Editorial Reviews. About the Author. Seth Leitman is currently President and Managing Page Flip: Enabled; Similar books to Build Your Own Electric Vehicle, Third Edition; Due to its large file size, this book may take longer to download. Build Your Own Electric Vehicle, Third Edition [Seth Leitman, Bob Brant] on The book appeared a great asset of information about EVs either new built or. Build Your Own Electric Vehicle, Third Edition by Seth Leitman, , available at Book Depository with free delivery worldwide.
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Thoroughly revised and expanded, Build Your Own Electric Vehicle, Third Edition , is your go-to guide for converting an internal combustion engine vehicle to. Green Living Guy with the book Build Your Own Electric Vehicle. Go Green-Go Electric! Faster, Cheaper, More Reliable While Saving Energy. download Build Your Own Electric Vehicle, Third Edition 3 by Seth Leitman (ISBN: ) from site's Book Store. Everyday low prices and free delivery.
When you drive an electric vehicle, that is how you feel—free. It also provides electric vehicle consulting services for companies needing marketing, engineering and technical expertise on their respective product lines. In addition, I also run a blog called www. I used to own a company called Electric Transportation Solutions, LLC, which sold all forms of electric vehicles, consulted for other companies on improving their perception in the market, and helped them determine strategic partnerships.
These books should be coming out in In fact, when I worked for the New York Power Authority, which powers those subways, I gained a new appreciation for electric transportation every time I took the train into and around New York City. My interest in renewable energy and energy efficiency, however, began in graduate school at the Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy in Albany, New York, where I received a master of public administration degree.
I concentrated on comparative international development, which focused on the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. After I read about the World Bank funding inefficient and environmentally destructive energy projects, such as coal-burning power plants in China or dams in Brazil that had the potential to destroy the site, I decided to take my understanding to another level.
I was fortunate enough to be able to ask direct questions to project managers who oversaw billions that went to China to build coal-burning power plants. I asked them how the Bank could fund an environmentally destructive energy project when there were no traps or technologies to recapture the emissions and use that energy or recapture it back into the plant to use as energy.
The answers were not good, but since I researched the Bank, attention to environmental issues has expanded by leaps and bounds and the Bank is starting to work toward economic and environmental efficiencies. When I funded programs and realized the benefits of electric cars or hybrid electric buses versus their counterparts, I was transformed.
I saw that electric transportation was the way to go. I fell so in love with electric transportation that I went to work for the New York Power Authority electric transportation group. In total, I helped to bring over 3, alternative-fueled vehicles and buses into New York. I worked on the development, marketing, and management of electric and hybrid vehicle programs serving the New York metropolitan area.
I developed programs that expanded the NYPA fleet from to over vehicles, while enhancing public awareness of these programs. I developed an incentive program that offered commuters up-front parking at the train stations with electric charging stations. We provided insurance rebates and reduced train fares. To date, this was the largest electric vehicle station car program in the world. Figures 1, 2, and 3 show station parking and chargers for cars leased in Chappaqua, New York.
This was one of the most successful train stations excluding Huntington and Hicksville in Long Island, New York for the program. Figure 1 is a great overhead shot of the cars lined up in the areas we set up right next to the train station for prime parking incentives. Figure 3 shows how close it was to the train station since you can see the platform and station name on the platform behind the row of TH! NK City EVs. It was a great program.
On a related note, TH! NK is reemerging into the international automotive marketplace and is starting to open offices in the United States. The TH! NK is coming back! Figure 1 An electric car dream.
Photo cour tesy of T own of Ne w Castle.
Photo courtesy of T own of Ne w Castle. NK Neighbor low-speed vehicles for their respective donation programs to meet zero emission vehicle credits for New York State. Figure 3 Look how close the electric car s are to the train station platfor m. Talk about incentive! I also wanted to tell people why they should convert their car. My intention was never to make a final statement, only to whet your appetite for electric vehicle possibilities.
I hope you have as much fun reading about the issues, sources, parts, and building process as I have had. Another timely point to add concerns the price of oil and its relation to the entire book.
They have watched my involvement in electric cars expand over the years and, with global warming and green becoming the new black, they really appreciate what I am doing. More importantly, I am in this movement so that my children can have a better earth to live in, since climate change and global warming is a reality. There are also so many people to thank. He has seen my involvement expand over the years and has even helped out with this book with a simple phone call.
