Do you want an electric A2?

sunsurfer

Member
Battery and electric motor technology are advancing all the time. It may now be possible to get the performance and the range we need, so is it time to look at electric conversions of our A2s? I'm particularly concerned about government taxes and restrictions on our much loved Tdis - there is a hint that this November 2017 budget will discriminate against diesel engines.

If you want your car converted what is the best way to do it? Personally I feel we shouldn't attempt to do this individually as we will end up with a lot of multiple solutions, multiple prices and (multiple x 10) issues and problems.

My suggestion is we draw up a minimum specification and then look around to see who can do this. It may make sense for us to approach an classic car electric conversion company with a waiting list of 10-20 members (am I being optimistic?) as from the company point of view they create a solution for one car and then scale up to fit the other 9-19 cars plus probable repeat business. Also this is not just about the motor but everything must work including heating/AC and powered windows/sunroofs etc.

So my personal minimum specification is:
Range = 150-200 real miles
Top speed = 90mph - obviously only ever used on private tracks and roads ;)
Price = £5000 (this might be ridiculously optimistic but it has to compete with a new Nissan Leaf or BMW i3)
Space and weight = not take up too much of the boot space (could the battery fit underfloor?) or weigh too much

What do you think? Does it make sense to try and do a single electric conversion solution? What are your minimum specifications?
 

James

Member
Lekker/DBM electric version

In October 2010, an A2 converted to electric power by Lekker Energie and DBM Energy completed an early morning 600-kilometre (370 mi) drive from Munich to Berlin on a single charge. Upon arrival, Rainer Bruederle, Germany's Economics Minister, called the test drive a "world record."

The car was said to still have 18% of its charge remaining on arrival in Berlin and the average speed was reported as being 90 km/h (56 mph). The "kolibri" batteries used in the design are so compact that the vehicle retains its four seats and boot space. A production version would be possible. "The technology could be implemented today. It is up to industry to use this potential," commented Mirko Hannemann, the head of DBM.


Found this on wiki, I wonder if they will bring it back as an electric ?
 

Birchall

Dick Chown Award 2016
Lekker/DBM electric version

In October 2010, an A2 converted to electric power by Lekker Energie and DBM Energy completed an early morning 600-kilometre (370 mi) drive from Munich to Berlin on a single charge. Upon arrival, Rainer Bruederle, Germany's Economics Minister, called the test drive a "world record."

The car was said to still have 18% of its charge remaining on arrival in Berlin and the average speed was reported as being 90 km/h (56 mph). The "kolibri" batteries used in the design are so compact that the vehicle retains its four seats and boot space. A production version would be possible. "The technology could be implemented today. It is up to industry to use this potential," commented Mirko Hannemann, the head of DBM.


Found this on wiki, I wonder if they will bring it back as an electric ?


And that happened SEVEN years ago, so imagine how much they might have improved the concept since then!!!

Steve B
 

Skipton01

Well-Known Member
Much as I applaud your idea, I'd rather wait until our A2s are legislated off the road first. This will take another 5-10 years in the UK I reckon. By then, the technology of EVs will have moved on considerably and prices dropped too.

In the meantime, I'm salivating in readiness for what Audi are going to bring to the party to try to stop the march of Tesla. Unless they're quick (and also stop designing cars with just a ruler) I'll be leaving Audi ownership and will just enjoy my A2 on days when I'm allowed to burn diesel.
 

Pinkythelabrat

A2OC Donor
A good idea. Certainly one off solutions are a lot more expensive.
You would likely want to include a spec for the suspension to match it depending on the layout of batteries and motor - the four car models of A2 start with different weights in different place so a matched suspension would be good. Some counties legislate for upgraded brakes due to the increased battery mass too.


