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Thread: Converting a van to full plug-in electric

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    Converting a van to full plug-in electric

    I'm working on a van to convert it to full plug in electric. This one is a project for a customer, and as such is already sold. The one we are working on has a 200 hp AC motor, 35 kwh battery which should be good for about 100 miles of normal driving, and runs so quite as to be a bit weird until one gets used to it.

    However, now that we have the mechanical portion of it finished, making another one (or more...) would be duplication, not creation. Would a van like this, or to have your van converted, be of interest to anyone? Putting price, range, speed, everything else aside, is this sacrilegious or would anyone be conditionally interested? As I see it, it could be pretty much a bolt-in kit - not something to be undertaken lightly, but not rocket science, either.

    Just asking at this point. Your thoughts?

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    Hmmmm.......

    this is a Purist or a Non-Purist question.

    I say rip it all out, put 295's on the back, get a Hot Momma and go Screamming down the street!

    : ^ )

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    VCVC Charter Member Vanner68's Avatar
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    GM made a fuel cell electric van from an early, so there is historical factory precedent.

    I don't think you will find a general hate from the vanning community over this, we tend to appreciate the work done on a van even if it isn't our cup o tea.

    I think your biggest determining factor will be price.


    Soo......

    Are you hooking the battery pack to a variable frequency drive to get a 3 phase output for the electric motor?
    Gregg Groff


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    Welcome aboard!
    How much modification of the van is required? Got pics? How does the curb weight of the van compare with other retrofits? Before and after. what is the manufacturer of the equipment? Sounds like a great idea.
    108VanGuy...
    1969 Chevy Panel, 250 CID, 3 Spd.with OD, 3.36 "WedgieVan" Daily Driver
    1967 Chevy Panel, 230 CID, 3 Spd. 3.36 "UtiliVan" 292 TFI coming. Owned since 76
    1964 GMC Panel, 194 CID, 3 Spd. "CrunchoVan"
    1965 GMC HandiBus Custom, 194 CID, 3 Spd. "MilkVan" Seized Engine
    1965 Chevy Panel 350 CID, 3 Spd. "RustoRoof" Runs but wiring bad
    1969 Chevy 108 Display 307 CID THM 350 Power Brakes 3.73 Posi
    1965 Chevy Panel, V8, 3 Spd. "Gold Hills Van" Best body of my 65s
    1965 CamperVan, V8, 3 Spd.

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    VCVC Member kookykrispy's Avatar
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    With fuel below $2 a gal now, I'm quite happy with my gasoline powered engine. But I am interested in your conversion, and learing all about it, and seeing pictures.

    Welcome to the forum



    64' wikivan 230/4 onda tree/2.56 posi
    '64 Red Baron no engine/trans
    '66 "Lucky" 230/3 onda tree/project

    Quote Originally Posted by Vanner68 View Post
    Remember, they're still printing money, but they aren't making any more earlies!

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    VCVC Charter Member Vanner68's Avatar
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    Yes, gas prices will affect the demand for such a conversion.

    It's something we talk about at work, since our equipment uses VFD's. We discuss modifying a Yaskawa VFD to use a battery input (600VDC is the buss voltage for a 480VAC freq drive) and then power a 480V 3 phase motor to run the vehicle. We could do the controls with obsolete parts we have laying around, the biggest cost would be building a 600V battery pack.
    Gregg Groff


    There's no place like 127.0.0.1

    1968 Chevy G20 108 panel Now with 454 power!

    1965 Chevy G10 panel- OHC Pontiac inline 6

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    Quote Originally Posted by dan65 View Post
    this is a Purist or a Non-Purist question.

    I say rip it all out, put 295's on the back, get a Hot Momma and go Screamming down the street!

    : ^ )
    So far, we did "rip it all out" and we put 275/60/15s on the back. It has a 200 hp AC motor, a battery pack in the back, an 18 kw integrated charger, other features.

    As for the tires, the tires hit the wheel wells, but that's the customer's choice/problem. Speaking of rims, am I right that these vans came with wheels that had a fair amount of offset, such that the rim was offset into the body?

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    VCVC Charter Member Vanner68's Avatar
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    As far as I know, they should be a zero offset, 5"or 6" wide wheel.

    Here's a .pdf of the info available at the GM heritage center.

    This is for 68, which would be 2nd gen. 67-70. First gen has a flat windshield, 64-66

    https://www.gmheritagecenter.com/doc...olet-G-Van.pdf

    64-66

    https://www.gmheritagecenter.com/doc...olet-G-Van.pdf
    Gregg Groff


    There's no place like 127.0.0.1

    1968 Chevy G20 108 panel Now with 454 power!

    1965 Chevy G10 panel- OHC Pontiac inline 6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vanner68 View Post
    GM made a fuel cell electric van from an early, so there is historical factory precedent.

    I don't think you will find a general hate from the vanning community over this, we tend to appreciate the work done on a van even if it isn't our cup o tea.

    I think your biggest determining factor will be price.


    Soo......

    Are you hooking the battery pack to a variable frequency drive to get a 3 phase output for the electric motor?
    We are using an AC Propulsion AC-150 Gen 2 drive system. It is variable frequency, variable voltage, and has a two-way inverter which gives it DC from the batteries to AC to run the motor, as well as regenerative braking which makes AC from the motor into DC to refill the batteries a bit. The inverter is also the charger, such that it takes AC from the grid/plug and makes it DC for charging the batteries. Very slick setup, really. Price...not so bad, considering. We're using a system that was taken out of an OE project from a few years ago. The cost of the system is about $6K, plus batteries, plus the installation and all.

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    VCVC Charter Member Vanner68's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by russbinder View Post
    We are using an AC Propulsion AC-150 Gen 2 drive system. It is variable frequency, variable voltage, and has a two-way inverter which gives it DC from the batteries to AC to run the motor, as well as regenerative braking which makes AC from the motor into DC to refill the batteries a bit. The inverter is also the charger, such that it takes AC from the grid/plug and makes it DC for charging the batteries. Very slick setup, really. Price...not so bad, considering. We're using a system that was taken out of an OE project from a few years ago. The cost of the system is about $6K, plus batteries, plus the installation and all.
    Cool, so with battery around $10k plus install?
    Gregg Groff


    There's no place like 127.0.0.1

    1968 Chevy G20 108 panel Now with 454 power!

    1965 Chevy G10 panel- OHC Pontiac inline 6

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