What is a hybrid car? Pros and cons of exploitation.

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When buying a car, do not only consider that cheap car. Look for a car which can meet all your needs and requirement options. Look for a hybrid car.

Hybrid is something made up by a combination of two different properties or elements to form one Hybrid car is therefore a car made up of two engines. An electric engine/motor generator which boosts the car and a normal gasoline engine that propels the car to higher speeds.

Most people confuse hybrid cars with electric cars. Hybrid cars are normally gasoline engine gasses which uses motor generator to boost the car and consume the energy which could be wasted in normal cars. These cars comes in variety of form of we call it hybrid layouts. We’ve got simple hybrid form, which is the oldest type of cars, parallel hybrid, plug-in parallel and series-parallel hybrid. This types have different elements and works in a different ways.

Here are some of the advantages of hybrid cars which makes it more efficient for you.

Advantages of hybrid

– Rechargeable breaking system

Hybrid cars are mechanically designed to recharge the batteries when the driver applies the brakes. The energy obtained when the brake is applied recharges the battery saving on time used to recharge the battery.

– Low fuel dependency

Due to their combination of gasoline engines and electric motor, these cars therefore require less fossil fuels. This causes a reduction in the price of gasoline in the market.

– Cost efficient

Hybrid cars are cheap to manage and maintain. With their low fuel consumption, it saves you a lot of cash. With the low tax bills and support by many credits it makes them really affordable.

– Highly energy saving

This cars are built from light materials which makes them energy saving. Light materials makes the car light and therefore, it require little amount of energy to run making it energy saving.

– Environment friendly

Having a better gas mileage, Toyota Highlander 6 Passenger Hybrid emit less toxic gasses to the environment. This reduces the air pollution, hence conserving the environment for the betterment of the future generation.

– Highly energetic

Having two working engines, the electric motor provides more energy to the combustion engine by working simultaneously at the same time This is normally used when the car needs more energy.

Despite being economical by saving fuel and having less negative impacts on the environment, hybrid cars also have a number of shortcomings:

– Most hybrid cars have poor acceleration in comparison to the other cars.

– Due to their unique parts and features, many car mechanics lack proper spare parts to repair these hybrid cars thus hindering its efficient servicing.

– These cars are quite expensive in comparison to the other normal vehicles since manufacturers argue that it comes with quite a number of special features. This makes the car buyers opt for the non-hybrid cars.

– Its durability is not fully assured since these hybrid cars are made of very light materials. Therefore in case of an accident the car gets crumpled like a piece of paper hence posing a greater risk to the lives of the driver and the occupants.

Having gone through this article, I hope that you will make a decisive decision on purchasing one of the hybrid cars. Especially for a buyer with an aim on championing environmental conservation, this is the perfect car for you

Catavolt in Popular Science

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Catavolt project is one of the project that I get interested though. I see a lot of potential to pursue the electric vehicle in this project in the market and I hope that their goal will set free. I am very much positive to team Catavolt that they will reach their set goals in their chosen field. I am one of those thousands of fans who follow and being thrilled in every game. Best regards and good luck.

Electric vehicles are

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I really love cars and bikes and I love to see different races from electric vehicles and its sounds thrilling. I’ve heard that the Speedweek 2011 event was canceled due to rain. The various members of Team Catavolt travelled to Lake Gairdner from all over the fair land to discover only that a massive and rare storm had obliterated the access road. While disappointed the team remained in excellent spirits and the Catavolt Eken Power Bike and it’s rider Jake Dolan are both gunning for a chance to show their  stuff at the soonest opportunity. This looks like it will be the BUB Speedtrials at Bonneville Salt Flats, Utah, in September.

Catavolt announces rider for Speed Week 2011

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It seems that the new converted Daelim bike is attracting a lot of attention in the race circuits as Aussie racer, Jake Dolan looks set to become the pilot for the speed trials at Lake Gairnder in March 2011.

Jake is trading his Superstock GSX-R 600 for a try at breaking the Land Speed record onboard the Catavolt electric motorcycle.

This year the Catavlolt team will be returning to the Speed Week circuit with the intention of beating their standing record of 177km/h on the salt. To take on the challenge Jake and the team will be travelling the 1500km journey into the heartland of South Australia. Having an experienced Superstock racer on board will give the team a great chance in this amazing land speed challenge.

Jake Dolan is looking forward to the event and had this to say; “I am so keen to set another World Record to add to my scooter racing achievement. The thought of being the first to do 200 mph (322 kph) on an electric motorcycle is very exciting. This growing sector of motorsport is a very topical subject. To be known as the world’s fastest rider and first ever to 200 mph on electric power will be a real a real boost to my race career.”

He added: “I only really heard about such racing since the movie ‘The World’s Fastest Indian’ came out and since then it has always been something I have wanted to do. My ambition is to race in World Superbikes and MotoGP and I hope that this result will help people to know my name and attract sponsors. Jon Eggenhuizen (Team Catavolt) self funds the entire land speed effort with some peripheral help and it would be great to see him pick up a sponsor to help him develop even faster bikes and maybe a range for commercial sale as transport.”

“I am hoping that a great result at Lake Gairdner will benefit the both of us.”

Jake

Jake sparks up for electric bid (By Mark Hinchiiffe)

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HE once broke the world record for riding a 50cc scooter and now has his eyes set on the world land speed record for electric motorbikes.

Gold Coast racer Jake Dolan, 21, will next month attempt to break the 200mph barrier (321.8km/h) on an Australian-made electric bike at Speed Week at Lake Gairdnier, South Australia.

“I only really heard about such racing since the movie The World’s Fastest Indian came out and since then it’s always been something I have wanted to do,” he said.

