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Premium Member
2,981 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
While doing a yahoo search today on 3-15-2005 for

Siemens 1PV5105WS12 AC motor

result 3 was

IN-1 (Insight clone of EV-1) kit thought (was: build proposed... FPRIVATE "TYPE=PICT;ALT=Open this result in new window"

... kit (except batteries and BMS): - AC inverter - Siemens Simovert 6SV1 preprogrammed - Charger - Brusa ... and talks via CAN) - AC motor - Siemens 1PV5105WS12 - Water pump - Jabsco 59500 - 5k - Cached - More from this site

and result 4 was

IN-1 (Insight clone of EV-1) kit thought (was: build proposed... FPRIVATE "TYPE=PICT;ALT=Open this result in new window"

... kit (except batteries and BMS): - AC inverter - Siemens Simovert 6SV1 preprogrammed - Charger - Brusa ... and talks via CAN) - AC motor - Siemens 1PV5105WS12 - Water pump - Jabsco 59500 - 5k - Cached - More from this site

The original messages have been taken down from the sight.... I haven't yet found another reference for this.

Why was I looking for the motor???
I have plans to in the next 4 years or so converting my 2000 insight to pure electric or possible electric with range extender....
anyway ... that motor I found seemed to have simular torque and power to what I was looking for to have a bit more than the normal insight with IMA but not soo much more to do damage to the transmision....
I found the motor originally at which is search result 1 and 2 for the motor.

It occured to me that maybe there are more people out there who maybe also have or are planning on doing this conversion.

so far I have found 1 other web site about a Insight to EV conversion
but nothing else about this IN-1.

Any info that anybody has would be appreciated.

fyi the other insight to pure ev I found is at


Premium Member
2,981 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 ·
found so far

only other data I found so far is a few of the messages that was cached by yahoo... grrr.. only a few messages out of what seems to be a detailed ongoing discussion.

I will copy and paste those next

Premium Member
2,981 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Message found #1

Re: IN-1 (Insight clone of EV-1) kit thought

* To: [email protected]
* Subject: Re: IN-1 (Insight clone of EV-1) kit thought
* From: John Wayland <[email protected]>
* Date: Tue, 17 Sep 2002 11:41:15 -0700
* References: <[email protected]>
* Reply-To: [email protected]
* Sender: [email protected]

Hello to All,

Since I first proposed the electric Insight project, I've been cringing while reading some
of Dave's remarks, and just can't hold back as I feel the need to step in with my
perspective and corrections.

Dave Goldstein wrote:

>What a great idea: Introducing "The Green Battery"
>into the green Insight! I LOVE it! :)

No! The idea is to use the affordable and likely to be available in the next month or so,
Nickel Zinc batteries, not the far-too-expensive, far too finicky, far too elaborate NiMH
batteries! I also believe, that even with a seemingly lower whr per kg energy density, the
Nickel Zinc batteries in real life application, will take the car farther per charge than
the same weight of NiMH batteries that have to be kept in their 'sweet spot' that greatly
reduces the amount of energy one can reliably extract from these type of batteries.

>Besides the cost issue, several major problems
>must be addressed in trying to install *any* type
>of traction battery pack in the Insight:

I don't agree, and remember, I own an Insight and have had it torn apart more times than
most folks....I know the car intimately!

> 1.) Weight -- With a present curb weight of approx. 1,940 lbs.....

Dave, you're off a bit here. the car with AC, weighs in at 1887 lbs.

>this car will have to lose ~350 lbs (160 kg) to handle a 750 lb (340 kg) battery pack,
in order
>to reach John Wayland's 2,350 lb target. This may be a challenge in
>the lightweight Insight, in which even the
>1.0 liter gas motor only weighs 124 lbs!

