1. FocusEV Home 2. About Me 3. Decisions, Decisions 4. Acquiring the Parts 5. Removing the Engine 6. Mating the Motor
7. Battery Placement 8. Beefy Suspension 9. Wiring 10. Fuel Gauge 11. On the Road 12. Pictures of the Project
13. Tach and Speedo Fuel Gauge Power Steering Pump      

On the Road

On December 4 the FocusEV rolled out of the garage on it's inaugural drive! Eight months of transformation from ICE to battery powered electric. On the first drive I took the whole family along and even gave rides to a few others in the neighborhood. All using electric power!

The electrical vehicle coversion crowd refer to that strange yet happy expression on an EV driver's face as an "EV Grin". One can't help but smile when, after so many months of work, the car actually rolls smoothly down the road without buring fossil fuel or spewing greenhouse gasses.

In my case the last step was wiring the control relays that allow the main and secondary contactors to energize. I connected these to exisiting switches in the car for reverse, the brakes, and the clutch, as shown in my wiring diagrams on the wiring page. After making the final connections I checked resistances across various control points, then applied 12 Volt power (turned the key to "Run") and confirmed that the appropriate relays switched on. I also made sure that the high-voltage battery wiring was properly isolated before engaging the circuit breaker and connecting the high current Anderson connector. Everything looked good so the next step was to run the motor with the front wheels in the air. This too was successful so I hopped in with my daughter and took a short drive down the alley. The result is captured in my YouTube video.

Before driving too far I wanted to have the battery chargers operational. Before my first ride I discovered that the chargers (there are two of them) were not loaded with the proper charging algorithm for the number of batteries in the car. I quickly ordered the programming "dongle" that allowed me to connect the laptop to the chargers and I soon had them set up correctly. I'm using a pair of Delta-Q QuiQ chargers.

There area few things remaining to get the car "finished." (Since the first drive in the video I installed the hood, got the trunk to close properly, and fixed the tailight that wasn't working.) The major tasks remaining are:

  1. Design, build, and install a computer-controlled battery monitor system
  2. Install an electric power steering pump and hoses

Updated 14NOV2009 CHS