After three years of trial and experimentation of Australia’s first ever electric car in Western Australia, it was discovered that Australia was fit for electric vehicles. However, there were some technological barriers to the adoption of these cars since no electric cars existed at the time. Instead of asking major manufacturers in Australia to produce electric vehicles, they instead converted Ford Focuses, an existing model, for the study.
Each of the converted cars was fitted with a 27 kW DC motor, a 23 kWh batter pack and a 1000A motor controller. The study used these vehicles as regular fleet cars to determine their usability levels for every day driving. These cars were subjected to a road tested driving range of 131km per charge (dynamometer testing produced a range of 143km) which significantly exceeded Mitsubishi’s i-MiEV which attained a 112km range under similar road test conditions.
Besides confirming that Australia was ready to adopt an electric vehicle technology, this study also proves that converted electric cars can be proficient with reduced effect on the environment just the way they should be.
DIY Electric Car Conversions
During our talk with the Vice President of the Australian Electrical Vehicle Association, some light was shed on the issue of converting standard cars to electric vehicles in Australia.
Up until the recent past, anyone who wanted an electric vehicle or motorbike had to build it on their own. The technical complexity of dismantling the vehicle to remove the petrol engine and replacing it with the battery, motor and controller has filled many backyard workshops with activity 24/7. This is also one great way for motorists to preserve a unique car whose accessories or spare parts are hard to find.
Let truth be told. It will be difficult to design a car as refined as a production model, and obviously not with the same price tag. For starters, it’s best to use a quality donor car you perfectly understand. For more information and advice on the process of converting your vehicle into an electric car, you can get in touch with the Australian Electric Vehicle Association (AEVA) near you.