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Electric Semi Truck Conversion?

by Tony
(Santa Maria, CA)

I'd like to know your opinion of using an 3-phase electric motor that is mounted inline to the transmission, run by a generator, that is run by a 2.2 motor from my Saturn? It sounds like a 3-phase could also work as a jake brake so to speak. I realize that a electric motor that size and generator would cost substantially more, but my Saturn motor should get 25mpg instead of 5mpg that a semi gets. Just an idea I've had stuck in my mind.

Hi, Tony!
I'm not sure I quite understand your question, but I'll take a shot at it.

I think what I'm hearing is:

1) You want to know if you can put a big electric motor in a semi truck and power it with a small generator - precisely, your Saturn's little engine. Or more than one generator, maybe.

2) You're thinking the 3-phase AC motor will function in the place of jake brakes.

3) You're also saying that your little Saturn engine, based on the mpg you get with it now in your little Saturn car, will get a whole lot better gas mileage than the semi does now.

Answer: To move a big vehicle, a big 3-phase AC motor (or more than one big 3-phase AC motors, more likely) is a good choice. Good idea.

The fact that you're putting an electric motor in it will improve the gas mileage, even if all you did was run a huge generator to fill up the batteries. Your little Saturn engine probably isn't big enough to do the job. I haven't crunched any numbers, but that's my feeling on it, anyway.

The regenerative braking you'll get with your big AC motors works swimmingly. I think you're right on about that. Check out this giant electric bus built at the University of Nevada, Reno. I always like to point to this one as a giant electric conversion, because it's something like 17,000 pounds. It's not a hybrid, but Paul Liddle at Cool Green Car in Florida does hybrid conversions of large vehicles.

Very interesting idea. Why shouldn't freight hauling semi trucks be plug-in hybrids?


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Powering semi conversion with Saturn engine
by: Kees

If I were you I would look into hydaulic powered generator sets a 50 kw gen set driven by a hydaulic motor only needs 2000 psi at 20 gallons a minute . That takes a 27.5 hp gas engine to run it minimum. Food for thought.

electric pulse motor
by: aztrucker

I've researched the electric pulse motor (epm) I'm building one in the my garage I also drive a truck for a living. Putting it together is a slow process but it looks promising. It's my theory that the pulse motor would be efficient enough to pull 100,000 pound semi-truck. If I'd build end electric motor for a semi I'd use anodized aluminum magnet wire and the strongest neodymium magnets available all id change is the engine and leave the rest as is I wouldn't use batteries just a small generator. That's my idea I hope someone steals it from me lol!!

solar panels on the roof
by: Elecdtric 4 Runner

I am currently building an electric Toyota 4 Runner from a forklift. I plan on putting solar panels on the roof so it will charge while sitting. whether I am fishing our hunting our at work. I also drive a tractor trailer for work with a 53' box trailer and I was thinking you could put a lot of solar panels up there. I was also thinking if you had a fleet of trailers, with solar panels on top and batteries between the frame, they would be charging while sitting on the yard, or being loaded etc. and the truck would only have to get from trailer to trailer. The trailer would be the power source. In the Northern Tool and Equipment catalog, there is a solar panel that delivers 100 watts and is 46"X43.25". If my calculations are correct you could put 28 of them on a 53 foot trailer. That would be 2800 watts, divided by 12 volts gives 233 amps, or hooked in series, 120 volts at 23 amps. That doesn't seem like a lot but that is more than enough to charge a good battery pack. I would recommend two Trojan T-105 6 volt batteries per panel. With all the batteries hooked in series you would have 336 volts and the T-105 have I think around 200 amph. That should turn a good sized 3 phase motor.

Questions on ES- Electric Semi's
by: Classic Muscle EV & ES Division

Classic Muscle EV-Electric Powered Muscle cars and ES-Electric Powered Semi Division is launching a manufacturing program to produce Electric Muscle cars and Electric Semi's.
The Commercial Division has already designed and prototype an ES-Electric Semi.
The specs are as follows:
-Brand New SemiTrailer (glider)
-Complete Electric Drive Train
-hauling weight up to 65,000lbs
-200 to 400 mile/range
-10 years warranty on Batteries.
-30 mins charging time
If you have any questions please reply questions to: or look at our work:

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