“I am so keen to set another world record to add to my scooter racing achievement.”

In 2007, Dolan set a Guinness world record by riding his 50cc TGB lois scooter 1178.76km in 24 hours (49.11 km/h average) in the Le Minz Scooterthon on the Gold Coast.

This time he will be riding a bike built by Team Catavolt, which last year established the Australian land speed record of 177km/h with a 60kW engine.

For 2011, they will have 175kw of power, substantially more than the world record holders who set a speed of 174mph (280 km/h) last year in Bonneville, Utah. “The thought of being the first to do 200mph on an electric motorcycle is pretty exciting,” Dolan said. “This growing sector of motorsport is a very topical subject and to be known as the world’s fastest rider and first ever to 200mph would be a real boost to my race career.”

Dolan is Queensland’s fastest 600cc Superstock road racer.

Catavolt reaches 177km/h at Lake Gairdner

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Catavolt sets the record

On Friday 12th March 2010 Team Catavolt set the World Record for a Modified Partial Streamlined Electric Motorcycle and the Australian Land Speed Record for an Electric Vehicle on the Australian Salt Lake event, Speed Week 2010.

The Catavolt bike saw speeds of 115km/h during testing on a 72V system but reached 177km/h when run at 144V. Not bad for a forklift motor running at six times its rated voltage limit! The 48V Nissan electric forklift motor was expertly rewound to 24V (yes 24 volts) by Kenshaw Electrical at Newcastle. Under load the Odyssey 925 lead acid batteries fed the Curtis Controller with the 400 amps required to propel the bike and rider to 177kph.

Mixing it with the petrol an nitro heads on the salt was an experience in itself. When the bike finally hit 177km/h the recommendations of extension leads and sound systems with V-Twin soundtracks were replaced with congratulations and a barrage of questions about the bike. Even the audacious ‘Animal’ offered words of encouragement and wisdom with the classic “May the course be with you!”

The course was indeed ‘with’ Kearon de Clouet as on the final day the conditions were perfect for the 177km/h run. Kearon eased the throttle on and passed the first time marker at over 160km/h. The second marker showed 177km/h. After returning to the pits it took several hours before Kearon could lose that EV Grin.

Also on the salt were the Fast Sparks team from Bathurst who achieved 156kph on their Electric Kawasaki setting the record for a naked electric motorcycle. The Fast Sparks team were also using Odyssey Lead Acid Batteries at 144V. Both teams shared a pit area together and traded expertise and encouragement at the event.

Finally the bar has been set and the race is now on. Next year, electic motorcycle expert Jon Eggenhuizen promises 300km/h+ and Team Catavolt is anticipating many more electric teams on the salt for 2011.

Catavolt on schedule for the salt (March 8th – 12th 2010)

All reports from the lake say that the track is in a suitabe condition to race. The bike is in the final stages of having the fairing made and the team has received some great support from many sponsors including the Australian Electric Vehicle Association (AEVA), Odyssey batteries and APW Motorcycles Brookvale.

The battereries on the bike this year will be lead acid as opposed to the LiFeBATT lithium batteries from 2009. If Jon’s calculations are correct the large 8″ motor in Catavolt should be able pull some serious amps from the lead. Rumour has it that the guys are using a custom controller also. One thing is for certain. The excitement is mounting.

Catavolt – Preparing the streamlined fairing for the salt flats

Kearon and Andy spent all day Saturday with Bob the expert plastic welder from APW Motorcycles in Brookvale, Sydney working out the streamlined fairings. Some new brackets need to be fabricated to hold everyting in place.

Bob gets busy with the tools. The guys at APW motorcycles are helping out with the custom fairing.It has been a busy week and the bike is now back at Newcastle NSW for battery fitting.

Catavolt is getting a new paint job for the run this year. Jon has been busy painting the wheels and we think they look awesome! The Odyssey batteries have arrived and Jon has been busy working on the mountings. The motor has been custom wound, thanks to the guys at Kenshaw Electric. The controller will be mounted shortly and then we can get some testing done.

The motor has been completely rebuilt with custom winding and fitted with low resistance bearings which should reduce any drag in the motor. Already the motor has been tested at 72V however the controller for the salt will be 144 Volts.

Lake Gairdner 2010

After an amazing attempt to set the Australian land speed record for an Electric Motorcycle in 2009, CATAVOLT is back and under construction.

Presently the bike is being fitted with new batteries and having a new streamlined fairing constructed. The team leave for the salt from Sydney on Friday the 5th March for Speed Week 2010.

Catavolt at Lake Gairdner 2009

Once a year, hundreds of motor enthusiasts from the Dry Lakes Racers Australia (DLRA) descend upon the sacred Aboriginal ground of Lake Gairdner to drive their souped-up vehicles as fast as possible over a nine-mile stretch of the salt lake. This year there was a new contender, the Catavolt electric motorcycle.

Built by Jon ‘Egg’ Eggenhuizen and Mark ‘Camo’ Camilari in a whirlwind of spanners, grinders and welding rods, the bike was completed in record time for the competition. In fact, the guys didn’t even have time to test out the LiFeBATT pack before setting off on the two day trek from Sydney to the lake, which lies 180km from the nearest sealed road.

The guys enlisted the help of fellow EV guru Kearon De Clouet (of EV Capri fame) and managed to convince him to bring along his race leathers for the record breaking attempt run on the bike. As this was virgin territory for electric vehicles on the salt, any speed would be a record. The guys decided that 150kmh was a respectable speed to aim for.

