Friday, April 22, 2011

Our Present To Earth

Here's a little update. Goodbye engine, hello motor.

There are basically two options when it comes to the motor--AC or DC  (Not talking about the Australian pile of kick-ass).   The former allows regen (regenerative braking) while the latter is much more readily available and doesn’t take as much expertise to get it off the ground.  We’re going with the latter. We will probably burn this one up at some point anyway because we learn to swim by just jumping into the deep end of the pool. (The pool being AC motors, and jumping meaning someone is going to get electrocuted)
    The team says that a 9 inch motor ought to do the trick for what we’re after here, as outlined by the following specs:

The 9 inch motor shouldn’t actually be able to handle 1000A in the real world.  If it could, the MINI transmission (not to mention the tires and front wheel drive) couldn’t.  If you thought torque steer was bad on the R56, I think this might break your arms.

Donor MINI

In a crazy move to harness the torque monster that lives within an electric motor, CravenSpeed has decided to build performance machine out of a 2002 MINI Cooper S.  If she were still stock, Natasha (my MINI), would make about 160hp @ 4500 rpm, 0 to 60 in about 7 seconds, and handle like a dream.  It’s hard to compare gas-powered vehicles to their electric counterparts for various reasons, and I am learning this stuff from the build team as I go, but here is how they sold me on donating her to science;

    Since this is our first shot at an electric conversion, we’re going to try and stay within a reasonable set of boundaries.  Looking at the comparison chart, it hardly seems worth it for a gain of 1 second on the 0 to 60 time and a sacrifice of 190 miles of range.  But, since it is starting to cost $60 to fill her tiny tank with premium already, I am willing to bet that it might make some economical sense, eventually. For now, what I know for certain is that it is a crazy move that will give us a very unique MINI. (Before you remind me that BMW already made an electric MINI, I will point out that I do not live in LA or New York and I would like to keep this one instead of paying $900 a month to borrow it from them.)

Anyway, Goodbye Tasha. See you in The Future.


Welcome Intern

Say hello to Chester.

We call him Chester, Chet or just Intern! No matter what moniker you use I am excited to wecome newest member of the team. We met him during Futsol match and found out that he had some pretty useful skills. Besides working with us, he is also a full-time student at OIT; studying renewable energy engineering. Chester comes from a motorcycle racing pedigree and brings some track experience on top of his real world EV building and engineering skills.

As you can see from the picture, he's a huge geek, so if you see him at one of the upcoming shows, be nice and don't make any sudden movements. Be sure to ask him all the questions you want about building our electric car, too, 'cause this is the go-to guy. He'll be here for at least the duration of the Electric MINI project, which we may be calling the 'Sleeper Cell' (get it?), but we may need more input on the name.