|Jim's Electric Truck ("ET")|
Under the hood
The Story - So Far
I bought this S-10 in November 1998, from a private individual who did the original conversion in 1995. At that time, the original Trojan battery pack was known to be near the end of its usefull life, but it made it through the winter with a range of about 20 miles. That spring I stuck in a set of Sam's club golf cart batteries as a quick & cheap fix until I decided what to do next in terms of a higher voltage system.
Thanks to a taxi driver not stopping a few days later, it needed the rear end rebuilt, and while at Munroe Autobody, I had the rest of the truck painted too, upgraded to a sliding rear window, liquid bed liner, and added Hauler aluminum ladder racks. All planned upgrades, but the timing was decided for me, and I had to wait six weeks to get it back from the shop, but it looked brand new when they were done.
During the summer, the Curtis controller blew out but I already had a DCP controller on order, so I went straight to that upgrade. After about 8 months of use of abusing the "temporary" batteries, I reworked the engine compartment to squeeze in two more batteries and got a new set of T-890 batteries to make a 176 Volt system. This pack was broken in just in time to drive 100 miles across the state to the annual NOFA summer conference.
Into the packs second year, it wore out, or more liklely was murdered by abuse and (lack of) care. I put in another set of 8-volt golf cart batteries, this time from US Battery, again just in time to drive across the state. This pack cost less and lasted longer, making the annual NOFA trip a second time this past summer, and this time hauling a 700 pound tractor in the back of the truck. But age, abuse, and cold winter hav caught up and it is time for yet another pack replacement.
The truck works great and has served well as my daily driver, carrying myself and supplies to work and play - over 30,000 miles and counting since I bought it (for over 48,000 electric miles since it was first converted). However, I suffer from "Engineer Disease", which means I'm planing the next version with long lasting SAFT NiCad batteries and other improvements. Stay tuned!
|Jim's E-Home||January 27, 2004|