He is a great friend and colleague. Not for personal glory, but for the electric car movement. This organization represents all the clubs across the country that promote electric cars and they need all of our support. There are some great, honorable people involved in these clubs with a love and desire to do the right thing: to make sure electric cars flourish. To me, that deserves our appreciation and thanks. When I asked her for her assistance, she was more than willing.
More than that, there was no ego or posturing. I say this because she came to help out on the book with a smile, decency, and greatness. Chelsea founded Plug-In America, which is working to make sure plug-in hybrid electric cars become a reality.
What I like is that the organization does their work in a bipartisan manner and they do it for all the right reasons. Even Felix Kramer from Plug-In America once told me that he always tells people that the best type of car is an electric car. They deserve to receive kudos too. I also want to thank Carl Vogel and Steve Clunn. Carl Vogel started Vogelbilt Corporation.
He developed an electric motorcycle with the assistance of the original version of this book. He has added his comments on the chapters in this book and has always been a great friend to me. Steve Clunn assisted with the book and is an electric vehicle conversion specialist. I have always supported him and believed he was doing great things.
Now, he has so many cars to convert he has a waiting list. That is so great for him and a great sign for the conversion industry. Credit must also be extended to the many other electric vehicle enthusiasts who made this book possible, such as Lee Hart, one of the experts of the electric vehicle industry. I also want to thank, Lynne Mason from electric-cars-are-for-girls. Some of the pictures we approved by the original sources of the image, but I got the idea to get that image of add a company from her website.
He was one of the clean commuters in Chappaqua and this past year, Chris and I connected again. He said he wished the program was back. I just hope this book helps create more programs and electric vehicles are used more regularly.
I also want to thank Bob Brant for writing this masterpiece, as well as his wife, Bonnie Brant. She is such a sweet loving person who believed in me. I have always believed that people come into your life for a reason.
Her reason was to bless me with the opportunity to update this book and give this industry the jolt it needs. She believed in my willingness to change the book for mass appeal while keeping the technical approach that Bob Brant used and everyone appreciates. I also need to thank the best copywriter and editor that I could have ever been blessed with, Patty Wallenburg. She has been so supportive of the book and also so great with her entire team of copy editors and proofreaders. Their job is to make the book great and she really did that!
At the time when Judy approached me to do this book, Art Buchwald, a great political syndicate columnist for the Washington Post and a relative of mine, had passed away. He was a great inspiration to me.
In addition, he wrote a letter of reference for me that helped me to get an internship between my undergraduate and graduate school years for Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan, former U. Senator for New York. When Judy Bass asked me to rewrite this book, I told her I was grateful because I could now work to continue the Buchwald tradition.
I dedicate this book to my beautiful wife, Jessica, and my beautiful sons, Tyler and Cameron. While sometimes things have been difficult for a person starting a company after the realities of living the Northeast version of the movie Who Killed the Electric Car?
My sons Tyler and Cameron are two great boys who only inspire me with their happiness, love, and intellect. As I see them grow up in the world we live in today, I am glad that this book can help to do its part for their future.
Simply put, they are the cleanest, most efficient, and most cost-effective form of transportation around—and they are really fun to drive.
When I worked for the State of New York, we always used to say that electric cars were almost maintenancefree: they never require oil changes, new spark plugs, or any other regular repairs. Are they all electric vehicles? Do they run on rails or in shafts or on tethers or with nonrechargeable batteries?
EVs were designed to do whatever was wanted in the past and can be designed and refined to do whatever is needed in the future.
What do you need an EV to be: big, small, powerful, fast, ultra-efficient? Design to meet that need. Closer to home and the subject of this book, do you want an EV car, pickup, or van? You decide. As car companies continue producing sport utility vehicles SUVs that cannot meet federal fuel standards or reduce emissions that are harmful to our environment, think about some of the statistics and facts from the U.
This level of dependence on imports 55 percent is the highest in our history. The USDOE even goes on to say that this dependence on foreign oil will increase as we use up domestic resources. Transportation vehicles produce 25 to 75 percent of key chemicals that pollute the air, causing smog and health problems. All new cars must meet federal emissions standards. But as vehicles get older, the amount of pollution they produce increases. In addition, only about 15 percent of the energy in the fuel you put in your gas tank gets used to move your car down the road or run useful accessories like air conditioning or power steering.
The rest of the energy is lost. Clearly the potential to improve fuel economy with advanced technologies is enormous. What can we do? Drive electric cars. Here are some reasons why. Although they are only at a relatively embryonic stage in terms of market penetration, electric cars represent the most environmentally friendly vehicle fuel, as they have absolutely no emissions www.
