Born to be Wired: Page 6 of 6

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Inside this Article

Front Battery Box
Above the drive motor— six T-145 lead-acid batteries and the control box, mounted to the left of the batteries.
Electric GMC Sonoma Pickup Truck
Randy Richmond’s full-electric-powered GMC Sonoma pickup, converted using a commercial kit.
Removing the internal combustion engine
Out with the internal combustion engine.
Empty engine cavity
Lots of room in the engine compartment.
Author and electric pickup truck
Randy Richmond takes his electric truck to auto events to help spread the word on EV practicality and performance.
Inspecting the DC Motor and Transmission
The 100 hp DC motor bolted to the original transmission.
Installing the Electric Motor
Installing the new electric motor and transmission, with room to spare.
Rear Battery Box
In the bed—a custom battery box holds eighteen T-145s.
Electric GMC Sonoma Schematic Diagram
Electric Vehicle Control Box
The control box, with the logic interface mounted on its cover.
Electric Vehicle 240 VAC Plug
The original gasoline filler cap was replaced by a 240 VAC plug.
Front Battery Box
Electric GMC Sonoma Pickup Truck
Removing the internal combustion engine
Empty engine cavity
Author and electric pickup truck
Inspecting the DC Motor and Transmission
Installing the Electric Motor
Rear Battery Box
Electric GMC Sonoma Schematic Diagram
Electric Vehicle Control Box
Electric Vehicle 240 VAC Plug

To improve the vehicle’s performance, Richmond has made some minor changes. A tonneau cover over the bed not only improves the vehicle’s aerodynamics but also prevents unauthorized access to the battery box, which comes with a latch but not a lock. New, low-rolling-resistance tires extend the driving range by a few miles and make manual steering a tad easier on the arms. A data-logging system, which plugs into the battery SOC meter on the dash, helps monitor the vehicle’s efficiency. A tow bar, tow lights, and drive line coupling device will make towing easier—just in case he ever runs out of juice.

Despite the few glitches, Richmond enjoys every minute of the EV experience. From start to finish, research to test drive, the conversion took one year. “I’ve heard stories about people who converted vehicles in a weekend, but I’m a perfectionist. I took my time and learned a lot along the way,” he says. “Sure, I made some mistakes, but I’m pleased with the end product and plan to drive it for many years to come.”

Access

Kelly Davidson, Home Power Associate Editor, is living without wheels (that is, the motorized kind) in New Jersey. She daydreams of the day when bike lanes outnumber freeways and renewable energy powers a national mass transit system.

Randy Richmond, RightHand Engineering, 19310 226th Ave NE, Woodinville, WA 98077 • Phone/Fax: 425-844-1291 •
info@righthandeng.comwww.righthandeng.com

EV System:

Café Electric • www.cafeelectric.com • Zilla motor controller

Canadian Electric Vehicles Ltd. • www.canev.com • S-10/Sonoma conversion kit

EV Source • www.evsource.com • Water-cooling system for controller

Manzanita Micro • www.manzanitamicro.com • Battery chargers

Trojan • www.trojan-battery.com • Batteries

Xantrex • www.xantrex.com • Link 10 battery monitor

Zivan • www.zivanusa.com • Battery charger

Comments (6)

jerryd's picture

I'd suggest anyone wanting to convert and EV start with the lightest one they can find as EV's cost by the lb of the donor vehicle. So if you start with a 2-3k lb vehicle and strip it down by about 1/3 the weight you need a smaller battery pack, motor, controller for the same range, performance.

Doing things like low rolling resistance tires, making aero improvements, low drag diff, transmission oils, etc can nicely increase range. So start light and aero for a cost effective EV.

Kienan Maxfield's picture

If you would like to regain your A.M. radio reception, just find the wire powering your radio and wire in a couple capacitors and a couple of good inductors. For a diagram on how to wire it, click the following link or copy and paste the following address into your browser.

https://dl.dropbox.com/u/8017159/DC... — or —

http://db.tt/lWq7JEFg

Kienan Maxfield's picture

I realized this would not work because the problem has to do with emitted RF rather than the supplied power. This would only work for pulsing load or pulsing charge related interferences such as alternator whine.

willwilkin@madeinusasolar.us's picture

I'm limping my gasoline-powered Ranger for a few more years till I can get the money for an electric pick-up that I will charge by solar PV. Hopefully EV pickups will become available soon. I am not going to build it myself, but admire those who do!

CasaDelGato's picture

More electric trucks! yeah!
http://john.casadelgato.com/Electri...

RG B's picture

Nice work

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