Printable Version | Subscribe | Add to Favourites
New Topic New Reply
Author: Subject: Electric Powered Kit Cars - MARKET RESEARCH
jonabonospen

posted on 23/11/19 at 10:50 PM Reply With Quote
Electric Powered Kit Cars - MARKET RESEARCH

Hi guys.

I currently own a Mac#1 Worx with a ZX10R turbo lump, and just bought a Westfield I am planning on putting a GSXR1000 turbo lump in to. But as a business I operate a motorcycle showroom, in which we have recently turned to specialising in new electric motorcycles. This combination has led me to think about what the market would be like for a new breed of kit car..... electric powered kit cars.

We all know the performance of electric can be phenomenal. Add to that the benefits of free road tax, no emissions testing, minimal servicing costs comparatively to petrol engines, the fact most of us dont do mega big mileage drives in one single sitting, and we dont use them all year round, and it all stacks up to make logical sense.

Now its not something that your home builder could undertake really as you would struggle to find the suppliers to deal with and more than likely the knowledge to get it all running. But what would you think to the options of either buying brand new fully built kit cars with electric power, or considering getting your current petrol engined kit car converted to electric power?





MAC#1 ZX10R WORX BUILD BLOG: http://mac1-zx10r-worx-build-blog.tumblr.com/

MY PERSONAL BLOG: http://jonabonospen.tumblr.com/

NOTE:This user is registered as a LocostBuilders trader and may offer commercial services to other users
View User's Profile View All Posts By User U2U Member
CosKev3

posted on 23/11/19 at 11:57 PM Reply With Quote
No thanks!

Hate any electric powered vehicle, hopefully fossil fuels dont run out in my driving lifetime

View User's Profile View All Posts By User U2U Member
coyoteboy

posted on 24/11/19 at 12:33 AM Reply With Quote
I considered it for my own build but decided it kind of went against the purpose of the vehicle for me.

Kit cars are not something you buy prebuilt (in my view, not everyone's). Prebuilt, unrepairable by user goes agadir the grain.
Retrofitted electric systems generally suck due to all the compromises.
EVs have either good range or light weight. I want a car that has both.
The performance of things like the p100d is brutal in acceleration but it's still a 2 ton car in corners
I don't want range anxiety on a nice long day out





Report your local potholes, it actually works!

View User's Profile Visit User's Homepage View All Posts By User U2U Member
40inches

posted on 24/11/19 at 12:35 AM Reply With Quote
Has been discussed here https://www.locostbuilders.co.uk/forum/52/viewthread.php?tid=215772
View User's Profile View All Posts By User U2U Member
voucht

posted on 24/11/19 at 10:17 AM Reply With Quote
Hi,

I will be a bit more enthusiastic than my predecessors.

As you say, electric motors can have amazing performances. Anyone who has driven an EV, even a small one like the Zoe, knows the benefit of having an available torque at any RPM. Low maintenance is definitely an argument as well, even though for high performance motors you’ll certainly need a cooling system such as on petrol cars.

In France the kit car market does not exist because of the very dissuasive regulation, but there are a lot of small car manufacturers who produce special cars in small series. I myself have been thinking about putting an electric “kit car like” car on the market, so I understand your interest for that.

Now, for having worked recently for a small manufacturer of electric cars, I also know the issues involved in producing such vehicles.

The biggest one is certainly the batteries. To give you an example, the vehicle this company produces is not even certified in the EU “M” category, but just as a subsection of the “L” category which is (if I translate from French) “motorized heavy quadricycle”. This means that the vehicle must not weight more than 400kg and the maximum power must be 15 kw (about 20hp).

The top speed of the car is 90km/h (not authorized on highways), and you can barely make 150 km with a full charge. For that small performances, the battery pack weights about 200 kg, and the cost price of the battery cells only (Lithium-ion) was 7000 €, and I’m not even counting the casing price and the time the workers spent to connect the cells together and assemble them into a battery pack!

The battery voltage is 48v only which is fine for the use of the car. But for a normal car like a kit car, as you must have available power anytime (highways, going uphill when you need, etc.) you need much higher voltage, like 400v, and the price of such a batteries would be even more expensive.

Another thing to consider is the skills of the mechanics working for you. Dealing with high voltages is different than working on petrol engines, it is just a different job. I don’t know the regulation in the UK, but in France, you need a specific education and certification for high voltages to be allowed to work on electric cars. Not any mechanic can do, bear that in mind. That is why also, building electric kit car in our garages as we did for our petrol kit cars doesn’t seem realistic to me. Batteries can be very dangerous if not handled properly.

So I think the idea of an electric “kit car like” is great, and you will definitely find a small market for that. But you have to be ready to propose an expensive and heavy vehicle if you want to reach the kind of top speeds and ranges of petrol kit cars, that is unfortunately the price to pay for having batteries! A Tesla model 3 has a 230km/h top speed, and can go 560 km with one charge, which is great, but it weights almost 2 tons...