The energy generated to power the EV and the energy to move the vehicle is 97 percent cleaner in terms of noxious pollutants. Another advantage of electric motors is their ability to provide power at almost any engine speed.
Whereas only about 20 percent of the chemical energy in gasoline gets converted into useful work at the wheels of an internal combustion vehicle, 75 percent or more of the energy from a battery reaches its wheels. One of the big arguments made by car companies against electric cars is that EVs are powered by power plants, which are powered primarily by coal.
Less than 2 percent of U. The power plants are stationary sources that can be modified over time to become cleaner.
The major concerns facing the electric vehicle industry are range, top speed, and cost. They have to look great almost be an extension of the person downloading the car , and they have to be safe. Conversions use currently approved frames and have been going on for years with gas cars using performance-based engines and motors.
Porsche chassis, electric cars can provide respectable performance. They are fun to drive, virtually silent, and they coast very easily when you let off the accelerator pedal www. In other words, you can convert an old Porsche to go over mph with a mile range using lead-acid batteries alone! With lithium ion technology you can get the car to go — miles and the cost is still less than some brand new SUVs on the market.
Whether it happens in my lifetime is not the question. My point is that you can get an electric vehicle today. You can also take any vehicle you want and convert it to an electric vehicle. We can also encourage the fix-it guy down the street to help us with our conversion so that more mechanics across the country are building electric cars.
Electric vehicles are not difficult to build and they are easy to convert. Once again: How about the fact that you can convert an electric vehicle today? Right now! And it would cost you less than some new cars on the market. There are so many television shows showing people tricking out their cars, adding better engines, or doing just about anything to make it go fast and be safe. Conversions of an electric vehicle do all that and more.
They allow the next generation to have a safer world without relying on foreign sources of oil while giving our kids really clean and cool cars to drive. Figure A converted electric F ord Ranger. Also, the maintenance costs are negligible compared to the oil changes, radiator repairs, and all the other additional maintenance costs of an internal combustion engine version.
The difference between the two is a study in contrasts. The internal combustion engine is a device that inherently tries to destroy itself: numerous explosions drive its pistons up and down to turn a shaft. These explosions in turn require a massive vessel to contain them—typically a cast-iron cylinder block. This complexity means more things can go wrong more frequent repairs and higher repair costs.
Figure summarizes the internal combustion engine vehicle systems. The internal combustion engine is a variant of the generic combustion process. To light a match, you use oxygen O2 from the air to burn a carbonbased fuel wood or cardboard matchstick , generate carbon dioxide CO2 , emit toxic waste gases you can see the smoke and perhaps smell the sulfur , and leave a solid waste burnt matchstick.
The volume of air around you is far greater than that consumed by the match; air currents soon dissipate the smoke and smell, and you toss the matchstick. However, we still have a carbon-based combustion process that creates heat and pollution.
Everything about the internal combustion engine is toxic, and is still one of the least-efficient mechanical devices on the planet. Unlike lighting a single match, the use of hundreds of millions soon to be billions of internal combustion engine vehicles threatens to destroy all life on our earth.
While an internal combustion engine has hundreds of moving parts, an electric motor only has one. Figure Electric vehicle systems. A simple diagram of an electric vehicle looks like a simple diagram of a portable electric shaver: a battery, a motor, and a controller or switch that adjusts the flow of electricity to the motor to control its speed.
Nothing comes out of your electric shaver and nothing comes out of your electric car. EVs are simple therefore highly reliable , have lifetimes measured in millions of miles, need no periodic maintenance filters, etc. They are highly flexible as well, using electric energy readily available anywhere as input fuel.
In addition to all these benefits, if you download, build, or convert your electric vehicle from an internal combustion engine vehicle chassis as suggested in this book, you perform a double service for the environment: You remove one polluting car from the road and add one nonpolluting electric vehicle to service.
An electric vehicle consists of a battery that provides energy, an electric motor that drives the wheels, and a controller that regulates the energy flow to the motor. Electric Motors Electric motors can be found in so many sizes and places, and have so many varied uses, that we tend to take them for granted.
Universal in application, they can be as big as a house or smaller than your fingernail, and can be powered by any source of electricity.
Back at home in the evening, you might use an electric garage door opener, program your TiVO, or use an electric power tool on a project. On and on, you get the picture.
