Project/Electric market vehicle

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This has been agreed among those involved by unanimous consent on 20140217.
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Project ID:

Project steward

Jan Steinman

Project photos


To have a dedicated vehicle for doing Tuesday and Saturday markets, with a high "wow!" value that will earn us credibility in the greater community.

Goal or deliverable

  • Convert a 1981 Volkswagen Vanagon to electric use, and outfit it as a dedicated Saturday/Tuesday Farmers Market vehicle.


Our diesel Vanagon is under-powered, and is an ideal vehicle for an electric conversion. It has a high gross weight rating so we can pack in adequate batteries, and large open areas under the hood, so we would lose a minimum of cargo space in the conversion. There should be no problem assuring several round-trips to Ganges on a full charge. We would outfit this as a market vehicle, with a new paint job touting its unique green fuel.

Capital Budget

$800: motor controller
$750: 9" series-wound electric motor
$1,300: batteries
$650: cable, fittings, support structures, bell-housing adaptor, shaft coupler, instrumentation, etc.
$1,500: 12kW Level-2 battery charger
$5,000: total

Confidence factor: ±20%

32 hours: Jan: research, engineering, and design
64 hours: Jan and others: installation
80 hours: Jan and others: re-painting

Confidence factor: ±20%

Operations Budget

$0.39 per kilometre: present cost, based on $1.50/litre for diesel fuel.
$0.27 per kilometer: electric cost, based on current BC Hydro rates.
31% savings, or $480 per year.

Confidence factor: +10%, -50%

This is based on about 4,000 km per year usage, and most of the cost is insurance and $500 annual maintenance estimate (primarily the cost of replacing batteries every three years). The more we use it, the more the savings, since fuel costs are minor compared to fixed costs of insurance and maintenance, so this would probably become our primary "errand running" vehicle. Although the fiscal payback is not as much as other projects, this would have considerable "wow" value.

Missing from the original budget is a charger, and for the NiCd batteries we have obtained, they are quite expensive: $1,100 to $1,600 for a 5 kW "overnight" charger, or $2,000 for a five-hour, Level 2 charger that could be plugged in at Art Spring.


  • 2014-02-16 : project authorized.
  • 2014-03-08: Procured 29 each Saft 6V, 180 AH, flooded-cell NiCd batteries, to be assembled into a 24 battery, 144 volt 26 kWh pack, with five spares.
  • 2014-03-10: Procured used Curtis 1231C-8601 500 amp motor controller.
  • 2014-03-21: Procure used TransWarP 9 27kW DC motor.
  • 2014-04-18: Pulled original diesel engine.

Timeline, schedule, or end date

time-related aspects of the project, which may include intermediate deadlines, dependencies, etc

  • 2014-02-17: Seek project approval. DONE!
  • 2014-03-08: Procured batteries. DONE!
  • 2014-03-21: Procured motor controller. DONE!
  • 2014-03-21: Procured motor. DONE!
  • 2014-04-18: Remove existing diesel engine. DONE!
  • 2017-03-31: Procure other components.
  • 2017-03-31: Build battery support brackets.
  • 2017-04-15: Mount electric motor and begin wiring.
  • 2017-04-30: Complete wiring; begin installing diesel heater.
  • 2017-04-30: Vehicle testing, adjustments, modifications.
  • 2017-04-30: Vehicle on-road testing.
  • 2017-04-30: Vehicle painting (weather permitting).
  • 2017-06-03: Project complete and ready to use for the first Tuesday Market of the year.


generally, a numbered list of tasks, performed in order, that will together accomplish the project's goals or deliverables

Financial budget

how much money will be needed, possibly high-low bracketed and detailed, or a complete guess (try to indicate how firm a guess it is!)

Cash outlay

Plan is for very little actual cash outlay, mostly for support, such as ferry fare for procuring components, etc.

Class A shares

Plan is for co-op individuals to kick in cash as needed, and to receive Class A shares in exchange.

Class B shares

Plan is to issue Class B shares for contributed capital material and capital labour.

  • 2014-02-17: 2,000 Class B shares credited to Jan in exchange for 1981 VW Vanagon.

Cash Outlay

11200061981 Vanagon$1,560.032014-03-10 00:00:002015-06-18 00:00:00
1010011ISCU Chequing$-420.002014-04-01 00:00:002014-04-22 00:00:00
6900000Miscellaneous$25.052014-05-18 00:00:002014-06-01 00:00:00
6100000Travel$131.052014-03-10 00:00:002014-06-12 00:00:00
6300001Volunteer Groceries$38.742014-03-07 00:00:002014-03-21 00:00:00
6300001TOTAL:$1,334.872014-03-07 00:00:002015-06-18 00:00:00

Labour, by person

386Aidan Pitt-Brooke3.01.5%
3Cleome Rowe8.94.5%
408James Chambers0.80.4%
2Jan Steinman177.389.8%
446Joel Smith6.83.4%
382Wylie Fuller0.80.4%

Labour, by activity


Vehicle Use

"Vehicles" with no odometer, such as tractors or stationary equipment, are in tenths of an hour, rather than kilometres.

5Bubba428 km
12Cleome's Jetta6 km
12TOTAL:434 km


Jan SteinmanCleome's Jetta2015-06-186 km$1.440EcoRealitypick up meter for Electranagon engineeringno
Jan SteinmanBubba2014-06-27128 km$54.784EcoRealityto Bellingham to get funds for goats and stuff from Eddie for electric vehicleno
Jan SteinmanBubba2014-03-08125 km$53.500EcoRealityreturn frmo picking up batteries in Bellinghamno
Jan SteinmanBubba2014-03-07125 km$53.500EcoRealitypick up batteries in Bellinghamno
Jan SteinmanBubba2014-03-0625 km$10.700EcoRealitypick up bed frames for EV battery holdersno
Jan SteinmanBubba2014-02-2725 km$10.700EcoRealityTo Green Drinks to recruit EV help, pick up bed frames for EV conversion, pick up baseboard heaters for

Final accounting

List of disbursements, including:

  • final, reconciled costs of the project,
  • where money came from for the project, including Class A/B investment shares and to whom they are issued,
  • final, reconciled labour on the project,
    After final accounting, no more time can be allocated to a project.
  • Class A investment shares and to whom they are issued.
  • Class B investment shares and to whom they are issued.


Item Budget Actual Note
Curtis 1231C motor controller $750 $939.93
29 each SAFT 5-180 NiCd batteries $1,600 $1,456 orig budget was for inferior lead-acid batteries
NetGain TransWarP 9 motor $4,000 $896 does not include mechanical adaptor
Adaptor/coupler for above . .
Cable, fittings, support structures, etc. $500 .
Accelerator potentiometer . $0 included in cost of batteries
Angle iron for battery support . $36 bartered for preserved farm produce
Level 2 quick charger . . overlooked in original budget, but necessary!
TOTAL $6,850 $2,886 to date, as of 2014-03-29


Source Amount For
EcoReality cash outlay . shipping, ferry, travel
EcoReality cash outlay $939.93 Curtis 1231C motor controller
Class B Shares: Jan Steinman $2,000 for 1981 VW Vanagon diesel
Class B Shares: Jan Steinman . capital labour @ $15/hr
EcoReality debt (Jan Steinman) $2,352 for batteries and motor
TOTAL $5,291.93 as of 2014-03-29

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