Silent, but moving on

This post, after a relatively long pause, is just telling that we have not stopped. We are simply working, maybe silently, maybe too silently, but working hard.

Last months before the summer vacation period have been mostly focused on participating to important initiatives as the Climate Launchpad 2015 competition and the Festival Ecofuturo. These activities were aimed to gain visibility and widen our networking. Most probably the time and effort spent in participating to these events has slowed down the actual work on the conversion. But it wasn’t really wasted time because an innovative project needs visibility and needs more people, more feedbacks, more options, more ideas. We cannot afford to work on our own, in the closed workshop to discover at the end that world is going somewhere else, we need contact, we need confrontation with reality. And it was indeed a learning exercise.

However, as we got back from summer vacation, we realized that our development group was simply ready to start working on the real thing. The conversion fundamentals are clear at this moment.

We know what vehicle we want to convert: a 6th series Ford Fiesta, made around the 2009. The whole team is searching the web and our contacts to find one at a good price, a real bargain. We do not need a readily running car, we can also work with a lightly damaged vehicle, we will fix it anyway. We should make it in less than 2000 Euro.

We have decided the engine model (HPEV AC-51) and the controller (Curtis) to use in our powertrain. The engine was dimensioned through the calculations implemented by our calculation sheet. The controller is a natural choice for a DIY project and will allow a lot of learning and, why not, hacking as well!

We have recently also dimensioned the battery cells to be used in our project. We have chosen LiFePO4 3.2V cells with 100Ah capacity. The dimensioning was mainly driven by the minimum possible capacity that may allow the motor to deliver similar performances as the gasoline vehicle, especially in terms of maximum speed.

We will most likely find a suitable BMS here in Modena, there are factories producing such devices here at hand.

Last, but not least, a new member has joined the team, a professional mechanic, passionate with electric mobility. Nothing better! He has offered to the project a dismissed workshop near Modena, which we will use to work on the firts conversion. That’s a big hit!

So, we have clear ideas on the main components. We are sure that once the Fiesta will be in the workshop, we will jumpstart the work to replace the old engine in a brand new AC electric motor.

If you want to know all the details of our project developments, please consult the Meetings page, where we publish all our weekly meeting minutes.