Mother Earth News Fairs

Come on in and hang out

Moderator: matt walker

Re: Mother Earth News Fairs

Postby pa_friendly_guy » Sun Sep 21, 2014 8:39 pm

The Dealers have been leasing a lot of electric cars. Within a year of 2 you will be seeing many of those cars sitting on Dealer lots or going through the auctions. I think that will be a good time to buy. There is a Leaf on E-Bay right now, I think the high bid is around $11,000, it is located in Ohio. ;)
Never doubt that a small group of dedicated people can change the world, indeed it is the only thing that ever has.
User avatar
pa_friendly_guy
 
Posts: 1499
Joined: Sun Jan 08, 2012 9:24 pm
Location: SW Pa They changed me to zone 6a what ever that is. I still figure zone 5

Re: Mother Earth News Fairs

Postby mannytheseacow » Tue Sep 23, 2014 2:02 am

Good point, Guy. So in your opinion, would it be better to convert a car or to wait and pick up one of these market models in a few years? I've got an early 2000 manual Honda and the only way I can justify putting any more money into it would be to make it electric. I don't know how feasible this is but I'm done putting money into that engine.
"Knowledge is power. Arm yourself."
User avatar
mannytheseacow
 
Posts: 940
Joined: Sun Feb 24, 2013 12:40 am

Re: Mother Earth News Fairs

Postby pa_friendly_guy » Tue Sep 23, 2014 4:14 am

It will cost you a bit over $10,000 to convert it to electric. A 9" DC motor is $1500, [ That gives you 25 HP } a Curtus Controller is $1500, { Curtus is the cheapest controller that will handle 500 amps , there are a lot of controllers that are better ] the pot is maybe $150, a DC to DC converter is about $200 [ that acts like your alternator to charge up your 12 volt battery that runs your lights, turn signals, radio, etc ] and Lithium Batteries could be $6000 to $8000. You can look for used parts, the motors and controllers come up from time to time for maybe $800 . Take into account your time and the value of the car and I would say that the productions cars on the used market would be a better buy. A friend of mine has been buying Toyota Rav 4's from the early 2000's for about $25000. He has 4 of them now. The one he uses for his daily driver has 157000 electric miles on the original battery and he has had to buy one part, I think it was $30, that is the total problems he has had with the car. No oil changes, no tune up's, no problems of any kind. There were only about 300 of them sold by Toyota at that time so they as fairly rare. If you can buy a used Leaf, or one of the other used Electric cars for $12000 to $15000 I would say they are the better buy, their batteries are guaranteed for 10 years. If you have to pay $25000 to $30000 then I might consider a conversion unit with Lithium batteries. I would not go with Lead acid batteries because of the limited range. I do not think you will be happy with them. And I would go for at least 120 volts to 144 volts to get the power to go hi way speeds. You will not be happy with less power. You can buy a 72 volt conversion kit for about $5000, but it will not do what you want a car to do, you will not be happy with it. Just my opinion.
Never doubt that a small group of dedicated people can change the world, indeed it is the only thing that ever has.
User avatar
pa_friendly_guy
 
Posts: 1499
Joined: Sun Jan 08, 2012 9:24 pm
Location: SW Pa They changed me to zone 6a what ever that is. I still figure zone 5

Re: Mother Earth News Fairs

Postby mannytheseacow » Thu Sep 25, 2014 12:16 am

Thanks for all that info, Guy. I'm familiar with the process and looked into this back in the '90's. I don't remember it being so expensive back then. But the batteries weren't as good back then, either.

Your reasoning for holding out for a production model makes a lot of sense. I guess I'll just drive my Honda into the ground and get a good electric in a year or so.... Or in a few years when I retire to a tropical island and live off fruit, fish, and wild pigs I won't need a car anyway. :lol:
"Knowledge is power. Arm yourself."
User avatar
mannytheseacow
 
