And so it begins…
We at the Purplemeanie HQ are quite into the whole eco-mentalist thing, with just about “electric everything” – solar PV, battery for solar, EV car, immersion heater solar overflow etc. So, a petrol Seven has sort of grated on my soul for a while. My 420R is something I’ve always wanted and I’ve loved having it, but I wonder if a Seven can be electric instead of petrol. Would it lose the essence of being a Seven?
Now, our 420 gets used very little in comparison to our other transport and so until recently I’ve assuaged my guilt in knowing it wasn’t a big part of our carbon footprint. Along with that (in 2022) we have a bit of a fossil fuels crisis: in terms of environmental issues, political issues and not forgetting the end-user cost of fossil fuels themselves.
However, and it’s a big “HOWEVER”, having an electric Seven will also be cool… and a great engineering project. 😃
I’ve been threatening to do a conversion of a Seven to electric ever since I built my 420R in 2017. It seemed like it would be the next big project. But then life got in the way. I’ve not talked about this on this blog before but I fell ill with the mysterious diagnosis-of-last-resort that is ME/CFS, which scuppered everything, literally, for the past 4 years. At my worst I was almost catatonic and nobody knew what was going on. I had endless blood tests, hospital visits and even a trip to hospital in an ambulance after the emergency services didn’t like the look of me when my wife got so worried about me. The paramedics visiting after a 111 call got to be so routine that we stopped calling! It’s also why posts on this blog have been sporadic at best. But just as oddly as it arrived it seems to be getting better again and I’m much improved on where I was even 6 months ago. I won’t say I’m fixed until I’m sure of it, but I do feel a bit more like my old self again.
So, now seemed like as good a time as any to put my money where my mouth is and get cracking on a sEVen – see what I did there… “putting the EV in sEVen”… sEVen! Get it? Well if you have to explain a joke then its not funny, right?
Doing an EV conversion of a Seven is about all of the issues above, for sure… but it’s also about seeing if it’s viable. Are there too many compromises, or is it just too costly given the inevitable trade-offs?
Well, in those times when I couldn’t do much else I’ve been doing my homework and, surprise, surprise, I think it is do-able. It think the engineering and the physics stack up. I’m not so sure about the finances stacking up, but we’ll get to that in a future post.
Finally, as a parting thought for this article, I’ll leave you with what any good project needs and that’s to understand the objectives – what constitutes success, for me?
- It needs to be a Seven – Drive like a Seven, look like a Seven and feel like a Seven. Though of course it may not sound like a Seven.
- Where’s it going to go? – certainly on the road for day or multi-day trips. At the track if permitted.
- Range – I want to go places in this car, not just around town. So it needs to have a range of at least 120 miles (which is about what I can manage before needing a loo stop, something we’ve found out owning an EV – its not range anxiety that determines how far we travel without at stop, its how our bladders are fairing!)
- Charging – The ability to charge overnight at home and in less than half an hour, or so, when going places.
- Performance – I’d like to have something like my 420’s performance. i.e. 0-60 around 4 seconds and a top speed of over 120mph.
- Handling – also like my 420. This may be the most difficult of all the objectives, but we’ll see…!
- Cost – ahem! Moving on!
Those are the primary objectives, from which other stuff falls out – like maximum power and weight, battery capacity and EV component configuration.
I’d also like to point out that, before anyone else beats me to it, other’s have done electric Sevens before me. I’m not the first. So, that being said, this is MY project to do MY sEVen.
And that’s it for the moment. What a tease?! I’m not going to get into any further details for the moment, but make sure you come back to hear all about the project as it unfolds over the coming weeks and months. There will be a lot more blogging on this website, articles in Lowflying and regular YouTube videos as I progress.
The next post in this series will be an update on where I’ve got to and then after that should be a discussion about physics and engineering.
So, stay tuned!