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What Would It Take To Go Electric Elio?

Discussion in 'Elio Drivetrain' started by XanWolf, Jan 3, 2019.

  1. XanWolf

    XanWolf Elio Aficionado

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    In an effort to not change too much, say for the sake or argument that electric motor(s) would work to drive the two front wheels/tires (as opposed to the rear). How beefy of a motor would be required for each wheel? Does it really change the motor power requirement for the motor to be in-hub verses not? Would the most likely motors have magnets or be fully induced magnetically run? I have heard of breaking generators which generate some electrical power as a factor of breaking. I have not heard much of this in a while. Has this tech been proven viable? Any consideration of using supercaps in conjunction with the batteries? If I recall, they are more efficient by a significant margin. Just soooo many questions...
     
  2. XanWolf

    XanWolf Elio Aficionado

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    Ah, for the motor part of above, I would consider a top end of 75 MPH acceptable... If only one was being used (due to a failure on one side), could it manage 30 MPH?
     
  3. Elio Amazed

    Elio Amazed Elio Addict

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    I don't know of any EVs that don't have regenerative braking. The supercaps are still in development stages and are far from affordable enough to be incorporated into an economy to reasonably priced EV. Arcimoto has claimed that one of their motors would get you (presumably limping along for a moderate distance) home if the other one quit on you. However, they also point out that the motors used in their EV are likely to far outlast the batteries with no breakdowns.
     
  4. raptor213

    raptor213 Elio Addict

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    My interest in and skepticism surrounding the potential for an EV Elio has nearly always circled back to the issue of battery placement. Look at Google image search results of cutaways of modern EV chassis/platform designs, whether it be any Tesla model, Nissan Leaf, Chevy Volt/Bolt, Fiat 500e, VW e-Golf, Toyota Prius Prime, Kia Soul EV, etc. Compare any of the cutaways to the present chassis orientation/configuration/layout of the present-day Elio, and it begs the question: where would the battery pack(s), electrical motors, electrical hardware, cooling systems components, etc all get tucked away without major design overhaul?

    I'll admit I haven't investigated the battery and component placement integral to the Solo, Arcimoto, Sondors, etc. Those should all lend clues or creative suggestions as to how an EV Elio might be redesigned.

    Just the other day, I was thinking about how GM might be in a position to market their VOLTEC powertrain system used in the Volt after announcing that the Volt would get the ax in 2019, among other car models. But I just couldn't fathom how to fit the T-shaped orientation of battery packs from the Volt into the present Elio design.

    It quickly became apparent to me that retrofitting a conventional ICE vehicle to be equipped with an EV powertrain after the fact would undoubtedly result in a compromise solution that is far from desirable. A high-quality EV solution must be designed from the drawing board as an EV, with the chassis and primary system components fitted accordingly from the beginning, in order for everything to flow smoothly.
     
    Rickb and Elio Amazed like this.
  5. Rickb

    Rickb Elio Addict

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    Could possibly spec the battery box used in the Sparrow2. It MIGHT fit in the elio engine compartment, low between the two front wheels for the best center of gravity and low center roll. Could be a very stabile configuration. Front wheel drive in-wheel hub motors or if space permits, independent dual motors similar to the FUVs. EM would need an engineer or 2 on the Marketing Team.
    B8605090-7E55-4E8E-9AA4-B9F08FE7829D.jpeg
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2019
  6. Ty

    Ty Elio Addict

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    I agree. There wouldn't have to be 300hp motors in there. All the Elio would really need are a pair of 25HP motors and enough battery to give it a reasonable amount of range.
     
  7. RSchneider

    RSchneider Elio Addict

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    Here's what I'd propose (since I've never seen the latest 2016 model Elio I'll have to guess a bit).

    Change the chassis to accommodate a battery pack. So, whatever Tesla has done with the Model 3 battery pack, Elio would have to use that architecture but sized to fit into the Elio package. This would be, increasing the height of the body overall by 2". Elio has had to do something with the height on the current car because the exhaust has to run under the car (vs the side exhaust), thus there has to be at least 6" of room around it to keep from catching the car on fire. Cheat a bit with the inside floor to get the battery in there.

    Put a 2nd battery where the gas tank currently is. This could be a good way for Elio to make two ranges. Normal or the optional battery (plus you can upgrade at any time) for extended range.

    Widen the body. Keep all dimensions the same all the way to the A pillar. Then widen the rear by the tail light by 4". Redraw a curve from the A pillar to the rear. Use that space for better side impact protection for the batteries, give a bit more cargo and more width to the rear seat.