Since you were off by more than 50 lbs., and using your logic, the car now has to lose
just 300 lbs. You're also forgetting other weighted items that add up fast, like the car's
exhaust system that has both a muffler and a catalytic converter...maybe 40 lbs.?
Including the weight of the admittedly very light 3 banger at 124 lbs., now we're down to
having to lose another 136 lbs. The current 12V accessory battery weighs about 25 lbs., so
replacing it with a small AGM that will be charged up by the DC-DC of the Siemens system,
throws out another 10 we're at 126 lbs. to lose. The NiMH battery pack weighs
55 we're at 71 lbs. to lose. The Insight's inverter, DC-DC sandwich has a cast
aluminum heat sink, and the package probably weighs 30 we're at 41 lbs. to
lose. I could go on here, but I would think a little bit of credibility needs to be
extended to me on these things....I've been involved with probably more than 100 EV
projects, and I am usually right on with my ideas and estimates. Just to make sure this
issue of weight is mute, remember that there's the engine radiator and cooling fans, many
black boxes and their mounting brackets, heavy cabling, the gas tank and its brackets,

>2.) Battery Weight: If you wanted to use the
> 85 ah EV1 NiMH batteries, this would
> effectively limit you to 250 volts (19 > modules @ 13.2 volts, @18 kg = 750 lbs
> 19.3 kWh of battery. In a
> 2,350 lb car with good aero, that should
> deliver better than 100 miles of range!

Again, diss the NiMH idea, and go with simple and so far as demonstrated in Sheer's car,
very strong Nickel Zinc batteries.

>** Note to Victor: Would 250 volts be
> sufficient for your 1PV5105WS12 AC motor system?

Victor says yes, but worries over a lower efficiency level...I do not, but I'll go into
this later.

> 3.) Volume: This is really tricky. 19 EV1
> NiMH's would occupy ~ 5 cubic feet! That's 141 liters or approx. the size
> of a 37 gallon (U.S.) tank! Could this *possibly* be shoehorned into an Insight?!
> Frankly, I doubt it.

Again.....diss the NiMH idea, and go with simple and so far as demonstrated in Sheer's
car, very strong Nickel Zinc batteries. But, just to beat this down, even these batteries
would fit. What I don't understand here, is why am I being challenged on my knowledge of a
car I own? I've stated that batteries will fit easily...they will! Dave says, "Frankly, I
doubt it", but he does not own an Insight, and has not had the IMA chamber torn apart as I
have, has not had the entire rear of the car torn down, as I have. Under the hatch floor
of the Insight, is a cavernous area, far bigger than needed for Honda's IMA stuff. It is 9
inches deep at the shallowest parts, very wide right up to the car's walls, and extends
all the way to the rear bulkhead. I figured on 720 lbs. of batteries, 20 of the Optima
sized Nickel Zincs, but many more could actually fit in there! Please, drop this
batteries-not-fitting thing, you're wrong!

> I seem to recall the energy density of NiZn as ~60 Wh/kg compared to
> 85 Wh/kg for the latest version of the Ovonic NiMH.
> If this is correct, then NiZn will occupy an even greater volume and produce
> less energy for the same amount of weight.

You're not taking into account, the way NiMH batteries have to be kept in their sweet
spot, which reduces the actual delivered power they can put out. Nickel Zinc isn't as
picky, thus more of their power can be used.

> And the expected battery life of NiZn in a heavy-duty EV application
> is still an open question.

On this, we agree. far as we're seeing out west here with Sheer's car, the
batteries do everything the company touts they will do, in fact, they are delivering even
more than their rated capacity. When was the last time you saw a battery give more than
the battery hype dudes said they would? Because Evercell seems to be on the conservative
side, I tend to believe them about the cycle life. And on that note, consider how Evercell
comes up to their 600 cycle rating. They rate them at 600 cycles, because at that point,
the batteries are only delivering 80% of their rated capacity....this means that there are
still lots of usable cycle left, and who knows how long they will keep going at the
reduced level? In any event, with 130 mpc capability, you're looking at greater than
70,000 miles of pack life! At just twice as expensive as Optimas, you get a battery that
has three times the power (per weight of packs), and that delivers probably ten times the

> Any of the nickel-based options will require adequate cooling and ventilation space --

> meaning still *more* volume required. You will have
> to work this out with the battery engineers.

Don't keep worrying about space for batteries....there's more than enough room for a
simple cooling system.

> Conclusion: This project will definitely require some creative battery packaging and
"Insight!" :)
> It is not for the faint of heart or pocketbook!

Can't agree with the 'creative battery packaging' needed, but I do certainly agree on the
'not for the faint of heart or pocketbook!'.

