Friday, 15 October 2010

Chapter 1, The Trabant

Getting Started

The first thing you need before starting such a project is the basic car. This is the foundation of your project as this car is going to end up as your future electric car.
Some people, who work with electric cars, like to call this the "donor car”,
(I have never understood this phrase because the car would be receiving the "transplant" in the shape of new components, rather than providing any "Organs" except for its main body and majority... But never mind that I am not a doctor :-D)

There are not many limitations when picking the car for your conversion, but there are some golden rules you can follow to get the best possible result.

1) Get a small and light car!
A light car demands less energy to move. Meaning you can get longer for a smaller amount of electricity. Again meaning you don't have to buy a large expensive battery-pack to power your vehicle.

2) Preferably a simple car!
The power steering and air-condition of many modern cars are powered by the engine. This means that you have to buy electric pumps and special motors to power them. Further they drain your battery-pack meaning you get less reach or would have to buy more batteries. So once again -$!!!

3) Battery-space!
Because the batteries will need some space.

I chose a Trabant because:
*I like Trabants :-) they are fun to drive and work with!
*They are simple (no air-condition, no power steering, no vacuum brake pump)
*They have a god amount of battery space.
*They only weigh 615 kg.


(If you don’t want to read about nonrelated chaos, then skip to the moral)

I found mine in Køge Denmark and drew it home to Odense, on its own power. Or rather I drew it half of the way on its own power and then it broke down a and got poled for some time.

This is before it broke down. It was actually driving quit good, at a time I was driving and singing behind the wheel having a jolly time. Right until, I got to the Storebelt's brige, where it ran short on gas. Yes this was my fault I thought I had checked it before going on the highway but apparently I underestimated its fuel consumption, and I wasn't used to driving a car without a fuel-gauge. So I had to stand for an hour in the middle of the iciest winter in a decade on the middle of the bridge waiting for my mother to arrive with a gas cane.

After my little mistake the car gave totally up on trying to be perfect! In Nyborg (the town right after the bridge) it broke down twice because the generator wasn't charging and the battery had gone flat from waiting with the warning lights on at the bridge.

Then it only broke down twice in Langeskov and Twice in Odense before getting pushed by my mother’s car for the last 200 meters to our house.

I don't remember all the chaos and exactly how I got from one brake down to the other. My mothers car and jumper cables was a big help but for some time I bet that the Trabant and I got taken on board a UFO and carried for several Kilometers cause some parts of that journey has been supersede from my memory!

For all the Trabant fans out there:
I am not saying that Trabant is an unreliable car. Just don't expect anything from a 2000.-DKR car which has been sitting in a yard for several years!

But SCREW that because that stinking engine is being pulled out anyway.


You haven’t picked the car for its engine so perhaps you shouldn’t trust it for its last gas engine trip

Transport the car on a trailer if you are in doubt it can make it to the garage.

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