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Old 09-06-2011, 11:10 AM   #1
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It's Electric!

First Hello to everyone! I've been silently surfing the forum for a while and after some thought, I joined because I need some good advice. I want to build an electric pusher trailer to use around town.

Here's the goals I've set for this project.
  • Top speed of 30 mph
  • 10 - 20 mile range

I haven't figured out the parts list though. Well I mean I know what I need to look for but I'm not sure if what I've figured out is effective enough for my needs which is where I am stumped and come seeking advice.

I was offered the rear axle off a golf car with engine included for $200. I figured if I could throw on two 15" steel wheels on it, grab a decent controller, and about eight 12v batteries, I could get somewhere. I haven't been able to do a whole lot of research because there honestly isn't much out on the net about this kinda thing.

So I guess my parts list is:
  • Golf cart rear axle with electric motor
  • Motor Controller
  • Two 15 in steel wheels with tires
  • Hitch
  • Trailer arms (have em welded or bolted to the axle directly)
  • Speakon 8 pole connector/coupling for easy cabling
  • Throttle Switch - Electric atv-style thumb switch bolted to connected to
    shifter
  • Two Small Solar Panels

I also want to develop maybe a switch system? where I implement regenerative braking / tow the trailer and recharge the batteries as I go. I was lastly thinking about grabbing a couple of small solar panels that I could place on to of the battery case on the trailer that would also help them trickle charge.

Why do I do this?
It seems like a fun idea, I want to obtain better gas mileage and reduce my dependency on oil
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Old 09-06-2011, 01:48 PM   #2
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Re: It's Electric!

Here's a company that could supply the necessary parts:

http://www.electricmotorsport.com/st..._motors_ac.php

Some of these systems provide a lot of power, if you have enough batteries.
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Old 09-07-2011, 07:56 AM   #3
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Re: It's Electric!

This is switching around the usual arrangement, gas pusher for an EV. A company is even looking into making one for the Leaf.

What vehicle is going to be pushed? Someone, I believe the same person who did the MIMA, put an electric fifth wheel on an original Insight. This wheel nestled up where the muffler was, and would pop down when called for low speed pushing. So you might not need a full trailer if you can make space for the components. A trailer can be moved around between vehicles, but you can into it being under or over powered for the job when done so.
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Old 09-07-2011, 09:04 AM   #4
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Re: It's Electric!

Why would you want a gas pusher on an EV? Just hook it up specifically for long trips?
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Old 09-07-2011, 03:07 PM   #5
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Re: It's Electric!

Yeah, at least with the Leaf one.
The first one I heard about was for a converted Porsche. The owner made a pusher out of the back end of a Beetle to get it to the track and back without towing it.

I gave this more thought earlier. I think an onboard pusher is the best bet. At the very least, a trailer will hurt your economy on the high way. So here a couple ideas to throw out there.

Hub motors. They are on the pricy side, but you would only have to find space for the batteries and controller.

Here's the awesomely brilliant one. Get a Ranger and mount the drive axle from an EV model behind the rear wheels for four wheels on the rear. It would be like a dually, but better.
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Old 09-07-2011, 07:49 PM   #6
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Re: It's Electric!

I so want a gas pusher on an EV for long trips!
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Old 09-09-2011, 02:07 PM   #7
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Re: It's Electric!

The more I think about this concept, the better I like it. But do it a little differently. Use a single hub-motor wheel. It should be easy to mount a single wheel to the trailer hitch instead of a trailer.

A hub-motor wheel weighs a fraction of what a trailer would weigh, and at 3 kW would be more powerful than a golf cart motor.
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Old 09-09-2011, 02:07 PM   #8
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Re: It's Electric!

Here's a link to a hub motor http://www.electricmotorsport.com/st...rs_evt_3kw.php
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Old 09-10-2011, 12:07 AM   #9
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Re: It's Electric!

Back to the OP's idea...
I think 15" wheels on the golf cart axle would be hard on the existing motor. The motor is geared to work with a much lighter, slower moving vehicle. I suspect the extra load would give the motor some problems.

I like the idea of an onboard pusher, but a trailer one is still a good idea. Remember, why get a golf car axle when all you need to do is drive one wheel? Perhaps the rear axle of the golf cart would be okay without the original motor because it's lighter than say the back end of an old ford ranger.... I think you're going to need another large motor than the golf cart has. I'm sure it wouldn't tolerate too much more volts than stock for very long. The duty cycle would invariably be reduced as would the the lifespan of the brushes, etc.

Good luck, sounds like a fun project.
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Old 09-10-2011, 04:44 AM   #10
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Re: It's Electric!

Modify a golf cart?
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