Do you want an electric A2?

Pinkythelabrat

A2OC Donor
Electrically powered heating is always going to be an issue but why not consider sticking with some fossil fuel for that - a Webasto diesel or Eberspacher gas heater would give you a very reasonable amount of heat for a small mass considering. Far better than the battery mass would need to be. Electric motors will still give some heat but 80% plus efficiency suggests not much and certainly not from rest.
There is always the option of a cheaper secondary battery pack ‘range extender’ which you could load into the boot and connect up when larger range was needed. Might mess with the balance a bit but a few lead acid batteries would give a few hundred extra amp hours. Or... a very small diesel or petrol generator on a roof rack? seriously though, hydrogen fuel cells are coming along pretty nicely so it might me relatively possible in the near(ish) future to load a small H tank and your generator inside a car to give you some current into the batteries to provide additional range. I did read an article where it described the progress of the technology - it was something like the equivalent amount of H that could be stored in a tank about the size of a couple of motorcycle tanks would previously have taken a vehicle the size of an 18 wheeler to transport - mind boggling!


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vkx245l

A2OC Donor
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.
If you take a look at the i3 architecture the generator for the range extended is entirely packaged in the rear subframe, hence the high boot floor. Rather than "upgrade" the battery i don't see why one couldn't add another. If you don't spec the range extended version, there is "empty space" in the subframe where the generator would sit.

Jonathan
 
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Robin_Cox

Member
I looked this up a couple of weeks before I bought my A2. We already had a 2CV and a Citigo in the household, so the contemporary i3 was an interesting comparison - but the similarity between the A2 & the 2CV is uncanny. It surprises me most that the i3 is 10cm longer, 10cm wider, and a bit higher than an A2 but because of the unusual styling particularly at the rear window line and tailgate it seems a bit pinched in contrast.

A2
wheelbase 2405mm
length - 3826mm
width 1673mm
height 1553mm

i3
wheelbase 2570
length 3999mm
width 1775mm
height 1578mm

2cv
wheelbase 2400mm
length 3860mm
width 1480mm
height 1600mm

Citigo
wheelbase 2420mm
length 3563mm
width 1641mm
height 1478mm
 

nod

Member
I'm looking seriously at going electric but would only have a budget around 7000. Has anyone made any progress on a conversion here yet?
 

RAB

Technical Specialist 1.2 TDI
seriously though, hydrogen fuel cells are coming along pretty nicely so it might me relatively possible in the near(ish) future to load a small H tank and your generator inside a car to give you some current into the batteries to provide additional range. I did read an article where it described the progress of the technology - it was something like the equivalent amount of H that could be stored in a tank about the size of a couple of motorcycle tanks would previously have taken a vehicle the size of an 18 wheeler to transport - mind boggling!
Hydrogen is a dead end. Because hydrogen has comparatively low energy content, you have to compress it to very high pressure to get sufficient range. To do this, you have to expend 3x more energy than is eventually contained within the tank and you don't recover this energy. Also 90% of hydrogen is currently made from natural gas. For these reasons, Renault have realised that there is no future for automotive hydrogen fuel cells but VW continue with research - I have recently designed systems sold to VW for measuring water vapour in hydrogen.

RAB
 

Pinkythelabrat

A2OC Donor
I’m not thinking purely of overall efficiency but also convenience.

If you could produce H from solar and electrolysis and use it to get an extra 100miles or so of range for a not especially large Hgenerator in the car it would be a way to give some method of quick top up fuel for longer journeys.

Anyway, Lithium Sulfur or some other battery chemistry should make it all irrelevant in a few years. Theoretically much greater energy density and cheaper/more common ingredients. Speed of charge improvements and 400 miles of range.


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RAB

Technical Specialist 1.2 TDI
I’m not thinking purely of overall efficiency but also convenience.

If you could produce H from solar and electrolysis and use it to get an extra 100miles or so of range for a not especially large Hgenerator in the car it would be a way to give some method of quick top up fuel for longer journeys.

Anyway, Lithium Sulfur or some other battery chemistry should make it all irrelevant in a few years. Theoretically much greater energy density and cheaper/more common ingredients. Speed of charge improvements and 400 miles of range.


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Even for generating sufficient hydrogen, you would need something like a 1000% increase in solar panel efficiency given the limits of the surface area of a car. Then you would need 3x more for compression as well as carrying the weight for the required equipment. The VW ID will have something like 350m battery range, so hydrogen is an irrelevance.

RAB
 

Al2coholic

Member


Turner Race Developments converted Golf.. it is something I keep coming back to look at.

