AC Motors, NiMH batteries, and Wheel Motors

by Frank Harvey
(Walnut Creek, CA)

AC motor question: I'm looking for a less expensive, probably US-made AC motor. I'm aiming my design at 1400 lbs maximum. Ideas?

NiMH battery question: I've found info on lots of battery types except NiMH and wondered if you had a good source for such.

And, of course, I love what appears to be a new addition to your website, the video which shows how electric motors can be a part of a wheel assembly. Do you have source and price information on such? Will they work at freeway speeds?

Hi, Frank!
Electro Automotive carries the Solectria AC24, which is US made. It's rated for 2000-2500 lbs, so it should make your light design fly!

NiMH batteries...well, there's the small matter of patents. Did you see "Who Killed the Electric Car?" If you missed it, it's a documentary explaining why you've had such a hard time finding information on those excellent batteries. The short version is, "because Chevron bought the patents for the NiMH battery design that was suitable for use in an electric car - then refused to let anyone manufacture them." So even if you bought a car like the Ford Ranger EV that originally had the NiMH batteries, they are no longer available for replacement.
Having said that...several owners of Rav-4 EVs, which use the same NiMH battery technology as the Ford Ranger EV and the EV-1, are still driving around with their original batteries with 80 mile range even now - 10+ years old. The batteries last a long time if they're well treated.

And as for the wheel motors? Why, that's the Siemens eCorner you're looking at. Yes, they're good for freeway speeds, and they can be found in the prototype Mitsubishi MiEV. The bad news? You can't have it, as far as I know. Not available to to public.


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replacement batteries NiMH

look up super capacitors and how there made. They can be charged in a few minutes,they do not loose power in cold weather,and there made of alumium,so they are light,and I enjoy reading your articals thank you.G

Patents on the NiMH technology
by: Rich

I'm just now coming up to speed on the patent ownership issues surrounding the NiMH technology. This question is more of a general patent question, but it is it legal for an amateur to build something using a patented design for non-profit?

Completely ignoring the question of how difficult it would be to produce NiMH batteries at home (I'm assuming this is bloody difficult / expensive), how great would it be to equip all of these DIY EV's we're making with better battery technology?

If we could start an underground movement of homebuilt NiMH cars, we could change the world for real.

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