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Energy Storage And Reduction In Harmful Emissions


The literature review below focussed on three main areas mainly the previously converted Electric Vehicle, Energy storage and reduction in harmful emissions. All the three topics are evaluated from historical development, present situation and future conditions. Many companies in past converted conventional vehicle into electric vehicle to meet zero emission requirement. Among which not only American companies but European companies also were interested in Electric Vehicle. Still the most important area of Electric technology concerns the issue of reducing poisonous emissions and electric energy storage.

Toyota Rav4-EV

This vehicle was made for California Air Resources Board (CARB) Zero Emissions Mandate by Toyota in the year 1997[1]. This first generation electric vehicle was an alternative for Internal Combustion Engines and represented the General Motors electric vehicle, Honda Plus and Ford Ranger electric vehicle. For storage of energy nickel metal hydride (NiMH) batteries were used and in order to enlarge the range of vehicle, regenerative braking was also adopted. It used Hughes type induction charger for recharging purpose with a vehicle range of 200km. Cost of this vehicle was around 40000 USD which finally dropped till 30000 USD. The company managed to sell only 300 cars a year after lot of marketing efforts.

Figure : Toyota RAV4 EV

[Kevin Hulsey, 1994-2010]

Automotive Illustration Portfolio

Available from

Visited on 02/08/2010

This car was allied with technical problems related to battery. Amount of charge which a battery holds determines its capacity. This capacity is generally measured by the range of the car. Capacity of these batteries reduces to 80% of their original capacity while in operation [2]. This reduced the sales of RAV4 EV and thus the company discontinued manufacturing the vehicle worldwide in the year 2003.


1. No changes in vehicle dynamics of the vehicle was undertaken

2. Exterior of the vehicle did not have any aerodynamics involved in it.

3. The charger used in this vehicle need a special equipment to be installed at homes for recharging.

4. Cost of replacing battery becomes more than the cost of vehicle.

Blade Electric Vehicle

This is an Australian engineering company which generally converts the gasoline powered cars to electric vehicles. This company has made a technology which is known as Electron. Electron technology is nothing but just the conversion of Hyundai Getz into an electric vehicle.

motor capacity

40 kw

Batteries used

Lithium Iron Phosphate

Range obtained

100 km

Top speed

120 kph

Seating capacity

4 passenger


39500 AUD

Table 1: Specifications of the Electron technology

[BEV, 2006]

Blade Electric Vehicles

Available from

Visited on 31/07/2010

The company tries to reduce the cost of car by converting an already owned Getz. Thus the cost of car gets reduced to 29000 AUD. But a newly purchased Getz can only cost 12990 AUD. This shows a big price differential for a small car.


1. Heavy cost of the vehicle makes it unaffordable for people.

2. No aerodynamic modification done as compared to Rav4-EV.

3. Major rework is necessary for Electron parameters with a large mass and more capacity required.

Siemens VDO eCorner [3]

Siemens VDO engineers are working on a different concept known as eCorner. These engineers have a plan to converge many technologies together into the wheel and the hub. These technologies include integration of the steering, brakes, drivetrain and shock absorbers. In short it replaces the conventional wheel suspension with Internal Combustion Engine and uses this integration in the wheel of the vehicle. The complete assembly is kept in a proper direction using steer-by-wire system. Thus the conventional architecture will be replaced by wheel hub motors driven by electric propulsion.

Figure : Siemens eCorner

[Christopher Sawyer, 2006]

Around The eCorner

Available from

Visited on 15/07/2010

The eCorner integrates a standard wheel rim (1), wheel hub motor (2), electronic wedge brake (3), active suspension (4), and electronic steering (5) into a single unit that is delivered to the assembly line as a module and bolted to the chassis.

This design will directly act on the wheels to accelerate the vehicle in forward direction. This four wheel hub motors are also independent to improve the vehicle dynamics. The power applied to the motor regularly changes with different wheel angles to point in the direction where driver wants to go. This also makes way to develop Drive-by-Wire technology on which the brakes, steering and drivetrain support the driver in vital driving circumstances. This will finally help to prevent possible accidents, greater efficiency and more safety to both driver and the car.


