Plug Bug: Final motor selection

Electric Bug

After lots of research, I finally decided on a DC motor. I really want to have an AC system, but I have several issues: 1. Cost — it is at least 3k more, possibly a lot more. 2. Availability — not many AC retailers sell to the individual, or, if they do it is really expensive. 3. The EVE AC40 motor I wanted to use uses the MES-DEA controller, which looks difficult to work with — especially for my first time doing a conversion. 4. DC has been done so often and there is a huge community of people I can ask questions to. That is really valuable to me, as I’m learning a lot as I go.

I’m planning on using the following major components:

* Netgain WarP 9 DC motor

Screen shot 2010-05-21 at 6.36.34 AM.png

* Netgain WarP-Drive Controller

Screen shot 2010-05-21 at 6.47.44 AM.png

* 48 Thundersky 200Ah Lithium Iron Phosphate batteries. 3.2 volts nominal per battery for 154V pack.



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Just curious, what would be better about an AC system?


Two things: efficiency (AC is more efficient) and regen — the AC motor easily does regenerative braking. Considering I have a huge hill to drive up/down, that would be good. But, at the cost, it isn’t worth it.


That is a serious DC motor! I was just talking to a mechanic about a crate 350 motor that costs around $1,500 ready to install (his customer is replacing a motor in an older El Camino).


Man that is some battery setup. 48*6=288kg. And kinda expensive! This is going to be the world’s coolest bug.


Yeah! the batteries will be 10k. Yikes! Bug with regards to weight, it isn’t bad! The same capacity with lead-acid would be twice as heavy.


Maybe I missed it, but it didn’t look like you’ve considered the Thunderstruck EV stuff; they have AC50 + Curtis combos for $4,500:


Gregg – Yes, I did take a look at it thanks!

Here are some comparisons:

I think the WarP 9 is more powerful (at higher voltage) than the AC50/curtis combination. At least, that is my main reason for going with the WarP 9. The WarP 9 has a max output of 100 hp, which the curtis is 50 hp max.



Cool – such useful information in that posting too. Thanks for putting the energy into it.

I just learned that apparently all Curtis controllers support a “dual drive” feature; best summarized as an electronic differential. Hmmm…two AC-12’s; I have a Smart Car and am considering a conversion – this is very tempting.


No problem! Hopefully my research will be helpful to others starting out. Converting a smart would be cool! I think EVE (Electro Vehicles Europe) actually offers a complete kit to easily convert a smart. You might want to look into that!

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