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DJ 190

A2OC Donor
I'd be all for an electric version of the A2! The "Holy Grail" for any electric vehicle is RANGE. "Tesla" achieve this by the shear number of batteries. Battery technology is on-going and the first Manufacturer to provide a model with a range in excess of a genuine 200+ miles will have opened the market to potential owners. Still nothing near that, at the moment. I'd immediately go for any sensible conversion up to £10,000. It would have to have a reasonable range, though ... As to waiting 5-10 years for things to happen, I have a problem with that .... I might not LIVE that long! LOL! ( I'm currently having UPVC decking fitted to replace the timber decking. They said that there's a 25 Year guarantee with it. I said that 10 Years is just fine!)

David
 

Pinkythelabrat

A2OC Donor
Tesla are going down the route of taking an established technology and mega-mass-production to reduce unit costs and bring down the total cost. The LiFePO4 chemistry is what I think they are using and they have gone for a cell size somewhat larger than an AA but similarly proportioned.
Compared to lead acid this technology is sugnificantly better for mass to power and battery care is less challenging. I would doubt than any competing electrochemistry will be mainstream in the next decade given the use of this lithium based tech in most of the other portable technologies. This mass use squeezes any technically better chemistry out of the market.
I think the only things that will change in the next decade are incremental improvements in the supporting tech along with hopefully greater availability. Tesla will keep all its batteries but other manufacturers will need to compete so hopefully we will see more and more availability of cheap charge controllers and suitable electric motors and transmissions etc. I think a retrofit is still going to have the same issues so it’s reasonable enough to consider what is needed for the A2 and then keep an eye out for it so you know when it comes along.

Mass to weight and power calculations won’t change. Average power to range won’t really alter and motor efficiency won’t move much. Nor will the spaces in the car such as under boot stowage or the engine bay compartment. Why not get these details ready to go in anticipation.


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mrbroons

Well-Known Member
I have been thinking about this recently aswell. I have contacted a company that specialises in EV'ing ICE vehicles, they specialise in older vehicles, the A2 was too new! :)

I was hoping that without the need for a centre shaft that a quattro EV A2 would be possible!
 

DJ 190

A2OC Donor
Not too long ago, I heard from a reliable source that Israel was planning to enter the EV market in an unusual way.
Various types of electrically powered vehicles would have a common component .... the battery component/module. This was to be an easily removed unit that simply slid in/out of the various vehicles. Around Israel there was to be a network of battery "stations". When your battery module was depleted, you simply pulled into a "station" and within minutes your pack was changed for a fully-charged module. Obviously, you never owned a battery pack. Now what does Israel have in abundance? SUNLIGHT! So that's how the batteries were to be recharged .... solar array's!

David
 

Cloth Ears

A2OC Donor
The earliest BMW i3s are now available for under £15k and the price is dropping relatively quickly (and I suspect may drop more when the updated model emerges, next year I think). It seems to me that, absent a new A2, the BMW i3 is the spiritual successor to the A2, and if the conversion of an A2 is around £10k, then it would probably make more sense to leave the A2 as original, and move into an i3 for the EV experience. It's a route I'm considering at the moment.
 

mrbroons

Well-Known Member
The earliest BMW i3s are now available for under £15k and the price is dropping relatively quickly (and I suspect may drop more when the updated model emerges, next year I think). It seems to me that, absent a new A2, the BMW i3 is the spiritual successor to the A2, and if the conversion of an A2 is around £10k, then it would probably make more sense to leave the A2 as original, and move into an i3 for the EV experience. It's a route I'm considering at the moment.
I've tried an i3 and it doesn't even get close to being an A2 replacement. It is too small and too impractical. Lovely car but test drive one first.

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Cloth Ears

A2OC Donor
I've tried an i3 and it doesn't even get close to being an A2 replacement. It is too small and too impractical. Lovely car but test drive on first.
Interesting you say that. It seems a similar size to the A2, so I'm surprised to hear that it is smaller. I accept the impractical angle, given the modest range, but I was considering keeping the A2 for duties requiring longer trips and using an i3 for commuting and general local pootling about, with a view to deciding, further down the line, which way to go.
 