144 Volts for Speed

Jon wired up the new 14Ah LiFeBATT cells in series to make a 144V 14Ah pack. This would give the bike enough punch to break the 100kmh mark easily. The Curtis controller was limited to 60 amps just in case things got a little too hot! On the test track, an area adjacent to the main track, the bike performed well. At 60 amps the rear hub motor propelled the bike to just over 100kmh before running out of road. Kearon reckoned that it was still accelerating.

Charging and instrumentation

The LiFeBATT cells went in raw and were charged with what became known as the ‘Frankencharger’ as pictured below. This charger was ingeniously fashioned by the guys in record time. The batteries worked flawlessly in all test attempts, charging them at 2C, everything worked fine. The main instrumentation used in the bike to monitor charge voltage and current were a set of multimetres placed on various parts of the bike. For speed and distance a Garmin GPS was used. Each time the trip was reset and top speed recorded. Above you can see that in one run the bike reached 98.5kmh over a 2.1km stretch.

Preparing for the scrutineer

The bike had to be thoroughly checked before it could be timed on the track. It was very interesting to see the race officials reaction to the Catavolt. Much of the inspection involved ICE components, none of which are present on this bike which just resulted in the officials shaking their heads and ticking boxes on the sheet.

All of the critical nuts and bolts had to be lock wired so Camo got busy with his drill and the 0.9mm wire. Other than that, there was not much mechanical work to tend to. The guys set about painting the race numbers onto the fairing. Magic marker dries quickly in forty degree heat!

The guys remained on the salt well into the evening time ensuring that the bike was fit for the run. Word was out that there was another electric vehicle there. The other bike, while registered, did not materialise on the day.

There was plenty of space for testing the bike but the Marshalls kept a close check on everything. The salt on the course itself had been skimmed so that the surface was smooth but off the track it was a lot like riding on wet sand. The salt got everywhere! Not good for electrical components so it was important that everything was shielded against the spray.

Licensing run

Before a vehicle can run on the track it must do a licensing run at restricted speed. This is so that the officials can see that both the bike and rider are fit to ride fast. After a long queue Kearon finally got to the start line. The atmosphere was indeed electric.

Once the track was clear it was time for the Catavolt to make its debut run. As Kearon eased on the throttle everything worked smoothly. He reported that it was going somewhat faster than the test laps and that everything worked perfectly. Just two miles later the bike started to lose power and Kearon had to abort the run, much to the dismay of everybody there, the Catavolt motor had fried!

Too many amps!

After multiple successful test runs with the bike the guys decided to raise the amp limit on the Curtis controller. During the first licensing run the commutator burned out and the bike stopped one mile short of the final timing gate. As this was a prototype motor the guys missed out on their target and failed to get a timed run.

Just one more mile and the record would have been set! The guys were not giving up easily though. Within minutes Jon had the rear wheel stripped. Unfortunately, inside the motor was bad news.

Determined to set the record straight in 2010

Before the bike was even loaded onto the trailer next years tactics were already being discussed. The event has given everybody involved a renewed determination to not only get a record next time, but to set a much higher speed that will be difficult to beat.

Lake Gairdner – getting there

Bringing the bike to the lake was a feat in itself. This massive expanse of salt is accessible only by dirt road. A 4WD vehicle is highly recommended for this. After an 1800km drive the guys had to traverse 180km on unsealed roads to reach the lake. It was however, a spectacular, if somewhat unusual venue for such an event. Many of the vehicles that compete here also make their way to Lake Bonneville in Utah for world record attempts. The track is very susceptible to weather conditions and during the event there was a lot of waiting around. Who would imagine that rain would delay a race in the Australian Outback?

Camping was the order of the day and luckily there were toilet and shower facilities on hand to make sleeping in a swag all the more comfortable. They even had a burger joint, as you can see from my raincoat shaded photograph above.

One thing is for sure. I will be there next year. It’s an amazing event and the scenery is just spectacular!

eVFR LCD guage cluster

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Initially my design was going to incorporate a PDA as a dash. That was before the controller went USB. Now that the controller’s communication protocol has changed, it complicated the interface to a PDA without USB (No USB HOST on PDA’s). Thats when I started to look at other solutions.

I found a few WinCE based devices that were fairly priced, but they ran CE, had no enclosure, no battery backup, no memory and weren’t from proven manufacturers. A couple people at Synkromotive mentioned the Asus EEE pc. Its a small laptop device that has solid state memory, wifi, sd card slot, USB and a 7″ LCD that can be modified to have a touch interface.

So I bought one and started working with Ives and Josh on building a dashboard. My goal is to have something like the dashboard Intel used on an Orange County Chopper:

Ives has gotten alot done with the charging system as well, and should be fully operational (and integrated with the controller) in the coming weeks. The Asus should be able to display all my battery pack stats, as well as controller stats. I’ll build a watertight enclosure with a hinged lid, and only use the touchscreen for configuration. It should be ok in the sun because its under the windscreen and will likely have a small visor over the screen.

Loni and I are working on getting the new batteries installed into the frame. We took the scrapped frame, and built a little jig so we can work on a table for sizing the battery trays. With the knowledge we have now, it shouldn’t take but a few weeks to finish installation. We’re also redoing the motormount in steel while minimizing the material we use. The old batteries, battery tray and motor mount will be transferred to the other motorcycle, which wDe’ll use for testing. We’ll take the motor from the go-kart and transfer it to eVFR v2.0, and give the go-kart to my cousin.

So our goal for the next month is to have the eVFR v1.0 fully functional with a charging system, display, controller and a low voltage system in place. I’m going to work on getting the fairings painted as well. I ordered a fiberglass rear fairing (already have fiberglass upper and lowers), and need to get it to paint.

