Sunday, June 1, 2014
Saturday, May 10, 2014
Electricfly - is not (in some circles) an OLD Electric Vehicle, but - in this instance - it is (My) Old Electric Vehicle, as I am looking at two choices for it: Fix it - or Part out the EV Components and Save what I want to keep, and scrap the rest of the car!
The Challenge with Fixing it - is some of the already missing Rusted metal leads right up to the Right Front Suspension corners! Also - no matter how much I put into the car - it remains - underneath it all - a High School EV Conversion of a 1989 Pontiac Firefly (Geo Metro/Sprint/ Suzuki Forsa, etc.), and unless I create a whole new vehicle based on it - it will pretty much now always be a dying vehicle!
While the Actual Drive Train is still Strong, the car body is going to cost more and more to maintain or keep alive!
When it comes to Parting-Out the primary Electric Vehicle Components of my Electricfly - it has been suggested I put the items up for sale on the EV Trading Post, which I most likely will, but the offer will also go up here, possible first, if not at the same time! Watch for postings of GE Motor + Firefly Transmission - mated and ready to use!
Want to see what are some Really Old Electric Vehicles? Here is a timeline of Electric Vehicles that have been produced for sale: Electric Vehicles 19th Century to Today.
Also - the world of Electric Vehicles has changed a lot since I bought 'Electricfly' and delivered it home on October 12, 2006, and at that time - an EV Conversion was the only thing available, and even then - there were limited EV Conversion Manuals to guide you!
This Blog was started to follow the progress of My Electricfly - to report things done to it, and how they succeeded in making it better - or not! This Blog was not started at the time I got the car - but some time later on May 27, 2008! It has covered Battery Changes, new Instrumentation, Custom built Battery Charger packages I did myself, New Battery Management Systems, and more!
Currently found on EV Album, there are listings for 4,168 Vehicles: Some are OEM Factory Built, (a small few), but most are Electric Vehicle Conversions, Mods, or Custom Built variations. Some are two wheels, some are three wheels, but most are four wheel vehicles. Some go slow and some go fast! Some (a good number of vehicles built before the last few years) are powered by Lead Acid Batteries, but recently battery choices have increased - to offer NiMH (Nickel Metal Hydride), Lithium Ion, and Lithium Manganese Phosphate and Lithium Iron Phosphate, and Flooded Nickel Cadmium Choices - each with their own set of favorite benefits - Energy Storage, Cold Weather Operation, Weight, etc.
A Lot has changed since 2006, and now we have a growing number of choices of ready to drive, factory built, high quality Electric Vehicles, with a variety of body styles and performance capabilities, all available - either for driving off the lot, or for order!
Depending on where you live - there are a growing number of electric vehicles available for purchase - and listed on sites like These (Some of which are also listing both Regular Hybrids, and Plug-in Hybrids): Hybrid Cars, CAA, Wikipedia, Green Car Reports, etc.
Since 2006 - I have also began to be involved in creating Events - Electric Vehicle Shows:
EV Show & Shine BBQ in April 2010, EV Fest Electric Vehicle Show which began in October 2010 and continues today to EV Fest 2014 - our 5th Anniversary, and also Electric Avenue 2013 - an event done in conjunction with Formula North 2013!
EV Fest 2014 is Coming! Don't Miss out!
Sign up today for EV Fest News Updates!
Also - you can Follow EV Fest on Twitter, or on Facebook!
If you live in Ontario, Canada - at present they have the strongest and best Electric Vehicle Rebates offered in Canada, and also offer Rebates on the now common Level 2 Electric Vehicle Charging Stations for Home use, if you have bought a New Electric Vehicle (or Plug-In Hybrid) (and got the Rebate).
