Baker forklift + Suzuki Swift + Geo Metro = Project ForkenSwiftProject ForkenSwift - Electric car conversion on a beer budget
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Curtis 1204-410 36-48 volt 225 amp Club Car golf cart controller


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Curtis 1204-410 36-48 volt 225 amp Club Car golf cart controller

Even after getting the EV-1 to work, we decided a "plug and play" golf cart controller would be easier for testing/development of the conversion. (It's not really plug and play, but far easier to set up than the EV-1.)

After haunting eBay auctions for a while, I got a great deal on a 225 amp Curtis controller from a Club Car golf cart.

It turned out that Curtis stayed in the car well past the "testing" phase, even though it's an understatement to say it wasn't a very powerful controller, even a small car like a Geo Metro.

Let's do the math: 48 volts x 225 amps = 10,800 watts. 746 watts per horsepower gives us 14.5 hp. (For comparison, the Geo's gasoline engine was rated for 55 hp.) Account for overall system efficency of about 75%, and that figure becomes 10.9 hp.

With the ForkenSwift weighing in at 2070 lbs post-conversion, you start to get a picture of the kind of driving "performance" 225 amps represents! How about 0-50 km/h (30 mph) in 36 seconds, flat out?

On top of that, 225 amps is the peak rating. The controller will only deliver that much juice when it's cool. Once it has been on for a while, it progressively ramps down peak power output to prolong the life of its electronic guts.

View all ForkenSwift galleries > DC motor controller ...

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GE EV-1 controller in action (light test)
For testing, instead of controlling a DC motor, the EV-1 was hooked up to one of the 36 volt spotlights from the forklif...
Curtis 1204-410 36-48 volt 225 amp Club Car golf cart controller
Even after getting the EV-1 to work, we decided a "plug and play" golf cart controller would be easier for testing/devel...
Finned aluminum heat sink
(Inset: controller mounted on the heatsink)

Controllers can get pretty hot when they're worked hard or for a long tim...
Precharge resistor
Most controllers have banks of capacitors inside that help to smooth current flow. The capacitors gradually discharge w...
Curtis 1204-412: adjustable features
Note the adjustable current limiting (CL) and acceleration rate (ACC). Plug braking (PLUG) mode isn't used.

For maxi...
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  • Nissan's smallest global car is the Micra. More info & discussion at the new Nissan Micra forum.

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