> It appears to me that 336 volts *is* doable...This suggests that you will have
> a much more difficult time making 300+ volts with NiZn within the confines of an

OK, enough of this 'having to go to 300+ volts to get to Victor's target efficiency.
Victor and I have already had this discussion. The only reason to go up to that level, is
to raise the efficiency a bit. Time for a real life comparo to make my point:

The whole concept of my proposed Insight project, was based on the fact that I own both an
efficient DC machine, my 156V Blue Meanie Datsun, and the Insight. My Datsun weighs,
coincidentally, 2340 lbs., and the Insight EV is projected to weigh an almost identical
2350 lbs. Blue Meanie was never designed to be a long range EV...quite the opposite, it
was designed to lay rubber, accelerate strong, be able to bury the speedometer, and handle does all these things....just ask Seth! But, because it is a small car with a
low frontal area, because it has good bearings and LRR tires, and because it only weighs
2340 lbs., the darn thing is very thrifty on battery power, and this is why it can do 25
miles on just 13 Optimas....a paltry 585 lbs. of lead acid batteries. As it works out,
this car uses almost exactly, 1 ahr per mile, and as many already know, as used in
144V-156V EVs, a set of Optimas, though having a 65 ahr rating (C20), deliver about 25
ahrs before they're done.

OK, with the above info on Blue Meanie, let's see what a battery swap using the Optima
sized Nickel Zinc batteries would do (this may actually happen in the future). Remove the
13, 45 lb. Optimas that in this car, that are really 25 ahr modules, and drop in 13 of the
Optima sized Nickel Zinc batteries that weigh just 36 lbs. and have a 66 ahr, fully
deliverable rating (based on Sheer's experience with his Nickel Zinc batteries that also
easily deliver their rating). The battery pack weight drops from 585 lbs. to just 468
lbs.! That's a whopping 117 lbs. removed from the car. With a one ahr per mile
consumption, this gives 66 miles of range...that's nearly 3 times the range, but remember,
this is with 'less' battery pack weight, and with 117 lbs. out of this already light EV,
the ahr per mile consumption will drop to slightly under that amount, so the range might
be as high as 70 miles...even closer to three times the range!

To really make the comparison, replace the 585 lbs. of Optimas with the same weight
battery pack of Nickel Zinc batteries. How about 16 of the Nickel Zinc batteries for 192V
instead of 156V? Even at this level, the pack is still 9 lbs. lighter! OK, OK, let's just
call these two packs even, at 585 lbs. VS 576 lbs. Currently at 156V, the car uses about
50 amps to cruise on level ground at 55 mph or 7.8 kw to cruise at that speed, but with
192V instead, that current draw should drop to about 40 amps. A 40 amp current draw at
192V is very realistic, as John Bryan's 192V Ghia that weighs a pinch more than my car,
also pulls that same level, maybe a bit less....John? Bill Dube's Wabbit also had a
similar current draw at that speed, too. Anyway, figuring 40 amps at 55 mph, the 66 ahr
pack of Nickel Zinc batteries should be able to do this for an hour and a half
55 mph, that's over 80 miles of my book, I call that three times the range! If
the Datsun could stay the same curb weight and have a 240V pack on board (as can the
Insight EV), the current draw at 55 mph would be just 32.5 amps! At a steady 55 mph, the
Datsun could travel 110 miles!

All the above, is done with an ADC 9 inch, brushed motor that has less efficiency than the
240V rating for Victor's Siemens AC system, and I haven't even factored in the slight
mileage boost from regen efforts. Thus, Victor's and now Dave's drumming of the need to
get to 300+ volts in order to raise efficiency, is mute. Yes, if Evercell had just the
right sized battery so that a 336V pack would weigh 720 lbs. and still easily fit in the
car, I would go that way to get even batter mileage performance, but for now, the 240V
pack of Optima sized Evercells is perfect, and even at the less-than-ideal efficiency
rating that the Siemens system will be at, it's still better than the DC motor set up.

