So we’ve not even started yet, and we’re tweaking the spec. Well, that’s the point of this prolonged development period. We were intending to use the EMW Smartcharge 12000 – a 12kW charger – for our project.
However, having chatted to them it looks like their rapid charger (the briefly mentioned 3 phase beast currently in development) should be out by the time we’re ready to go. This is quite exciting, we’d been thinking we’d be without rapid charging at the beginning making the range question more of an issue. With this change we could possibly reduce the size of the pack a little (thus reducing the weight of the car and the cramming of batteries into every available space), improving the handling, and still having a range that’s acceptable. We’re now thinking about a 20-22kWh pack (similar to the Leaf).
There are many arguments about rapid charging vs. range that are ongoing. But in a converted car you have to make certain compromises, and this is one of those moments where shedding that extra weight is, I think, worth it. The minor’s a fairly slight vehicle and adding the extra weight in of those batteries would have meant compromising the handling, or at least potential tweaks to the suspension (e.g. uprated springs and torsion bars). This way we should be able to continue with the suspension configuration we have (non-standard, but not substantially modified).
Good news all around, I’d say.