The Chevrolet Volt is one of the top contenders in mass-market electric vehicles. Now you can get a look at the components that make up the electrical system with this Chevy Volt teardown article.
The adventure starts with a look at the 288 cell battery. It forms a T shape and takes up the space that forms the hump down the center of the interior of a vehicle. Theses have a liquid cooling system build into the enclosure to make sure things don’t get too hot during use or charging. The sights are then set on the control and monitoring hardware, and there’s a lot of it. In fact, the image above is an overview of the eighteen modules that pull the new plug-in EV technology together. If you’re brave enough to void the warranty on one of these, this should be a helpful road map to get you started.
Has anyone seen a teardown of the home charging station for one of these?
[Soren Coughlin-Glaser] runs a mobile photobooth in the Portland area. It’s built inside of an electric Volkswagen bus. The conversion to electric hasn’t been easy though. He’s spent most of the last few months rebuilding it after an electrical fire. Last fall he installed a 9 inch electric motor from Hi-Torque Electric after his smaller one blew up. We really like this project and look forward to seeing it back on the road… once he replaces his stripped transmission coupler.
Thanks to a Danish Engineer, you can turn pretty much any car into a hybrid. The addition is made in the form of a bolt on motor. As you can see in the picture, there is a motor that attaches to the rear wheels adding an additional 7 Hp. The batteries are stored in the trunk. Kits start at $3,500 and go up to $4,500 depending on battery selection. At least, that’s what they will be when they finally go on sale.
DPX Systems seems to deal exclusively in devices powered by handheld drills. In addition to the mini bike in the video above, they’ve made systems for wheelchairs, toolboxes, and hoists. The device costs $630, but we know most of you just need prompting that something is possible to be well on your way to building your own version. We’re still more fond of weed whacker machines.
With fuel prices rising, EVs are becoming more an more stylish. This bit of floor tile wrapped hardware is actually a 12 channel battery management system designed to handle Lithium Iron battery packs. It’s designed to take power from a standard lead acid charger and supply the batteries with their maximum charge current. The cost and complexity of the BMS has been a major stumbling block in the past, so it’s interesting to see these come around. If you need more than 12 cells, multiple boards can be used.
[Ben Nelson] didn’t even know how to ride a motorcycle when he started on this electric conversion of a 1981 Kawasaki KZ440. The engine wasn’t a loss since the bike was nonrunning when he purchased it for $100. The permanent magnet Etek motor was $500 and each of the four yellow top batteries were $160 (only three pictured). He says that the majority of the conversion work only took two weekends. The resulting, still street legal, ride averages 20 miles per charge with a 45mph top speed.
If you liked our post about bikes and skates with weed whacker engines but want more power and more challenge, we have good news. We’ve found some great instructions on adding motors to recumbent bicycles, which we’ll take you through after the break.