Up to this point, I've used my 30 year old Datsun economy car as the standard to figure
the range thing, but remember, we're talking about the Insight! This is a car with even
less frontal area than the Datsun, the same projected weight, but whoa...far lower air
drag! The car also has more advanced wheel bearing and tires that are probably better in
their LLR rating, too. Finally, it will have a 720 lb. Nickel Zinc battery pack over the
Datsun's theoretical 576 lb. Nickel Zinc battery pack. With the Datsun calculated to be
able to do 110 miles on a 720 lb, Nickel Zinc battery pack (if the curb weight stayed at
2340 lbs...doable if I jettisoned the rad stereo and motorized rear battery tray), it
should be easy to see that the super slippery Insight could hit my projected 130 miles per
charge rating. Also, with strong regen, hilly driving would still deliver very high
mileage, I would think.

> But then again, don't let that deter you! The word is out that you are a *wizard*
> at squeezing batteries into Honda sheetmetal! ;-)

Oh please, stop!!!! I can't let this stand and go uncorrected. Dave, I take it you've
never 'seen' Victor's car? Before I go on, I need to state that over the net, it's
hard to do this without sounding like I'm trashing Victor...kind of how it must sound to
others when he goes on about my stereo systems, I guess. So let me say it now....I like
Victor, he's a very smart guy, he's very kind and considerate, and he's come through for
me and others when we needed him. He's also bringing an affordable AC system to the
backyard EV converters, and that's been a huge improvement for all...thank you, Victor. call Victor a 'wizard' when it comes to battery positioning, or thought in lay
out, or execution in craftsmanship, or safety in containment, or attention to weight
balance, or loss of the car's utility, and god forbid, attention to detail, this
description couldn't be more wrong! It certainly doesn't take a wizard to throw batteries
everywhere in a car while totally destroying its functionality! For crying out loud, the
passenger seat for a while, was missing due to the big uneven hump of strewn batteries on
the floor, and even now, there is this cartoon-like seat on top of the battery heap, with
its headrest crammed against he headliner, a seat that only a Jack Russel Terrier could
sit in! It does take a wizard though to do as others have done, and make their EV project
look and feel as if it could have come from the factory that way...Ralph Merwin's Prism
comes to mind.

Not to toot my own horn, but my own Blue Meanie is an example at battery positioning
'wizardry'. I could have done as others have, by simply filling the trunk of this little
car with batteries. I could also have made the engine compartment batteries all fit in a
box over the motor, too. This would have worked, but compromises would be made...the most
obvious, would have been a loss of trunk capacity, the less obvious, would have been the
loss of 'curb appeal', finesse, it what you want, but in short, the loss of
the car's ability to make others get excited over the 'electric car' and have a desire to
have one of their own...allow me to explain.

Hiding the electric motor is something that many backyard EVers do without much thought,
after all, it works, the motor most probably won't need to be gotten to, and it's easier.
But there is great functionality in having it in clear view, especially from the
EVangelist point of view. Since the dawn of time, car nut types love to open the hood and
see what she's got under there! There's nothing better to evoke oohs and ahhs from these
types, than for them to see a gorgeously simple, cylindrical Advanced DC motor lurking in
place of a cluttered greasy gas engine with all its hoses, pumps, filters, manifolds, etc.
I knew that my every-day driver/show car EV would be made this way, but it took 'battery
wizardry' to get the job done. Instead of one simple rectangular box above the motor, I
placed two batteries on each side of the motor in their own stainless steel trays with
sturdy hold-downs. I then placed the remaining four above the motor but back against the
firewall, so that the motor is largely, in clear view. For the past 22 years now,
motorheads and regular plain folks, have been in awe when I open the hood and they can
actually see the electric motor. There are of course, many practical reasons for having
access to the motor as well, but the main reason, is to have it in clear view.

The same logic goes to the trunk are of my car. When showing an EV conversion, nothing
turns off folks more than a trunk full of batteries. They say things like, "Oh, you can't
have a normal trunk with an electric car!"...or...."Isn't this dangerous to have all these
batteries back here?" Anyway, you get the point. Additionally, I wanted my car to have a
useable trunk for my own reasons, too. Besides having it to carry grocery bags, or other
cargo, I also wanted to be able to install a false floor in the trunk to house and display
the high end car stereo system I had planned. I took real 'battery wizardry' to come up
with a hide-away motorized, remote controlled battery tray! This accomplished many made it so that battery weight was better distributed as far as for and aft
polar moment, it made it so that battery access was easy when needed, it made it so the
trunk was not compromised in any way, and lastly, it made for a super trick, super crowd
pleasing demo system!

