February 2015 Update
Well it’s been a while since I’ve posted here, and much has happened. In April of 2014, we welcomed our second child, a boy this time into the world and the last 8 months has been a bit of a whirlwind. Our family upgraded (more like a downgrade, really) to a minivan from our long-serving Toyota Matrix, and I haven’t had a whole lot of time for anything, including EVs and this site.
What happened to the Sprint?
It’s a bit of a story. In December of 2013, I was driving the EV to work and back, using it as my daily driver. It was going well except for the lack of heat which I never really got sorted out further than pre-heating the car in the morning. I had a couple of incidents that resulted in completely draining my battery pack. The first was me needing to make an urgent detour on my way home from work one day and not properly estimating my range (I was pushed home by a friend). The second was a result of me handing the keys to my wife and evidently doing a poor job of explaining how far she’s allowed to go.
Having completely drained my already heavily used pack twice, it was just about done. I only had enough range to make it 10 or 15 kilometers after those incidents, and that was no longer sufficient for use as a commuter. As I was not in a financial position to buy new batteries at that time, my beloved Sprint was relegated to occasional use as a short-distance second vehicle.
In January of 2014, my family and I went to Hawaii for two weeks. It was a fantastic holiday and I highly recommend the Big Island by the way. It’s way less congested and with a whole lot more to explore than Maui. Just my $0.02. Although I suspected that I had a leak somewhere due to an occasional wet carpet on the passenger side, I was not prepared for the 4″ of standing water I came home to. At this time, the car also needed a wheel bearing, brakes and a few other things. Knowing that a second child was on the way, and the EV was a short-range 2 seater with mechanical issues, I had to re-evaluate my time and financial priorities. I ended up disassembling the car and storing all of the EV components planning a new project in the form of a 4-door with lithium, heater etc.
As last year drew to a close, we bought our first home. It’s our first, and unfortunately does not have a garage, further reducing the likelihood that I would be able to get back to the EV any time in the near future. After some long, hard thought, I sold all of my EV parts to a local fellow who is in the process of turning them into something awesome. I will provide a link as soon as I find where his project is documented.
I’m still an EV nut. That’s not going to change. My plan is to build a 4-door lithium-powered electric machine in the form of a Toyota Matrix, Pontiac Vibe or similar. None of the major parts that I used in the Sprint conversion would have been well-suited for a larger, lithium-powered ride anyways. I don’t know when I’m going to be able to get started on the new car. It’s entirely possible that at some point in the future I’ll decide to abandon the dream in favor of a used Leaf or Model S, it’s hard to say what the next 5-10 years are going to look like. If you’ve had young kids, you understand.
What about this site?
I built this site as a testament to the fact that a cheap, reliable EV is not only possible, it’s not really that hard. I’m not an electrician, a mechanic or an engineer, and I did it. This site will stay here and serve as a resource for anybody else like me that wants to get off of carbon and start using electrons to power your ride!
I plan to update the site occasionally, although not with the same frequency as when I was knee-deep in my conversion project. I have a lot of knowledge to share about what I did, and I will be available here if you have any questions.
Thanks for visiting the site. The Sprint conversion was an extremely rewarding experience, and I hope the info on this site encourages you to get out there and get started on your own conversion project.