Birchall

Dick Chown Award 2016
Interesting you say that. It seems a similar size to the A2, so I'm surprised to hear that it is smaller. I accept the impractical angle, given the modest range, but I was considering keeping the A2 for duties requiring longer trips and using an i3 for commuting and general local pootling about, with a view to deciding, further down the line, which way to go.
I had an i3 for 10 months and it did not seem smaller? The boot floor =was a little higher but that was it.. Parked next to each other the dimensions were VERY similar.

I also liked the "quirkiness" of the i3 and it did seem to share that with the A2.


As for the range I could easily get 120 to 130 miles on a charge (But I had the later model with the extended range batteries)

The ONLY thing I didn't like it was the STUPID design of the doors.

If you want to open the back door you have to open the front door first, so if you are in a car park next to another car, when you open the front and then open the rear you are standing exactly where they open and nobody can get in.

In an accident the rear doors don't open until the front door has opened and the rear door window doesn't even open. The Owners manual states that you get out of the rear in that situation remove the front headrest and use the prongs of that to smash the window (a very small window at that too)

But the rest was great, the acceleration was exhilarating and leave a BMW M3 behind up to 40 mph or so!

Steve B
 

mrbroons

Well-Known Member
It is actually bigger than an A2, the range is fine given charging at home every day is possible, I had the range extender so it had a realistic 150 miles+. The charging system is very fiddly (esp in comparison to other EV's, and doesn't charge as quickly, even when it does charge) I could have had a bad car, or bad experience but every other EV I have tried just worked. For me personally although I love BMW and the car is technically the most amazing piece of engineering and I certainly wouldn't rule one out for definite but I just cannot compare the ability of the A2 to amaze me as to what it can do vs the BMW. It is possible that given the price differential my expectations were set too high.

The doors are an extreme faff, as a family car it is clear to see style beat function in the name of being different.

IMG_20171018_130356.jpg
 

sunsurfer

Member
The earliest BMW i3s are now available for under £15k and the price is dropping relatively quickly (and I suspect may drop more when the updated model emerges, next year I think). It seems to me that, absent a new A2, the BMW i3 is the spiritual successor to the A2, and if the conversion of an A2 is around £10k, then it would probably make more sense to leave the A2 as original, and move into an i3 for the EV experience. It's a route I'm considering at the moment.
I've not been in one and it might be a spiritual successor to the A2 but, as a pure electric, a used one won't meet my needs as the range is less than 100 miles. I want double that. An upgraded battery pack might double the range on a used i3 and perhaps this is the way to go?
As to converting the A2 to electric, I don't think we consider it because it is sensible but simply because we can. :) I'm interested in the challenge - it is never going to make sense in a pure logic point of view. I also think (or hope) in a year or so, that if we had 10 cars all making roughly the same conversion, we can get it done for £5-10,000 per car. Perhaps this is unrealistic but if the London congestion charge spreads to other towns and cities then we will be struggling to use our Tdis and pre 2003 petrols. This may lead to a market for small scale electric conversions.
 

bretti_kivi

Member
€10k is eminently doable, but the question is always range for the price. Decent cells aren't that easy to come by. Seriously, read the EV forum over on the German site, it's mostly been done and the technology really is already there.

200 miles is a stretch - but how often do you honestly drive more than 100 at a time? Once a month?

- Bret
 

sunsurfer

Member
€10k is eminently doable, but the question is always range for the price. Decent cells aren't that easy to come by. Seriously, read the EV forum over on the German site, it's mostly been done and the technology really is already there.

200 miles is a stretch - but how often do you honestly drive more than 100 at a time? Once a month?

- Bret
Thanks Bret I will head over and have a look. My car is regularly used for long trips - I suppose I could have another car or hire one for those trips.
My thinking is, if motor technology and batteries are continually evolving, at some point within the next few years we may get the 150-200 mile range and a price nearer to £5000.
 

DJ 190

A2OC Donor
yes, it's not getting 200 miles "at a stretch", it's comfortably getting that range without the worry of battery failure. Things like the need for car heating and lighting affect range, too. I see that "Dyson" will be entering this market, soon? I feel that there are going to be some notable advances in the next two Years.

David
 
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