I give these examples to hopefully, correct the notion that simply stuffing a small car
with as many batteries as possible with no regard for aesthetics, functionality, or curb
appeal, is a bad idea. I understand that Victor's main quest was to get his car's voltage
and range capacity up where he wanted it to be, and that's fine, but for others to call
his method 'wizardry', is a bit too much.

>Furthermore, the Insight has a serious space problem.
>Victor has had great success fitting batteries into his
>Civic, but if my numbers are correct, the Insight is some
>10 inches shorter than the Civic! And where would John
>put his subwoofers? :)

Whew....let's take each of these.

(1) The Insight DOES NOT HAVE A SPACE PROBLEM!!!!!!! To my knowledge, short of a pickup
truck, the Insight is the only super areo, factory car that comes with a gigantic,
basically square, under-the-floor battery space all ready to access, ready to easily hold
20 Optima sized batteries!

(2) Victor has 'not' had great success fitting batteries into his Civic, in fact, the car
is now dangerously over weight, has compromised handling and breaking, and is now a one
seater call this great success? He has had great success with his car for 'his'
needs, so that's fine, but most folks would find a one seat car unacceptable, and most
folks would find a Civic that weighs as much as his does, way over the limit of
sensibility, too.

Alan Coconi's car comes to mind (the earliest version with Optimas piled everywhere), so
it seems no surprise that Victor has emulated this car. Though it was great to see the car
featured in Road & Track magazine with its tire-smoking ability clearly flaunted in a
positive way, it was at the same time, embarrassing to me and other EVers that such a
rolling science project was displayed in the pages of this magazine, perpetuating the myth
that EVs are only for nerdy wacko types and that the car's utility is always ruined by
'batteries everywhere'.

(3) "And where would John put his subwoofers?" Have you not read my posts? From the
beginning, I've almost jokingly, flaunted my 'ShoeBox Sub' system that tucks away in the
right rear corner of the car, under a basically unusable section of the floor, out of
sight, totally hidden, but with rear view mirror-blurring deep bass response. This compact
sub will not detour any use of the battery compartment area. Sure, there won't be room for
my custom twin 12 enclosure that my own soundoff Insight has, but there's really no need
for that excessive amount of bass power for mainstream 'normal' folks who would be more
than happy with the ShoeBox Sub's output. In fact, done the way I am advocating, even with
four of the 20 batteries down low below the storage well area, the storage space is still
useable and can be kept, though it would be about 4 inches shallower.

> It is not likely that the EV1 crowd will go for an EV that
> they will have to shift, or a car that does not achieve a
> reasonable front-to-rear weight balance.

First of all, my proposal wasn't ever aimed at EV-1 drivers, it was merely 'my idea' to
make a super cool, super fun, high performance EV out of an Insight...period! Yes, for
some, it has now taken on the goal to do even more, and this includes perhaps those EV-1
drivers. I would still have to disagree with Dave on this take. First off all, driven as
the EV-1 driver is used to, that is, a car that tops out at 85 mph (approx.), the electric
Insight would actually out perform the EV-1 left in 2nd gear, no shifting required!
However, for those EV-1 drivers who might have the courage to venture away from their
self-imposed speed limit of 80+ mph, they 'could' take that big chance, and 'shift' up to
3rd and experience a top end in an EV like no other streetable machine....flying along at
130 mph, I think not a single EV-1 driver would be disappointed!

As far as reasonable weight balance, the electric Insight with just 720 lbs. of batteries,
will have most of that weight centered in the car, with just a pinch over 100 lbs. of
batteries near the rear...with beefed up rear coils and the proper front sway bar, it
should handle as good or even better than the EV-1.

Hopefully, I haven't offended too many with the above.

See Ya.....John Wayland

PS: Portland's Gary Graunke has his recently aquired Insight already torn down to a glider
as this is written, and
is finding out that all I've said has been right on so far...he's not the least bit
worried about whether or not the batteries will fit, and even if I'm off a bit in the
range per charge prediction, he's going to be very happy with anything close to 100 miles
of range.

