Posts Tagged ‘ev’

High Voltage Hot Rods

car shows, High Voltage Hot Rods | Posted by admin June 16th, 2012

I am very pleased to announce that after a lot of hard work, I am putting together a new car company to carry on what I started with the EVGT-40. I have pulled together a great group of people to start this new company and look forward to putting more electric cars on the road. As more develops I will be posting here on my blog. I would also like to really encourage everyone to Like our new Facebook by clicking here and hitting “Like”.

High Voltage Hot Rods will be focused primarily on building replicas of iconis automobiles.  We currently have business partnerships to deliver and EV Cobra and and EV 55 T-Bird.


If you have come to this site after seeing the EVGT-40 and want us to build a great performing electric car for you,  please bookmark  The site is under construction but will soon be featuring clips from our television show and information on our cars.  If you would like to schedule an appointment with a sales representative please click here.



Makerbot EV Wheel Coins and Horn

Restoring and Building | Posted by admin April 21st, 2012

The wheels on my EV GT-40 have wheel caps that were purchased without any identifying company insignias. It was time to do something special. Using 3D Studio Max I designed a coin that would fit perfectly.


Blank Wheel Caps


The final Makerbot made wheel coins in place

Read the rest of this entry »

Lithium ion upgrade build photos

batteries | Posted by admin December 9th, 2011


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New Video about the EVGT-40

EVTV | Posted by admin May 9th, 2011

This video segment was produced for Jack Rickards EVTV.

The video was shot and edited on an iPhone 4 and iPad.

Nissan Leaf Test Drive

technology | Posted by admin February 1st, 2011

Got a chance to visit the Nissan Leaf test drive event in Fort Lauderdale. Nissan had a really nice display which was like a small village they setup out in the Sawgrass Mills parking lot.

The main tent was for registration and also had a number of video displays that helped educate people about electric cars.

After they had a group ready, we were escorted into the next tent which housed a display with the Leaf’s battery pack. The pack is a very nicely organized system of 24 prismatic flat lithium ion modules. Each module houses 4 cells. The total pack is 24kwh of energy.  I don’t know how hard it is to actually get into the pack when it’s on the car, but it looks like it would be pretty easy to change out a bad module if you can get into the pack.

The next tent we were escorted to was a display on the range and iPhone system monitoring and control. For those that don’t have an iPhone there is also a web site. From your phone you can read battery charge and a lot of other car functions. One nice feature is that you can turn on the AC or heat remotely. So if you car is plugged in charging in the garage, you can turn on the AC and the car will cool itself off the garage power and be cool when you unplug it to drive.

From here we were lead out to the cars to drive. We first went through a little course setup in the parking lot with cones and then out on the street. The car performed real well. There is an econo mode which we also tried. In this mode acceleration is really sluggish and the regen is a lot heavier. You can really see how driving in this mode would lead to better economy, but for the average driver, it’s no fun.

The back seat was easily large enough to fit 3 adults, so it really is a 5 passenger car. There was even a nice sized trunk.

Charging the car can be done in two ways. There is the new standard j-1772 connector which can be plugged into a public charging station. The car comes with a cable with one of these connectors and a 120 volt standard AC plug. They recommend having a 240 volt charging station put in your house though. This is around $2k. These methods take from 6-8 hours to charge fully. The other method of charging is through a special high speed charging port which can handle a lot higher voltage and amperage. This would be used by fleet vehicles such as Taxis. This high speed port would allow the car to be charged in as little as 30 minutes.

Overall I was very impressed. Nissan seems genuinely committed to making this technology work. As a side note, all of the dealerships will have charging stations. I wonder if they will be kind enough to share a few electrons with other EVs who come to visit?

EVGT-40 Attends Gold Coast EAA Meeting

Restoring and Building | Posted by admin July 10th, 2010

Got to take the car out on it’s first public outing today. I was asked to give a presentation at the Gold Coast Electric Auto Association. The meeting was only about ten miles from my house but it was the farthest it’s been from home so far.

It was a nice drive to downtown Boca Raton and the car performed well. It got a lot of looks on the short trip. This is a complement in a town that typically has a lot of exotic cars.

It was a real honor to present my car to the guys at the club. A few of the guys there have their own converted cars so they understood what it took to build this one. Though they had been hearing about it from me for two years and a lot of them have been a big help in giving me encouragement and assisting with lots of questions, none of them had yet seen the final product.