Electric Cagiva Mito – LiFeBATT – LiFeTECH TTXGP UK

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Electric Mito at Snetteton for TTXGP UK

The Cagiva Mito has finally hit the racetrack thanks to Ian Goodman from LiFeBATT UK. The bike sustained an average speed of 62.45mph on the Snetterton racetrack. It was ridden by Harry Hardi for the LiFeBATT LiFeTECH entry.

The Cagiva Mito is an excellent handling chassis. Lightweight and nimble the Mito was made for the track and it is great to see it competing once again in such a cutting edge event as the TTXGP UK.

Many thanks to Ian Goodman from LiFeBATT UK and the LiFeTECH team for bringing this bike to track. I think you will agree that this is a fantastic achievement from all involved.

Electric Cagiva Mito 125

It has taken about one month to complete but here you have it, the Cagiva Mito chassis completely deICE’d and ready for some electrification. As you can see in the images below there is quite a bit of space for the electrical components inside the engine cavity.

One excellent advantage of the Mito is that the fairing completely encloses the engine bay. It is very possible to make this electric without any of the EV components showing.

Making this bike electric now is a matter of working out where the motor will go and building the mount to support it together with the batteries and controller. There is enough room in this little cagiva for at least 40Ah at 72V using LifePo4 cells. Looking at it now, I am very glad to have chosen the Mito. This will be sooo much fun when it is running. It is a very light chassis. The knee-down potential of this one is very high! Bring on the electricity!

 Cagiva Mito – The bike with the flip top lid!

One great feature of the Mito is the flip up tank. This will be very handy for getting to the electrical components once installed! I have finally got the brakes sorted also. This rolling chassis is almost complete now!

Back on her wheels after 16 years!

It’s hard to believe that this bike is 16 years old! At the time, these little Italian rockets broke the mould for handling and performance. These bikes were released in 1990 and I believe this is the MKII version of the machine as it has the upside down front forks. Not a bad looking machine even by today’s standards. With a lot of time and effort it is possible to turn even the worst case scenario into something special.

Brakes are next to be sorted out

The next part to be worked on are the brake calipers. I have stripped them down and have found that the seals are totally destroyed. Hopefuly they will clean up okay but they will need all new seals and possibly hoses. For the moment I am working on getting the bike as complete as possible to see which parts I am missing. So far this bike will require a full set of indicators, Hand grips, brake seals, screen and rear seat. The wiring loom is rough enough but it looks complete. I guess there is only one way to find out!

When choosing a bike for conversion I would advise getting one that is in half decent shape. This Mito was a disaster zone! If you don’t mind spending a LOT of time working on the rolling chassis then go for the cheapest, othewise get yourself a good one! I am enjoying getting this one back into shape though, as it is one of my favourite 125’s and rare to get one of these 1993 ones in good condition now!

The Mito is a very light machine!

It is no wonder why these machines can get over 100mph with the two stroke motor in there. It is extremely light. It can be lifted clean off the ground easily as it stands now. For making the motor mount and battery cage, alloy will be the way to go on this one.

Cagiva Mito rolling chassis

So here we have a 1993 Cagiva Mito resurrected from the dead! She still has a few nuts and bolts loose but right now she is sitting pretty in her new spray job! As well as the paint, new fork seals have been fitted together with new wheel bearings all round. I am still working my way through the box of parts that are here but I reckon that I have the complete bike apart from the front screen and rear seat, oh and of course the stinky little two stroke engine that once inhabited this bike! It’s difficult to get one of these bikes in a decent condition. Mostly (as was the case with this one) they are resigned to the scrap heap after only a few thousand miles or so if not looked after correctly. It is especially difficult to find a straight one with undamaged rims also. This will make a stonking little EVMOTORCYCLE. It has to be AGNI and lifeBatt for this one for sure!

Engine Cavity

The Mito has a good bit of space for fitting EV components. There are basically three main locations in the Mito engine cavity where a frame can be made to accommodate the mounting of the batteries, motor and controller. Looking at the way Jozzer worked out the battery boxes for the GSXR, it should be possible to install something similar in the Mito. Potentially it would be possible to build a aluminium box that would fit snugly in here with the motor beneath and another set of batteries underneath. I am not sure if the Mito is the same size as the Aprilia RS. It should be possible to get at least 40Ah of Lifebatts in here.

Rebuilding the Cagiva Mito

Finally the Mito is beginning to look like a bike again.

Anyone for some Cagiva nuts?

It has been in a box for long enough so this week the plan is to get this little mito back to a rolling chassis. Just spent the entire day cleaning and sorting out all of the nuts and bolts for the machine. In this picture there is a combination of two Mito’s! So the next step is to work out where all of these nuts go! There will definately be some left overs from this lot! 🙂

Mito rear shock stripped and spray painted

Once again, thanks to my mate Tom for stripping the paint from the Mito shock. It took a while but the result is fantastic. Here you can see the rear spring from the Mito. The shock itself has been spray painted metallic gold. It is looking very sweet indeed. Amazing what can be done with a rattle can and 20 mins!

Cagiva Mito Fairing – Primer Stage

Compared to the Varadero the Mito has a lot of fairing. The whole thing was a total mess. Luckily my good mate Tom came to the rescue and both of us got stuck into getting them sorted.

Firstly, they were absolutely caked with oil and muck. Secondly, the paint was peeling so badly from these that much of the orginal paint had to be removed. Thirdly, the decals were an absolute nightmare to remove. Many hours with a heat gun and blade sorted them out. The front mudguard had one leg broken. Tom sorted it out with some fastglass. There were a few other areas that needed some fibreglass repair also. It was also necessary to fill in many scratches with some stop putty.  They are almost ready for color and clearcoat.

