This morning I stumbled upon some photos on my computer and thought it would be a shame for them to stay hidden, so here are some previously unseen photos of my (somehow) famous “Kiwi EV” electric car conversion.
Click on the image for previously unseen full size version!
Let’s start with a video of previously unseen footage. This was when we’d just bought our house in New Plymouth and we didn’t have a driveway installed yet. Man, what a mess!
Rarely seen: The Mitsubishi Tredia’s original engine. This was the day after I’d bought the car for $180.
There were a lot of hastily scribbled charts like these stuck to the car at times. Unfortunately my camera started putting these lines through every photo then died soon afterwards.
Advanced DC Motor: The driving force behind this unusual car. I was amazed how much power such a small motor could deliver.
As some noticed, I didn’t actually use rubber motor mounts. It meant I had a comparatively noisy EV, but it was a very fast method to connect the motor to the frame.
Secret tip: I tried very hard to hide as much wiring as possible. As you can see, simply hiding your wiring can make even a basic conversion look incredibly tidy.
Insider secret: The Tredia was actually not without its problems. This loose washer caused an arcing problem under acceleration which took me many emails and several hours to locate!
The Tredia was an ironic car for the area (the Taranaki region) as it has always been an oil-rich place. Imagine a car that doesn’t use the local product! Inconceivable!
Another insider secret: I used to park the car so the words “Electric Vehicle” on the back would be visible to people walking past on the foot path. Shameless I know!
I was blown away by the amount of media attention the car received. This is an excerpt from the Taranaki Daily News, the most popular newspaper in the region.
I had a standard socket installed on the outside of the house to charge the car as we moved to a house that didn’t have a garage. It was a great idea and we could also use it for our electric lawn mower.
We bought our first house in New Plymouth city soon after finishing the electric car. Unfortunately we didn’t even have a full driveway, so we parked the car on the lawn. This was fine, until winter arrived…
No driveway + an electric car = mud!
A long, wet winter meant nothing but mud and misery on our front lawn.
That winter our suburb even had a severe hailstorm which was very out of the norm. The poor Tredia’s lead acid batteries felt the impact.
I like this photo because you can see the green grass through the engine bay. Normally it would be full of oily, planet-killing metal.
Rain? No problem! New Plymouth rains a lot, and we all know water and electricity don’t mix. Turns out I had nothing to worry about, and even drove in some pretty nasty weather at times. As you can see, we used the electric car as our daily driver for a couple of years, rain or shine.
This is Elwood, our cat. Ever curious, she decided to inspect this big metal machine that carries people around.
Unfortunately my hard drive died soon after the conversion was completed, which meant I lost a LOT of photos and videos of the whole process. This is a real shame, because there was a wealth of great stuff to see.
I’ve still got quite a lot of photos available however, so if you enjoyed this little snapshot and would like to see more, let me know.