Do you want an electric A2?

Peter

Member
Certainly looks promising! But price nor specs are clear: the picture suggests motor and controller are water cooled. The 80 kW is probably peak power; I presume for one minute or so. It must be a high voltage system (80 kW means 200 Amps at 400 Volts) requiring a battery pack with 100+ cells in series.

There are some similar offerings on the market with 20 kW motor, controller and transmission costing close to € 10k (including EMC approval).
Without EMC-certificate chances are your EV-conversion will not be road legal until after extensive and expensive testing...

Would be interesting to see battery modules (like the Tesla's) with a higher voltage (e.g. 48 Volts) so you need fewer of these. Anyway, you'd want at least 30 kWh battery capacity for 100..120 miles range, which will be difficult to squeeze in an A2 until battery technology (energy density) improves considerably.
My 17 kWh / 70 miles range LiFEPO4 pack (300 Volts) weighs 200 kg...
 
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RAB

Technical Specialist 1.2 TDI
Anyway, you'd want at least 30 kWh battery capacity for 100..120 miles range, which will be difficult to squeeze in an A2 until battery technology (energy density) improves considerably.
That's already happening. The range of the latest E-Up is 257km against 152km for the original but the battery space is unchanged.

VW also pays less than $100 per kWh for its batteries:


It was 100x more in the early 1990's!

RAB
 
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ecoangel

Active Member
Presumably the users, not being owners, didn't charge the batteries after they had finished using the car, in order to keep them in good condition. With an EV, the number one priority should be to look after the battery, if you own it. Even with (overnight) AC charging, I always charge at the lowest possible rate (there are 5, 10, 13 and 16A options for the E-Up!). A timed charge will end at the time you set, so you have to be careful not to set the charging rate too low, otherwise charging will start when electricity is at the higher rate (the Economy 7 rate locally is between 22.30-00.30 and 02.30-07.30).

I hope that you don't have to replace too many more cells.

RAB

In independent tests BMWi3 packs prefer 7kW charging for best life - 3kW and above 7 cause some damage longer term. i3 has cooling (uses aircon) for CCS 50kW. e -Golf, e-Up!, Leaf and new Ioniq all air cooled (naturally not forced) so can get rapid -gate effects when battery pack too warm to accept Rapid charge.
 

ecoangel

Active Member
That's already happening. The range of the latest E-Up is 257km against 152km for the original but the battery space is unchanged.

VW also pays less than $100 per kWh for its batteries:


It was 100x more in the early 1990's!

RAB
Sadly us consumers don't get the benefits of economies of scale. There are major shortages in Lithium, Cobalt and other materials so prices rising. VW & BMW have done deal with Koreans. Tesla battery factory is set up to try to sell to other manufacturers.

Dyson just wasted £16 million of public money on battery tech (solid state) that didn't work plus all the EU cash he was given.

SS packs work in theory but in reality massively degrade upon charging.

Most of the past decade of advances have been space savings in the packaging - it's not really Moores law when it comes to energy density. Latest i3 has 120Ah pack but quite a bit heavier than original.
 

ecoangel

Active Member
This article from Pistonheads suggests Swindon powertrains are creating a 'crate' electric motor of 80kw suitable for small manufacturers and enthusiasts.


Their E Mini is £80k !


If this motor is suitable it makes our search for an electric conversion kit-of-parts, easier.
Of course we still need to work out batteries and all the controls.
No price mentioned for the engine.
 

RAB

Technical Specialist 1.2 TDI
Hi Lukas,

There is a mistake in your comment on the article shown in your signature. The rise in on-road NOx emissions was caused by VW/Audi turning off EGR, not by reducing urea injection. Indeed, the vehicles concerned didn't have SCR. The fixes used were software updates and modifications to the air intake system.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Volkswagen_emissions_scandal (Vehicle recall and consequences)

RAB
 
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Peter

Member
Back to my A2e... I have now a proper battery pack (showing 280..300 Volts), installed in the car. The built-in charger seems to be working as it should.

Now, with the gearbox in neutral, the motor will spin, but only after depressing the throttle pedal at least halfway - no smooth starting. In gear (with the front on axle stands) I can spin the wheels, but getting the motor to spin is even harder now. I even managed to drive the car around the block (with license plates and insurance but no MOT yet), but it is hardly possible to get going. Once the car rolls, the response to the throttle seems quite OK, but after a stop the problem is there again.
The previous owner told me the car would not drive properly and he was right!