Why are electric motors ubiquitous?
In one word—convenience. This is because of its simplicity. Regardless of type, all electric motors have only two basic components: a rotor the moving part and a stator the stationary part. If you design, manufacture, and use an electric motor correctly, it is virtually impervious to failure and indestructible in use. Batteries No matter where you go, you cannot get away from batteries either. Batteries come in two distinct flavors: rechargeable and nonrechargeable.
Like motors, they come in all sorts of sizes, shapes, weights, and capacities. Unlike motors, they have no moving parts. The nonrechargeable batteries you simply dispose of when they are out of juice; rechargeable batteries you connect to a recharger or source of electric power to build them up to capacity. There are different types of batteries.
Why are batteries ubiquitous? In a word—convenience. The battery, in conjunction with the starter motor, serves the all-important function of starting the automobile powered by the conventional internal combustion engine. In fact, it was the battery and electric starter motor combination, first introduced in the early s and changed very little since then, that put the internal combustion engine car on the map—it made cars easy to start and easy to use for anyone, anywhere. Another great thing about the promise for electric cars is lithium-ion battery technology.
It is moving rapidly into the marketplace and dropping in price. Over the next few years we can expect further drops in price, making EV conversions more affordable. Soon enough, the standard will be lithium-ion batteries in any conversion kit.
Rechargeable lead-acid automotive batteries perform their job very reliably over a wide range of temperature extremes and, if kept properly charged, will maintain their efficiency and deliver stable output characteristics over a relatively long period of time—several years. A lead-acid automotive battery is unlikely to fail unless you shock it, drop it, discharge it completely, or allow a cell to go dry. Newer, sealed batteries require no maintenance at all. Controllers Controllers have become much more intelligent.
The same technology that reduced computers from room-sized to desk-sized allows you to exercise precise control over an electric motor. Why are electric vehicles elegant? When you join an electric motor, battery, and controller together, you get an electric vehicle that is both reliable and convenient. Besides all the discussion of electric cars and the California Air Resources Board CARB mandates to incentivize electric cars, hybrids, and fuel cells that are replicated in several of the United States, very few people have bought, built, or converted an electric vehicle because they wanted to save planet earth.
Here are some of the reasons why people do get into electric vehicles. Almost universally, people enjoy their consciousness-raising electric vehicle experience, are impressed by it, and tell a friend. This is only the first surprise of many when you get into an electric vehicle. Electric vehicles are first and foremost practical—but also fun to own and drive.
Owners say they become downright addictive. Tooling around in breezy electric vehicle silence gives you all the pleasure without the noise. NK City, Solectria Force, or a converted Porsche or Ford Ranger pickup truck, or a built-from-scratch chassis with custom kitcar body, your electric vehicle is a sexy, quiet, technologically spiffy show-stopper.
All different types of people were intrigued. When can I get one? How far does it go? Is it as good as people say? One suggestion too: have plenty of literature always available on hand so you can keep your electric vehicle discussions to under five minutes in length.
On the other hand, if you just want to meet people, make the letters on your sign real big and you will never want for company. The first owners of anything new always have an aura of prestige and mystique about them. You will be instantly coronated in your own neighborhood.
You are driving what others have only talked about. While hopefully everyone will own one in the future, you are driving an electric vehicle today.
When TV sets were introduced in the s, the whole neighborhood crowded into the first houses with the first tiny black and white screens. Expect the same with your electric vehicle project. Operating Costs Electric vehicles only consume electricity.
In between charge-ups, there are no other consumables to worry about except an occasional watering of the batteries. These figures are covered in more detail later, but the Ford Ranger electric vehicle pickup conversion of Chapter 10 averages about 0.
The latter consumes gasoline; its ignition, cooling, fueling, and exhaust systems require filters, fluids, and periodic maintenance. The gasoline-powered pickup chassis equivalent to the previous example averages 20 miles per gallon or 0.
While your average EV conversion—made with off-the-shelf components—might consume about 0. This drops your electric vehicle operating costs to 0. Note: cost per mile varies with driver. download Costs Commercially manufactured electric vehicles are prohibitively expensive today—if you can find one at all. But this book advocates the conversion alternative—you convert an existing internal combustion engine vehicle to an electric vehicle.
You remove the internal combustion engine and all systems that go with it, and add an electric motor, controller, and batteries. Even if you download a Porsche or other high-end car, if you were planning to download a Porsche in the first place, you would already be willing to spend more money than the average consumer.
