I carefully looked at the rear wheels of the Insight, with the idea of driving those wheels with a rear electric motor. The design of the rear suspension and position of the shocks and springs does not lend it self to any type of drive system without nearly a complete rebuilding. I was not confident enough in the concept to risk permanent modifications that may not work as expected. I finally decided to remove the large final muffler in the exhaust system, and use that space for a drop down 5th wheel, powered by the high torque Etek motor, and driven by a scooter wheel. The down force is via a 2.5" bore air cylinder that can produce over 130 lbs of down force. I settled on a 4:1 speed reduction from the motor to the wheel, to get sufficient torque to the ground for blast off, and to allow power for small hill climbing. This 4:1 ratio tops out at 30 MPH with the Etek spinning at 3000 rpm.
At 72V, the Eteck can spin 6K RPM or 55 MPH with this same 4:1 ratio.(room for expansion)
The Curtis company donated one of their 48V 275A PWM motor controllers and control pot assemblies to the project. The Etek can take 300A and up to 72V, but I am running it conservatively at 175A and 48V peak. This gives me about 9-10 HP peak, but the motor can intermittently produce 15 HP. I mounted a temperature probe on the motor so that I could watch the temp while driving. The motor temperature rise was sufficiently fast that I felt the need to air cool the motor. I have just installed the cooling system, and hope to give the 5th wheel an endurance and range test in the near future.
EV first test:
23 miles zero carbon emissions, average speed 27 MPH.
MPG infinate, no gas used, solar recharge for zero carbon production.
Estimate 40-45 mile EV operation