I have posted a few short videos on my website showing charging/balancing in progress, wheels turning with speeds up to 50 mph (stationary) and my first few 100 meters of driving: Electric A2 docs and videos.

I am now in the process of examining the controller - trying to connect a pc via the RS232-link provided. This requires a laptop with Win XP and a serial (COM) port and an ancient software program from Azure Dynamics.
 

Peter

Member
The project is over! I now own an electric A2 that runs perfectly and provides a smooth drive

Checking the controller proved a bit more complicated than expected: the XP-laptop with serial port and ccShell-software were easy to find, but the controller requires a "CCS-file" to produce usable numbers. This file (XML, readable text) describes which parameter is stored where in the controller's memory and is specific for a certain batch of controllers. But on the forum diyelectriccar.com I (or rather a German A2-enthusiast also trying to get his electric A2 to run) found the right CCS-file and was able to inspect and alter the parameters in the controller. More importantly: the controller reported no errors.

Next step: checking the controller to motor cabling (which I should have done earlier). Controller side: all fine, like new.
Motor side: IMAG1467.jpg

Due to prolonged mechanical stress, cable 2 was completely ripped off... The Leipzig company who did this conversion suggested to check the cabling when I explained my car's symptoms and asked for software / suggestions / anything. Apparently they have seen this problem before...

This was an easy fix (cost: € 1.20) and I could now spin the wheels very slowly (still on axle stands). Problem solved.

I couldn't wait to make a test drive and was surprised how quietly and smoothly the car runs.

Now I need to get my APK (MOT) and then figure out how far my batteries will take me...
 
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Very impressed peter I’ve enjoyed reading your progress on this project well done looking forward to hearing the cars potential ie kilometre range 👍
 

Pinkythelabrat

A2OC Donor
Brilliant. Great stuff.

So the broken cable was one of your motor phases so you couldn’t get much start up on the motor because it was sitting locked between the coils in the EM dead zone? Until the field strength was high enough to prod the motor to move. Makes sense.


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sunsurfer

Member
Brilliant. Great stuff.

So the broken cable was one of your motor phases so you couldn’t get much start up on the motor because it was sitting locked between the coils in the EM dead zone? Until the field strength was high enough to prod the motor to move. Makes sense.


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@Pinkythelabrat
Great you understand what the problem was likely to be. I have to learn a new technology and terminology. :)
 

Pinkythelabrat

A2OC Donor
I’m more of a meddler but I think it would make sense with a three phase system.

Two phase motors use a motor start (or sometimes motor run) capacitor to help build sufficient magnetic field strength to get the motor spinning and once it is turning it is much easier for the varying fields to always have ‘an angle’ pushing or pulling and thus speeding or slowing according to demand. I think that’s also why you need to rate draw on an electric motor as double when considering current demand - just because of that start up demand.

With a three phase it’s normally much easier to start a motor because the spacing of the coils gives ‘an angle’ no matter where the magnets are sitting. But if you don’t have all three you have the same issue (sort of) as the two phase - you can’t really get the angle to advantageously push the motor easily. But because the coils aren’t flat, they are at 120degree spacings you would be able to push awkwardly against the rotor and with enough power get it moving but it would run like V6 on only one bank.

New terminology? Nah! A lot of YouTube. You are already light years ahead of me!


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Peter

Member
This project certainly was a great experience. Building up knowledge in this new field, helped by the internet and a forum for every subject.

In hindsight the symptoms clearly point to a missing phase, but I never dreamt the cause would be this obvious and simple to repair! I suspected the position sensor giving no or bad signals leading to the controller not knowing the position of the rotor and thus sending current to the wrong field winding. That would have been a challenge to repair...

I sense the next project on the horizon: I have a cable with a female DB9 (as used in RS232 serial comms) connector ending in my glove box. No documentation of course. Disassembling the connector taught me it is not a serial connection (pin 5 is not connected to the cable and is needed as GND in RS232).
So it is probably the CANbus ending here! That's great because I have a CANbus analyser lying around waiting to be used. I wish to see what messages are exchanged between the CAN-controller (the new ECU) and the motor controller. If possible, I will display my motor's rpm and other parameters on a laptop / tablet / mobile. To be continued!
 
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