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44 of 46 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A comprehensive guide to the components and systems of EVs
This 310 page book is more than its title implies. It is an
excellent source of information, even if one is just
interested in learning more about the subject of electric
vehicles. Mr Brant's credentials include a degree in
engineering, and having worked on the Lunar Rover.

He begins his book by exploring the appropriateness of the...
Published on August 29, 1995

versus
70 of 83 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Want to build an electric car ? Not real easy.
I think Bob Brant really wants to help you build an electric vehicle. I feel, however that his engineering background causes him to "talk down" to the reader, who thinks " It can't be really as complex as all this ! All these formulas , etc ! " How do we know the "flux level" for a motor we buy at a garage sale ? I am too old to get an...
Published on May 15, 2003 by Alan McFarlane


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44 of 46 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A comprehensive guide to the components and systems of EVs, August 29, 1995
By A Customer
This 310 page book is more than its title implies. It is an
excellent source of information, even if one is just
interested in learning more about the subject of electric
vehicles. Mr Brant's credentials include a degree in
engineering, and having worked on the Lunar Rover.

He begins his book by exploring the appropriateness of the
electric vehicle from an environmental standpoint. He
then quickly reviews the history of the EV, from the
mid 1800's to the present. He does a good job of surveying
the current (as of late 1993) crop of electic vehicle
producers, as well as the plans of the major auto makers
for electrics.

Brant devots a chapter to the options available to the
person who wants to own an electric vehicle today: Buy
a ready to run car from a manufacturer or converter, have
one built or converted for you, or do the conversion
yourself. One option that he seems to largely discount is
the option of buying a used EV. Although such vehicles
can be somewhat hard to find, especially away from large
cities on the coasts, they can put a person into an EV
for much less money and work than any other alternative.

As you might expect from the book's title Brant favors
the self-conversion option. He compares the various types
of motor vehicles as conversion options; passenger cars,
vans, and small pickup trucks. His conclusion, that a
small pickup truck might be the easiest to convert, while
giving the best range, seems a valid one, as long as a
small pickup meets your needs, and suits your style.

Chapter 5 is an excellent reference listing suppliers,
EV clubs, and various converters and manufacturers.

With Chapter 6 Brant begins the real meat of the book.
He presents formulae and charts that allow you predict
the performance of the vehicle you choose for conversion,
and pick the size of motor and batteries that you will
need.

The next chapters are devoted to each of the unique
systems of an EV in some detail: Electric motors,
controllers, batteries, and chargers. To this reviewer,
these chapters are the most valuable, and make this book
useful to anyone with an interest in Electric Vehicles.
The current state of the art is reviewed for each of these
systems in some detail and with an eye toward practical
maintanence and selection, and upcoming technology is also
covered.

Surprisingly, only one chapter of the book covers
the actual conversion process. Although there is probably
enough detail here for the experienced home mechanic or
mechanically inclined individual, someone who has never
pulled an engine out of a car, or done other major repairs
on his own, will probably need more help; especially if
his conversion is not of a small pickup truck.

All-in-all there is a lot of good information in this
book, and it is a vital addition to the library of any
would-be electric vehicle converter, owner or pipe
dreamer..
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70 of 83 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Want to build an electric car ? Not real easy., May 15, 2003
By 
Alan McFarlane (Aberdeen, SD United States) - See all my reviews
I think Bob Brant really wants to help you build an electric vehicle. I feel, however that his engineering background causes him to "talk down" to the reader, who thinks " It can't be really as complex as all this ! All these formulas , etc ! " How do we know the "flux level" for a motor we buy at a garage sale ? I am too old to get an engineering degree !
Lots of "shade tree" mechanics ( like me ) will have to look further for more practical information.Such as - a 10 HP motor in a Geo Metro will be fine for trips to the grocery store but no good for highway use. Also errors have crept in, and the schematic diagrams are incomplete and puzzling. Of course, the book was published nine years ago, and technology has advanced in the EV industry, as in everything else
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Down to earth, well versed material. Very good reading., March 6, 2007
No matter if you just want to learn a little more about EV technology or consideting to build your own Electric Car, this book will give you a wealth of information on all sorts of EV related topics. The book starts with EV history, then goes into EV practicality, then onto currently (well in 80's) available off the shelf technology, vehicle design, physics and aero dynamic principles and finally you get a walk through an actual EV conversion process. I like this book for the way it's formed and the way it flows. The author writes in plain language with plenty of advise and tips. Everything is simple, just like an EV is such a simple machine at it's core. After reading this book, you will get a clear picture where technology stands with EVs, why Internal combustion engine dominated our means of transport and finally how to desing and construct your own EV. Overall great book. One drawback however, this book is written in 80' and has a lot of hopes in it, which is sad to read at times. Like when author talks about newly developed prototype of GM Impact (later renamed EV1) the author puts high hopes for this progect, yet we all know what happened to this effort. You will want to read "Convert it" by Michael Brown after reading this book.
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25 of 29 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars EV reference...has all the ins and outs, April 30, 2006
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This book is a great reference for anyone interested in the trade offs when creating an electric vehicle.