There are so many parts to the Mito. Quite a lot of plastic and metal make up this little bike! Many of the fasteners that were on this Mito are rusted and will need replacing. Once everthing has been painted and ready for the rebuild I have to source many of the smaller nuts and bolts for the bike. The shocks are next for attention. Both the front forklegs and rear shock require a repaint. This bike was really through the mill. There are less than 20,000 miles on the clock of this little Mito. I think she lived a very short and abused life! 🙁

MITO Chassis ready for assembly

Finally got the Mito chassis sorted. All of the major parts have been completely cleaned, stripped and powder coated! The next stage of this process for this machine is to work out the battery space frame and motor mount. The Mito will have 72V and 40Ah. It will basically be the same spec as the Varadero however the motor will be an AGNI motor with reinforced windings for those extra RPM. The controller will be a Kelly with regen and it’s lifebatt all the way with this one also. Zivan NG1 72V 10Amp charger. This little Mito is gonna be wicked when finished! 🙂

Before and After

This Mito chassis was dumped in a back yard and was bought for €80.00. I actually bought two Mito’s as the first frame was incomplete and the front wheel was ruined. The second Mito was €50 and this one had upside down forks. By using the parts from both bikes I managed to get one good bike together. There are still a few parts missing, the rear seat and front windscreen.

The Italian engineering and styling on the MITO is beautiful and it was such a shame to see the abuse that the bike had been subjected to. In Ireland there are many of these bikes discarded. the only problem is that they will corrode quickly if left! The tank on one of the bikes, when sandblasted, started to show holes in the metal! Lucky there was a second better tank on the other bike. The front wheel of the second MITO was damaged so it was sent off to be repaired. Further, the wheels were stripped and checked before being powder coated. This process cost around €150.00.

The sandblasting and powder coating took a couple of days and was not too expensive. Basically it cost around €150.00 for the cleaning and in the region of €200.00 for the powder coating. Well worth it in my opinion, as the bike comes up like brand new. So this bike has cost roughly €630.00 to get to this point. I reckon that it will be completely sorted, less EV components for around a grand. Not bad for a spanking, sweet little 916 replica! 🙂

Battery Space Frame and Motor Mount

The space frame and motor mount will have to be made as one complete unit for the MITO. On initial inspection there are three locations for mounting the original motor to the frame. The motor effectively hangs from lugs in the frame. The advantage of the Mito over the Varadero is that there is a lot of empty space to play with. The fairing will also completely enclose the space frame which will help to shield the components from the elements. Without the exhaust, that back wheel and well oversized sprocket should stand out nicely!

Electric Honda Varadero – 13Kw Peak DC – 72V 40Ah – LifePo4

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Varadero with fairing

Low Voltage Cutoff Bracket, Clutch Cable Mechanism and Frame Protectors

To mount the LVC / BMS circuits I made up this bracket. It serves three purposes. First it allows the mounting of circuits. There is enough space to expand this vertically so that in the future when the combination OVP / LVC board becomes available I can can just swap out the boxes.

Secondly, the clutch cable attaches to the bracket. This allows the clutch to act as before, except this time the clutch lever switch will shut off the contactor. Clutch lever feels like a proper clutch now! Additionally there is no reason why this mechanism could not be adapted to create a physical circuit breaker when the clutch is applied making a much safer method of disengaging the battery pack in an emergency.

Third, the bracket has two mushrooms to protect the bike if it falls over. Not too sure how strong these are, they are sturdy enough however, even if they offer some protection in the event of an accident then they are worth including.

This bracket mounts onto the front down-section of the frame.

 

 

 

 

 

Varadero almost finished now

At last, the Varadero is almost complete. Just got a quotation for insurance from Carole Nash. It will cost approx €350.00 for third party only. They do not offer fully comp to bikes under 250cc. The cycle analyst now works on the ignition switch so most of the switching is done. The next stage is to get all of the batteries in and wired up for the BMS! It really does look like a proper bike again now and that makes me well happy. At present this bike still has 24 cells in there and she rides no problem.

Makeshift spray booth

For painting the fairing I made up a makeshift spray booth in the garage using plastic sheeting. It fit the purpose perfectly keeping all of the spray within the plastic walls. The sheet of plastic cost €15 and worked a treat! The fairing was hung from the rafters while spraying and quicky transferred to the washing line (below) where it was nice and warm for cooking! >:)

Spraying both fairing took quite some time. Five days in total, from crappy fairing to finished paintwork. It’s still not perfect, but five days later, I have had enough! It’s yellow and shiny. That’s it for this spray booth!

Fairing almost finished

Spraying the fairing is taking a lot longer than expected. Three days later and they are starting to look okay now. The paint on this lot still needs to be flattened and a final coat applied. Then it’s the clearcoat and I can put the garage back to normal.

In the above photo you can see both the Mito and Varadero fairing. In an effort to save time, and paint, I have decided to work on both bikes simultaneously. Most of the fairing you see hanging is from the Mito. There are so many parts to it compared to the Varadero. If you look carefully you will be able to see the rear shock of the Mito hanging. The spring is below on the worktop.

LifeP04 Balancing the cells

In an effort to ensure that all of the cells are balanced before installation in the Varadero I am using a 2amp bench power supply to get each cell up to 3.7V. You can see in the image that there are five cells in parallel giving 3.3V and 50Ah.