Battery Balancers

Electronics | Posted by admin May 12th, 2010

Lee Hart’s Shunt Type Battery Balancer
12 V Version –

Each battery has a regulator which consists of

2 – ring terminals, with hole for 5/16″ bolt, and crimp for #6 wire
2 – 6.8v 5watt zener diodes
2 – #PR2 flashlight bulb
Solder a zener diode into each ring terminal where the wire normally goes. Solder a 6″ piece of wire to the other end of the zener diode. Solder the flashlight bulb between the free ends of these two wires. Now you have the two zeners and flashlight bulb all wired in series.

Lee added on 8/09 – Since there are two zeners in series, and they have a 5% tolerance, I measure their actual zener voltage, and match them up in pairs with the same total. I have a bench power supply with knobs to set the voltage limit and current limit. I set the current limit to some value like 100ma, and set the voltage limit higher than the zener voltage (like 10v for a 6.8v zener). Connect the zener, and the power supply automatically supplies a fixed 100ma. Measure the voltage across each zener. Sort them into bins (6.5v 6.6v 6.7v 6.8v 6.9v 7.0v 7.1v). Use pairs that add up to the same total
6.5v + 7.1v = 13.6v
6.6v + 7.0v = 13.6v
6.7v + 6.9v = 13.6v
6.8v + 6.8v = 13.6v
Fill the space between the zener and ring terminal with epoxy glue. Likewise, dunk the bulb and its wires in epoxy glue. This makes everything waterproof and acid proof, and helps conduct heat. The zeners get their heatsinking from the large ring terminals and battery posts they are bolted to.

The diodes are all sorted based on the voltages.

The bulb is soldered to the wire and the lead of the diode.

The whole thing is wrapped in heat shrink tubing.  Each end is the same except the diode is reversed.  The positive ends are marked with a red marker.

One of these is made for each battery.

As the pack charges the lights slowly begin to light up on the batteries that reach capacity.  This shunts about a half an amp around that battery to the next which helps to balance the batteries out.  Each time you charge the pack the batteries should get closer and closer.


Restoring and Building | Posted by admin January 8th, 2010

Photos of the interior as it takes shape.

I am also including work on the arm rests for the doors.

Wiring Diagrams

Electronics | Posted by admin July 10th, 2009

These are the working drawings of the electronics that I have worked out. They have not been tested yet.

Here are some photos of the connections.

Battery Tie Downs and Linking

Electronics | Posted by admin July 6th, 2009

Now that I had the batteries it was tine to finish up the battery racks and create tie downs for the batteries. Securing the batteries in my mind was the single most important job in making this a safe car. Since the driver sits so low in the car, most of the batteries are sitting right behind the driver. Making sure that the batteries don’t get loose and move forward is important.

I originally had looked at using straps with ratcheted ties. I then looked at metal bands. In the end i used 3/8″ rod and bar steel frames on top.

High Voltage Wiring

Electronics | Posted by admin June 21st, 2009

With the batteries here it’s time to start working on the high voltage wiring. Unlike the normal car power which is 12 volt and grounded to the frame, the high voltage traction power must be isolated. Because of the high amperage all of the wiring will be 2/0 electrical cable.

The first part was to map out where all the batteries are going to go and how the current will be routed. The positive ends need to be next to the negative ends so they can be easily routed with the least amount of wire. 2/0 cable is expensive stuff so measuring well will save money.

The cables all get connected with wiring lugs. These are crimped on with a special hammered crimper. You have to be carefull when you strip the ends not to cut any of the small strands that make up the cable. You also need to be carefull when putting on the lug that all of the strands fit nicely inside. A good wack on the little crimping device with a large hammer makes a good strong joint. The ends are then shrink wrapped with shrink tubing to keep out moisture.

The next step was to look closely at the wiring diagrams provided by Cafe Electric for the Zilla controller. I redrew their diagram to better fit the placement of my components in my car. This excersize also helped in my understanding of the logic and how the system would work. I am going to use two contactors. The main contactor is a Tyco Kilovac. I want to be able to go in reverse without shifting so I am using a special reversing contactor that is actually a dual contactor. This will reverse the field on the motor with the flip of a switch.

