4x4 electric car conversions
Wilde EVolutions 71 Land Rover 4x4 Conversion
My dream is to convert an old Series Land Rover to an electric vehicle, but wondered about conversions for 4 wheel drive vehicles. It only makes sense that a heavier vehicle would burn through the charge quicker, as would running two additional wheels, but has it been done?
Certainly, it's been done.
Above is a picture of Rod Wilde's Land Rover, with the 4x4 drive train it was born with, now fully electric.
He used an Advanced DC motor, 144v system, and 12 volt AGM batteries. As to the part about burning through the charge quicker with a heavy vehicle...you're right, of course. I'd consider using 6 volt batteries in this vehicle rather than the 12 volt (same number of volts total, but twice as many batteries) for better charge conservation and more cycle lives.
Note on keepin' it warm in Alaska: There's a company in Canada called REV Consultants Ltd that specializes in cold-weather electric cars. You can contact them from their website, and I interviewed Richard Lane from REV on the topic of winterizing our electric cars - you might be able to use that, too; )
Update 2011: LiFePO4 batteries are coming down in price, they're as cheap as lead per mile. You might find you like them better than lead for a 4x4 off-road application.