This little power supply first tries hard to get the cells up to 3.7V and once there the current shoots up to 2 amps. Eventuallly the amps start to drop until it gets to about .25amps. At this point the cells should be fully charged and the power supply is switched off and the cells are removed from the power supply and the next five lined up for charging. This process will be repeated until all 96 cells are charged. The plan is to ensure that each cell is fully charged before installation in the bike. Hopefully this will ensure that the cells are evenly balanced to begin with.

Varadero Fairings – Primer Stage

It has taken almost two days to get the fairing into a reasonable condition for spraying. As I am also working on the Cagiva Mito as both sets of fairing are being sprayed simultaneously.

You can see that it was necessary to repair the Varadero fairing in a number of places as there were many scratches. One of the sides was split so a fibreglass repair was necessary. The paint and clearcoat will be applied next week.

PHEV Battery Management System for Varadero

The next step of the Varadero project is to get the Battery Management System installed. The system that will be used has been developed by The Peacehaven Electric Vehicle Workshop. You can contact Steve at http://www.jozzbikes.co.uk for more details. In the image you can see the Low Voltage Cutoff boards. The system connects together using the Molex PC Power cables. Basically this system will cut power to the controller when the board reads any cell operating close to 2.1 volts. At the moment Steve is developing the Over Voltage Protection (OVP) circuit for the board. This will then be a direct replacement for the LVC and just plug into the connectors. The OVP will ensure that none of the cells are charged above 3.7 Volts. Once this system is in place the batteries will be under constant scrutinty from the circuit. This will help to ensure a long battery life.

1st Ride! It’s fantastic guys!

Finally got my first ride on the Varadero tonight. Fantastic! I am still cautious of my engineering skills. Taking it easy in case it all falls apart! Seems very solid, and she can take brisk acceleration too! >:) The Alltrax is not a smooth as the Kelly Controller on Steve’s RS but but she pulls cleanly up to 50kph (Speedo is working perfectly!) without any problems. And gets there quick too! Next step is get the laptop onto that Alltrax and see what kinda settings she is working from. The batteries are charging also. I have been really careful with this though. Going through each of the cells with a multimeter to make sure that none of them go above 3.7 volts while charging. The Zivan is very fast at charging. The LifeBatts seem very solid and are behaving themselves very well!

I am taking it easy with the batteries too! The LVC and OVP still have to be fitted. That will take a while. Lots of soldering practice! It finally feels like I have an EVMOTORCYCLE and not just a bunch of parts and cables! Verdict so far! Well worth it guys! >:) When riding, the bike feels just like a motorcycle. No real compromise in the power! Takes a bit of getting used to though as the throttle is very sensitive!

Oh, if you look closely at the back wheel you will see she is a little dirty! That’s road dirt guys! Woohoooo!!! >:) Video to follow real soon guys!

She Lives! >:)

Tonight this baby got some lifep04 running through her electrics! Everything in the wiring loom works perfectly! The rear luggage has a large rear brake light. The bike was on charge for the first time today. Not sure if it is fully charged yet. I still have to work out exactly what all the different readings on the analyst mean! 🙂

You can see the cycle analyst which has taken the place of the original rev counter. The middle screen has a clock, odometer and trip meter as per the stock Varadero. Not sure if the speedo is working yet. Once the relays for the contactor are working then I guess I will find out then!

The small running lights can be used during daytime. All of the bulbs are standard. Once the bike is in use I will monitor the consumption from the 12V electrics to see if there would be a distinct advantage going with LED’s in all but the Headlights. Right now my priority is getting the relays and switches working so I can finally to ride it!

Under tank battery tray – twenty cells

At this point there are enough cells in the bike to run a 72V 10Ah system. Initially I am going to set the bike up with this configuration so that I can get all of the switches working with the contactor and charger. These cells will also allow me to configure the controller.

You can see that there will be acrylic sheet sealing the batteries from the side. The heavy cable (with the red + tape)  coming down from the contactor will go to a heavy duty welding connector. There are two of these on the bike for positive and negative. The negative connector is located behind the main battery cage. These are a ‘push and twist’ affair allowing me to join the multiple + and – cables to their respective connectors and also the charger. Using these means that it is not necessary to run every cable directly to the contactor or controller. Hopefully they will not add any voltage sag when the bike is running.

The shape of the battery pack leaves three cells oustanding on top. These are connected to the rest of the pack on the right of the bike using 250amp cable. The batteries under the tank will also be connected to four batteries on the front of the bike to complete the pack. This will give a 72V pack.

At this point, everything is fitting neatly. I had a few issues with the batteries being a little tight in the space, however I had to use a little creative leverage on the cage, to open it up a little. The batteries fit snugly now. They have self amalgamating tape wrapped around them so there is a little space between the cells. The bike feels light enough still with this lot in place. A way to go before it weighs as much as the Africa Twin! >:)

I also had to bleed the brakes a few times to get them feeling solid. Thr braided hoses really make a difference. The brakes are now rock solid and only a touch is enough to lock the front wheel. Will need that with the extra weight and no engine braking. It would be nice to incorporate regen into this build, even just to offer an additional brake. At this point though, the Varadero is using an Alltrax, so no regen. It’s amazing how simple everthing looks as it comes together! Hopefully I am not being too optimistic. No shocks, flashes or bangs just yet! Had a little mishap with one of the cells though. Tomorrow she gets some juice! >:) Time enough I reckon! Saw a Vectrix today here in Dublin! Gotta get this bad boy on the streets to kick some Vectrix ass!

72V and 12V electrics nearly complete

At this point the original wiring loom is back in the bike. Most of the 72V wiring is complete and the bike is almost ready for connection to the batteries. Under the tank it’s beginning to get very busy! >:) The LVC wires still have to go onto the bike. There is a lot of cable going into this bike! The relays have yet to be added also. These will effectively switch the contactor on and off.

