"till their sand is worth more than their oil"

An on-road electric vehicle project from
Doohickey's Electronics
Owner & Designer - Walt Rasmussen
~and~ Diligent Engineering
Owner & Principal Engineer - Chris Reaka

In these photos the trike is running on 60 volts using 5 12V 7ah computer UPS batteries connected with 10ga wire. With the controller limited to 25% duty cycle, it would go about 30mph. We have now installed 8 12v deep cycle lead acid 75ah batteries, connected using 0ga welding cable. We expect 80+ mph with a range of about 60 miles on a single charge. I also plan to build a small trailer that can carry a 4kw motor home generator for longer trips.

Step By Step

First, obtain a Porsche 914 that you won't mind destroying
In our state, I was required to have the State Patrol inspect the vehicle and issue a "Demolition Title". Once the project is street legal, they will reinspect it and issue a "Reconstructed Vehicle" Title with a new VIN
Then cut off everything that isn't a trike
Add steel to reinforce the new body shape.

The photo on the right also helped inspire my efforts to get my own body in shape, I am now 40lbs lighter.

Chris had some lasers laying around that we set up in the shop to help us keep everything lined up, this worked extremely well to produce a rolling chassis that needs minimal control input to run straight.
Add support structure for the motorcycle forks
We used the forks and 'Comstar' wheel from a 1979 Honda 750. We used the lasers to help duplicate the rake angle of the Honda motorcycle.

The motor mount

I bought an old VW motor off Craig's List for $20, it had grass growing through it, but it would bolt right up to the 914 transaxle. I cut it in half with an air powered cutting wheel, there's a good story here about the wisdom of keeping fire extinguishers nearby, but I digress...
There's a great place in Phoenix called Apache Reclamation and Recycling where I found a nice piece of 1/2 inch thick aluminum plate for $15, I also got the coupler parts for under $10. The bright orange piece is the center hub of a VW clutch plate that I took to a machinist to have him weld on a 7/8 inch shaft to match the motor shaft diameter. The machinist also milled the cut engine block flat.

Adding Battery Supports

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Spinning wheels 60vNoLoadNoOil 60 volt no lube 90+mph
It was at about this point that we started trying to run the motor. The videos above were taken with the trike off the ground. When no fires or explosions occured, we put it on the ground and took it for a ride. That is when the photos at the top of the page were taken.

{short description of image} Towing Fixture {short description of image}
and New Bigger Coupler

After a few joy rides, the coupler failed. I bought a larger coupler with a stiffer insert and had to do some cutting inside the VW block to make it fit. We also needed a way to transport the trike, so made the tow fixture from a motorcycle wheel chock to fit a standard hitch receiver.

With the battery supports in place, I needed a place to sit and some handlebars I could reach.

The seat pedastal (and future home of most of the electronics) is made from the honeycomb aluminum of a Smart board that had been damaged. It is a very strong and lightweight material.

And now for some reporschelization
And some more cosmetics, plus a soft place for my butt.