    Raise the roof on the rear to make it like a station wagon. This gives the rear passenger more headroom and eliminate the claustrophobic comments that the press will have with the current design. This even adds more cargo and with the rear seat folded down, you can make a real grocery run and if you put a small rack in the back, it becomes a great pizza delivery vehicle (i.e helps out the fleet sales).

    Put in a single motor with a gearbox (like a Tesla). It's very compact. Use the complete engine compartment for all of the electronics and HVAC system. Still use the existing TC/ABS Stability system from Teves.

    Redesign the front nose to make a minimal vent for the cooling. This alone will make a huge difference in the amount of drag (thus the reason why the Tesla is as good as it is). If you have ever been in a wind tunnel just taping off the front grille on any car makes the biggest difference in drag because it eliminates the high pressure area under the hood and it increases downforce which makes the car much more stable.

    Glass cockpit. Only need one big screen to operate the car. Plus you can integrate a full time rear view camera and use the dash for diagnostics (i.e. eliminate all fuses and if there's a problem, it shows you on the dash). Plus the dash is upgradeable. The whole system is much simpler.

    Elio retains the current suspension and is just doing changes to the current packaging. Since they only made 5 unibodies and no steel panels and they have no powertrain. This is the time to just modify the current package to electric.

    If they can get 250 miles on the upgraded package, and price it just under 20K, they will have a vehicle that will appeal to a large group that is 50 and under. As for over 50, they will lose a certain amount because it's ICE or nothing. That's OK because you just got a new audience that is moving more toward electric. Why not go after that younger base who will have many years of spending power and you are catering right to their checkbook?

    Paul and Pat should have a serious talk with Elon and see if they could hammer out a deal on Tesla technology for the Elio. Make them a technical partner. Doing that, could go a long way (especially in the PR department).
     
  8. Ty

    Ty Elio Addict

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    Those are quite extensive changes but I like the train of thought. I'd skip the glass cockpit and would also avoid using Tesla for any components. Right now, Tesla is stretched thin just meeting their own battery requirements. GM probably has some capacity for battery making that will be underutilized as they kill off their small cars. Perhaps they could design/provide a battery pack that would give the range required. The two-tiered battery offering is, of course, established in the industry now and it kind of sucks in the way it limits resale. But, I like the way you've suggested a battery module that could be put in later. That would allow you to buy your Elio and try out the range for a while and maybe, as the original pack is losing it's range, you upgrade to the secondary module which would basically be adding some fresh range that would be nice at that time.
     
  9. RSchneider

    RSchneider Elio Addict

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    I would never deal with GM on anything. Even though their electric car is loved by the owners, it's a horrible design and was only made to be a compliance car. GM made it too much like a gasser and then tried to convert it to electric. GM never got the full potential out of it. Plus the hierarchy with in GM us too top heavy in older people that are only interested in making it to retirement and thus only want to make what sells today or within the next 5 years. Only reason why Ford is a bit better is because they have a huge global market and thus enough engineering for outside of north America that they can adapt quicker if they need to.

    I bet GM will scrap everything about their current electric offering because they would rather write off the loss as opposed to selling it to someone else or working with another company. They have done it in the past and will continue doing that. Plus the packaging of the GM offerings is terrible as compared to what Tesla has done. It make no sense to me to go backwards because in a few years there will be more updated tech and Elio does not need to be 3 generations old. It's like if someone came out with a new flip phone. It works but only a few will buy. Latest tech sells.

    Remember, Tesla started with a clean sheet of paper after the original roadster. The car might look like a regular car but underneath, it's nothing like anything else that was ever made. That's because Tesla did not have that old GM hierarchy dictating how they need to build a car. Only other company that I can think of is BMW when it came to the i3. It's nothing like any of their other cars. VW and Fiat made compliance cars, thus the reason why they are nothing to write home about.

    As for the glass cockpit, that's the way everything is going. By 2020 you'll have most vehicles with them. Regular instrument clusters are too expensive to make plus using traditional wiring harnesses and fuse panels are too expensive to make. A digital dash and a PDM simplifies everything and is much cheaper. Since Elio needs to be cheap, they will be forced to go the cheap route and by the time the current Elio hits the street, it'll be using more expensive components that suppliers will not want to make, thus they will charge more for them.
     
  10. Ty

    Ty Elio Addict

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    Fair enough. Though I still stand by the premise that Tesla does NOT have excess manufacturing capability right now so talking about having anything related to Tesla in an Elio is an exercise in futility. I only mentioned GM because they have the capability and though GM doesn't make any vehicle that fluffs my skirt aside from the Vette, I didn't want to bring up Ford again.
     

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