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Electric Mini - Early Planning Phase - Comments Welcome


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#31 MartinS

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Posted 19 December 2018 - 05:43 PM

Hi All. Seems like a great place/forum to start! I recently bought a very neglected Bullnose mini with the aim of converting to electric. Problem is, I live in South Africa and very few of the components that are freely available where most of you reside, are available here. Another problem is that I am technically challenged. I am taking this as an exceptional learning experience. At the moment it looks like I will have import quite a lot of the components. Pricey if you consider the exchange rate!

Buying a used forklift motor seems like a good compromise now as the controller, charger and converter will probably have to be imported. The motor though will add a lot of weight and therefore a lot of import cost. I have looked at various options and with cost a factor, would like to get your take on 'cheaper' controllers such as Kelly and Sevcon compared to EPS and Curtis.

A range of about 60km and a top speed of 80kph will be sufficient.

Thanks for your advice!

#32 schelle63

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Posted 20 December 2018 - 07:53 PM

Hi again, I was in the shop this afternoon, probably the last time for 2018, a goot time to give an update.

Current task is to install all cables behind the dashboard and to make all additional electrical functions (apart from simple driving) work.

  • The dashboard will be black (what else), later. I may change the dashboard design and instrument's configuration, at least there will be a more "classic" round speedometer some day.
  • Brake and reverse lights are working now. These are the only two spots where the wiring loom from the controller meets the Mini's one. In order to keep the systems separated I trigger both with relays. Makes me fell a little bit safer.

Might  be on the road in spring 2019 (??).

 

Just in case this is 2018's last post: I whish You all a Merry Chrismas!

Markus

 

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#33 schelle63

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Posted 03 March 2019 - 12:59 PM

Hi MartinS,

how does your project proceed?

Considering that parts will be hard (and expensive) to get in your country, you should think about buying a whole used fork lifter including all required parts to make your car run, at least for the early phase. (There will be many changes/improvements anyway.)

Keep an eye on the weight, it is not an issue for fork lifters as they need to be heavy (your car does not).

The main part (cost and weight) will of course be the batteries: I think 60km range is only possible with lithium and not with lead. Again, to start you can use (old) lead-acid batteries, however weight and life expectance makes it not reasonable for the daily use.

As you mention that your Mini is rather "neglected", this may be an advantage for the conversion: unless you are not a professional in car body restauration it will take considerable time to fix the body of your Mini; meanwhile there may appear opportunities to buy EV-parts/kits/donor cars. And to collect any kind of information you can get.

Good success!

Markus


Edited by schelle63, 03 March 2019 - 01:00 PM.


#34 MartinS

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Posted 22 April 2019 - 04:25 PM

Hi Markus. Love your project and taking a lot of ideas from there. I am busy sourcing 18650 cells and have already ordered the strips and spacers. Do ypu have an opinion on Kelly parts? Specifically the controllers? They are much cheaper than Curtis, at the moment about a third of the cost. What charger are you planning to use? Hope you make good progress!

#35 schelle63

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Posted 26 April 2019 - 08:58 PM

Hi Martin,

as mentioned, i have installed a complete drivetrain (incl. controller) from a donor car, the manufacturer is Siemens. I have no experience nor any info concerning Kelly or Curtis, sorry.

I did install this charger:

https://www.thunders...arger-only.html

however not from "Thunderstruck" in the U.S. but from my battery provider. It works really good (even without CAN controller), but there will be a CAN-enabled BMS some day. I also ordered two addtional chargers to make a (3-phase) quick-charger when I need it.

How do you make (yourself?) your battery-pack with the 18650 cells? Do you have a spot-welder to connect them? I think the strips and the connections deserve high attention: some thermal photos are reported that under heavy load it is not the cells but the strips which cause excessive heat and produce failures in a battery pack. This is why my connector strips are made of pretty thick copper and not of thin (stainless) steel. At least this is what my supplier told me. In one picture you can see the charger on the very left side, as well as the copper connecting strips.

Attached File  20190425_182721.jpg   55.76K   9 downloads

 

Indeed my Mini has made big progress, it passed TÜV (corresponds to MOT) this Wednesday and will get its number plates i guess Monday or Tuesday. From then the practical experimental phase on the road will begin. I gues there will be plenty of problems arising and a lot of additional work. I am lookiing forward to this. :-)

 

I would be glad if this helps you, if anyone needs more, just ask.

 

Markus

 

 

 

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#36 KTS

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Posted 26 April 2019 - 10:05 PM

..what a beautiful looking little car you have, and congratulations on passing its test. Great work.

Look forward to learning more about what an electric mini can do

#37 [email protected]

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Posted 26 April 2019 - 10:42 PM

Two more passion projects:

 

http://www.bdrive.ch/

 

https://evmini.ca/po...t-the-mini-from

 

 

Three others, and not just individuals, but actual Companies thinking they have a business model with the same idea:

 

https://swind.life/products/e-classic/ (pricey, but you get to keep all four seats and the full boot somehow!)