In early 1980, this company which specializes in niche vehicles started converting gasoline cars to electric vehicle. It introduced its latest design know as WILL which has an entire different concept. WILL has the potential to change the complete design of electric vehicle. This WILL concept is combined with Active Wheel Drive (AWD) concept of Michelin.

Figure : Michelin Active Wheel

[MAW, 2008]

Paris Motor Show

Availablefrom ""&HYPERLINK

Visited on 03/08/2010

This Michelin concept can replace number of parts from the conventional vehicle. These parts are gearbox, shock absorbers, drive shaft, clutch etc. This in turn reduces the overall weight of the vehicle. As the overall weight decreases, there is possibility of increasing the range but this reduction in weight can be compensated by batteries or ultracapacitors. This is a kind of cutting edge technology as old wheels are substituted by AWD wheel which is further controlled by electronic system.


This company is located in Minnesota which again converts petrol powered classic VW beetles into electric beetles. The main goal of this company is to replace conventional car into electric cars with safety, reliability and savings in maintenance and operation. Recycling and reusing is the base of this company to reduce the carbon footprint as much as they can. The first car converted into EV by this company was the Beetle in the year 1974. Its specifications are as follows:


20-30 miles

Top speed

50-55 mph

Seating capacity

4 passenger

Motor power

Rated at 40 HP peak

Battery power

6-12 volt


72 volt system

Battery type

Lead acid

Table 2: specification of VW Electric Beetles

[Clean Ride, 2008]

Anatomy of a conversion project

Availablefrom ""&HYPERLINK

Visited on 03/08/2010

Shortcomings of above literature

In Toyota EV the main problem was related to batteries. Batteries are generally used in EV to store energy. The cost for replacement of batteries is even more than the cost of car in RAV4 EV. If a technology is made in which the energy gets stored in batteries as well as ultracapacitors then it would solve the problem of replacement. Another problem with Blade EV was high cost of the car. Such high cost would make it unaffordable for common people. So there is a need to reduce the cost. This cost can somehow reduced by converting an ordinary car into Electric Vehicle. Moreover lot of improvements can be done considering the top speed and range of electric vehicle. Range and top speed of Blade EV is greater compared to Clean ride EV. If both of these factors are increased while keeping the cost of vehicle the same or less then it would be affordable to many people. In addition to this, IC engines also cause air pollution which is harmful to human health. The only way to reduce these emissions and bring the cost at an affordable rate is to convert existing cars into electric cars.

Methodology selection

Figure : steps for a particular method selected

Initially the range is necessary to know size of power source. This size then helps to find type and number of batteries needed. Number of batteries determines the weight of it. Now benchmarking is done to know the existing cost of EV. Thus fixing specific a budget for this project is done. It is necessary to select a particular vehicle for replacing its engine by electric motor and battery. Finally battery type and power requirements are selected considering above factors. A new proposed design layout is then made by the available data. At last cost estimation is done to check whether this conversion into EV was fruitful or not.

Proposed design

Replacing the IC engine by electric propulsion becomes very similar to designing a new vehicle except the body. This new design involves many factors such as efficient selection of materials, development of new components and integration of this altogether. This integration of new Electric design should be accurate in order to fit within the limited vehicle space. This forms a complete package based on efficiency, performance, safety, cost etc.

Following factors are necessary for proposed design:

Study of existing designs related to Electric Vehicle.

Finding shortcoming from that designs.

Finding an innovative idea from those shortcoming/problems of previous design.

This idea forms a new future design of EVs.

During development of new design some areas such as fuel economy analysis, efficient layout, battery capacity, size and power requirements and also cost estimation should be considered [4]. New design should be able to make better arrangements for selection of motor, deciding the range of vehicle and the total budget. The battery type and capacity selection is the important factor as it plays vital role for storage of energy. Decisions are also made for better mass distribution of battery packs as they are very heavy. Thus proper arrangenment will not disturb dynamics of vehicle and gives an efficient design.

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