Premium Member
2,981 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Message #2

Re: IN-1 (Insight clone of EV-1) kit thought

* To: [email protected]
* Subject: Re: IN-1 (Insight clone of EV-1) kit thought
* From: John Wayland <[email protected]>
* Date: Tue, 17 Sep 2002 17:56:49 -0700
* References: <[email protected]>
* Reply-To: [email protected]
* Sender: [email protected]

Hello to All,

Roger Stockton wrote:

> Say, John, it was mentioned that 2 Portland EVers had purchased Insights
> for conversion; are you at liberty to reveal who the other is? (I take
> it you are not adding another steed to your stable at this time?)

His name is Greg Koffel. Greg's an OEVA member who picked up a wrecked Insight (another
silver one) with front end
damage for a song...I mean, REALLY cheap! I'm not too sure which direction he wants to
head with this, as
initially, he thought that Gary might be interested in it.

See Ya.....John Wayland

Premium Member
2,981 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Message #3

Re: IN-1 (Insight clone of EV-1)...

* To: [email protected]
* Subject: Re: IN-1 (Insight clone of EV-1)...
* From: Victor Tikhonov <[email protected]>
* Date: Thu, 12 Sep 2002 16:25:05 -0700
* References: <[email protected]>
* Reply-To: [email protected]
* Sender: [email protected]

Roger Stockton wrote:
> > -----Original Message-----
> Victor Tikhonov wrote:
> > > Brusa is 230VAC input rather than universal,
> >
> > This is not correct, Brusa charger will eat anything from
> > 120V to 240V, and can be configured up to 400V.
> Thanks for the clarification; the data sheet I referred to did not state
> an input voltage range, just the nominal input voltage of 230VAC, so I
> assumed the worst.

It is not there because not fully tested and officially released.
It just actually works, this is info from chief designer.

> > Brusa can dish out 10 kW (at premium of course) - up to 75A
> > charging current for NLG511-xx
> I'm sure you know more of the details of this prduct than I do, but the
> NLG51x data sheet lists the NLG511-xx as 3.4kW/25.0A maximum,...

> The data sheet does
> note that one can parallel multiple NLG5xx's for higher output current;
> perhaps this is where your 75A value comes from?

Yes. Being isolated, you can connect one or two slave booster
modules to a charger. Each will gicew fupp rated current
based on the voltage range. So 3 25A modules will supply 75A.
> The data sheet I have been going by is 'NLG5_1120.PDF', on Brusa's own
> website; is there another data sheet that is more up-to-date?
> Cheers,
> Roger.

Sorry' I'm not in the position to release any documentation beyond
what BRUSA officially has.

Stay tuned though - they will update their site, and I will
update mine too.


Premium Member
2,981 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
What i gather

What I can put together is that even though only 1 Insight I can find on the web that has been converted to pure Electric there are other that have done this and just haven't posted anything to the web.

2,448 Posts
To my understanding the posted one is the only running one. Though I haven't kept up with the EVDL in a long while. The others could have potentially gotten theirs finished as well. Of course I know how easily an EV conversion can be started then not finished due to many different reasons. I know, I have one of these myself.

Premium Member
2,981 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·

yeagh i guess the posted one might be the only one so far that is up and running....

I admit I do not really understand why...

1> Insight is light car
2> Insight is an areodynamic car
3> Most Insight and EV owners are pro environment
4> In the hatch area as described above there is plenty of room.

seems like an ideal EV conversion.....

I mean unless you had an EV designed from the ground up the way honda originally designed the insight back in what the mid 90's

I understand people wouldn't want to mess up there beutiful Insights.... I mean heck that is one of the reasons I won't be doing my conversion for a few more years yet so that I have everything ready and just take a vacation and do the whole job all at once.

But one would think that if you were looking for a car to convert to an EV a Insight would be high on EVers list.... but from what I have read and gathered it isn't if anything it seems to be avoided by most of the EV community as a whole. Even though Insights have been on the road and showing well for 5+ years.

The only valid reason I can think of is people might still be concerned about availibility of replacement parts. But that shouldn't be a big concern fr an EV conversion where most of the stressed parts ei engine and such are replaced with further replacable parts.

oh wel....

I will say that it has motivated me that unless there are tons of them by then I am going to document / video my hole conversion like mad for other people to see.



2,448 Posts
Yes I agree it's a perfect platform for a conversion. If you look on the EVDL though most people tend to convert cheaper vehicles more than anything. I've got plans in my head for most of what I would do if I were converting one.

652 Posts
Although I know nothing about EV conversions I would think the Insight would be a bit limited due to weight and space. The engine removal would probably only save you perhaps 200 lbs and I believe I have read somewhere that the battery is around 50 lbs so that is not very much capacity when it comes to lead acid batteries. Have fun, RIck.

Premium Member
2,981 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
insight to ev

space i don't think will be an issue ... insight has plenty.

as for weight in the insight ....

as well described in the first message i found on line from the EVDL...

messages copied:
You're also forgetting other weighted items that add up fast, like the car's exhaust system that has both a muffler and a catalytic converter...maybe 40 lbs.? Including the weight of the admittedly very light 3 banger at 124 lbs., now we're down to having to lose another 136 lbs. The current 12V accessory battery weighs about 25 lbs., so replacing it with a small AGM that will be charged up by the DC-DC of the Siemens system, throws out another 10 we're at 126 lbs. to lose. The NiMH battery pack weighs
55 we're at 71 lbs. to lose. The Insight's inverter, DC-DC sandwich has a cast aluminum heat sink, and the package probably weighs 30 we're at 41 lbs. to lose.

the above also doesn't say the 50+ Lbs of the 10 gallons of gas and gas tank, allot of EV's also do away with transmition ect....ect....

so converting an insight to electric will remove somewhere around 400 Lbs or so.....

Of course it would then just add it right back in the way of motor , battery, ect.....

I figure around 100 Lbs for Motor....

I figure 50 to 100 Lbs other electrical struff... invertor for AC... wire etc....

Which means we have 200 Lbs to just get back to the same insight weight we started with.... even without addind a bit more for more range as most EV conversions end up weighing several hunered pounds more than they did .... some even end up change suspension etc.... becuase of extra weight.

I know ... alot of EVers love those lead acid batteries.... cheep I know... but good for EV design I don't think so.....

metricmind sells a lithium battery 3.7 VDC 40 AH 1.1 Kg which unless my math is off should end up being about 61 WH / Lbs for 200 Lbs puts me over 12 KW of stored power ... from the EVDL and those who have posted their results ... some of the worst EV ranges are 1 mile per KW and some of the best are like 8 Miles per KW if I play it conservative and say the ultra light Insight with better aerodynamics only get 6 miles per KW that is still over 70 Miles on a charge with no additional weight but a slightly better power curve from the electric motor..... Now I am also of the opinion myself that the Insight will do better than that and that 400 Lbs of batteries is not much of a stretch.....

I also talked to a few of the fuel cell companies... in a nut shell ... the first 100 Lbs for a fuel cel and Metal hydride Storage will give a bit over 4 KW for one hour the pay off is that each additional 40 to 50 Lbs is another hour of geting 4KW per hour .... or another 100 Lbs for another 4 KW for that first hour..... could be useful as a range extender with a smaller battery pack for higher usage .... 200 Lbs of Fuel cell and metal hydride storage just barely would have more than the Lithium after 200 Lbs Fel cell begins to have better and better range ... but 50 miles is enough for me 100 at most for normal driving and fuel cell creates allot of problems for where to get hydrogen and it turns out to be about 60 to 70 % more expensive then the lithium batteries..... so for now it looks like no to fuel cell... unless something happens in the next 3 years or so.

Now personally I am more of a fan of NiMH batteries than Lithium for environmental reasons .... I know the Lithiums hold more juice which is what all EV's are sadly missing energy storage.... but NiMH still can easily do 40+ WH / Lb which 200 Lbs gives at least 8.5 KWH or about 30 to 40 miles conservative .....

I am Planning to put 400 or so Lbs of batteries in when I do it yes I think that will fit in fine. there is more room in the car then most realize..... also if a 1536 kg (3,380 lb) CRX can get 160 Wh / mile then a under 2,000 Lbs Insight should easily get better than that .... but if I only get the 160 that is over 6 miles per KWh should easily have 16 KWh from NiMH which puts me to about 100 miles.... plenty for me.... and i think a conservative figure.

just my two bits.

still have tons of work to do before i am ready.


