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AC system or a DC system?

by Dan
(Dublin, CA)

 Debating over AC vs DC systems in electric cars?

Debating over AC vs DC systems in electric cars?

What do you think is a better system, AC or DC, and why, for a conversion project? This seems to be a topic of some debate.

Hi, Dan!
Are you a person who would prefer to spend a little more money up front and get something done right? Then I hear that you'll want an AC system.

This is why:

  • Your conversion will drive a lot more like your gas-guzzler;

  • The AC motor will be kinder to your transmission and other drive train components;

  • Your range will be better with an AC system because of better regenerative braking.

Apparently it's NOT more complicated to install, actually, because the folks that sell these kits have got it down to a science. It is a little more expensive, but worth it in the long term.

I guess there's a reason the major automakers went with AC when they built electric cars!

On the other hand, if you just want an EV on the road as cheaply as possible, DC components will cost you less.

Update 2011: The AC-50 motor and controller combo is about $4500 now. I don't think there are any DC systems that can beat it for price and performance.


P.S. I've written a short article about AC vs DC electric motors here.

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DC Conversion Kit for Electric Cars

by Lachy

Fill 'er up, please...

Fill 'er up, please...

I have an assignment about converting a petrol car to electric and i just want to get a few things straight. All the parts you need come with the DC conversion kit? What is in the DC conversion kit?

Hi, Lachy!

I've got just the article for you to read: see my conversion kits page and learn about common DC conversion kits, what comes with them, and where to get them.

Generally, the DC conversion kit comes with a motor, a controller...and hopefully, all the stuff you need to attach those things to your donor car and the battery pack.

A specific kit, say, for a Porsche 914, was put together for that particular car. The adapter for the transmission is already made, the motor fits just so, the right length bolts included, the controller fits over here, wire this to that and you're done.

A "universal" kit is generic; it comes in something like small, medium and large...but you're the one who gets to make it fit into your donor car.


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