Luggage and power socket

It is intended that this bike will be my daily transport so I have installed some rear luggage. I usually carry my laptop and spare helmet in here on my Africa Twin so I wanted the same convenience with this bike. The cable seen inside the luggage is for charging the bike. You can see there is a small cut in the top of the case. This will allow me to run the cable out of the gap so that I can charge but also keep the luggage locked. There is also going to be an extension of the RS232 port in the alltrax so that I do not have to take off the tank each time I want to change the settings for the controller. This cable will be accessible from under the seat.

DC DC Converter – the last large electrical component

I have finally chosen a position for the Kelly 72v~12V DC DC converter. It will be situated under the seat. I was trying to keep the luggage area free from any components but space is against me at this point! I had to cut the plastic under seat tray so that the DC~DC would fit. To keep it safe from the weather I will rivet some heavy duty rubber to the sides. Underneath, any major holes have been filled with fibreglass resin. I am trying to keep this area as tidy as possible however my plastic cutting was not perfect. Luckily the rubber conceals any defects nicely.

For this side of the DC~DC I will rivet rubber as per the second image. I will have to wait untill all of the wiring is in however as there is so little space, if the rubber is riveted off the bike the under seat tray will not fit onto the bike! 🙂 My main concern is keeping the device away from the wash of the back wheel.

Wiring up the Electric Varadero

Finally I am getting a clear run at wiring the bike up. To my surprise, this has been the easiest part. Under the helpful guidance of Steve from the Peacehaven Electric Vehicle Workshop, I am finally getting to grips with it. I must admit that it is very gratifying working with such clean components, not having to deal with an oily engine and fluids. The whole thing is beginning to remind me of building a tower computer actually, except the cables are much much bigger!

Here you can see the more or less completed electrics that will make the bike work. I have tried to keep everthing as simple and logical as possible. All of the components (especially the fuse and contactor) can be inspected immediately once the tank is removed. Hopefully this will help me to diagnose any problems that I might encounter. You can see the precharge resistor crosses the contactor terminals.

One of my main concerns was isolating the components. I am using rubber gromets, kevlar (effect) laminate and Duck Tape over any unnecessarily exposed components. Care will have to be taken once the batteries get installed as the components are packed closely together. I am very surprised at how well everthing is fitting onto the Varadero frame. This was a great choice of bike for the conversion. The Alltrax fits perfectly into frame! Fantastic! 🙂

All of the main components thus far have been connected using 500amp welding cable. If you inspect the above image you will see that the cable with the red strip is (+) connected to the contactor. The opposite side of the contactor will be connected to the battery pack positive (+).

Further up on the other image (picture showing all of the components in place) you can see that the 400 amp fuse sits above and behind the contactor. On the left side is where the battery negative (-) will connect to the fuse. This then runs to the shunt which is where the reading for the cycle analyst (This has taken the place of the original Varadero rev counter!) will be taken.I have yet to determine where the terminals will end on the batteries however there will need to be more cables coming from the pack.

One issue that I have is access to the alltrax serial port. I am thinking of using a hole saw to cut into the top plate so that I will only have to remove the charger to access the port. This is important as I can calibrate the controller via a laptop. Alternatively i might look at installing an RS232~USB cable permanently and store the USB for easier access. Either way I will need to gain access to the alltrax serial port.

All of these electrical components fit snugly under the original Varadero petrol tank, away from the weather. 🙂

Varadero Basic Electrical Components

The electrical components are now installed. Zivan 72V 10Amp charger, Alltrax Controller, Contactor, Shunt and main 400 amp fuse. Still to be installed is the DC~DC Convertor and the LVC circuits. The next step is to wire the bike up, get the brakes working, put on the chain and road test! >:)

You can see in the picture below that the shunt sits to the right of the alltrax controller. Acrylic sheet was used to separate the components. All connectors will be further insulated using self amalgamating tape and heat wrap. The controller is not bolted on, rather it is gently wedged into the frame and secured beneath by the front bracket. Also on this bracket is a further extrusion that holds on the contactor. I wanted the contactor accessible and away from the elements. Some of the bolts still have to be cut to avoid any potential shorts. There is still some space available for the LVC units either beneath the controller or behind the charger. The charger can be removed via three bolts for access to the serial port on the alltrax. I am looking at cutting a hole in the above acrylic sheet so that it will not need to be removed to access the port.

With all of these components attached, the bike is starting to gain weight. The main battery pack is going to be well heavy! You can see that the front pack is now in place. I tested the motor from this pack and it fires up nicely. Care has to be taken however, as I do not want to risk unbalancing the packs. The tank fits nicely over these components. You would never know they were there! >:)

Varadero 125 – LMC 200 Motor Mount Plate

Need to fit an LMC 200 to a Honda Varadero 125? No problem! Here is the diagram for the mounting plate. If you require a PDF version for accuracy then just drop me an email at andy@evmotorcycle.org

Varadero complete with battery space frame and LMC 200 13Kw peak motor

All of the mechanical work on the Varadero is now complete. This marks a significant milestone in this build as now attention will be given to the electrical components. Refitting the original wiring, fitting the batteries and finally testing the bike. The batteries can be fitted into the space frame without the need for removal, however the bellypan frame will require removal for battery fitment.

Once the batteries are in place the controller, motor, fuses, relays, DC DC converter and chargers will be installed. There are still some cosmetic issues to be sorted. The fairings still have to be resprayed and there are a few accessories still to be installed. Otherwise, this bike is almost ready for the streets!