Anyway, keep us posted about that, it is a very interesting topic





Sylvain
https://vouchtroadster.blogspot.com/
https://cafrazx550.blogspot.com/

View User's Profile Visit User's Homepage View All Posts By User U2U Member
rdodger

posted on 24/11/19 at 11:37 AM Reply With Quote
Is it possible to IVA an electric kit car? I seem to remember a while ago reading due to the potential danger from high voltage they weren't allowed?
View User's Profile View All Posts By User U2U Member
sdh2903

posted on 24/11/19 at 12:29 PM Reply With Quote
It's a no from me on current technology (no pun intended)

Primarily due to your statement "Now its not something that your home builder could undertake". So it's not a kit car at all? It's just 'a car'

Then some secondary reasons.

Weight. Evs are bloody heavy. You will know from your bec that the lightness brings the car alive.

Cost. The Chesil speedster has an EV option. The EV kit starting price is £25k more than the petrol version. That's a big chunk of change to fund petrol.

Range. Only the big boys are now getting decent range. I've regularly done 300+mile days in my kit. Is that possible from an affordable small output manufacturer built car?

So if it was a self build EV that was lightweight had a 300+ range and didnt cost a shedload more than a petrol car I'd be interested

View User's Profile View All Posts By User U2U Member
40inches

posted on 24/11/19 at 12:44 PM Reply With Quote
quote:
Originally posted by rdodger
Is it possible to IVA an electric kit car? I seem to remember a while ago reading due to the potential danger from high voltage they weren't allowed?

See my link in the post above

View User's Profile View All Posts By User U2U Member
perksy

posted on 24/11/19 at 05:52 PM Reply With Quote
To be fair I think driving a 7 is all about noise, the smell, the performance and the excitement

Its also about being able to fix them and tune them and hide the upgrade receipts from the wife

Just can't see electric power achieving all the above...

View User's Profile View All Posts By User U2U Member
rgb247

posted on 24/11/19 at 10:21 PM Reply With Quote
I've driven a few electric and hybrid cars recently and have really liked them. I'd be all for an electric kit car if the cost was even remotely comparable. But another issue is for me is that if you want to compete in an electric car amateur motorsport hasn't quite figured out what do do with EVs yet so you won't be able to. Also those that say it's beyond the home mechanic, it's only true because they've not done it yet. We all started out with zero knowledge and have got to understand combustion engines, EV will be no different in time.
View User's Profile View All Posts By User U2U Member
Mr Whippy

posted on 24/11/19 at 10:29 PM Reply With Quote
Since most kit cars are weekend toys not daily drivers, many of the benefits of EVs such as long term cost saving and cheaper overall maintenance don't apply. Leaving just high initial cost, range limitations and charging times as real downsides, just what you don't want from a weekend toy. Really it is the wrong market for this.

Ask again in ten years though as the answer may be very different.

View User's Profile Visit User's Homepage View All Posts By User U2U Member   Mr+Whippy 's Aim
David Jenkins

posted on 25/11/19 at 05:00 PM Reply With Quote
I have an electric car (Nissan Leaf 2018 40KWh) and thoroughly enjoy driving it - the acceleration is remarkable for a 2 tonne family car (0 - 60 in sub-8 seconds). I wouldn't go back to a diesel/petrol car in a hurry.

However, I have looked into the possibilities of converting my 7 to electric, and came up with the following conclusions:

  • It will be heavier - but not hugely so, as it would replace a Xflow engine and type 9 gearbox. I worked it out as similar to carrying an extra passenger all the time.
  • I believe that the performance will be astonishing - if you can keep traction on the back wheels - as it will still be much lighter than my Leaf.
  • Cornering and braking ability would be significantly reduced, due to the extra weight.
  • The cost for doing a proper job would be twice the current value of the car.
  • I would be worried about protecting the batteries from impact in a crash - the only possible location would be where the petrol tank sits currently, and that's so vulnerable in a rear-end shunt. Severe battery damage usually means a massive and dangerous fire.
  • I am confident and competent when dealing with high voltage, but a 350V battery with the capability of hundreds of Amps when you make a mistake is just scary.

So my little toy will stay with petrol until it goes to the great scrapyard in the sky!





The older I get, the better I was...

View User's Profile Visit User's Homepage View All Posts By User U2U Member

New Topic New Reply


go to top






Website design and SEO by Studio Montage

All content © 2001-16 LocostBuilders. Reproduction prohibited
Opinions expressed in public posts are those of the author and do not necessarily represent
the views of other users or any member of the LocostBuilders team.
Running XMB 1.8 Partagium [© 2002 XMB Group] on Apache under CentOS Linux
Founded, built and operated by ChrisW.