Baker forklift + Suzuki Swift + Geo Metro = Project ForkenSwiftProject ForkenSwift - Electric car conversion on a beer budget

Curtis 1204-412: adjustable features

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Curtis 1204-412: adjustable features

Note the adjustable current limiting (CL) and acceleration rate (ACC). Plug braking (PLUG) mode isn't used.

For maximum performance, current limit is set to "none", and acceleration rate is set to "fastest".

Still, even 400 A isn't very powerful. Math:

48 volts x 400 amps = 19,200 watts. 746 watts per horsepower gives us 25.7 hp. Account for system efficiency of about 75%, and that becomes 19.3 hp.

Acceleration to 50 km/h (30 mph)...

225 amp controller: 36 seconds
400 amp controller: 21 seconds

The ForkenSwift isn't the only small vehicle in the EV Album using a golf cart controller. Although most of the other examples are motorcycles, there are a few other subcompact cars using Curtis or Alltrax controllers:

1974 Volkswagen Beetle

1976 Sebring-Vanguard CitiCar
(originally used a contactor controller)

1964 DAF 600 Luxe

1986 Honda Rebel (motorcycle)

View all ForkenSwift galleries > DC motor controller ...

Curtis 1204-412 motor controller
That green box is the controller that's in the car now: a rebuilt Curtis 36-48 volt 400 amp DC motor controller original...
GE EV-1 control panel
Here's the brains of the forklift.

This control panel includes all the circuitry, fuses and contactors (big relays)...
GE EV-1 DC motor controller
The EV-1 SCR (silicon controlled resistance) type of controller actually has decent features: including adjustable accel...
The GE EV-1 controller on the "test bench"
We knew that the EV-1 worked: we had dropped 3 marine batteries in the Baker forklift and moved it under its own power f...
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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Delta-Q Technologies
Delta-Q Technologies / Roger S. - thanks!

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  • Mitsubishi Mirage forum / owners club: info & discussion about the Mirage (plus Space Star, Attrage and G4).