I first converted a car to purely electric operation in
1999 and after several improvements, particularly to the battery pack, the car
was moderately successful.
I was generally able to travel about 80km on a charge and
considerably more if care was taken. The car completed the London to Brighton
Electric Vehicle (EV) Run in 2005 and 2006.
Fig.1: a much simplified diagram of the
Toyota Prius drivetrain - essentially a normal car with an electric motor/generator added.
Unfortunately the Achilles heel of any EV is still the battery
pack. With low-cost lead-acid batteries the range is severely limited and a long
cross-country run must be planned like a military campaign.
There must be charging points every 80km or so and you need to
stop for a couple of hours at each to restore some charge.
In 2005 I started looking at the hybrid cars that were
available and the Toyota Prius in particular. The interesting thing about the
Prius was that it could run for a limited period as an EV, however with the NiMh
battery pack the electric motor can take the car only about 1.6km at less than
I wanted to reduce the fuel consumption of the Prius from 60 to
100 MPG, a massive cost saving, by the addition of a large Li-ion batterypack.
This article describes how I achieved this using E-blocks and Flowcode as a