, as none are using battery voltages above 400 volts, although Porsche have an EV sports car in the works due in a few years that supposedly will support 350kW CCS charging and have an 800v traction battery.

The other two speeds for CCS are 50kW and 150kW. All CCS chargers in operation today support at least 50kW and a few have been rolled out already that support 150kW with more due over the next year. Funnily enough there are also no cars on the road that can charge at 150kW yet!

The nearest is the Hyundai Ioniq which can charge at 80kW. When the Tesla Model 3 comes to the EU it will probably have a CCS connector and as it can charge up to about 120kW on a Tesla Supercharger its very likely that it will be able to charge at 120kW on a 150kW CCS charger as well.

Even at 150kW you are operating at 400v at 375 amps... :shock:

The power levels involved for the new rapid charger standards are quite incredible, especially when you consider my little Ion charges at 3.6kW from the house and "only" about 25kW from a rapid charger. Beside 350kW or even 150kW that doesn't seem so rapid. :lol:

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Re: Electric cars/vans/bikes-Conversions/Secondhand..etc

Post by CitroJim »

That's amazing Simon! I still find it rather concerning that anyone can handle leads that can potentially carry 800V at 440A...

Especially when to legally handle a relatively tame 240V in a domestic situation requires a whole raft of professional qualifications..

Charging at those rates just don't sit comfortably with me at all and I speak from long experience of working well in excess of those voltages and currents in my past professional life...

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Re: Electric cars/vans/bikes-Conversions/Secondhand..etc

Post by RichardW »

Didn't we reckon that the Tesla Mega charger for their proposed super truck was going to be just that - i.e. in the region of 1MW!! You will need a good connection twixt the cable and the vehicle to stop it all going up in smoke! On site here we are not even allowed to go into the substations without an appropriate ticket (ranging from 254V single phase to 33kV 3 phase - biggest drive we've got is on 11kV I think at about 6MW - needs a phone call to the grid before they try and start that :lol: )

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Re: Electric cars/vans/bikes-Conversions/Secondhand..etc

Post by Hell Razor5543 »

If I were to design a charging system that could handle that load I would build in serious monitoring equipment. It would watch the temperature at the connectors, and would also compare the current level supplied against that being received (at the very minimum). If these went out of tolerance levels that system would fail safe shut down.