Batteries included

Electronics | Posted by admin June 20th, 2009

After a lot of research I decided that the best the best use of the space would be to use a group 31 battery.

Last Saturday at the EAA meeting Lowell Simmons told me about a gentleman up in Melbourne who had a set of 12 Odyssey 12volt 100ah deep cycle batteries for sale. The batteries were purchased by the gentleman named Gerald Wagner for a EV project which unfortunately he would be unable to complete because of illness. Gerald was the author of Electric Vehicle Conversions. The Hawker Odyssey batteries were out of my budget and I am really a few months away from being ready for them, but I thought I would give the man a call and see. This morning I called and we were able to work out a deal. So I drove up to Melbourn with my son to pick them up. My Toyota Previa van was loaded up. At 75 lb each this was 900lbs. The van was heavy but seemed to drive well. All was good till about 4 miles to the exit off the turnpike. The road felt a bit bumpy but a few minutes later we realized it wasn’t the road when one of the rear tires blew out. Not sure if it was the weight, but sure it didnt help. Unloaded some of the batteries and changed the tire, the loaded them back in and made it home safely.

The batteries fit perfectly in the racks I had created. I have room for 4 more batteries if needed. I am going to get the car running on the 12 at 144 volts and see how it performs. If need be I can always add the additional 4 latter.

The Trunk

Restoring and Building | Posted by admin May 22nd, 2009

I needed a good dry place to put all of the high voltage components. This includes the Zilla controller, the main contactors, the DC to DC converter, and the charger. The most logical place was in the rear of the car. There isn’t a trunk but there was a nice area just behind the rear suspension that was empty. I decided I would fiberglass in this area with and make a hatch to access it. It would be water tight and away from any road dirt. As an added bonus if done right I might even have enough space to store a small bag or brief case.

The project started by cutting out the hatch with a dremel reinforced cutting wheel being very carefull to make clean straight lines. This was going to be very visible so it needed to be clean looking.

Foam was glued to the inside of the opening to form a lip. Once dried I used a dremel sanding drum to carve out a shape in the lip that would allow for a rubber seal as well as as a trough to carry away any water that came in. This was then fiberglassed.

The floor of the trunk was formed with foam and fiberglassed as well.

The motor goes in

Electronics | Posted by admin April 5th, 2009

The Warp 9 motor is lowered into the car for the first time.

It took taking it in and out a few times and making adjustments to the motor mount rails to get the motor perfectly lined up.

The motor is in place and lines up with the shaft.  Angle Iron is cut and drilled to bolt into the motor face.  Once the coupler arrives and everything fits, holes will be drilled and these brackets will be bolted in place.

Here the coupler is in place.

A close up of the great bracket that Lowell Simmons machined for me.  I met Lowell at the Florida EAA (Electric Auto Association) and he has been a great resource.  He teaches a shop class to some local high school kids and has them doing electric conversions on cars and even drag racing them.  One of his kids recent projects, a Porsche,  was faster off the line than a Tessla at the 2009 Battery Beach Burnout.   Its going to be interesting to see what his students end up building once they graduate.

This end  is actually my old clutch plate machined down and inserted in.  Great job.

With the coupler in place, the rest of the bracket was fabricated, painted, and bolted in place.

The wires on the motor were rigged up to test the motor.  (These will be replaced with larger cable before the car is running on full battery pack.) The motor was tested by hooking a 12 volt battery directly to the motor with the car up on jack stands.  Everything ran great and had a really cool electric whine.  Can’t wait to get the whole traction battery pack installed with the Zilla controller.

Out of the garage

Restoring and Building | Posted by admin March 23rd, 2009

Battery Beach Burnout 2009

Uncategorized | Posted by admin February 21st, 2009

It was a great day for the annual Florida Electric Auto Associations Battery Beach Burnout.  Electric and hybrid vehicles from all over showed up for the event.  From a 1920 Milburn Electric car (yes, there were electric cars in 1920) to the 2008 Telsa Roadster, the show showcased the viability of electric vehicles.  

I have worked hard over the past month to try to get my EVGT40 running to take to the show, but it just wasn’t to be.  This didn’t put a damper on my day though because there was a lot to see.

This young man proudly showed me the car that his high school class has been working on.  It is young minds like these who hopefully will further the use electric cars.

This was another student project, a hybrid racer.

