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1978 Triump EV Conversion

Posted By G Monkie On February 4, 2007 @ 6:41 am In G Living | 1 Comment

G Living caught up with a different kind of EV Car maker, the kind that builds the Electric Cars in his own garage. His name is Gadget and we met him During the Santa Monica Alt Car Expo last December, he and his crew ripped out the guts of this Triumph and tried to convert the car in two days. We will post the interview soon. But until the show goes up, here is a summary of an L.A. Times article on Gadget and his company called Left Coast Electric.

(via L.A. Times) When he finishes outfitting the Olds with a DC motor, enough serial-wired, nickel-metal hydride (NiMH) D-cell batteries to produce 340,000 watts of power, and a computerized controller to connect the two, Chong’s ride will be the first all-electric vehicle to bounce down San Fernando Road competing for glory with the ’60s-era Chevy Impalas of the Imperial Car Club.

All those cars are fine, says Gadget, who learned about fast electric cars by hanging around electric-car drag racers such as former NEDRA president Roderick Wilde, inventor of the electric Graumann postal-van drag racer, “Gone Postal,� and Palo Alto–based Otmar Ebenhoech, whose Zilla controllers dominate the EV racer market (and who races his own Porsche 914 from time to time).

Meanwhile, for the past two decades, the U.S. Congress has so stubbornly refused to raise the Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards for U.S. automakers’ fleets that, as Al Gore points out in his movie An Inconvenient Truth, the Chinese now require car companies doing business in their country to meet fleetwide efficiency standards one and a half times as stringent as our own.

But even if you let the company off the hook, you still emerge with the feeling that if the big carmakers were about anything but short-term profit — if they had stuck with the technology until short-range lead-acid batteries, and later NiMH batteries, could be replaced with long-range lithium ions, for instance, Californians could by now be speeding down the 405 in tiny cars fueled by solar-powered charging stations.

Gadget opens a small aluminum box, about 2 feet square, to reveal a radiator loaded with pale-green antifreeze about one-twenty-fourth the size of the one in your internal-combustion-engine car’s, and a small green box labeled “Zilla� — one of Otmar Ebenhoech’s controllers, a small computer 10,000 times as juiced as the one that sits on your desktop.

But Gadget and Wilson, in sneakers and black T-shirts, Wilson’s mop of salt-and-pepper curls bouncing with his step, took up a significant chunk of space on the lot with their friends, selves and cars: Chong’s Ace, one step closer to completion, had a motor dropped in it, and the Sunbeam, well, it beamed — light glinting off its deep-grape polished exterior, its hood lifted to reveal a neat set of lead-acid batteries outfitted with circuit boards and connected with orange cables.

Read the Full Article on L.A. Times.com

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