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Re: Motor upgrades

Tue Sep 20, 2011 9:32 pm

TEG wrote:The Zilla controller is for DC motors, and the Leaf uses an AC motor, so it is somewhat apples to oranges.

If you want to build an EV drag race car ( < 10 sec quarter mile times are possible ) then a 2000amp Zilla plus giant DC motors can get the job done.
I'm pointing people at the information, if you are going to replace the motor in the Leaf, the choice of AC or DC isn't a deal breaker, because most likely you are going to have to rip out the motor controller anyway. Just pointers to the videos for ideas, and see what components they use for performance EV's, was the general idea. Probably not going to happen until some Leafs start hitting the junk yards anyway.
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Re: Motor upgrades

Tue Sep 20, 2011 9:45 pm

nader wrote:Can someone educate me about the possibilities of a motor upgrade in the future? I know Nissan is making their own motor so it's unlikely that some aftermarket motor will just bolt right up. Aside from fitment issues what are some of the limitations of the existing setup? Is it as simple as swapping in a higher KW motor and reprogramming the controller? I recall hearing something about pack voltage being a limiting factor for increasing power output. Please educate me.
The electric motor and battery work together much like the mechanical displacement parts of an engine (pistons, valves and crankshaft) or "electric motor" in an EV and the energy feed / flow parts (fuel injection / carb / blower / turbo coupled with the exhaust) or "battery" in an EV. You may be able to push more energy through the electric motor with a larger battery and inverter but simply putting a larger electric motor and not supplying the additional battery power (not size of the gas tank) will probably be disappointing. Now adding a second battery in parallel or series with the corresponding inverter and electric motor would offer the ability to increase performance. It could be accomplished with a booster battery (in series) and upgrading the inverter transistors (IGBT or MOSFET) to drive more power into the existing "electric motor" - i.e. turbo charge or blower on an ICE.

Another way to look at the power system is to consider a different way to upgrade an ICE. For example, when upgrading a 4 cylinder car engine, why not just add four more cylinders and use the existing fuel / air intake and the existing exhaust system? This is what replacing only the "electric motor" in an EV seems like to me.
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Re: Motor upgrades

Wed Sep 21, 2011 6:13 am

Looking back into the history of tuner cars. Engine "upgrades" tend to happen when the manufacturer introduces later iterations of an existing model w/ a better engine (i.e.: K-series engine in the Honda Civic). Sometimes a manufacturer's engine of another model could be use (i.e.: VQ-series engines in Nissan S-chassis). Even more rare is the use of a popular engine that gets shoe-horned into just about anything (i.e.: GM's LS-series). Currently the only other EV produced w/ considerably more power than the Leaf is the Tesla Roadster. Might be a while before we will see any significant increase in power coming out of modded Leafs.
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Re: Motor upgrades

Wed Sep 21, 2011 7:22 am

Looks like all you'll need is one of these ... ... &GT1=22026

" ... runs on two electric motors producing 375 brake horsepower and 590 lb-ft of torque on its way to 162 mph. Toyota will start selling the technology behind the EV P001 for use in "single make electric motorsport series" next year. "
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Re: Motor upgrades

Wed Sep 21, 2011 7:36 am

Take the drive train from here.... ... ormance-10" onclick=";return false;

or just talk half to run the front wheels on the Leaf.

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Re: Motor upgrades

Wed Sep 21, 2011 7:43 am

This is the second thread on this. It's pointless to upgrade the motor on the LEAF as the motor in the car now has the capability to output more power and the inverter may only be software restricted. The bigger point is the ability of the pack to supply more current for enough performance to make it worth while and the extra heat on the non-cooled pack. Besides that the LEAF is basically a A-B transport car and below average in handling so a little more power would be nice but anything serious would be a waste of investment to change any parts. Buy something else.

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Re: Motor upgrades

Wed Sep 21, 2011 8:14 am" onclick=";return false;

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Re: Motor upgrades

Wed Sep 21, 2011 8:21 am

How about just changing the gear ratio? You give up some launch torque for a higher top speed.
Still might need some programming changes.
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Re: Motor upgrades

Wed Sep 21, 2011 10:11 am

smkettner wrote:How about just changing the gear ratio? You give up some launch torque for a higher top speed.
Still might need some programming changes.
Do you have any idea how much it costs to have a custom gear set made?

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Re: Motor upgrades

Wed Sep 21, 2011 10:39 am

I don't see the need of upgrading the Leaf motor when it's more than plenty powerful enough already. If you want to do this for racing purposes, the limitation will be in the tires and suspension first, before the motor.

And by the time you will have spent all the money on your upgrade, if it's even a possibility, you might as well spend that money buying something like the Tesla Roadster, which is more fitting as a race car.

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