Friday, October 25, 2013
Tesla Model S: The electric car that goes the distance, for a price - CTV News http://bit.ly/16BoOQ7
“@bill allen If you are aware of the Panasonic test data. The batteries will have still have 70% capacity after 2600 charge cycles. If you manage to drive it for 650,000 miles and find that 70% capacity is unacceptable, that may be an issue. Then again how many engine rebuilds will you go through during that time. Most cars last for less than 200,000 miles so the question you pose about the batteries is moot. For arguments sake, you did not need any engine/transmission repairs on your regular car, you would have spent roughly $75,000 in fuel. Even if battery prices stayed the same (they are dropping) and you didn't purchase the battery plan ($12,000), you would still make out ahead with the Tesla Model S battery ($40,000). Then again, for an average person, you would be retired by the time you reach that type of mileage so you would not need to replace the battery.”
Monday, September 2, 2013
Well, My Electricfly might not be winning the war on rust at the moment - but EV Fest 2013 is on and coming to a new Venue! On September 22nd, 2013 - We will see EV Fest 2013 happening at 630 The East Mall in Etobicoke (Toronto), Ontario - the Home of BAKA Mobile and their 20 kW Solar Canopy/ Solar Carport with Eight (8) EV chargers - the most at one place in the City of Toronto, Ontario - to My knowledge.
Exhibitor Commitments are coming on board, as well as Paid Sponsors! In fact - our first Paid Sponsor this year - Ontario Kit Car Consultants - is at a step up from our biggest EV Fest 2013 Sponsor!
Full Details at http://blog.evfest.ca/ and at the website - http://www.evfest.ca/.
While it is not likely that Electricfly will make it to the show this year - it is not yet totally out of the question (Just not as much of my focus, as it might need to happen)!
While it might not make it - we hope to see you there - enjoying the many EV Exhibits from OEM EV's like the Tesla and Mitsubishi, to Personal EV Conversions like the Porsche 944 and Dodge Dart! We expect others - and we will see who they are shortly!
Saturday, August 31, 2013
When working on My Electricfly - I was struggling with a Seized Bolt and a Fender that had gotten Brazed to the Rocker Panel - and so I attempted to mam-handle it off - the old fashioned way: Cut it off, with a plan to re-attach it with a braze or well later, after cleaning up the Rust issues!
Unfortunately - in the process - I caused a large piece of (very rusty) metal to fall out of the under-body! Upon Closer examination - using a large mirror under the car and a light - I could see that the car's body was under attack by a large area of rust - body cancer - in my baby!
As such - since it is a 1989 Pontiac Firefly at its roots, being 24 years old, with questionable rust prevention both before my acquisition, and since, it is suffering with a major level of under-body rust.
While I have been working on ideas and research to integrate a new-technology battery chemistry - Lithium Iron Phosphate (LiFePO4) pack into the car - considering both Prismatic styles and Cylindrical styles, and coming to the plan to use Cylindrical Headway Cells in the original Gas Tank space for a 7.5 kWh Battery Pack, the car has been silently dying in front of me!
As a number of components on the vehicle have been added or upgraded by me - it is hard to just write it off. Installing Individual Battery Chargers was my first attempt at better battery management. This included using standard 12V Chargers - one for each Battery. I had a custom built case installed in the front of the car, with 4 such chargers inserted into the one case. Three of the chargers were for the front three traction batteries, and one was for the normally located accessories battery.
I also added, after discovering that even charging each battery individually was not enough to keep them drifting wildly apart on discharge, a battery charge balancing system, and also - a Individual Battery Monitoring System - which was able to allow me to see which batteries were going low first, and adjust my driving accordingly and sooner - saving extreme discharge from the Batteries.
A Newly machined and custom throttle connect was also created and integrated, so as to properly deliver a straight movement from the solid cased and sealed Throttle Pot to the Rotating throttle Pedal arm.
It also has an interesting and storied past, as well as ties to the development of some interesting transitional businesses in the world of Electric Vehicles. The original High School students that built it - have had further experience in the EV World, and after furthering their careers post High School, two of the students went on to create Hymotion - the Prius PHEV Conversion Company that used the original A123systems 26650 Cells in their Enhanced drive system. This was ultimately bought out by their Battery Supplier, and has since been closed down.
