Custom EV Shop ‘Down Under’ Converting Holden Commodores (VIDEO)
EV Engineering, based in Port Melbourne, Australia, has stripped nine Holden Commodores, Holden’s most popular family car, of either its V6 or V8 engine and replaced it with a 188 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque electric motor at the rear wheels. EV engineering’s goal is to figure out if an electric motor running a large sedan is viable while many manufactures are sticking to sub-compacts.
To get the Holden Commodore to its current state as an EV, EV Engineering had to part together these nine units with help from all over the world. To accomdate the new engine, which is located at the rear axle, EV Engineering had to use the OEM springs in the Brazilian Commodore due to its increased weight requirements once armor plating was installed. Under the hood, an electric air conditioner from a Ford Escape Hybrid offers comfort in the summer, while an electric water heater provides heat in the winter.
Since this vehicle is a test mule, EV Engineering had to figure out a new process to installed battery that to work with the existing wiring of the Holden Commodore. To get the bank of 202 batteries that are configured in a swap-able platform with aluminium terminals, EV Engineering created a controlled explosion using ammonium nitrate to fuse the copper and aluminum together to allow for an easy installation into the wiring harness.
Behind the massive stickers and custom plates, these Commodores look factory from the outside, however inside Continental has made a custom gauge cluster that shows a torque meter instead of a tachometer and provides what level the vehicle is operating at: regenerative, economical, or power zone. On top of the dash, a large electrical shut-off switch has been install in case of wire failure.
EV Engineering has big hopes for this test. According to Ian McCleave, the company’s chief executive, he says current goals are to allow for a range of 160km or just under 100 miles, however realistic goals point closer to a modest 130km or 81 miles per charge. On top of these goals, the $15,000 battery pack has been designed to be changed out for a fully charge battery in just five to six minutes if you do not want to wait for a full recharge time of around eight hours.
To learn more about EV Engineering and the electric Holden Commodore, check out this article from The Age.
Hat tip to Malcolm Scott for the great story.
Here is a video about the vehicle and EV Engineering they posted last year about what they are planing on doing: