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· Registered
2000 Honda Insight, AC Induction Electric
20 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello Insight group,

My longest term EV conversion project ‘EV2’ is now a daily driver. Powered by a GM EV1 motor, and fed by a 71.6 kWh battery pack, it’s great feeling the thrust of pure electric torque and hearing that ‘Jetsons’ sound as the induction motor with straight cut helical reduction gears spools up! With a projected 400+ miles, range anxiety is nonexistent. After many setbacks and hurdles to overcome, I’m happy to report its was well worth the wait! It’s been turbine-smooth, handles great, accelerates and pulls hills effortlessly, and cruises at 60 mph while sipping just 10 kW.

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· Registered
2,472 Posts

Where did you hide the 71 kW (!!!) of pack?

What are you running for your dash display/computer?

What are you doing for charging on the road?

How much does the finished product weigh?

10 kW at 60 MPH is one kW per six miles. 7 hours of driving is 70 kW and 420 miles. That's more than the launch version of the Aptera. Gaaaah. One or two more generations of cells and you'll run out of day first.

This so much more worthwhile than dropping a bunch of cash on a new EV. It probably cost less (time doesn't count if it is your hobby).

· Registered
907 Posts
Beauty of a build that is sure to make every, single one of us jealous.

Though... y'know... I think I see a little unused space in the engine bay, just to the back of the fuse box. ; ]

· Administrator
14,375 Posts
We can see It really helps when the donor car is in great shape to begin with! Top quality work... (y)

If I win the euro millions lottery tonight I'll be right over!

Please post a ton more technical details, pictures and some videos....
I want to hear the motor whining ....... :p

Can you tell us the flat road power consumption at 30,40,50,70mph as well please.

The controller list price is $8000!

John's website.


· Premium Member
2001 5S "Turbo"
12,454 Posts
Great job as always John.
Same quality and workman ship as the White Zombie IIRR.
Still got your Datsun EV?
Did you have to remove your "earth shaking" stereo set up?

· Registered
5 Posts
Hello Insight group, Thanks for the warm reception to my return back to this group, and for the positive comments.

In the coming months I will be changing my Plasmaboy Racing website to a new system that in addition to updating the extensive White Zombie history section (currently stuck at 2018), will have an equally extensive ‘Silver Streak EV2’ section with all the details covering the design and fabrication of all the many custom circuits and parts of the build - there are 1700+ photos to pare down!

When creating my post, it was easy to click on the paper clip to get to my photo albums, but I can’t find that icon when posting a reply, as I wanted to add requested photos. Do I have to do a new post in order to add photos?

OK, to respond to comments and questions…

(1) Thanks for the kudos over the EV1 wheels. Way back in 2011 as I was creating a photo-header as part of my blog, I made that Insight to EV1 comparo via Photoshop tricks. I wanted to make sure the cars were in correct perspective, and knowing they both sat on 14” rims, I used the Photoshop lasoo tool around a wheel, then drug it over the other car’s wheel, then adjusted that car’s image until the wheels eclipsed each other. I didn’t consciencely choose the EV1 wheel as the initial lasooed image, and could have chosen the Insight wheel to accomplish the same goal. During the back and forth motions of checking image size, seeing the Insight with those ‘circuitboard look’ EV1 wheels planted the seed…

I had to somehow find EV1 wheels! Rotational mass has a lot to do with energy consumed, and the EV1 wheels are 4 lbs. lighter than the already light weight Insight wheels, so having them on my car would further contribute to my goal of matching the EV1’s incredible efficiency, while at the same time make my converted Insight look more like what a second generation EV1 might be, aka, ‘EV2’. It took more than 3 years to get four of the rare wheels, along with the even more rare center caps (that came from all places, Australia). Machining new GM 5 bolt style hubs for the front and modifying the rear hubs and drums was the easy part. Once the new website is up, I’ll post a full ‘EV1 Wheel Odyssey’ story.

(2) “Can you divulge how you obtained an EV1 motor?” No … I’d have to break your kneecaps! I can tell you, that it was acquired as a brand new copper rotor unit - the highest torque version, a long time ago without any nefarious elements.

(3) “The radiator has a new function now?” No, it is still used for cooling the engine… well, the motor. The EV1 motor is liquid-cooled, and just happens to use the same diameter hoses as did the Insight’s engine. The electric motor/fan & shroud are gone for two reasons. First, being that at rest, the motor is stopped and is not generating heat, so no fan-forced cooling is necessary. When moving, air rushing through the radiator takes care of things. Second, it’s a good thing that fan-forced cooling wasn't needed, as with one of the three battery pack modules mounted low and up front, there isn’t enough room for the fan assembly to fit, though there is still enough for adequate air flow. The fact that there is that ‘wall’ created by the battery module about an inch behind the radiator, actually improves the cd of the car while still allowing enough cooling. A powerful but efficient BDC pump handles circulation duties.

On the first 5 mile maiden run, I did not know there was an unplugged connector, so the pump was off. On return and popping the hood and smelling and feeling things, I noted a cold radiator and a hot motor, and with the key still on, no green LED on the pump control module. That incident has prompted me to get the digital water temp meter connected to read the EV1’s temp sensor, and to have any over-temp situation activate the chakra engine light. With the pump reconnected, even after hill-climbing and freeway runs, the motor is Luke-warm to the touch… at ~ 92 to 93% efficient, there’s only about 700-800W of waste heat.

(4) “Where did you hide the 71 kWh of pack?” Another member posted a link to the simple page for Silver Streak. It has a side profile drawing showing the location of the three modules. There’s the front one already discussed, and two larger modules of identicle cell count, one mid-low where the gas tank and other fuel related items were, and one sunk into the IMA chamber.

As my Insight was a car audio soundoff competition vehicle in its life as a hybrid (the first hybrid soundoff car) it had a bumped-up carpeted amp chamber with a lift-up lid that elevated a portion of the hatch floor above the IMA chamber about 3”. This module is mainly sunk low into the chamber, but coincidentally causes the same 3” rise in the hatch floor. As such, I can boast that even with 1000 lbs. of battery onboard, I pretty much haven’t lost any of the car’s interior functionality. Like the former amplifier chamber with its lift-up lid to reveal car audio eye candy, this module too, has a lift-lid with clear Lexan covered cell clusters & LED lighting as car show eye candy.

(5) “What are you running for your dash display/computer?” The display is an Alpine ZILX-F511 touch screen hi def 11” audio/video system. I will send a separate post on how I got all the EV info into it.

(6) “What are you doing for charging on the road?” I have two high current options. Though it’s not yet completed, it’s all set up for CHAdeMO. Yeah, I know, it’s being phased out, but here in the PNW there’s still a good network of them. I also have an under-hood 50 amp Anderson port that my 12 kw off-board PFC 75 DC charger can pump juice into and a Felix the Cat bag of trucks filled with various 240V pigtails. Of course, it’s everyday charge port is J1772 that feeds an adjustable liquid-cooled 9 kW on-board charger.

(7) “How much does the finished product weigh - have you weighed it yet?” I haven’t weighed it yet, but I plan on weighing it this week. I am usually pretty hood at hitting my performance goals, and have predicted it to weigh somewhere between 2800 to 2900 lbs., but have 2850 lbs. as my hopeful weight.

· Linsight Designer
4,920 Posts
You can't post pictures because you created a new account... IIRC you need five posts before you can post pictures.
Please film a youtube video showing off this car. It's looking real good. I'm feeling outclassed by your conversion.

· Registered
907 Posts
I'm feeling outclassed by your conversion.
You have a different set of goals.

And, don’t forget, all of this stuff you smart guys do looks like flippin’ magic to the vast majority of us!

· Registered
5 Posts
Hello Insight group. There was a question about my car’s dash display, asking what I did to create the EV gauges and have them display info.

Many modern audio-video head units have ‘iData’, a format that allows connection to the vehicle’s OBD-2 via a Bluetooth broadcaster. The setup has its own user configurable gauges that in a gas or diesel type vehicle, can show things like oil pressure, exhaust temp, water temp, speedo info, etc. Unfortunately, iData is not EV friendly. The good news, is that the boys at Ewert (Orion BMS) have included software that works with an even better OBD-2 interpreting program called ‘Torque Pro’. It’s a $5 App that sadly doesn’t work with Apple IOS (I’m an Apple guy), but does work with Android devices. Torque is way better than iData in regards to the myriad of gauge types and the way you can configure things.

This is how I made it work with my Alpine ILX-F511 with its nice Hi Def 11” display. It is convoluted in execution, but the end result, is that it works perfectly.

Note that this system requires the use of an Orion BMS and a head unit capable of running HDMI. Here are the devices I used:

(1) ‘12V Watchdog’ - so named by me, that I co-designed (features and functions) with Adam Lansing of ‘Hawkeye Innovations, LLC’.

(2) ‘LG’ Android phone

(3) ‘Veepeak’ brand OBD-II Bluetooth scan tool

(4) ‘MicroBypass’ video parking brake bypass

(5) ‘Quick charge QC3.0 USB’ step down 5V power supply

(6) ‘Belkin AVC002BK-BL USB-C to HDMI’ adaptor

OK, here goes… in order to work as designed, the phone needs to be on continuously and never powered-off. This is why the 12V Watchdog is needed. It too, is always on and monitoring my car’s 13.3V lithium 12V system battery. This unit was planned for from the beginning, due to my car’s various parasitic 12V draws, such as the ‘always on’ Orion BMS, an ‘Orion Connect’ Wi Fi’ transmitter, stereo system memory, J1772 interface adaptor, etc. So it was already in place and ready to keep my gauge setup always powered. I have it programmed to turn on the
2 kW DC DC converter whenever the 13.3V battery falls below 13.0V, and to keep it on for 5 minutes, then power-off. The amount it pulls from the traction pack is both inconsequential and entertaining, as you never know when the car will wake up with the whirring of its rear mounted small radiator fan & pump keeping coolent flowing through the liquid-cooled DC DC. My EV2 never has a dead 12V system battery. The Bluetooth scan tool always on and the phone is always on, with them linked together via Bluetooth, and the phone reading Torque. The Belkin HDMI adaptor receives constant 5V power from the step down power supply, and passes power through its USB-C plug into the phone. That same USB-C also sends video back into the Belkin adaptor, which outputs the info through its HDMI connection and into the HDMI input of the Alpine.

Due to safety regulations, head units with video capabilities make it so you can’t be driving and watching a video at the same time. Alpine has a parking brake input that you connect to the emergency or ‘park brake’ switch. To enable HDMI, you have first turn on accessory power, than pull-release-pull again the park brake, to convince the Alpine you cannot drive. The MicroBypass is a postage stamp sized solid state relay device that mimics the parking brake routine, and it eotks perfectly!

To see the gauges in my car, after keying the car on and once the Alpine goes through start-up, you simply touch the HDMI icon. I selected a gauge style with amber-orange colors to match the amber-orange dash lighting of the Insight. I was also able to make custom gauge names.

Hope this was of interest :)
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