1. Introductions by new attendees
  2. What’s new in the EV world
  3. Thoughts on Caterham’s plans for EV
  4. Seven Conversions
  5. AOB


  • John (JM)
  • Mac
  • Dan
  • Tom
  • Jonathan
  • Martin
  • John

Intro’s By New Attendees

  • Tom
    • Bentley, Jag, MG5 and 620R owner
    • Bought 620 last year and now produces 362bhp (PGM)
    • 3rd owner
    • Was originally Chris Hoy’s car

Misc and Intros

  • SIG now has 31 people signed up
  • John reported seeing good charging infrastructure in France recently
  • Martin reported trying to regen down a mountain road in France in a PHEV which generated 4 miles of range by the bottom after travelling 6-8 miles. Unfortunately that 4 miles only translated into 1/2 a mile of actual travel back up the mountain.

Feb LowFlying EV Article

  • JM showed the 3D model he created for the article’s pictures
  • Model is done in Blender (blender.org)
  • Model based on a CSR chassis, so like an SV but not the same as JM’s final project
  • On close inspection the model clearly won’t work because various components interfere with the chassis
  • It was created to demonstrate the components needed for an EV rather than exactly how it might be executed

Under the Radar Guy - now Mr X

  • JM visited Mr X in February and got to look at his 7 EV conversion project
  • He sent JM some pictures of his project that were reviewed on screen on the call
  • He is making good progress now
  • Mr X has included a mechanical disconnect as well as “big red button”. The disconnect is in the form of a lever in the footwell [edited to change from "where the gearstick should be" to "in the footwell"].
  • Question: can the mechanical disconnect operate at full power - JM will ask and report back (see below)
  • Jonathan asked if his basic configuration is the same as what JM is proposing - yes. Biggest battery pack up front with motor feeding rear diff through prop-shaft. However, a total of 5 battery boxes needed to get his required voltage, current and capacity needs into an S3 chassis.
  • At the moment there is no cooling implemented. Speed and power are limited and so decided to monitor the temperatures once the project is running to determine whether and where cooling may be needed for a future iteration.
  • Conversation about EV motors and failure modes around vibration - causing permanent magnets to fail


Zero-EV (now Fellten) City and Guilds EV Course

  • https://shop.fellten.com/event/level-2-and-3-combined-city-guilds-qualification-9/register
  • Course is online tests (up to 12 hours) prior to 2 days of on-site training
  • Online test pulled on a lot of JM’s knowledge of EV’s and electrical engineering. This is not a course for someone wanting to learn about EV’s. It’s really a way of getting a qualification for people who already know what they’re doing.
  • There were 4 people attending the on-site training days. Two working for an EV consultancy startup, 3rd person working on converting a 1970’s VW camper van.
  • People attend the course from all over the world, certainly EU, US and South Africa. Looking to
  • The 3rd attendee was looking at doing a VW camper conversion but having attended the course was starting to get cold feet about what was required. The instructor said that often happens.
  • Factory tour was fascinating. Lots of mini’s, porches, land rovers, etc being worked on. Lots of kit parts on shelving in their industrial units
  • While the City and Guilds course was rather haphazard the online course and 2 days were revelatory and I would consider that anyone considering doing an EV conversion should do something similar. Not cheap at £800 but nor is a conversion
  • John relayed his experiences doing C&G course run by IMI. 6 on course. John agreed that C&G tests were not well set and he had to guess at a few answers. Gave you a healthy respect for what you’re playing with. Also having the certificate is good for insurance and credibility
  • Bonus fact: Fellten is Welsh for “Lightning”
  • I was also given a copy of the latest EV Builders magazine whilst at Zero-EV, see below


EV Builders Guide - Magazine

  • https://pocketmags.com/ev-builder-guide-magazine
  • Quarterly magazine about EV conversions
  • Fellten seem to be in the magazine regularly - latest issue has review of their Mini kit with ex-Caterham F1 team engineer Gary Scott driving the car around
  • JM not particularly impressed with the magazine - the title might imply lots of info about converting cars but it seems to be more about showing off finished conversions.
  • However, there’s interesting adverts and tidbits that probably justifies the few pounds yearly digital subscription
  • There are versions available for browsers or iOS & Android apps


JM Conversion Update

  • Ex-drift car, known as The Mule.
  • Has never been road registered but has had an IVA
  • Therefore, currently working on getting the ICE based car through its MOT - as that will be easier - and then will apply for a V55/5 registration
  • Once the ICE version is road registered then can take out the ICE and start the conversion
  • The Mule has had a lot of tinkering over the years (removed ignition barrel for instance) and has resulted in much of the electrics not working for different reasons. But now all of it is going again:
    • Headlights - needed relays fitting along with dip/main and flasher dash paddle switches
    • Indicators - needed new flasher unit and relay
    • Fog light - needed dash switch cleaning (internal contacts had corroded) and the bulb mounting bracket was bent and needed adjusting so the rear of the bulb made contact again
    • Reversing light - new gearbox reverse switch (contact lugs broken off of the one installed already, I managed to break another one in the same way trying to get it working, then ordered more from Burton Power as most other places were out of stock). Also needed new lens on the light box - bought from JAL
    • Washer bottle/motor - not installed so eventually got one from Caterham (after it had been out of stock for a few weeks) and fabricated a bracket to install it. Ended up using the motor that was already installed on the car (though no bottle attached to it) because it had different connectors than the new bottles from Caterham
    • Rear number plate light - this was completely missing. I presume it had become the victim of a cone that ran under the car at some point in its life on a circuit. Bought a new LED one form JAL and installed it
  • In order to get at the electrics of the Mule more easily, JM removed the scuttle. This is being fixed back on with captive nuts housed 3D printed “widgets”. The SV chassis has 26 scuttle pop-rivets that will be replaced by these widgets
  • Since the scuttle was off, the battery isolation switch flapped around. So JM 3D printed a bracket so nothing ended up shorting

Mr X response to question about mechanical disconnect:

“The dogs are undercut so it will take force to open it.  At this point the plan is to set up as much mechanical leverage as I can and see….. I did a test with the same box on the fireblade car and opened it directly via the hand lever (no pedal on that car) but I can’t say how it will feel via the pedal. I’m more concerned about negative torque to be honest because with positive torque, hitting the estop will kill the current but there are IGBT faults leading to the failure mode of undemanded negative torque that are not mitigated by disconnecting the battery”