- 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: 97 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #321,103 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Build Your Own Electric Vehicle 2nd Edition
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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 an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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
Top customer reviews
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I don't think you will be able to carry out a conversion after reading this book ... but it can get you started. The book was published first in 1994 so when it states "TODAY'S BEST CONTROLLER SOLUTION" ... well ..... things have moved on.And although it is not yet plug and play to convert to EV you actually won't need the all the mathematics and physics of this book.
Cost me $2 used and in good condition ... worth buying it? YES.
I am all for the home builder doing their thing, its just that this book needs some updates and links to where you can find the best new controllers, motors, batteries out on the web. If you were wondering what it would take to convert that old 4 banger car into an EV vehicle this book will get you started in the right direction basically.
From there you can probably find what you are looking for out on the web. So its a decent source, just realize its a bit dated.
Thanks for reading my review.
Some of the changes from the first edition are just direct text substitutions which make the book glaringly disjointed. The new material is full of blatantly obvious grammar and syntax errors, which leads me to suspect the accuracy of the material overall. Most of the book was not updated at all, and it didn't really get into newer technologies. I didn't feel I could trust it as an up-to-date guide.
I hope the third edition is better, but I haven't seen it. Just beware of which edition is being referred to when reading reviews (perhaps by noting the date of the review), and don't bother buying the second edition.
Still, my thinking on ecology has been seriously challenged by my Church (I am Catholic, and Vatican City State is the world's first carbon neutral country, and the Pope has been adamant about our duty to be good stewards of the planet). This has challenged my thinking. Also, the national security implications of our addiction to foreign oil has also challenged my thinking. I have decided it is time to begin the process of weaning myself and my family off of fossil fuels. After composting and planting a garden, making the house more energy efficient, and adopting a generally more green lifestyle, this is the next step.
I dug into this book, and loved much of it. However, it is in desperate need of a competent editor, and may be a little difficult to wade through as a result, but the content is excellent and is there for you if you are willing to dig a bit.
Let me address the strengths of this excellent book first:
1) The section on the history of the electric car, its technology, and its strengths and weaknesses is comprehensive and very convincing. I was somewhat skeptical at first but after reading this book I am convinced that a) electric cars are the wave of the future, b) my concerns about them were largely misplaced, c) it is probably my patriotic duty to drive one, both because I love the US and support Israel, and d) the environment, and our pocketbooks, NEED us to move away from the internal combustion engine.
2) The mathematical sections, while difficult to wade through and in desperate need of a good educator/editor to make the material more understandable, are actually quite strong if you really stick to them. However, there is so much help out there on line now that you really don't need to do any of these mathematical formulations. Kits for conversion are now commercially available and there are experts out there willing to answer questions for free. This book needed an editor to keep reminding the authors to "keep it simple, stupid."
3) This topic is just fascinating, and it would be difficult for any remotely competent author to mess it up.
4) Despite what you may think about complexity, EV's are actually REALLY simple and elegant, and you are not being made obsolete and you are NOT being forced to hang up your ratchets. This is a big deal for some guys. After all, as is so eloquently pointed out in Shop Class as Soulcraft: An Inquiry Into the Value of Work car manufacturers and others are busy designing products that "hide the works" in an almost blatant attempt to keep people ignorant and divorced from their machines. This is as unnecessary as it is stupid. The electric car predates the internal combustion car, and is what Mrs. Henry Ford drove (I am not kidding). You can relatively easily build one yourself on a used chassis (any used car... preferably light). You can do this with little or no mechanical experience. When you see how easy it is by going on line and looking at the work others have done, and start experimenting yourself, you will get VERY angry at car companies for not getting this right sooner. It really is impossible to understand how it has taken so long for car companies to wake up to the fact that we NEED EVs.
1) The future of the EV, as other reviewers have pointed out, is NOT likely to be DC (unless perhaps one is drag racing). If you want mileage, and the ability to get up hills well, I think AC motors are superior (and yes... more expensive). The data are clear however, and GM has put its (umm... our?) money in the AC camp with the new Volt, and there is a reason for that. There is not enough information here on AC.
2) Really... how expensive is it to hire an editor? I mean, mistaking "then" with "than" over and over again in the mathematics section made me distrust the fact that these guys had their math right. Learn to use the English language correctly, and if you are not strong in this area, HIRE AN EDITOR. This isn't some self produced book either. Its McGraw Hill! Exactly who was responsible to sit these boys down and say: "this section is entirely unnecessary... these words and misspelled.... this book would be more user friendly if..." The editing is abominable, and is a real drawback. The standards of editing are similar with what you see on online reviews like this one. This is not a good thing. Someone who edited for the "For Dummies" series could have turned this into a world class book. Instead, it is a 3 star book. That is a shame.
3) The strength of the EV is that it is simple, has fewer moving parts, is therefore very reliable, and is very good for the planet. I enjoy turning the ratchets... I do not enjoy doing oil changes. I won't miss them when they are gone. The strength of the EV is it is easy to understand, and that you can work on it yourself very easily, even build one from scratch with little mechanical experience. Simplicity is a strength. The book is too complex, introduces unnecessary concepts (like mathematical formulas.. which while fun will slow you down), and is therefore unlikely to appeal to guys who can do this conversion with their eyes closed. I am referring here to the countless shade tree/home garage techs who do their own brakes, do their own oil, watch NASCAR, love cars because they are CARS, and enjoy turning ratchets. This is who I am, but I needed the college degree I sometimes think I wasted my money on to get through some of this book. There was no reason for that.
Still, I strongly recommend this book. It educated me on how EVs work, and I am planning my own conversion. After reading this book, and doing some additional research, I understand how the new hybrids work, how the new VOLT will work, and I understand that I can still work on my cars and enjoy them even if they are electric. This is VERY important, and something I hope the car companies get right. It would be very easy for them to get this wrong... introduce a "solid state" car or something ludicrous. I hope to heck they don't do this. If they do, I will be only driving my own aftermarket conversions from now on.
However this book was let down by the consistent evangelically tone. And the chapters of waffle and filler around the history of the electric car. I bought this book a guide to building, I not too interested in reading about the past. I skipped around a third of the book.