Wednesday, March 13. 2013
Wednesday, April 25. 2012
Revenge of the Electric Car is on at the Documentary Edge Festival in Auckland and Wellington. The director, Chris Paine will be speaking at the opening night (tomorrow! 26th April!) and on the 4th of May. I'm going along to the 4th of May. Unfortunately it doesn't look like he'll be attending the Wellington showings.
Tuesday, November 22. 2011
They're starting at the domain in the morning, but it's not exactly clear when they are leaving. I'll be there to see them off, if I get wind of the departure time I'll update this post.
Tuesday, May 3. 2011
This Sunday 8th May is the EV Builders Expo 2011 at TAPAC, 12 - 6 pm. I'll be there (possibly even with my car, I'm working through mounting the inverter in the boot). This should be a good show, my friend Phil explaining how he will go racing in his his electric Saker sports car, F40 Motorsport designed my adapter plate so it will be good to catch up with them, and the Formula E electric go karting guys are good value too.
Theo, the organiser is making an EV documentary which I'm keen to see (not least to find out how our interview went) and he's building an electric Toyota Sera. This is a fund raising event and there is a $20 cost which goes towards finishing the Sera.
Tuesday, April 12. 2011
There is an electric truck for sale on trademe at the moment. It appears to be an industrial 3 phase motor with a 336V lead acid battery. 20km range and 45km/h top speed. The vendor isn't supplying too many other details, but it looks to be a bargain at the reserve price. If it was closer to home I'd go have a look, but Whakatane is a bit far.
Wednesday, March 23. 2011
In New Zealand, modified vehicles need to be signed off or "certified" by an engineer. In the 1990s an effort was made to create rules governing the certification of Electric Vehicles but it was never completed and the rules are now quite out of date. The Low Volume Vehicle Technical Association have been updating these rules over the last year or so, addressing a number of shortcomings with the old draft. They are now publicly requesting feedback.
I've already had a hand in the new draft document and I'll be posting my feedback here (and to the LVVTA) in the next few days. If you are building an electric vehicle or thinking of doing so, you should read the draft and submit feedback by the end of the month (8 days!).
Tuesday, March 30. 2010
Recently I visited Sydney and met up with some of the local EV community.
I saw Nathan's workshop at Convert UR Car and he was kind enough to show me a Toyota Yaris conversion in progress and even let me drive Sparky, his lead acid powered '92 Hyundai Excel. I can now say I've handled a germanium transistor, as he had to replace part of the control for his army surplus generator.
I also met up with Anthony Wood (who helped assemble my Mini in January) and Michael Day (who's converting an MR2 with an MES-DEA motor) for lunch and had a ride in his Anthony's (yet to be converted) Cortina.
Jaron Ware & Mark Taylor showed me their Formula V race car which was converted to electric some time ago. When I turned up they were installing an open source DC motor controller, a variation of Paul & Sabrina's design.
Jaron told me stories about his trip to Lake Gardener to crew for the Catavolt team. Kearon de Clouet did 177kph on a Modified Partial Streamlined Electric Motorcycle for a new world record. Besides getting the record, they learnt a lot on this trip, it turns out you should transport your gear 2000km in a covered trailer, especially when the last half day is on a dirt road and it's raining. The dirt was especially prepared by the Australian climate to get into everything. Also, you should get a big trailer and make a mobile workshop, so you can charge and perform maintenance while waiting in the queue for the next run -- you spend most of the day queuing and a mobile workshop would let them get more runs.
Tuesday, March 2. 2010
Paul Tuffery from the Video Guys came to Motukea from Christchurch and Bill let him drill a hole in the KillaCycle!. These are the best videos I've ever seen of the KillaCycle. In some ways they are even better than being there in person, as he has each run from 3 different angles in glorious HD video. See the KillaCycle channel on Vimeo for 5 more videos!. Make sure the HD button is off if your computer can't handle the large files.
Wednesday, February 10. 2010
Athol Williams made a house to keep the KillaCycle dry while travelling on the back of his little Stud Welding NZ truck. We really can't thank Athol enough, he's the New Zealand & Australian record holder on his 6.1s nitromethane powered bike. He took care of an aweful lot of logistics on the KillaCycle tour, and it wouldn't have been the same without him. During the first part of the tour, the KillaCycle travelled in his mobile race workshop, and he provided racing advice and support at Meremere and Nelson. It was a great weight off my shoulders to have his years of drag racing experience, as I could simply be pit crew while Athol took care of the track side with Bill.
Not everything went smoothly, with the KillaCycle refusing to switch the motors from series to parallel. The bike starts in series, putting up to 2000A through both motors, but in series, the voltage across the motors adds, so when they are turning fast, we run out of battery voltage to push the current through them. Scotty pushes a button to switch the motors to parallel, where the current divides and we get up to 1000A through each motor, but the voltage doesn't add, so the battery is able to do this even when the motors are turning fast. Unfortunately, the shift only worked on the first easy run and while testing in the pits, it wouldn't work on the track at full power. Without shifting, we only managed a best time of 8.81s in quarter mile.
We did do a quick turnaround for the last run of the day, doing two runs within 8 minutes. We didn't do anything to the bike, we just waited behind two other cars before we could go again. The KillaCycle can do about 14 passes, including riding back to the start line, without charging. Bill tells me that when they do showboat back-to-back runs, the second run is often quicker than the first, but there is a good chance of damaging a motor as they get too hot. This time there was no damage.
Saturday, February 6. 2010
Nelson is going well, we've done 2 runs with the KillaCycle, and are about to do a third. The first was a slow 10.551s @ 115MPH where we found the track is very slippery out of the hole. In the second run we had a ground fault in the motors and the series-parallel shift didn't work, so 9.594 @ 136.37MPH was slower than expected.
We hope to do an 8s pass next.
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