Posts: 940
Joined: Sun Feb 24, 2013 12:40 am

Re: Mother Earth News Fairs

Postby pa_friendly_guy » Thu Sep 25, 2014 12:36 pm

It will cost you a bit over $10,000 to convert it to electric. A 9" DC motor is $1500, [ That gives you 25 HP } a Curtus Controller is $1500, { Curtus is the cheapest controller that will handle 500 amps , there are a lot of controllers that are better ] the pot is maybe $150, a DC to DC converter is about $200 [ that acts like your alternator to charge up your 12 volt battery that runs your lights, turn signals, radio, etc ] and Lithium Batteries could be $6000 to $8000. You can look for used parts, the motors and controllers come up from time to time for maybe $800 . Take into account your time and the value of the car and I would say that the productions cars on the used market would be a better buy. A friend of mine has been buying Toyota Rav 4's from the early 2000's for about $25000. He has 4 of them now. The one he uses for his daily driver has 157000 electric miles on the original battery and he has had to buy one part, I think it was $30, that is the total problems he has had with the car. No oil changes, no tune up's, no problems of any kind. There were only about 300 of them sold by Toyota at that time so they as fairly rare. If you can buy a used Leaf, or one of the other used Electric cars for $12000 to $15000 I would say they are the better buy, their batteries are guaranteed for 10 years. If you have to pay $25000 to $30000 then I might consider a conversion unit with Lithium batteries. I would not go with Lead acid batteries because of the limited range. I do not think you will be happy with them. And I would go for at least 120 volts to 144 volts to get the power to go hi way speeds. You will not be happy with less power. You can buy a 72 volt conversion kit for about $5000, but it will not do what you want a car to do, you will not be happy with it. Just my opinion.
Never doubt that a small group of dedicated people can change the world, indeed it is the only thing that ever has.
User avatar
pa_friendly_guy
 
Posts: 1499
Joined: Sun Jan 08, 2012 9:24 pm
Location: SW Pa They changed me to zone 6a what ever that is. I still figure zone 5

Re: Mother Earth News Fairs

Postby GrahamB » Sun Oct 26, 2014 2:41 am

Just spent a very long day at the Topeka MEN Fair. Some great lectures but I got turned around with the schedule and missed the one for electric cars. I am definitely going to get back into the mushroom growing after listening to the guy from Mushroom Mountain. He explained how we can use fungi to clean spoiled or contaminated ground and still eat the mushrooms. I then sent the kids to his junior talk where they all got an oyster mushroom starter kit. His mantra is anything can be improved with mycellea and woodchips. I said last year that I would stay for both days this year, but it didn't come off and I have to head home in the morning.
No matter how many mistakes you make or how slow you progress, you are still way ahead of everyone who isn’t trying.
User avatar
GrahamB
 
Posts: 234
Joined: Wed Mar 21, 2012 2:48 am
Location: SW Missouri

Re: Mother Earth News Fairs

Postby pa_friendly_guy » Sun Oct 26, 2014 12:45 pm

Glad you and the family got to go again this year. It does tend to lift the spirits and inspire you to do more. I guess we can all try to do a little bit, but the MEN fair inspires us to do a lot. It is wonderful that your kids got to attend, You are getting them onto the right path early in life.
Never doubt that a small group of dedicated people can change the world, indeed it is the only thing that ever has.
User avatar
pa_friendly_guy
 
Posts: 1499
Joined: Sun Jan 08, 2012 9:24 pm
Location: SW Pa They changed me to zone 6a what ever that is. I still figure zone 5

Re: Mother Earth News Fairs

Postby GrahamB » Sun Oct 26, 2014 8:49 pm

Guy the trick is to not take them anywhere during the summer and then call it our annual holiday :) Plus it helps that the hotel had a pool they literally spent the evenings in. We have just got home and had a family meeting to decide what we are going to work towards this next year. More chickens, including meat birds. We may even try a couple of turkeys. Mushrooms, including putting inoculated wood chips under the rabbit hutches instead of hay. I was wooed by a young chocolate brown alpaca there, but I think they might be out of my price range.
I spoke to a couple of guys from Hestia who had a biogas retort that was pretty cool. They reckon a family can produce the equivalent of up to three propane bottles a month. Plus produce fertilizer for the garden. It basically works the same as a septic tank but never needs to be pumped out as all the solids turn to liquid.
No matter how many mistakes you make or how slow you progress, you are still way ahead of everyone who isn’t trying.
User avatar
GrahamB
 
Posts: 234
Joined: Wed Mar 21, 2012 2:48 am
Location: SW Missouri

Re: Mother Earth News Fairs

Postby mannytheseacow » Mon Oct 27, 2014 2:42 am

Sounds like another great experience for you and your family, Graham. I've been researching and playing with biogas for a little while now. I'll have to post something with a bit more detail at some point here. It seems promising.

As I was reading about methods for building a system I was thinking, "I already have one of these, except I call it a septic tank." The challenges are two fold. First, hitting the necessary temps during fermentation (or more properly, anaerobic digestion) is hard to do consistently without a large energy input. Second, the size of a system needed for an average family goes just beyond the simple DIY experiments. Still, I'm sure it can be done. It will just take more tinkering.
"Knowledge is power. Arm yourself."
User avatar
mannytheseacow
 
Posts: 940
Joined: Sun Feb 24, 2013 12:40 am

Re: Mother Earth News Fairs

Postby matt walker » Mon Oct 27, 2014 2:45 am

Wow, I'm super curious about those systems. You guys keep posting about them when you have time, please. Graham, sounds like a good trip, one of these days I'm gonna have to make it to one of those.
User avatar
matt walker
Site Admin
 
Posts: 1801
Joined: Tue Jan 03, 2012 5:50 pm
Location: North Olympic Peninsula

PreviousNext

Return to The Hangout

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

cron