Author Topic: Alternative power for bubble cars?  (Read 5465 times)

marcus

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Alternative power for bubble cars?
« on: March 22, 2006, 02:14:00 PM »
Was chatting to a fellow from Broadstairs, Kent, called Howard Green. He had chased me in my Trojan ("DUF") for several miles. Was interested in obtaining a bubblecar and converting it to LPG fuel, or even electric power. There is a fair amount of space in the engine bay of Heinkel/Trojans. Another idea would be "Hybrid "power, using a small petrol engine to keep tractive power batteries topped up. Anyone out there have any ideas or experience of this?
Have written a detailed article to Transport for London, pointing out that a lot of large executive cars and 4wd monsters are running on lpg, their owners can afford the conversion and large cars have room for LPG tanks. Meanwhile, ALL petrol powered micro cars have to pay congestion charge. Have seen a growing number of micros being driven around London, loads of Smarts, several Aixams etc and a fair number of G wiz, amongst others. Obviously all us "classic" fans love our cars, but it is good to see some people accepting the modern micros as a good way of getting about
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Bob Purton

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Re: Alternative power for bubble cars?
« Reply #1 on: March 25, 2006, 09:04:18 PM »
Hi Marcus.Today I had to deliver a celestial telescope that I had restored for a customer in central London, I was in my Punto because it wouldnt fit into my Microcar Virgo or schmitt! The amount of times I was cut up by idiots in four wheel drives you just wouldnt believe. I must admit that the way others drive in London has rather put me off using a micro in town.Your comments on alternative power for micros is also a subject that interests me, in fact I am thinking of buying a G wiz.Do you know anyone who has one? I would like to hear from anyone who has tried one. My only concern about alternative power is that if people want to try it please dont convert a nice old classic like a trojan ,schmitt of isetta.I have always felt passionatly that these babies should be left well alone! There are plenty of candidates out there that are less sacred and readily available such as tritek cars, or maybe some of the modern french cars. I did once ask for a quote to have my Virgo converted to battery power by a specialist company but when they quoted £7000 I concluded that I would be better off saving up for a new G wiz! Its good to hear that you are regularly driveing your Trojan Marcus. Keep on bubblin! Regards, Bob

MikeBoxwell

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Re: Alternative power for bubble cars?
« Reply #2 on: June 30, 2006, 09:15:33 PM »
Well, my G-Wiz arrives in a couple of weeks time.  If you are interested in the G-Wiz, come and visit the G-Wiz owner's club forum - www.G-Wiz.org.uk.  All microcar fans would be welcome.

That isn't the reason for this post, however: I was interested because of the concept of alternative power.

Whilst I would hate to see classic cars hacked about with, converting a microcar to electric power could be an interesting and fun project.  There are a number of hub motors around now - where the electric motor is built into a wheel - and a 3 or 4kwatt motor would happily power a microcar.

An electric car has three main components - an electric motor, an electrical controller and a battery.  The controller stops the motor burning itself out and often controls the charge and drain of the battery.  There are companies (such as 4Q) who can provide you with the technical information and parts to help you build your own car.

Battery technologies are improving as well.  Mind you, they can still be pricey.  A 48v 200a/hour lead-acid battery system - which will weigh somewhere in the region of 250kg - will cost you around £900.  Much lighter are the lithium based batteries, which will weigh around 60kg... but cost you £2500.  They also need much more careful charging as well - not really for enthusiastic amateurs.

Jean

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Re: Alternative power for bubble cars?
« Reply #3 on: July 04, 2006, 10:14:30 PM »
Marcus,In the Spring 1994 edition of RUMCAR NEWS was an article from Harold Marflett about his exploits converting a City-El to take part in the Shell Mieage Marathon which shows it has been done in the past.  Harold was assisted by his son at the time, so I don't know if there is any involvement these days.  That particular issue is out of print but I could send you a photocopy if you are interested.  Jean
Jean
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marcus

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Re: Alternative power for bubble cars?
« Reply #4 on: July 07, 2006, 11:35:16 AM »
Don't worry folks, I am not going to chop up any classics! I am just "pondering". It seems to me we have already had two George Bush wars at least partly concerned with oil supply and it is becoming clear to me that oil and environment ARE becoming a serious concern, espcially to us in UK. Most of our oil has been sold to America at far less than a sensible price, and we no longer have the political or military power to "obtain" oil from other countries; it will start getting really expensive! I am seeing lots of Prius hybrid cars and others are on the way, and as they become more popular there could be a swing away from petrol within my driving lifetime, so I am just thinking to the future!
I drove a Gwiz at bromley Pageant last year, and it seemed ok, also spoke to a man  visiting our yard in one which was a company car, sadly he was not very interested or interesting, so I did not learn anything about them from him. There are a fair number in London, but I do not know definitively how good they may be.
Driving my Trojan in London is fine, a lot of drivers are very obliging and considerate, in fact wildly enthusiastic when they encounter DUF, the usual scenario being that they start trying to cut me up like they cut everyone else up, then notice something really interesting and rapidly decide to temporarily forget their "how to be a bastard driver" rule book. I think busy towns are a good place for slower micros, because I rarely slow anyone down! I also cycle regularly, so no doubt I am clearly certifiable!
Jean, yes I would love a copy of that article! Definately "hope" to visit on Sunday 9th, probably about lunch time, with the clan, so if you have had a chance to copy it by then it will save you the postage!
Just remember: as one door closes behind you, another slams in your face

Dan Rodd

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Re: Alternative power for bubble cars?
« Reply #5 on: July 07, 2006, 08:33:53 PM »
I for one would be interested to find out more about pedal powered cars like the french Veloto(i think) made during the 40's and 50's.

surely an avenue worth exploring?