Well, it looks like it’s time to start logging the progress on the Lotus. It is an Electric Vehicle (EV) build project that I have been planning for quite a while and now that some other things like the hydroponics and the scooter and soon Sparky are up and running, I can turn my attention to the next thing.
It will be a real undertaking. There is a fiberglass tub of a ’74 Lotus Elite which includes the doors and power windows and little else. It has been otherwise gutted. The Lotus was built like a boat in an upper and lower half which were glued together. A Steel subframe then held the motor and suspension components in place. I don’t have the subframe. The nightmare is that I will essentially be building a car except for the body. The cool thing is that I get to build the whole car except the body! I can build it to my specs! Forget modifying a gas car to function as an electric. Just throw most of the stuff out and start over!
I have a few components already. The drivetrain is a 11″ Kostov motor mated to a VW clutch and transmission both rated for 500 ft/lbs of torque. The motor makes just over 400 ft/lbs at 1000 amps. The rear suspension is out of a Porsche 944 turbo with aluminum control arms which will probably be modified for a coilover shock. I should have the finished and assembled rear suspension components in a few days. The fun part is going to be setting up the rear sub-frame and locating the mounting points for the transmission and control arms. For that I have a VW Super beetle on a trailer in my backyard to use as a reference point. Sorry neighbors, but it will be gone soon.
The front end is a drag racing setup based on a Ford Mustang II geometry. This should be a bit easier to set up though I am still worried about the positioning of the upper control arms. The spindles are from a Pinto mating to a custom hub from Aerospace Components with as big a rotor as I can fit inside a 15″ rim. The cool thing about their stuff is that almost everything they make is billet aluminum and ridiculously light. The brakes are manual and there will be no need for a vacuum pump in this vehicle. The wheels will be the old Porsche “phone dial” rims. Kind of ugly, but made of a magnesium/aluminum alloy and very light and strong. The tires will be some LRR (Low Rolling Resistance) type TBD although I think a set of drag radials may be usefull at some point.
Beyond that, it needs a new windshield, a whole new interior, door latches and on and on. The body needs some minor work although everything that was steel on this thing has to be re-made in aluminum except for the side impact bars in the doors which need to be taken out, sand-blasted and powdercoated.
Major components still to be procured are a Soliton 1 controller and a Manzanita Micro charger. The batteries will be bought last and make will depend on what appears to be best at the time that the project is ready. Basically, I wlll build the car first, test it out on a small, low voltage, lead battery pack and then buy and fit about 30kWhr of lithium batteries. There will be air conditioning! ducting and control will be handled by likely a “Vintage Air” system with one of a few electric compressors being fitted.
Another fun project will be the management of most on board systems with either a tablet or touchscreen computer. It will manage the charger, controller, entertainment, GPS and internet. I won’t be doing much of the work on that part of the project. I have a neighbor who does I.T. and loves a challenge. He has already started the basic research.
This will be a huge project. It will likely take about two years if not three. In the end it should beat most production cars from 0-60 and go 100 miles on a charge and do it in comfort with reliability. Of course there are a lot of details that I have left out which will be covered later. Feel free to comment and as time goes on and things get done I will keep you up to date. I may not publish on this page every week or two, but when something interresting gets done I will try to write about it.