Varadero Motor Mount Assembly

After a number of attempts the motor mount is now complete. There are basically two parts to the mount. The plate and the bottom bracket. The motor sits directly onto the bottom bracket and bolts into the plate. Using this design the assembly is secured to the frame at 4 points.

This makes for a very sturdy setup. The plate is made from 8mm alloy while the bottom bracket is of mild steel construction.

As the motor was too low intially the motor plate was remade so that the chain would not slap off the bottom frame. The motor was raised and moved forward about 40mm. The only problem with this is now I have to replace the drive chain, as I cut it too short to fit the old motor mount. The chain ordered is a 530 X 130 link chain. This should fit the bike nicely.

Rebuilding the Varadero

At long last it is time to put this bad boy back together! All of the mechanical issues have been sorted. Battery cages fit perfectly into the frame (You can see two mounted in the image). The next task now is to work out the electrics, route all of the cables and mount the components.

First impressions at this stage is that the bike feels really light with the cages in place. It can be lifted easily so my concerns about the battery cage weight are somewhat relieved! The Varadero frame handles the weight very well. How it handles the weight when all of the batteries are in place will be another issue! 🙂

Battery space frame

Here is the semi-complete battery space frame. There are 42 cells in total here. There is clear perspex at the sides of the cases. I still have to source a rubber runaround so that the cases are weatherproof. Will need that in Ireland! 🙂

The main space frame (yet to be wired up) will hold 54 cells. In total the Varadero will have 96 cells. The packs will be joined together using 250AMP welding cable which will be connected to the contactor and then the cable from the motor to the controller will be 500AMP. The Varadero will have 4 X 72V 10Ah packs wired in series.

The entire Varadero Battery Space Frame!

The space frame consists of a main box (top), top box (right), belly pan (left) and front pack (bottom). These fit onto the Honda Varadero with a relatively unaltered frame. They are heavy but sturdy. The edges of the sheet metal are insulated using tape so there is no risk of a short with the cases. The sides of each case will be fitted with clear Perspex, so you can see the batteries when mounted.

Inside there are neoprene strips holding the batteries firmly and snugly in position. This way they are not subject to any vibration.

The cells are connected by the bus bars. These are copper earth straps. The front pack shown here is 19V and 10Ah. This will form part of a larger 72V 10Ah pack which will be connected to its main pack via welding cable once mounted onto the bike. There will be a total of 96 cells in the bike. The only concern is weight. This bike is going to be heavier than the original Varadero.

On the right you can see the high voltage cable that will be used to wire up the bike. The cable on the right is 500AMP welding cable while on the left it is 250AMP welding cable. The contactor is shown also with the fittings for the cables.

Time to electrify some Honda Varadero a$$!

After spending many years riding a Honda Africa Twin I wanted a machine that had a familiar riding position. Although this is a 125cc, the engine cavity is quite large (which is good for holding lots of batteries) and it has the feel of a bigger bike.

This little Varadero, while intact, was not in the best of health when I came across her, The engine was damaged and the chassis were abused somewhat. Below you can see what she looked like when I collected her from he breakers. Looking a little sad and abused! 🙁

I love these bikes. They are not quite off-road, not quite supermoto but they handle sweet and being tall, they are right for my height. When I explained to the guys down at the breakers that it was going to be converted to run on batteries they thought I was nuts!! Guess it’s not every day that somebody comes looking for a bike to convert to an electric vehicle round these parts.

Assessing the damage

The Varadero looked OK in the bike shop but it was only when I started to work on the bike that I noticed the defects. The Varadero is a 125 machine and would be attractive to learners and unfortunately those who do not know how to look after a bike too well.

The following had to be replaced on this Varadero: – Rear Shock – Brake Lines – Tyres – Tubeless valves – Front indicator lenses – Brake Pads – Brake and Clutch Levers – and more!

How much is this gonna cost me?

One of the problems with this is that there are so many variables to consider. Batteries, without a doubt, are the most expensive component. The only realistic option is Lithium. If you want distance, lower weight, fast charging, safety then Lithium is the way to go. One specific type of Lithium technology is LifeP04. Expect to be spending in the region of three to five thousand euro on your battery pack. Expensive, yes, but you have to remember that this is your fuel.

How far will it go?

Approximately 40 miles on a single charge. Each charge takes 4 hours at 10amps. Theoretically, a good set of lithium batteries should get you to 80,000km so in time they will pay for themselves but because this technology is so new, nobody has actually done 80,000km on a battery pack, so nobody knows for sure how long they will last. That’s where YOU come in. Every EVMOTORCYCLE that is built is going to effectively be a test for future battery vehicles. The sooner we get these machines on the road, the sooner we can find out for certain. I would estimate that there are less than 100 (home made) EVMOTORCYCLE conversions in the world. Some of the best ones can be seen on Youtube and hopefully there will be many more. In time, and with a lot of persistence, this website will be a resource for many of the best EVMOTORCYCLE conversions.

New coat of paint

Oh yes indeed! This little baby is gonna be a looker when she is complete! No point spending most of my savings on a battery pack and having her lookin’ all shoddy. So the wheels have been blasted and taken a trip down to the powder coaters. Here is what they look like now. Oh and if you’re in Dublin why not give Damien down at Quality Powder Coating a call on (01) 4600001. He is more than happy to powder coat all bike parts for you, and his prices are very reasonable.

That big rear sprocket (62T) was a custom job from these guys http://www.bandcexpress.co.uk/

It cost around £50 which is not bad considering it is top quality and looks the business too. Above you can see the size of the new sprocket versus the old one. Bit of a difference eh?

The rear shock is from these guys hagon-shocks.co.uk/

Below you can see the LMC 200 motor, Alltrax controller, 400amp fuse and Contactor.