Electric VehiclesWith my long standing interest in renewable energy it will come as no surprise that electric vehicles also feature in my hobby list. The underlying technology is very simple, indeed electric vehicles were the preferred technology at the beginning of the last century. The world land speed record was held by EVs from 1898 to 1902, when a steam powered vehicle took the crown. Jenatzy, the Belgium racing driver, drove the first road vehicle to exceed 100km/h in 1899; The electric vehicle named La Jamais Contente (translation: "The Never Satisfied") achieved 106km/h.
After many 'thought experiments' throughout the years my first real work on an electric came about though a strange circumstance. I took one of my young children to the GP for a reason long lost in the mists of time, however our regular doctor was not available and we saw a locum instead. One thing lead to another and it turned out Dr Tony Fogarty had an interest in electric cars and had bought a converted Peugeot 205, but it had gone wrong and he didn't know how to fix it. I went to have a look and found a poor quality conversion, the whole thing was wired with just two colours and a rats nest of relays and connectors. I was soon rewiring the mess and after a bit of work we made it go!
Sadly, Dr Tony Fogarty died in 2008. I remember the hours of technical discussion about a vast range of subjects and our visits to various electric vehicle events with great fondness.
Peugeot rebuild (lead-acid): Fixing a poor quality Peugeot 205 electric conversion.
Citroen AX / Axiam (lithium): The development of a much improved, but nevertheless simple EV conversion. The lightweight Citroen AX gave adequate performance and good range from its new lithium battery, but then the same drive train was implanted into an super light-weight Axiam which gave sprightly performance and even better range.
Ecotricity - Nemesis: An EV with supercar performance for Dale Vince, owner of Ecotricity. It is no coincidence that the electrical drive system is just like the Axiam, because I designed it.