I just got back from a fairly lengthy test drive. I am blown away by how well my electric car works. Yes, I can officially say those words out loud - "my electric car". I was actually nervous about going out with it. Would it break? Leave me stranded? Catch on fire?
I left the field voltage switched to 12V the entire time. I found that on 24V, the field relay got smoking hot and started making hissing noises. I have never heard a relay make hissing noises before, but I know that's a bad thing. I believe it is a high current problem, not a higher than-designed-for voltage problem.
In most EV conversions, you usually start off in second gear. But I found second gear far too weak, so I got used to taking off in first and switching to second at about 30 km/h. It seemed to top out at 60 km/h in second and I didn't bother with third because of lack of space, but I am confident that it will easily exceed my goal of 70 km/h.
After one lap around the block I started to get confident, so I kept driving around and around, turning here and there. I probably drove a total of 10 minutes, and not with economy in mind. When I got back to my garage, the system voltage still read 73.6 volts, which means I hardly put a dent in the battery capacity. So I have a feeling that my 20 km range goal might be a possibility.
The power brakes work amazing. There was no difference between being powered by a Volvo vacuum pump and being powered by vacuum from the old ICE.
How quickly does it accelerate? Not very quickly, but it accelerates and that's all that matters. You have to realize it is now a 3200 lb car with about 25 horsepower (on a good day).
When I got back to the garage I quickly opened the hood and checked to see how hot the motor is. Remember that I have a very small motor here and I am asking it to do a lot. The motor was definitely warm, but I could easily hold my hand on it, so things are looking good there too.
Stay tuned for more pictures and video in the next while. Now I just can't wait to drive it again!