• Feb 5th 2010 at 1:05PM
  • 12
1995 Toyota Corolla EV – Click above to watch video after the jump

A group of Hawaiian high school students has completed their second electric vehicle conversion in three years. Seabury Hall, a prep school on Maui, offers students the opportunity to participate in a number of classes that involve significant engineering products. There are currently three major projects going on, in addition to improving the original electric car students built three years ago. The biofuel project involves growing crops, producing biodiesel and converting a car to run on the fuel. The three-wheeler team is working on an electric motorcycle.

The AC Car team has just finished installing an electric powertrain into a 1995 Toyota Corolla. Energy storage is provided by a 144 volt nickel metal hydride battery pack. The team is hoping the battery pack gives the Corolla a 60-mile range per charge with a top speed of 75 miles per hour.

The original conversion (dubbed the yellow car) has accumulated 3,000 miles and, along with the new green Corolla, will be instrumented to provide data back to the University of Hawai'i. Check out the video after the jump. Thanks to Martin for the tip!

[Source: Seabury Hall]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      I like the end result... except for the color. The early-'90s vintage Nickelodeon green does nothing for me.
      • 5 Years Ago
      For those of you wondering we are using large-format (100Ah) cells from Gold Peak Battery. There are 120 of these cells connected in series for a 144V nominal pack (~14kWh). See www.evbtech.com for more details on the cells (GP100EVH).
      • 5 Years Ago
      I want to a high school student again if I can have a class where we build things like that! LOL! The most interesting things we ever made were construction paper projects or science fair projects (at home on our own).
      • 5 Years Ago
      No kidding. I wonder how they wen't about making the battery pack. I know it's NiMH, but they didn't mention storage capacity or size. I'd love to learn more about this conversion.
      • 5 Years Ago
      good job. curious looking DCDC circuit they have there though but if it's only for gate power then it might work fine.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I'd like to know more about the traction battery also, I wonder if they made a pack out of 10amp D-cells or 14amp F-cells like you can get here:


      A few years ago making a pack from these would've made one of the better kw/pound packs, but with li-on dropping so much in price probably not so much now.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Amazing. Yet car companies can't do it. Sorry, this is evidence beyond any doubt of a NiMH conspiracy. The kids can get away with it because they aren't selling the car.
        • 5 Years Ago
        No it isn't. A car with a mere 60 mile range with no ICE extender would never sell enough to be profitable. And note that that's just what they HOPE to achieve; the real result may well be much lower. Also it's Hawaii, which lacks the range reducing effects of cold weather, even without counting the need to power a heater. Finally note the lack of any mention of acceleration.

        Visit websites like this:


        To find truly dismal range, speed, and especially acceleration numbers.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Oh really. Somehow I think that if car companies tried to do this they could make a car even better than what school kids could do!

        "Ovonic NiMH batteries store approximately twice as much energy as standard nickel cadmium (Ni-Cd) or lead acid batteries of equivalent weight and size. In addition, Ovonic NiMH batteries have high power, long cycle life, are maintenance free and have no memory effect. Moreover, Ovonic NiMH batteries do not contain cadmium or lead, both

        environmentally hazardous substances. NiMH batteries are capable of being made in awide range of sizes and have a wide range of applications, including hand-held consumer products such as digital cameras; HEVs and EVs; power tools, utility and industrial applications; and 36/42 volt batteries to meet the emerging requirements for higher voltages, power and energy of next-generation fuel-efficient vehicle applications.

        Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion) batteries compete with NiMH batteries in applications for consumer electronic devices and have a stronger market share than NiMH in certain laptop computer and cell phone markets. NiMH technology has numerous advantages over Li-Ion technology such as lower cost, higher power, safety and abuse tolerance. NiMH batteries are most favored by manufacturers of mass-market consumer products incorporating rechargeable batteries where cost is a factor, or the application requires high power levels, and are the batteries of choice by the manufacturers of HEVs where safety considerations in large, high-energy battery systems are extremely important.

        Our inventions have resulted in basic patents covering all commercial NiMH batteries, with 125 issued U.S. patents and 350 foreign counterparts. While all of the patents involving Ovonic NiMH battery technology are important to our licensing activities and the business activities of Cobasys LLC, there are approximately 13 patents which we believe to be particularly important. These patents have various dates of expiration through 2014. Additional U.S. and foreign patent applications are in various stages of preparation, prosecution and allowance. In view of the overall strength of our patent position relating to NiMH batteries, and that the validity of newer patents has not been tested in court, we do not believe that the expiration of any of our NiMH battery patents during the next five years will have a material adverse effect on our business.

        Cobasys. Cobasys is the joint venture restructured in July 2001 by Ovonic Battery and Chevron. Cobasys was organized to bring advanced integrated energy storage systems utilizing NiMH batteries into widespread commercial production for transportation, telecommunication, UPS, distributed generation, military, homeland security, stationary power and other prismatic battery applications.

        Cobasys offers complete advanced NiMH battery pack system solutions in transportation applications for HEVs, HDVs and vehicles with 36/42-volt electrical systems.

        In December 2004, as part of our focus on our core businesses, we entered into a series of agreements with Chevron and Cobasys to expand the scope of licenses granted to Cobasys at the time of the restructuring of the joint venture in July 2001. The expanded licenses will provide an opportunity for Cobasys to take advantage of the growing interest in NiMH battery systems and will enable it to address a full range of energy storage opportunities.

        In July 2004, we, Ovonic Battery, Cobasys, Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd. (MEI), Panasonic EV Energy Co., Ltd. (PEVE) and Toyota Motor Corporation entered into a settlement agreement with respect to patent infringement disputes initiated by us and counterclaims involving NiMH batteries pending before the International Chamber of Commerce, International Court of Arbitration.

        Under the arrangement, we, Cobasys, MEI, PEVE and Toyota have entered into an agreement pursuant to which the parties have cross-licensed current and future patents related to NiMH batteries filed through December 31, 2014, effective upon the date of settlement. The licenses granted to MEI, PEVE and Toyota did not include rights to use the licensed patents to (i) offer for sale certain NiMH batteries for certain transportation applications in North America until after June 30, 2007 or (ii) sell commercial quantities of certain transportation and certain stationary power NiMH batteries in North America until after June 30, 2010. PEVE was granted expanded rights in July 2005 to solicit and sell NiMH batteries for certain North American transportation applications and Cobasys will receive royalties on PEVE North American sales of NiMH batteries through 2014. "

      • 5 Years Ago
      Hurry up, Toyota!
      These snot nosed kids are gonna get a plug-in vehicle to market before you do.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Seems like the Hawaiian islands are the perfect place for an EV. Unless you forget to charge it up, you'll likely never drive far enough to run out of power. Throw a solar charge panel into the roof/trunk lid and it can charge itself while you're at the beach.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Outstanding jobs kids. You are very fortunate to be in a school with a forward thinking program.
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