This company was at the show demonstrating a public charging station that they are trying to deploy in locations across the nation.  Users sign up on the internet and recieve a bar coded card which the system scans.  Once the user plugs in thier car and the system reads a secure connection, power is supplied.  When the car is charged a text message is sent to the users cell phone.  Should the connection be interupted the user is also notified.

This 1920 Milburn electric car is owned by a gentleman in Winter Garden, Florida.  Build in Ohio, there are only 35 still in exsistence today.  Though it now holds more modern lead acid batteries, it still runs off of a General Electric motor which was installed in 1920.  The Milburn Electric car company was purchased by General Motors in 1923 and the cars production was stopped.  For more history on the Milburn Electric Car go to

An Electric DeLorean complete with a box waiting for the “Flux Capacitor” to be invented to power it into the future.  All kidding aside this was a very nice conversion and demonstrated its speed on the road coarse.

A 2008 Tesla roadster was one of the stars of the show.  With a price tag over $125,000 it is the super car of electrics.  Made almost entirely of carbon fiber the car is lightweight and fast.  Boasting a 200 mile range on a 3 hour charge, this car demonstrates where the technology is going.  It truly is a work of art.

Lambo Doors

Restoring and Building | Posted by admin January 25th, 2009

Putting lambo style doors on the car has nothing to do with any function of the electric car, but in the eyes of my sons “it’s just cool Dad and you have to do it”. After returning from the Palm Beach Super Car Show last week, where all the coolest cars had lambo doors, the decision was made. I found a pair of hinges on eBay for $250. Just like about every peice on this car they were going to have to be modified.

The lambo door hinges had to be shortened to fit in the tight space of the Valkyries doors. I also didn’t like how high they lifted the doors so I modified them further to lift the door up to 85 degrees. This also meant changing the gas struts that would hold the door up. I consulted my father in law, an engineer, on the math for figuring out how strong a strut was needed. Based on a 40lbs door, I was going to need at least 70lbs. of lift to hold the door up.

parts held in place ready for welding

The modified hinge with the gas strut.  I ended up having to replace this gas lift strut with a lighter weight one as well as longer so the hinge would lift to 90 degrees.

This is a shot of the original hinges in the door.

The holes here have been  filled in and the wall reinforced.  The outer area against the fender was enlarged.

Holes had to be cut into the wheel well to make room for the hinges.  This will have to have a box fiver glassed over it later.

Here the holes for the old hinges has been filled in with body filler and sanded and primed.

The door swings out just a bit and then swings upward.

Here you can see how the door swings out just enough to clear the body.

The Zilla Controller

technology | Posted by admin January 15th, 2009

Big news came today. emailed me today that my controler is about to ship. The Zilla 1k is a hard to get peice of hardware that is the brains of the car. Though there are other controllers out there, none have the capability of the Zilla controller especially for a DC motor powered sports car.

It’s time to get busy. There is a lot to do to get ready for the controllers arrival. With the brains of the car showing up a moving car isn’t far off in the future. Tonight I study the schematics and start working out the electrical design.

Connecting the Motor

Restoring and Building | Posted by admin December 3rd, 2008

Connecting the electric motor to the Corvair transmission has required a lot of thought. My first reaction to the fly wheel and clutch plates when we took off the motor was that they added a lot of weight and were they needed in an EV. If you aren’t aware, any weight that is spinning in a vehicle does a lot to reduce acceleration. Eliminating a pound of spinning weight is like removing 3 pounds of normal weight so having this big flywheel and clutch in the car was a lot of weight that could be removed. Since an electric motor comes to a complete stop when the power is removed, you don’t have to disconnect it like you do an gas engine which continues to spin even when it idles. After talking to some of the guys at the local EAA club I decided that I was going to eliminate the clutch all together. The reality is that my math shows that almost 90% of my normal driving can be done entirely in 2nd gear. Only on the highway would I need to shift to 3rd and only if I wanted to really fly would I go to fourth.

The Warp 9 motor has a keyed 1.125″ shaft that needs to be connected to the shaft of the transmission. Looking at the clutch, I want to keep the springed system that it uses for dampening the shock. I designed an adapter that would allow me to bolt the inner part of the clutch plate to an adapter that would slip on the keyed shaft of the Warp 9 motor. The motor also has a threaded hole on the end that will allow me to bolt this adapter in place so it doesn’t slip off. I also wanted to eliminate the bell housing since doing so allowed me to drop 4 more batteries in, 2 on each side of the transmission.

Sketch of how it should go together

Sketch of how it should go together

Cross section sketch of the adapter

Cross section sketch of the adapter

Motor mount and clutch plate adapter

Motor mount and clutch plate adapter

clutch plate adapter - motor end

clutch plate adapter - motor end

The clutch plate adapter will allow the clutch plate with the removed friction plates to mount to the electric motor shaft.

This is a photo of the shaft with the clutch plate slid onto it.

This is the clutch plate with the unneeded material removed.

The Interior- Seats

Restoring and Building | Posted by admin December 2nd, 2008

Today I went and picked up my wife at the airport. She was returning from visiting my father in law in South America. When she left she took with her the patterns for the car seats she and I had worked out. While she was there she and my father in law took the patterns to some local shops and had the seat covers made. I was excited to see the final product. Custom fit and professional. They need to be stretched and tacked onto the seat foam, but I had to see how they were going to look in the car. Special thanks to my father in law for his help.

1968 Valkyrie Specs and Brochure

Restoring and Building | Posted by admin November 28th, 2008

These are the original brochures from Fiber Fab on the Valkyrie. The body style of the kit that I acquired has been modified quite a bit by the previous owners to look more like the 2005 Ford GT40 with the deep front nostrils. I believe it was also originally a two piece body and was modified to be a 3 piece.

These are the specs for the Warp 9 motor that is going in the car.

The iPhone

technology | Posted by admin November 23rd, 2008

Just a note about the iPhone. This has been one of my most used tools in this project. The whole project actually started when I was sitting on the beach in Sarasota watching the sunset and surfing on eBay with my iPhone. It was then that I came across the Fiberfab Valkyrie that was for sale in Jupiter, Florida. That dream of taking on Detroit and Tesla and building a cool electric sports car for less took hold of me. One press of the bid now button and the journey began.

Since that time I have used the phone to take photos of what I was doing and email them to friends or experts to get advise or find parts. Without this ability to snap quick photos and carry them easily around the job would be much harder. It is very hard to explain to an autoparts employee what you need without a make and model for a car. But I would pull out my iPhone and show them the project and exactly where the part was going or what it was replacing.

And this blog has been written almost entirely with my iPhone.

The Doors

Restoring and Building | Posted by admin November 23rd, 2008

Like every part on this car, the doors are not going to be easy. The original manual calls for 1965 Mustang corner windows and a Ford LTD 4dr hardtop side windows. The car I purchased came with the corner windows but no LTD windows. That is going to require some searching. The latches were only partially installed and I don’t like the job he did.

The first part of the job was cleaning up the door handles.  They are handles off of a what appears to be a 1965 Ford Falcon. The previous owner had put masking tape on them and left it on.  I am not sure how old this tape was, but it was baked on good.  2 or three layers worth.  The latches were also a bit rusty and needed a good cleaning.

Here it is all cleaned up.

This latch was mounted, but it needed to come off and all of the rust removed.

The trianglular vent windows had also been covered in layers of masking tape that was baked on.  These took a while to clean up.

After quite a bit of work adjusting and working on the latch and connecting rods, the handles and latches were now mounted and working properly.  I still need locks though.

The Car Arrives

Electronics, Ideas, Research, Restoring and Building, The Car Arrives | Posted by Andrew September 1st, 2008
After months of searching for a car to start with one is found.

After months of searching for a car to start with one is found.

After months of searching for a good base to start with I found a Ford GT40 replica that was being sold on eBay that was only about an hour away. The ad was found while I was sitting on the beach browsing the web on my iPhone. A bid was place and the following Saturday my wife, kids, and I went up to Jupiter, FL to pick her up.

Its a 1969-70 Fiberfab Valkyrie kit car that was never finished. It had a non-working Chevy V8 engine with a Corvair transmission and suspension system. The frame is a Fiberfab factory frame. The body was in good condition but the front suspension was in horrible shape. The main suspension cross member was almost completely rusted out. This was going to be a big restore and build before I ever got to the electric part. Like I wanted though, this was my chance to do a almost complete ground up build. The car is light, has a strong frame and is aerodynamic. Its also just plain cool.