It was from reaching out and connecting with them, that I discovered more about this vehicle - since I was sent a pdf file with information about many of the original components - the motor, the controller, and the throttle pot.
Of course - the Car was acquired at a time when there were no OEM Electric Vehicles to choose from, and a lot was learned with it as I used it and developed better battery management control.
OF course - it forced me to do a lot of research on Batteries, and to learn about the differences between Battery Labeling, Specifications, and Reality in an Electric Vehicle when it came to Lead Acid Batteries.
Time changes many things, and one thing in particular - is that OEM Electric Vehicles (EV's) are now coming from Mitsubishi (iMiEV), Mercedes Smart (Smart ED), of course - the Nissan LEAF, The Ford Focus EV, and the Coming Chevy Spark EV. Also available new since I bought this car - are (if I could afford them) were the Tesla Roadster, and now the Tesla Model S - reported as the Best Vehicle ever - not just the best Electric Car!
Other Categories have been developed and delivered - the Chevy Volt Extended Range Electric Vehicle (a Variation of a Plug-in Hybrid, or PHEV), and others like the Toyota Prius PHV and the Ford Fusion Energi and the new Ford CMAX Energi, as well.
These are all new choices to pick from, that didn't exist in October of 2006 when I bought the Electric Firefly and began to brand it as My Electricfly!
Along this time - my own Internal Combustion Engine Vehicle collection has changed a few times - from a 2005 Chevy Optra Wagon bought in August 2005, rated at 10.9 L/100 km City, and 7.4 L/100 Km Highway, to a Leased 2008 Dodge Dakota SXT, rated at 14.4 L/100 KM City and 9.8 L/100 Km Highway (Traded the Optra, in January 2008), to buying a new 2010 KIA Soul, Rated L/100 km: 8.5 city, 6.6 hwy in July 2010. The Dodge Dakota was returned in December 2010 at an early end of lease completion. It had been used to tow my Electricfly to Ottawa EV Shows, Newmarket EV Shows, and Toronto EV Shows.
I have also bought a used 2004 Prius to experiment with the aftermarket Plug In Battery Options that exist. the Prius was used this year for a trip to Wisconsin, to attend Oshkosh AirVenture and on that trip got me a typical best average of just 4.5 Litres per 100 Kms. With such a good base of fuel burn - better than my KIA Soul by quite a bit, it has come down to thinking over the car equation: Keep the Prius and Buy an EV from an OEM, Sell (or Trade) the KIA Soul, and as for my Electricfly - the choices are a bit grim:
- Sell the Electricfly as is and hope for the best sale price,
- Take out the Good Stuff -Like the Custom Embroidered Seats, and sell it without seats,
- Take Everything out that is EV Related, and Scrap the Car,
- Sell Components (Motor , Controller, and Throttle Pot; Battery Equalizers; Tires/Wheels, etc.)
- Patch it up, clean up the surface rust and finish the progressing white paint job, and donate it to a museum (Oshawa?) for the History in it,
- Or - Trade? it in (with the KIA) at a Dealer - for a new Electric Vehicle!
With that said, I would like to hear some of your thoughts!
Of course - along the way - I have gotten involved in organizing Electric Vehicle Shows - helping with the first in 2010, the EV Show & Shine BBQ, with the Electric Vehicle Society and Scarborough Toyota, and then the first EV Fest - as EV Fest 2010 at Toyota On The Park, and continuing to develop EV Fest with EV Fest 2011 and EV Fest 2012 shows at the Evergreen Brick Works, and EV Fest 2013 coming to BAKA Mobile at 630 The East Mall. All of this has put me in touch with a variety of Electric Vehicles, their owners, and a few additional opportunities to experience them.
It was this experience that first lead me to buying the used Prius - with an eye to getting used to it - and then adding the Plug-in Hybrid upgrade from (as planned) the Enginer.us product line.
Between doing that - and outright buying a new EV is where I am working the thoughts at present, and trying to determine the best mix of having a Two-Car Collection - with a Hybrid and an EV, or to just have one car - and add the Plug-in pack to the Prius!