EVs converge in the heartland

Last year about this time I was dizzy with excitement as I had just returned from EVTV's first annual Electric Vehicle Conversion Convention, or EVCCON, in Cape Girardeau, Missouri.  I had the incredible honor of winning the EVTV Build Your Dream Contest at the convention and you can read about that experience here.  Since that project is not yet complete, this year my dad and I took my daily-driver, the lithium-upgraded SAAB, to the event.  We spent several days fully immersed in electric conversion talks with 200 like-minded, dedicated bringers of change.  There were about 40 vehicles sporting batteries based on lithium chemistries there this year and the build quality was quite high. 

Jack Rickard, publisher and host of EVTV, provided once again an ideal setting for such an intense gathering to take place.  He arranged an all-star line-up of industry leaders to speak, most of which had brand new products to bring to market and had chosen this venue to do so.  One afternoon was spent on the Cape Girardeau Airport airfield participating in performance events such as an autocross, quarter-mile drag-racing and even evaluating our vehicles' torque and horsepower on a dynamometer - like a treadmill for cars. 

This would be my first experience on a drag strip.  Because all my electric conversions thus far have no clutch mechanism, shifting takes a few seconds but nobody really cares because you barely ever have to shift.  Well this would be one situation where a clutch would come in quite handy.  So I pretty much had to pick a gear and go with it.  I chose third and when the light tree shown green, I floored it.  The wheels spun so hard that I thought I'd mistakenly put it in first gear - well such was not the case.  My 34 kWh lithium pack and Zilla 1k HV 1000-amp motor controller delivered so much power, starting in third actually made good sense!  Third to fourth sans clutch actually goes relatively quickly and I was able to snag a 17-second quarter mile time and hit about 73 mph, even with these limitations.  Not bad for a car that was purpose-built for distance.

I hereby announce that I'm interested in doing a street-legal, ultra-fast, dual-motor conversion for someone next Spring.  I'm talking 12-second quarter-miles and giant clouds of tire burnout smoke.  This stuff's way too much fun.  Call me and we'll talk.  ;) 

Photos: 
jack and conventioneers in the fleet of EVs
Jack Rickard
Wayne Alexander from Kansas' "EV Blue" has done hundreds EV conversions
Wayne Alexander
1950's MG TD replica by fred behning
1950's MG TD
Mazda RX-8 - kevin heath
Mazda RX-8
jack and five pairs of fathers and sons - we're on far right
father&son pairs