This is focussed on someone who wants to convert an internal combustion car to an electric vehicle, but if you are interested in understanding EV's in general it is a good resource, though it is pretty detailed and technical.

If you are not technically inclined you shouldn't despair, though it is clear that if you are not handy, EV conversion might be VERY difficult. This book will allow you to at least begin to understand the tradeoffs and how to create a conversion system.

All around great reference.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Book, June 20, 2001
By 
James Clements (Omaha, Nebraska USA) - See all my reviews
This is an exceptional book for anyone looking to get the initial know-how on how to convert a gas vehicle to an electric vehicle (EV). It's full of resources to help you find the parts you are looking for to do your EV project, and it actually does a conversion in the last chapter. There are a couple things you don't hear much about in the book, such as the insidious re-wiring of the dash board, and it sort of glazes over a couple minor issues, but all in all, it's the best resource I've found yet for converting to an EV. The history buffs will enjoy the detailed history of the EV, and if you work for NASA, there are a ton of great physics problems (15, I think) to keep your brain moving. Don't let the math scare you, I discovered that "eyeballing" it works most of the time, and if it didn't work, I would just pull out the old calculator and scratch pad. My advice would be that even if you aren't planning on "Building your own EV", you should buy this book. It's full of great stuff.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Buy this book if you plan to convert a car to electric, October 23, 2006
By 
Catherine Jemma "Cate" (Outback Western Australia) - See all my reviews
The title says it all really.

Look this book is somewhat dated, and half the book seems devoted more to theoretical graphs and charts, facts and figures and the like, plus arguing why we *need* to switch to electric vehicles for city use.

However, having said that, it's well produced and you get 300 plus pages for less than US $ 14. (almost "double the book for half the price" compared to some others) This book is worth every penny and then some.

The contacts pages, (pages and pages of them) pre-dates the internet boom so has NO useful urls or email addresses. However with the many names and snail-mail addresses you could probably track businesses down easily enough (plus I'm a guessin' they still have the same phone numbers ! ).

I would look forward, at some future date, to an updated revised edition of this book being published

Until that happens, (if ever) I'd have no hesitation recommending this as one of the several texts that any novice car converter should read before starting their first conversion project.

Catherine, Outback Western Australia.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Puzzling pastiche, May 24, 2009
By 
This review is from: Build Your Own Electric Vehicle (Paperback)
This book could have been so much more.

There is a lot of information in this book. It's just terribly organized. These two guys needed an editor or co-author who could/would help them reorganize the stuff thrown together there. They also should have the "!" key surgically removed from their keyboard.

I wonder if they updated their sources in the back of the book from the first edition. In these days when corner hardware stores have websites, an amazing number of their resources listed have neither website addresses nor can be found on Google. Are they really still in business?

The authors weren't sure if they were defending an environmental case for electric cars, writing a history of electric cars, highlighting progress in electric cars, creating a how-to manual or teaching electrical engineering. Pieces of all of those are here. Yet they still left a lot of unanswered questions for me.

If you're going to convert a vehicle, this book may have some resources for you; it's a small investment relative to the size of your project. Still, the book should have been a lot better.

Barry Gardner
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not too bad, but I don't think it is for beginners, November 20, 2000
By 
If you can't do maths a large part of the book will be greek to you. Many things are repeated over and over. Even exact lines are repeated. It looks like the book could have been a little bit smaller if all the repetitions where taken out. If you don't know electronic stuff it might also be a problem for you. When the author gives a definition of a component he uses other components to describe it, but if you don't know what the other components are you will not understand the definition. If I didn't read the posts on the EV list I would probably not be able to understand half of the book. The book also uses the American system in the maths. If you are not American it is even more difficult to understand. I can't find the age of the book, but it looks like it is rather old.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Limited usefulness, January 25, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Build Your Own Electric Vehicle (Paperback)
I am interested in a from scratch build, and I have undergraduate level knowledge of EM physics and EE.

Very folksy style, lots of preaching. I think the author could assume that anyone reading "Build Your Own Electric Vehicle" does not need to be informed about the benefits of driving an EV. The history of the electric car, and speculation about oil availability, also held no interest to me.

The meat of the book is essentially a record of two EV builds. Useful, but I do not feel that I got a book's worth of instruction.

I found the information about safety cutoffs in the circuits helpful, but did not enjoy the folksy, "gosh golly you'll be fried like a turkey" style (not a quotation from the book).
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars This is a good book for a beginner, October 17, 1999
By 
Before reading this book I was a rookie in the field. It gave me a thorough overview about EV's, their history, components, advantages and drawbacks. But the most important thing I took out from this book was the great amount of contacts and information about associations that put me on the way as an EV expert.
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Build Your Own Electric Vehicle
Build Your Own Electric Vehicle by Bob Brant (Paperback - September 23, 2008)
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