 

https://www.ian-motion.com/en/ (they'll convert yours for you for about half the above)

 

http://londonelectriccars.com/ (and these guys tell me that their goal is to do the R&D and then sell kits or instructions & parts lists for owners to execute the DYI conversion: "One [option is] where we keep the gearbox with an adaptor plate and gear to mount the electric motor, and one where we use a Nissan Leaf motor and transmission with a custom subframe")

 

 

If you consider all the VTEC conversions still going on, no one can honestly say that the classic Mini has outworn its welcome yet!

 

Apparently, the classic Mini overall packaging is still relevant 60 years later.



#38 schelle63

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Posted 27 April 2019 - 08:25 AM

If omeone is looking for a complete kit, this looks reasonable to me:

www.electricmini.nl

 

@ james: I absolutely agree with You!

  • The Mini concept offers a perfect base for retrofittings,
  • and once it is on the road there is always the same feed-back: friendly looks from everyone (children, elder people, women, men, ...), everywhere.
  • And the Mini has the spirit of a virtue that seems increasingly to be lost in these times: reduction simply to what is needed and refusal to any pomp.

@ all: have a great day!

 

Markus



#39 MalcolmB

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Posted 27 April 2019 - 10:21 PM

Congratulations on getting TÜV approval! Did that involve any electromagnetic testing?
Good to hear that the Thunderstruck charger is working well for you - I'm planning to use the same charger myself.
Any chance of some video when you get your mini on the road?

#40 schelle63

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Posted 28 April 2019 - 11:44 AM

Thank You!

Electromagnetic testing could be omitted because the age of the car. We have a guideline in Germany stating that cars registered before October 2002 may pass without electromagnetic testing, but not necessarily have to do so. It is up to the TÜV-engineer to stipulate such a (expensive!) test, or not. It is a good method to discuss such details with the engineer in avance.

And yes, there will be some video of the little beast once it is on the road legally. :wub:  That could be soon....

 

Markus



#41 schelle63

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Posted 04 May 2019 - 12:04 PM

The car made it!

Got number plates on Tuesday and we are now on the road legally. Tax-free for the next 10 years.

Most of You will imagine how exciting and satisfying this feels. :rolleyes: Indeed this is the coolest car I ever had in my life.

 

However this is to be continued: I had the chance to buy a "rolling" van chassis! And I already have another identical drivetrain in my garage. For that project I will post my own thread instead of hijacking this one. :wacko: I have no idea when to start, and I guess it will take another 4 years as the shell is quite rotten, and I will have to think about many details which can be improved (hopefully).

 

Regards,

Markus

 

 

 

Attached File  20190429_205114.jpg   62.69K   8 downloadsAttached File  20190502_092345.jpg   90.76K   6 downloads



#42 KTS

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Posted 04 May 2019 - 08:50 PM

Congratulations Markus - well done!

#43 MartinS

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Posted 06 June 2019 - 07:00 PM

Hi Markus,

Well done! Your car looks great!

Please share, if you would, what your battery pack specs are? You mentioned 144V? Is that 39S18P? I've heard so many opinions from 60V to 96V with at least 100AH. I need a top speed of only 70/80kph or 45/50mph. Thanks again for your help!

Regards,


Martin

#44 schelle63

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Posted 09 June 2019 - 01:23 PM

Hi Martin,

please refer to the attachement to see what I have installed in the car.

 

For easier understanding:

there are 6 identical boxes (german: kiste), 48V (nominal) each, 3 under the front seats, 3 in the trunk. You may read all other info from the table below. If you need more, just let me know.

 

Top speed is not necessarily a matter of voltage, it depends on available power, motor rpm and transmission rate.

My engine has 27kW which is way (!) enough for the 660kg vehicle. Motor rpm is rated at 10.000 1/min, and with current transmission and (10"-) wheels diameter this corresponds to 100 km/hr. I can make the front wheels spin in nearly any situation, which means there is plenty of torque. If I could modify the gears inside the transmission (which I am considering...), top speed could be at least 150 km/hr.

Of course the corresponding current must be provided by the batteries and you must do some calculations:

(e.g. in my case this means: [email protected] (nominal) means 187,5A.) Make sure your battery pack can do this without going too close to its limits, in my opinion the battery should not be the "bottleneck".

The other thing that you can easily see is how voltage (V) does affect current (A): with a given power (kW) you can reduce the required current by increasing the voltage. Pro: cable diameter can be reduced and losses are less. Con: higher voltage requires better insulation and higher safety effort (also from legal aspect).

Same in physics as in life: you get nothing for free.

 

I hope I could help, please ask if you need more.

Markus

 

P.S.: My car made some 800km meanwhile: many bugs appeared, all could be fixed up to now. :-)

 

 

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