To this must be added the cost of your internal combustion engine vehicle chassis. This is substantially less than already converted electric vehicles! Obviously, you can do better if you download carefully and scrounge for parts. Equally obviously, you can also spend more if you elect to have someone else do the conversion labor, decide you must have a brand new Ferrari Testarossa chassis, or elect to build a Kevlar-bodied roadster with titanium frame from scratch.
This book promotes building it yourself. So second vehicle download costs for an internal combustion or electric vehicle are a wash—they are identical. See a better motor and controller? Bolt them on. Find some more efficient batteries? Strap them in. Electric cars are easily modified to meet special needs. Even when EVs are manufactured in volume, the exact model needed by everyone will not be made because it would be prohibitively expensive to do so.
But specialist shops that add heaters for those living in the north, air conditioners for those living in the south, and both for those living in the heartland will spring up. Chapter 4 will introduce you to the conversion specialists that exist today. Safety First Electric vehicles are safer for you and everyone around you. EVs are a boon for safetyminded individuals.
Electric vehicles are called ZEVs zero emission vehicles because they emit nothing, whether they are moving or stopped. In fact, when stopped, electric vehicle motors are not running and use no energy at all. This is in direct contrast to internal combustion engine—powered vehicles that not only consume fuel but also do their best polluting when stopped and idling in traffic.
EVs are obviously the ideal solution for minimizing pollution and energy waste on congested stop-and-go commuting highways all over the world, but this section is about saving yourself: as an electric vehicle owner, you are not going to be choking on your own exhaust fumes.
Electric vehicles are easily and infinitely adaptable. Want more acceleration? Put in a bigger electric motor. Want greater range? Choose a better power-to-weight design. Want more speed? When you download, convert, or build an EV today, all these choices and more are yours to make because there are no standards and few restrictions. Other safety standards to be used when downloading, mounting, using, and servicing your EV conversion components are discussed later in this book.
It gets better: EVs carry no combustible fuels, 20,volt spark plug ignition circuits, hot exhaust manifolds, catalytic converters, or hot radiators on board. You also get to be a LOT more creative in the design.
Electric Motors and Control Techniques This one was recommended to me by more than one conversion shop. It's about optimizing electrical systems so they work well. Often people don't think about this aspect of building an electric car. They look at range and speed as an absolute, and settle for less than the system they have is capable of.
They don't think they can understand or implement the optimizations, so they don't bother. I noticed right away that the conversions that electrical engineers do always seem to get more bang for the buck than the conversions your average jill mechanic does for herself. Wondering why I began to investigate.
The thing that stood out the most to me is that optimization of systems is second nature for the engineers. If you want to spend your money and time wisely, check into optimization. It's worth the effort. Convert It! This is another classic. It covers step by step how to convert. You might say it's kinda old, but some things don't change all that much, right? Electro Automotive, one of the best-known sellers of conversion kits and parts in the United States, includes a copy of this book with every kit downloadd.
I'll bet there's a reason for that! Range Confidence: Drive far, charge fast, with your electric car "With our electric car we want to focus on Range Confidence rather than remain trapped in Range Anxiety," writes author David Herron. It is filled with valuable information about how to charge at home, at public charging stations, and in the gaps on long trips where there are no public EV charging stations for many miles spoiler: campgrounds with RV hookups and an adapter you carry in your car so you never have to worry about your car being carried home on the "Flatbed of Shame".
Highly recommended. Build Your Own Electric Vehicle Be warned: there are quite a few physics equations dealing with drag coefficient and the like. You really don't have to sweat this. The main thing he's saying with all the little letters and numbers is that you'll get the best range out of your batteries if you choose an aerodynamic car, and lighten it up as much as you can. Wasn't that easy? Also, he feels pretty strongly positive about converting small pickups You can see why on p.
Small pickups are very sensible donors for several reasons: You've got a good passenger-free and accessible area in the bed to lock the batteries down so you they don't become missiles flying around the cockpit in case of an accident; They're designed to haul things, so you can put plenty of battery weight back there, and distribute it without having to be design-creative; They're already fairly aerodynamic, like we were just saying; They're often standard-shifting vehicles to begin with.
Actually, the same basic principles apply for converting motorcycles to electric as for cars, except you don't have a lot of margin for error regarding weight and space. This book is remarkably thorough, and I'd recommend it for anyone converting anything to electric. It's that good.