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Build Your Own Electric Vehicle 2nd Edition

3.9 out of 5 stars 95 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0071543736
ISBN-10: 0071543732
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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

The advantages of electric vehicles (EVs) are well-known: nonpolluting operation, a renewable power source, safety, and low cost of operation. The disadvantages include limitations on speed, operating range, and convenience as well as the high cost of converting existing vehicles to electric operation; while acknowledging such other disadvantages as lack of effective heating, air conditioning, and power steering, EV advocate Brant says some of the best-known ones are myths. Speed, for instance, is related to body weight, and less weight means more speed. (Weight is, however, also a factor in safety: lighter weight often means less safety, especially in collisions, and Brant doesn't mention the collision factor.) Brant provides comprehensive instruction in converting a vehicle to electric power. It is not for the casual hobbyist, though, as is evident in such features as formulas for divining the potential top-end speeds of specific EVs--a precise system to answer questions of speed, but hardly the simple ballpark figure casual readers interested in exploring EVs' possibilities might want. Mike Tribby --This text refers to the Digital edition.

About the Author

Seth Leitman, (Briarcliff Manor, NY) is currently President and Managing Member of the ETS Energy Store, LCC, which provides energy efficiency, electric transportation and organic, natural, and sustainable products for business and home use (from energ-efficient bulbs to electric vehicle conversion referrals). Previously, he worked for the New York State Power Authority and the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, where he helped develop, market, and manage electric and hybrid vehicle programs serving New York State and the New York metropolitan area. Seth is the consulting editor for a series of upcoming titles called the “Green Guru Guides,” which focus on implementing environmentally friendly technologies and making them work for you.

Bob Brant was the forward-thinking author of the now classic first edition of Build Your Own Electric Vehicle


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 327 pages
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill/TAB Electronics; 2 edition (September 23, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0071543732
  • ISBN-13: 978-0071543736
  • Product Dimensions: 7.3 x 0.8 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (95 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #490,404 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
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.
Read more ›
Comment 45 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Paperback
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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Format: Hardcover
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.
Comment 14 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Paperback
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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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
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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