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Author: Subject: Perhaps the end of kit car making as we know it?
David Jenkins

posted on 15/11/20 at 09:51 AM Reply With Quote
Perhaps the end of kit car making as we know it?

BBC link

I'm guessing that registering a petrol kit car will not be allowed when they ban the sale of petrol & diesel cars. I would also guess that it will become very difficult and/or expensive to find liquid fuel in the future, as garages become more and more scarce.

It is possible now to put batteries and an electric drive train into a kit car - but currently it is incredibly expensive and, to be honest, incredibly dangerous for anyone who isn't savvy with high-voltage cabling (350 - 400V usually, with huge current available). Just for the hell of it I worked out how much it would cost to convert my Locost but lost interest when the total went past £10K, and that would be using second-hand batteries.

As I am already the driver of an electric car (Kia e-Niro) I shall now duck down behind the parapet and await the outrage...





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perksy

posted on 15/11/20 at 09:58 AM Reply With Quote
I might be completely of track, but weren't Westfield looking into a electric 7 awhile ago?

I know they've designed a electric shuttle car as I've seen that one

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CosKev3

posted on 15/11/20 at 10:11 AM Reply With Quote
Search YouTube or Google for the megawatt.

Drag car thats battery powered,stupidly fast, but a range of just over 20miles iirc

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David Jenkins

posted on 15/11/20 at 10:29 AM Reply With Quote
quote:
Originally posted by CosKev3
Search YouTube or Google for the megawatt.

Drag car thats battery powered,stupidly fast, but a range of just over 20miles iirc


Have you seen how much nitro-methane a top-fuel dragster uses on a quarter-mile run?!





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David Jenkins

posted on 15/11/20 at 10:38 AM Reply With Quote
quote:
Originally posted by perksy
I might be completely of track, but weren't Westfield looking into a electric 7 awhile ago?



It was put together by a company that was the subject of a TV series a little while ago. I can't remember what the cost was, but I'm sure it wasn't cheap. During the test drive he said it went like stink and had a range of around 100 miles. I could live with that.

The owner of Westfield took possession at the end of the show - what a miserable bugger he was too!

CORRECTION: They converted a Chesil Porsche Speedster replica, who are now owned by Westfield. I recall seeing some dreadful welding on the rear frame...

[Edited on 15/11/20 by David Jenkins]





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NoAlternator

posted on 15/11/20 at 12:26 PM Reply With Quote
In ten years time there should be components from scrapped teslas or leafs (leaves?) going a bit cheaper, surely that'd reduce the cost of an electric 7? When they did the SVA -> IVA thing wasn't there a grace period for vehicles already under construction, hopefully they'll do something like that again.
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Deckman001

posted on 15/11/20 at 01:00 PM Reply With Quote
While i was at my initial IVA test a month or so ago, there was just two kit cars there being tested, but on the other side of the forecourt, there were over 15 Toyota Prius's being tested, used cars had been imported from somewhere and re-registered for use on our roads. I guess electric cars are the future although aren't some diesel cars being driven on crop based oils now ? With these crops being natural and regrown each year so reusable, isn't that another option ?

I saw that tv show, changing out the engine, gearbox, suspension and interior isn't a straight forward option.

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taylormade100

posted on 15/11/20 at 01:29 PM Reply With Quote
There was a tv show called vintage voltage that electrified a chesil speedster.

https://www.vintagevoltage.tv/

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David Jenkins

posted on 15/11/20 at 02:16 PM Reply With Quote
quote:
Originally posted by taylormade100
There was a tv show called vintage voltage that electrified a chesil speedster.

https://www.vintagevoltage.tv/


That's the programme I was talking about.





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David Jenkins

posted on 15/11/20 at 02:30 PM Reply With Quote
I would really like to drive an electric 7-style car. My 1.85 tonne Kia e-Niro can do 0 - 60 in 7.5 seconds, which is not trivial for a big fat family saloon. I think the trouble with a Locost would be keeping the wheels from spinning - the torque at zero revs is mighty!

There would be a weight penalty of course, but I worked out that removing the engine, gearbox and fuel tank would mean that I'd end up 75Kg heavier once the electrics went in. The torque and smooth acceleration would more than compensate for that.

