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Old 09-04-2013, 09:14 AM   #1
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Electric Sidecar ????

I'm starting this thread to get a descussion going about the possibilty of building a electric sidecar rig.I'm fasinated with electric motorcycles but I have some problems with the current offerings.
1..Cost
2..Range
3..ability to recharge quickly.
I will be the first to admit that I know VERY LITTLE about auto electrical but I'm learning.
I have been thinking that a sidecar would offer the ability to carry more batteries for longer range,a small generator for atleast parcel recharging and already having a rig the cost could be lower than buying new.So lets hear why OR why not this would work!!.


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Old 09-04-2013, 09:34 AM   #2
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I had had many of these same thoughts! I'll be interested to see what the collective has to say about this...
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Old 09-04-2013, 10:08 AM   #3
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IMO you really would have to work on the aerodynamics for it to work efficiently.

Sidecar rigs are not known for good efficiency.
Efficiency is the name of the game in electric vehicles if you want range.

Now if you want to build a pikes peak racer.....that's a different game.
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Old 09-04-2013, 10:14 AM   #4
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As someone who has built an electric car (well, converted one from gas to electric anyway) I'll keep it short. Price batteries. That ends the discussion for most folks.

Seriously, lead is dead, don't even consider doing it unless you are using LifePO4 batteries.

Here's a quick and dirty calculator for you, http://www.evsource.com/tls_battery_main.php. Assuming 1000 pounds and 100 mile desired range, you are looking at a bit over $5000 in batteries alone.

Plus all the other crap (motor, controller, BMS etc...) All of which is stupid expensive because it's a low volume cottage industry. I just paid $1500 for a USED battery charger for my car.

Generally speaking, an onboard generator is not a good idea. If you are going to be running a gas engine to recharge the batteries while you ride, skip the middleman and just keep it a gas bike.

here's one dude who has done it:
http://www.evalbum.com/3944

and here's a shop with massive amounts of experience with electric motorcycles if you are really interested. This is an example of the motor/controller you'd be looking for: AC-20
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Old 09-04-2013, 10:35 AM   #5
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There's a guy by where I live that converted a old VW wagon 25 years ago to electric.He still drives it everyday with lead acid batts but he only drives it around town so I have no idea what his rand is.
Another reason I brought thus up was because I have access to all the electric motors,controllers from electric golf carts that I can use.I have NO IDEA if they would work or not for this application.


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Old 09-04-2013, 11:01 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NortwestRider View Post
There's a guy by where I live that converted a old VW wagon 25 years ago to electric.He still drives it everyday with lead acid batts but he only drives it around town so I have no idea what his rand is.
Another reason I brought thus up was because I have access to all the electric motors,controllers from electric golf carts that I can use.I have NO IDEA if they would work or not for this application.


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I obviously don't know his range either, but I can guess. 25 miles tops, new batteries every 4 years. Or 5 miles, and keep those oooold batteries chugging along.

Golf cart stuff? I guess it could work if you want the performance of a golf cart.
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Old 09-04-2013, 11:06 AM   #7
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Ya I have no idea,I have been looking at the golf car stuff for years.I have a 30 year old bike hooked to my sidecar that had 45-50hp 30 years ago so it's not much better than a golf car !!.hehehe...


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NortwestRider screwed with this post 09-04-2013 at 02:07 PM
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Old 09-04-2013, 01:25 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by norcal-SAHD View Post
I obviously don't know his range either, but I can guess. 25 miles tops, new batteries every 4 years. Or 5 miles, and keep those oooold batteries chugging along.

Golf cart stuff? I guess it could work if you want the performance of a golf cart.
There is a fellow around here that has built many 60+ mph golf carts, and 2 or 3 very fast ones. Neat stuff, more in the controller than the batteries. But not a one of them have had any attempts at saving weight or maximizing range.
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Old 09-04-2013, 04:39 PM   #9
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I think it's a cool idea, but its going to be difficult to make it more than a science project without a really large investment. Still, I like a science project. I think a really cool start would be a hub motor on the hack, gas engine on the tug. The e-hack in my head is an old school kneeler with lots of acceleration and top speed of about 55mph. I need 30 miles range. Should be able to do 2 of those three!
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Old 09-04-2013, 08:08 PM   #10
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A couple years ago I thought about a electric drive wheel on the car for offroad use,and might still try that.


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Old 09-05-2013, 02:35 AM   #11
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A separately controlled (thumb lever?) electric car drive could be handy. It would add weight for sure. But if done right could be used for off road traction, hill boost, reverse, and low speed (city traffic, parking lot) primary drive. Ok, somebody make one!
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Old 09-05-2013, 04:50 AM   #12
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A separately controlled (thumb lever?) electric car drive could be handy. It would add weight for sure. But if done right could be used for off road traction, hill boost, reverse, and low speed (city traffic, parking lot) primary drive. Ok, somebody make one!

I think you are on to something with the reverse. Then any bike with a hack could have a reverse? That would be amazing.
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Old 09-05-2013, 07:46 AM   #13
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If you use a MC swingarm and rear wheel WITH A SPROCKET for your car wheel just mount a electric motor over it with a sprocket and chain.Car battery in car charged of the bike.This is the way I thought it could work.


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Old 09-05-2013, 07:49 AM   #14
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or starter motor with flywheel (or ring gear) mounted to s/c wheel......
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Old 09-05-2013, 08:23 AM   #15
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Cool idea. My employer has even put in charging stations for electric vehicles so if I had one of these, I could fuel for free.

Sounds like norcal-SAHD has some key experience in the area.

I use an NEV (basically a street legal golf cart) to take the kids to school, run some close shopping errands and get around the farm. It tops out about 30 mph and uphill is just below 25, so I try not to drive in traffic on 2 lane roads because I know I would be annoyed at the nut case that is driving 25-30 in front of me if I can't go around him. So, like any motorhead, I started trying to figure out ways to make it go faster (before I put the lift kit on it which makes it less safe at any speed) and that lead to learning more about building higher speed units. I'm still a long way from a practical expert like norcal-SAHD

With the kind of range I want for any hack, the right batteries and controllers (think Tesla) would cost a lot more than I'm willing to put into it. If you're looking for an off road cruising machine, it could be done pretty easily.

Since you have good availability of golf cart parts, you probably already know the power ratings of those motors. Most of them are pretty weak and as Ogre pointed out, hacks have to push a lot of wind.

All that being said, I'm like the others. Experimenting is fun so if you have the time and money to play with it, we'll all follow and cheer you on. You can always create the basic setup with the freebie parts and then if you like the basic results, you can invest in higher performance parts to get you highway speeds/range.

Re the reverse, you guys can search the web and you'll find a few guys who have done that, usually with starter motors, but a couple of guys were experimenting with lightweight winch and hoist motors. Others experimented with belt drive (cogged and smooth). Just throwing out some more ideas.

Good luck experimenting. Hey, the journey is half the fun.
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