Nap Pepin had been waiting on the side of the highway near his Alberta, Canada, home for more than hour when the tow truck finally pulled up. The driver looked at the stranded electronics technologist and his homebuilt electric trike and asked, "Ran out of juice, eh?" Pepin wasn't sure what the problem was, but he knew he still had plenty of charge. He had been tinkering with battery-powered three-wheelers since 2005, and by that point, late last year, he had spent hundreds of hours designing a battery pack to ensure that his vehicle, the Lithium Hawk, would never unexpectedly lose power.
Pepin, 48, has been making vehicles since he was a kid. After building an electric trike using some parts from a kit in 2010, he decided to make his own three-wheeler from scratch. He designed an aluminum chassis, chose an AC motor that could handle the trike's 1,000-pound estimated weight without overheating, and selected a pair of car wheels for the front. He wanted the trike to be rear-wheel-drive, so the back wheel was critical. Conveniently, he found several people who had converted Honda Goldwing motorcycles into standard gas-powered three-wheelers and no longer needed the shaft drive that powered the bike's rear wheel. The shaft drive was ideal for his project, in part because it allowed him to outfit the trike with highly efficient tires. He bought one, originally priced at $3,500, for $106 on eBay.
Despite all the mechanical engineering involved, the batteries presented the biggest challenge. Typically, as lithium cells run down, their performance degrades. Pepin wanted his vehicle to be more like a gas-fueled car, which provides more-consistent acceleration. So he ordered several types of lithium batteries, bought testing equipment, and spent two months analyzing the batteries' performance under a variety of conditions.
When he found a winner, he worked for another few months on a copper-plated pack to encase the 1,976 cells. He spent more than 100 hours precisely welding the copper around the batteries, only to find that the welds weren't holding. That forced him to get rid of the copper and start over with strips of nickel, which he spot-welded together with the cells at 23,712 different points.
Pepin may build a real body for the Lithium Hawk to increase its range, but right now he thinks it looks cooler without one. The vehicle gets plenty of attention and is street-legal. Pepin discovered that a manufacturing flaw in the motor controller caused his highway breakdown, and he has now corrected it. He's also designing a system that will regulate the power sent to the battery pack to maintain a constant temperature, so that the Lithium Hawk will perform as usual even in the subfreezing Canadian winter.
Building an Electric Bike
Time 2 years
And we don't have more pictures or a more complete technical write up because ... ?
Dude doesn't have a website or contact info because ... ?
What if we want to build our own, it'd be nice to at least know what kind of battery he uses.
possibly a modified can-am roadster would have been a faster build....atleast for parts and build ideas
"he says it out-accelerates practically every other vehicle on the road. He can jump from 45 mph to nearly 70 in about two seconds."
My gas powered 240Z does 0-60 ~3.8s, 0-100 less than 7s.
18mpg city, 20's hwy. Cost less than 10 grand to build.
And I have a roof and trunk.
So, yeah, your ride out-accelerates practically every non-performance vehicle on the road. FTFY.
Other than that, great concept vehicle.
I thought a 240z was a performance vehicle but by your definition it doesn't appear to be. His bike accelerates 35 mph in 2 seconds your car averages 30 mph in 1.9 seconds. Since his is measured at the top end (35-70) it clearly will out accelrate your car.
According to this www.zparts.com/showcase/zcarstats/pages/perf240z.htm a stock 240Z did 0-60 MPH in about 8.2 sec nowhere near the ~3.8 sec you are claiming...
I think this electric motorcycle is awesome for a home built machine. I certainly could not have made it. Well done sir, well done!
Science sees no further than what it can sense, i.e. facts.
Religion sees beyond the senses, i.e. faith.
Open your mind and see!
Imagine the anti-theft features you could build into that sucker with all the available electricity. I would park it in bad neighborhoods and watch from my home made ghetto blind.
3.8s? Dream on dude. That's $100,000+ car territory there. Just some stats... 2011 Audi R8 GT Spyder 0-60 mph 3.9, 2012 Audi R8 GT 0-60 mph 3.4, 2011 Audi R8 5.2 0-60 mph 3.6, You can keep on dreaming.
"3.8s? Dream on dude. That's $100,000+ car territory there"
If performance is the name of the game, you could buy a slightly used Suzuki Hayabusa or B-King for 8-10k $$ and go 0-60 in 2.5s or 0-100 in 5.5s or run the quarter in 9.8s@142mph, assuming your riding skills are up to speed.
"nowhere near the ~3.8 sec you are claiming..."
Alien never said his Z-car is factory stock, it could be like a friend of mines, which is euqipped with a 6.2l GM LS v8 and provides performance similar to that described by Alien, although i do believe my friends car has closer to 20k invested.
So, you've got a 240Z. Weight ~ 2400 Lbs. that you say does 0-60 in about 3.8 ( I'm assuming seconds, but you know what happens when you assume. Could be days, or months, who knows).
Well, seeing as how a brand new Z06 does 0-60 just a teensy bit faster at 3.5 sec., either you have a crate motor SBC in that Z, or (as I suspect) you're just a rice-boy, with a bolt on spoiler, and a bunch of stickers from NOS, and Summit Racing.
Pi * R^2? Pi are round, cornbread are squared
congratulations !!, good r&d, and building work, nothing related with tune a z car, that is MUCH , MUCH MORE !!
Yeah, and this looks cooler than your 240, too!
It is certainly not much of an article, the name Popular Science would lead one to believe that an article might have a little more information in it like what kind of motor did he use and what kind of batteries did he try, how much does it weigh, what kind of issues did he have with taking it from a concept to reality. This is poor writing in my opinion, the reader (me) is left with a lot of questions... Needs more substance...
it is cool !
Use google, you dumb s***. It is one of the featured projects they do every month, and they never include that stuff.