All a pipe dream though, as I could never afford it... and I'd be more than a bit scared of the electrics, even though I've spent a large part of my life dealing with electrical stuff in one way or another. Each block of batteries has hundreds of volts live and ready to bite you if you make a mistake, and you have to wire several of them together in a car, then wire them to the battery management module, motor and charging socket. At least internal combustion components don't bite straight out of the box! (well, the 12v battery might, if you're REALLY careless).





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Mr Whippy

posted on 15/11/20 at 02:49 PM Reply With Quote
Don't know what the panic is about, 10 years from now it will be more expensive to fit an engine in a car than a motor and there will be masses of second hand EVs to donate their components. Yeah the tech is different but that's all, it's just different not anymore complicated. If anything life's going to be easier as many of the manufacturers are going for rolling platforms with Interchangeable body shells like the VW ID, just like the old days of vw beetle based kits. If I still have a 7 style car in 10 years I'd be quite keen on converting it to electric.

Soon all sports cars will be electric as their performance can't be beaten, ferrari and lamborghini already know this as even now their getting a hiding from Tesla and the like. Before you know it engine power will look as antiquated as steam.




[Edited on 15/11/20 by Mr Whippy]

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jacko

posted on 15/11/20 at 03:08 PM Reply With Quote
Around the time I built my Indy I am positive mk built a chassis / car for someone in Germany Who made it a electric powered car it is / was on utube

That was about 2004
Jacko

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Dingz

posted on 15/11/20 at 03:31 PM Reply With Quote
At Stoneleigh 2017 there was an electric 7, I have a picture of it which I can't load, SQL error, looks like it might be milk float tech. but by a company Trident engineering.





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perksy

posted on 15/11/20 at 04:31 PM Reply With Quote
I seem to remember a single seater hillclimb car being designed with an electric motor driving each wheel
Not sure it ever got built though..

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ettore bugatti

posted on 15/11/20 at 04:33 PM Reply With Quote
There are ton of options available to convert kit cars to electric, being helped that there are a few companies focussing on converting classic cars.

Eco classics did convert a Westfield Eleven, which equals/ slightly betters 1275 A-series
https://www.ecoclassics.co.uk/lotus-xi-replica-electrification

And Swindon Powertrain has a kit that fit the classic Mini subframe
https://swindonpowertrain.com/documents/Classic_Mini_Kit.pdf

I dont think the motor, controller and charger for electric propulsion is the biggest challenge, it is more about getting the batteries right.

You will need pretty much all the time a custom designed pack that fit in the space available and with a battery management systems. The engineering costs and cost for cells will be a big chunk of the total cost.

Another point ot touch on is legisation, looks like battery packs over 48V (and for good performance you will need high voltage) need to be ECE R100 homologated which adds costs and is only really viable for volume production.
Although Hyperdrive repackage Nissan Leaf Modules in 44V that are can be used modular.
https://hyperdriveinnovation.com/battery-energy-storage/

So like said before when you add everything together you soon looking at £10-20k costs for a system that performs adequate, but then have a look what a GM E-rod crate engine costs and that might convert us to V8 power.

Another previous thread on this topic:
http://locostbuilders.co.uk/viewthread.php?tid=215772


[Edited on 15/11/20 by ettore bugatti]

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David Jenkins

posted on 15/11/20 at 04:54 PM Reply With Quote
I think you're right - legislation around vehicle batteries will be a big hurdle, probably.

We'll see...





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harmchar

posted on 15/11/20 at 05:43 PM Reply With Quote
I am hoping that hydrogen technology gets stronger infrastructure as it would be more realistic for people that travel further than the current crop of battery powered cars can do. I look at the range on offer of cars below £30k and most of them are pathetic. Just not a viable option just now. They are getting better, but who wants to be sitting in a service station for an hour for batteries to charge?
Hopefully the demise of petrol will be another deadline that will be extended as the time gets closer and the powers that be realise the infrastructure is not there to support mass changeover to batteries.

Anyone tried to weld a hydrogen tank in a 7 yet

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harmchar

posted on 15/11/20 at 05:48 PM Reply With Quote
https://youtu.be/nqpziI2WZ6I

A YouTube vid of a guy converting an MX5 to ev. Looks like a lot of stuff to squeeze into a small space but must be doable.

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Simon

posted on 15/11/20 at 06:18 PM Reply With Quote
https://www.electricclassiccars.co.uk/ do electric conversions on classics.

The chap I collected my gearbox from was putting a Tesla motor into his Boxster - he had a spare but wanted £3k for it. Sadly the batteries etc would cost upwards another £10k.

I'd love to build electric for the torque delivery and general performance but lack of range, cost and let's face it they don't sound that good

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Mr Whippy

posted on 15/11/20 at 06:25 PM Reply With Quote
quote:
Originally posted by David Jenkins
I think you're right - legislation around vehicle batteries will be a big hurdle, probably.

We'll see...


Considering that petrol has more energy than TNT and we're still allowed to put the tank behind the axle I'd say batteries are a lot safer. Besides there are new batteries that you can crush and cut without catching fire these will become the norm. The whole idea of filling your car with many liters of explosive chemicals will soon seem utter madness.

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David Jenkins

posted on 15/11/20 at 06:34 PM Reply With Quote
Imagine if the internal combustion engine had never been invented - I often wonder what sort of reaction there would be if someone tried to introduce petrol-engined cars as a new thing these days!

"What?! You want to put 50 litres of petrol in a metal box and strap it under a passenger-carrying vehicle that will travel at 70mph? With loads of other vehicles around you? Giving off all sorts of nasty fumes as it goes along? No way!"





[Edited on 15/11/20 by David Jenkins]





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snapper

posted on 15/11/20 at 07:27 PM Reply With Quote
Donít panic, the infrastructure to charge electric cars is not in place, this is propaganda piece because we are hosting the world climate change conference next year.
It is a little known fact that the power limit in most houses is only just up to the job as it stands, if every house in the UK had to charge a huge electric car power pack overnight the cables in the roads would melt ( at t to he same time your houses burst in to flames) and the national grid would collapse.
Now extrapolate the increase in world electrical use and in a few hundred years the earth will glow red because all that electrical power has to ground to earth





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Simon

posted on 15/11/20 at 07:36 PM Reply With Quote
quote:
Originally posted by snapper
Donít panic, the infrastructure to charge electric cars is not in place....



That's what a friend of mine said a couple of years back when he had an i3 so he replaced it with an M140

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Mr Whippy

posted on 15/11/20 at 09:06 PM Reply With Quote
quote:
Originally posted by snapper
Donít panic, the infrastructure to charge electric cars is not in place, this is propaganda piece because we are hosting the world climate change conference next year.
It is a little known fact that the power limit in most houses is only just up to the job as it stands, if every house in the UK had to charge a huge electric car power pack overnight the cables in the roads would melt ( at t to he same time your houses burst in to flames) and the national grid would collapse.
Now extrapolate the increase in world electrical use and in a few hundred years the earth will glow red because all that electrical power has to ground to earth


Sorry but that's just wrong. Home charging points work at 220-240 volts, typically at either 16-amps or 32-amps. A 16-amp charging point will typically charge an electric car from flat to full in around six hours.

My house has electric heating, electric cookers, showers, washing machine, dryer all of which I can run at the same time and not blow my house up. Even the fastest home charging is only about 15% the rating of an average house. Just converting your home to LED lights is enough of a saving to charge your car.

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David Jenkins

posted on 15/11/20 at 09:59 PM Reply With Quote
As he said - quite a few experts have stood up and said that the infrastructure isn't a problem. It will need managing, but it will cope.

What really does sound interesting is the proposal to put the cars' storage capacity on the grid; the technology already exists to use a car's battery in the same way as a Tesla battery (but not in the UK yet - soon though), but the idea is for all cars to store surplus energy to feed back into the grid in periods of high demand. Presumably there will be incentives to do this, otherwise most owners will give 2 fingers! Nice idea, but not sure of the practicality.

The only thing I had to do to my house was to get the main distribution fuse changed from the old 40A to the current standard of 100A, and the 'tails' that go to the meter changed to a greater thickness. Neither job cost me anything. I'm surprised the old fuse didn't blow, considering the stuff I use in the house, without considering the charger!





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