Sunday, March 18, 2012


Well the 1996 Civic LX EV was retired this week. After 7,000+ miles of EV service, the 8VGC batteries came to their end and it was time to move on. I was able to strip all the EV parts and sell off the shell a day later, for $500! I only paid $600 for the car 5 years ago so it did me well.

But my EV journey isn't over, it's just starting! All the EV parts are being reused into a 2001 Civic EX Coupe! I purchased a nice, running 2001 Civic EX Coupe for converting back in August and in a few months that will be converted, with a lot of improvements. I will be starting another blog shortly with that EV and posting all my adventures and new features it will have.

UPDATE: Link to new EV blog

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Finally, Free Time is Coming

I've been extremely busy with school and work that I haven't done a whole lot on my EV. I've been doing a few miles here and there to keep my pack charged and cycled through, and I've been slowly prepping the new Civic for conversion next year.

However, while playing with my stinky battery I decided to check up on the warranty and contact my dealer. To my surprise they agreed to replace it! I got the new one this morning and this weekend I will be cleaning up my batter pack, checking the water levels and voltages, then installing this new one once I get its voltage to the same as the others. The I can slowly start driving the EV again and get some miles under it, and possibly get it commuting once again. I have 7K miles on the pack and if all the other batteries are still fine ( they seem all fine, just that one dropped out after 10 to 11 miles) I should get another 3K out of them.

I'll post some pictures of the new Civic donor and what I've done to it when I get some time. I am also going to try an experiment this winter, I got a heated seat cover. I've done some research and other EV'ers said that a seat warmer worked much better to keep the driver/passengers warm than a heating system. We'll I guess I'll find out in a few weeks.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Still Here

It's been a while, but I am still here. Now for some updates:

My battery pack seems to be giving up the ghost, one battery appears to be failing and I am going to try to bring it back to health in the coming weeks.

I do have a new Civic donor! I picked up a 2001 Honda Civic EX at the end of August and I am getting it ready for a conversion. I'll start a new post on that when the time comes along with pictures.

Right now I am not driving my EV because of my battery issues. I am going to try to revive the low one, but I do plan on doing the new conversion this fall or this winter and getting a new battery pack anyways. Update with pictures are on their way, I just need to find the time to post them!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Blown DC/DC

I finally got home from 5 weeks in India and I have discovered my Curtis DC/DC is blown. I have no idea what did it, could have been a nasty lightning storm we had or something else. Point is that I am dead in the water until I get it replaced.

I am searching for the best price on the Zivan DC/DC converters which are 70-160 volts, perfect for when I upgrade to the new Civic later on.

Friday, August 5, 2011

August Update

It's been a while but I have still been driving the EV. I did have to install new brake lines a few weeks ago. They rusted out due to age and I decided to fix them while I search for a new Civic donor.

My Civic is getting old and tired, its 15 years old and body rot is getting to it. I am on the look out for a newer 2001-2005 Civic EX Coupe and I want to up my voltage to at least 120 volts. I am having some problems with my 12 volt system, I think it's either the 12 volt battery needs replacing or the DC/DC isn't working right.

Friday, April 29, 2011

April Update

I have been busy, but I have added a few things to my EV. I know have a quiet vacuum pump from Audi which provides up to 28" Hg of vacuum and my brakes work a lot better now. I got the pump off eBay for a lot less than the noisy Thomas Pump I had been using.

I have been working on two rather stubborn batteries. I haven't been driving the EV as much as I should, and two batteries are performing a lot worse than they should be. I believe they are become stratified, so I am working on those batteries. I am breaking in the pack again slowly and charging the lower batteries with a power supply. I also am giving the entire pack a day or two on a float setting to get the acid moving around again.

I am thinking about upgrading my EV to 120 or 144 volts and a new chassis this summer, with lithium batteries possible. I am going through my budget and options now, but if I can't get these two stubborn batteries back up I am thinking about replacing them or doing the upgrade. This weekend is really nice, so I plan on working a lot on my EV in between getting ready for the end of the semester.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Trekking On

My heat has been installed for some time and it functions! It does defrost the EV, but really doesn't do much more than that. My voltage just isn't high enough at 96 volts to heat the EV up, but I get by. I have to drive the EV everyday just to keep the batteries nice and toasty around 80F, but I go places each day and it isn't a problem.

Over the past 8 months of EV driving I have made quite a few notes for my next build. I have noticed that past 50% DoD the performance is just awful on lead acid batteries. My automatic transmission is a real power hog. I estimate that I get 10% less power and range than a Civic using a manual transmission and in the cold upwards of 25% less power and range just due to the automatic transmission. My batteries stay nice and toasty in their boxes, but the transmission fluid gets real thick in the freezing weather. My 96 volt systems works fine for most things on my commute, but I really need at least 120 volts to keep up with traffic on the last hill home and to run the heater to do more than just defrost the windshield. But overall I am very happy with my EV, and in the next week or so I will be going to get is inspected for the year.

Now I am planning to do another EV, this time a Generation 7 Civic (2001-2005 model years). I am going to reuse almost all my parts, but this time go for a manual transmission and a 156 to 160 volt system using lithium batteries. I am looking for a 60 mile back road range and about 40 miles highway, and I am hoping to start doing research into charging stations. I am hoping to build this EV in the next year or so when I get the funds, and after my lead acid pack dies out in my Civic now. I am expecting at least another 6,000 miles out of it so I have plenty of time to plan this EV. I do own a 2004 Honda Civic VP coupe that I find extremely comfortable and peppy, and my new EV will be designed to maintain the same pep, but I want to try and get a Civic EX coupe for my next EV.