2,448 Posts
Space wouldn't be much of an issue. You'd probably have to loose the use of the rear storage well, but until you have the cover off the IMA box you don't realize just how large it really is. Remove all the styrafoam inserts and it's actually pretty dang big back there.

On the weight issue you always end up putting more weight in to the car for a conversion. You just have to be careful not to exceed the GVW too much. Admittedly you'd probably have to have some custom beefier rear springs made but it's very doable.

Premium Member
2,981 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
same page

I agree with you Rick ... and I do plan on 200 or so more Lbs said and done then I started with.... but in the estimated 3 to 4 years it will be before I am ready .... some of the technology will surely improve as well.... in the mean time I am just trying to follow the tech changes and get as much ideas as I can to be able to do the best job I can 3 or so years from now....

By the way you said you have a EV of your own you have been working on and that you have some ideas for an Insight conversion yourself..... mind giving me your ideas on what you think would work well?

2,448 Posts
Yes I have a 92 Saturn that's been sitting for about 3 years now. I have the 9" advanced DC motor hooked to the transmission so if I need to move it I can put a 12 volt battery to the motor and use the clutch as a go pedal. Actually hopes are I will have funding to complete it this summer, so maybe... just maybe I can have a real EV (right now I have a GEM).

As far as the Insight EV conversion there are several routes you could take for a drive train. One would be hooking a moderately powered AC motor to the stock transmission. With this you could use whateve type of battery you wanted. 250+ mile range would be realistic with lithium batteries. Heck, you'd be able to have over 50 real world miles with lead batteries probably. The only limiting factor would be I'd be afraid to put too much power to the stock transmission.

Idea two, the cheap route, would be a DC drive train probably using a 6.7" advanced dc motor with a baby zilla controller. This would also use the stock transmission. Then use flooded 12 volt batteries. You could probably do this conversion for less than 10K easily with some hunting for used or other cheap parts.

My ultimate idea would be to ditch the stock transmission and put in something that could handle the power. I'm thinking along the lines of a full AC propulsions drive train with the direct drive single gear reduction. This would take a lot of custom fabrication, but in the end you'd have one heck of a car. I would imagine you could smoke pretty much any car out there with this setup, and with their lithium battery bricks you could probably have a 300 mile range.

With this setup you could also do one other thing, eliminate the shifter console on the interior. This would be replaced with a small forward/reverse switch somewhere else in the area. Then you'd have a bit more room on the inside. You'd have to have a custom carpet cut though to cover the whole floor. Idealy the instrument cluster would be left as is and be hacked to be fully functional. The charge assist gague would act as an energy consumption meter and show use and regeneration. The tach would have to be relabeled to display the ~12,000 rpm motor rpm. I'm still trying to figure out what to do with the gas gauge and fcd though.

On the outside I would work on some aero tweaks. The large bottom hole in the front bumper would be eliminated and smoothed over leaving only the small top hole so you could have access to the hood latch. This should also be plenty to provide adequate ventillation for the AC condensor. Or I might even close off the top hole also and do something else for a hood latch that could be accessed after the hood pops up, then do other possible aero tweaks on the under side and make sure no air is dragged through the engine compartment. Then custom fabricate a way to get air flow across the AC condensor. The rest of the underside of the car is nicely done aerodynamically, the engine just necessitates air flow across the radiator.

And at that point if I went through all that trouble the car would have to look good. All wires would be routed through carefully planned wire loom paths. The wiring inside the battery boxes would be neat and the lids to the boxes would be made of clear plastic so they could easily be shown off, yet nicely hidden under the rear carpet. The interior would probably be leather. I would show that car... alot.

Now I don't even want to know what that would cost me... ohh you might also find some ultra light weight Volk wheels for it too.

Premium Member
2,981 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
pimp my ride rick style

now those are some sweet ideas...

I would rather do that kind of nice electric conversion than some of the multi thousand dollar stereo systems I've seen people drop in cars ... and I would rather personally spend 100k on super EV Insight then a high end mucle car .... and in the end Super Insight would rock.... I would have to so document everything of that conversion.

sweet. :)
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