I think it'd be very enjoyable on my short commute.

The A2 platform is built for it

If I were to do a 'Singer' and re-manufacture an old car I think plush electric A2's would be top of the list.
 

Pinkythelabrat

A2OC Donor
It’s a house PV system RAB. 7kw of panels. i should have been clear - definitely not a car mounted system.

As you say though, easier to just charge batteries directly.


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RAB

Technical Specialist 1.2 TDI
Even then it doesn't make sense. Even if you could generate hydrogen at home, you would need 3x the power to compress it, which means that the process has 25% of the efficiency of just charging a battery.

RAB
 

66Beetle

A2OC Donor
Hydrogen is a dead end. Because hydrogen has comparatively low energy content, you have to compress it to very high pressure to get sufficient range. To do this, you have to expend 3x more energy than is eventually contained within the tank and you don't recover this energy. Also 90% of hydrogen is currently made from natural gas. For these reasons, Renault have realised that there is no future for automotive hydrogen fuel cells but VW continue with research - I have recently designed systems sold to VW for measuring water vapour in hydrogen.

RAB
Didn’t know they made Hydrogen that way. The process I was familiar with was Hydrogen and Oxygen production by Electrolysis. That’s Lye Solution ( Potassium Hydroxide ) being circulated in a 3.3 Kv. Electrolyser. The Hydrogen & Oxygen being delivered to Gas Holders to supply Multi Stage Compressors. The gasses can then be stored in Cylinders. Several 415v Pumps involved, along with the 415v Compressors, so a lot of juice used.
 

RAB

Technical Specialist 1.2 TDI
Didn’t know they made Hydrogen that way. The process I was familiar with was Hydrogen and Oxygen production by Electrolysis. That’s Lye Solution ( Potassium Hydroxide ) being circulated in a 3.3 Kv. Electrolyser. The Hydrogen & Oxygen being delivered to Gas Holders to supply Multi Stage Compressors. The gasses can then be stored in Cylinders. Several 415v Pumps involved, along with the 415v Compressors, so a lot of juice used.
That's one way of making hydrogen but it's clearly cheaper to make it from natural gas. To be fair to VW, they intend their cars to use the former but I'm not sure how they could enforce that!

RAB
 

sunsurfer

Member


Turner Race Developments converted Golf.. it is something I keep coming back to look at.

I think it'd be very enjoyable on my short commute.

The A2 platform is built for it

If I were to do a 'Singer' and re-manufacture an old car I think plush electric A2's would be top of the list.
That would work perfectly as an A2 conversion. I wish TRD or similar would investigate this. The main cost is developing the first TRD electric A2 but after that a kit of parts and labour should make this a profitable sideline for them.
 

Un4tural

Member
would be super sweet to get a conversion kit for the A2, cant imagine it being cheap but it would be quite perfect for the car and considering how much power electric cars can push out with a decent power pack motor it would be an absolute rocket.
 

Pinkythelabrat

A2OC Donor
There are at least three different companies working on serial hybrid technologies which would make a conversion much cheaper and more straight-forward.

Effectively they are small and efficient electrical generators which push 30-50kw out into the battery so you can have a relatively small battery (cheaper and easier to find room for) which covers most of your day to day driving - say 50miles range on a charge - then you have the generator kick in when you need to go further or don’t have a charge. The ones I’ve looked at are pretty small and can run more efficiently as they are fixed demand.

The one I liked the most is British. A micro turbine which can run on any fuel type including waste oil, methane gas or pure ethanol with minimal set up changes. The company were looking at aiming for £1000 price point.

These are supposed to start appearing in production cars in the next couple of years.




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Alan_uk

A2OC Donor
There was a company in Germany offering EV conversions for A2s. It's been mentioned before but I cannot find the post. Here is an article from Oct 2017 listing companies doing EV conversions, many of them in the UK including Moris Minor conversions! Why not give them a call?
 

Vic

Member
There also was one project in Lithuania:



 

A2Steve

A2OC Donor
Article from the BBC website. They are saying the same thing that a standardised kit of parts would bring the process of electric conversion into a workable price range for us to convert our A2s.
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-48956000
Wouldn't that be fantastic :) I suppose the nail in the coffin would be whether the governemnt will accept cars that have been converted within the emisisons zones of the cities.
 
Wouldn't that be fantastic :) I suppose the nail in the coffin would be whether the governemnt will accept cars that have been converted within the emisisons zones of the cities.
I keep looking I for one would love to have an a2 converted to electric ...as has been said before it’s a perfect platform ..
 
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