Converting my 280CE to electric..

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aconnoll
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Converting my 280CE to electric..

Post by aconnoll » Sun 11 May, 2008 9:56 pm

Hi All,

Ive been thinking about this for a while and have been speaking to a number of people about it. Ive decided that im going convert my 280CE to a fully electric vehicle. Id like to keep this car forever and make it exactly the way I want it. The restrictions of an electric vehicle totally suit me fine. Im not after a speed demon and I dont drive long distances. I wont be doing this anytime soon perhaps over the next few years or so. The car at the moment is semi disassembled but I just wanted to say that if anyone wanted any parts, ie. a motor/gearbox, radiator, etc.. all the things I wont be needing they are up for sale. Basically all ill need is from the tailshaft back. I will still run the same brake/steering system but to provide vacuum ill use an electric vacuum pump from something like an MR2 or something. The car is still registered and ran completely fine when I used to drive it on Sundays before I started pulling it apart for a body restoration. Mechanically the car was in good running condition although the motor was a lil smokey on start up. I do realise this will be a very expensive conversion as ill prob be using Lithium Ion (LiFePO4) batteries and a NetGain Warp 11 motor or equivalent. The electric motor has a dual shaft so an alternator could still be utilized to run all the auxilary systems but there are other options. Id say comparing costs of running of a internal combustion engine to running an electric engine, its probably still more expensive to run an electric engine at the moment but when the cost of batteries start coming down and the quality and new technologies start emerging, then it will certainly be cheaper/cleaner/simpler. Id be interested to hear people's opinions/experiences on this.

Adam
1975 Mercedes 280CE coupe

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Re: Converting my 280CE to electric..

Post by 420 SE » Sun 11 May, 2008 10:08 pm

I say good on you and go for it...

I will be watching your progress, albeit slowly, with interest...
Ross
"I don't know, it's just some random dude..."

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Re: Converting my 280CE to electric..

Post by Ivanerrol » Sun 11 May, 2008 10:42 pm

Small rant coming up.
<rant>

In the long run Nickel and Lithium powered batteries are not feasible. Why? Both of these materials are base elements and both have a finite supply.
Also in the case of Nickel, its traded on the London Metals exchange therefore is traded as a semi precious commodity. Both of these materials have other uses besides batteries.
Toyota already has a small problem with their Prius nickel battery because it is sourced from only one manufacturer in the U.S. The batteries only have a theoretical life span of only 8 - 10 years. Toyota has not allowed for the battery to be changed out, therefore the whole car has been manufactured with only an 8 - 10 year life span. When you add up the purchase price of the Prius and then think about the life span and the possible resale value then you realise that this vehicle is only a cynical green exercise.

If you take the current reserves of world Nickel or Lithium and calculate the total amount of world vehicles you will find that there is just enough of these two materials to supply one batch of cars. In reality the price of either would get so prohibitive as they become scarce that vehicle use would be out of the question.
Both of these materials require a large amount of processing to get them to the stage that they can be utilized for battery use. Disposal of used batteries is also a process.

Batteries are only a storage of electrical charge. The do not produce electrical charge. To make use of the charge in the battery first you need to top it up with an external source. When the battery is run down it will require topping up again. Because of losses you require more power to be imput than you will ever get in return. This imput must come from somewhere.

In reality you are only transferring the pollution output from the vehicle to the charging source - Coal power station - in the case of plug in power.

Solar Power. In one square metre area of sunlight there is the potential of 1 kilowatt to be drawn from the Sun. Photo voltaic cells are not 100% efficient - in fact more like 25 - 30%. That means with a Clean solar panel of one square meter you are likely to be able to receive 200 watts of power at the nominated voltage of 12 or 24 volts (depending on your solar array). In simple terms if you have a car that has 100 kilowatts of dino power you will need a 100% efficient solar panel of 100 square metres to get the equivalent power. Since solar panels are only 20 -30 % efficent in reality the solar panel would really need to be that much larger to get your 100 Kilowatts.

If you had a battery/solar power unit than the equation doesn't go away. Those PHD's out there will tell you how many Kilowatts are required to push 1 tonne of vehicle around at 60 kilometers an hour, however suffice to say that a battery would need many kilowatts to be recharged after a short run. Solar panels alone would take a huge amount of time to recharge the battery. You need a back up plug in power supply - coal powered generation.

Lead is not in short supply. Lead acid batteries have been the main stay of electrical backup and storage since their invention over 100 years ago. In reality there has only been incremental increases in lead acid battery technology since their inception.

Having said that I.M.H.O. all city use vehicles should utilise battery power and plug in to recharge. O.K. you cause more pollution at the power generation end - coal. However the benefit from individual vehicles not emitting pollutants would be better.

One complaint I have about the Prius. They are too quiet. They should have some artificial engine noise to warn pedestrians of their presence. :shock:

Edited for errors. Thanks to Tony from the West.

</rant>
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Re: Converting my 280CE to electric..

Post by aconnoll » Sun 11 May, 2008 11:04 pm

Gday, point taken re: the precious commodities.. although I just dont see the mainstream manufacturers starting to make 100% electric vehicles either for a long time or if ever. Obviously some small new manufacturers ie tesla motors are getting in there and having a go but I just cant see it taking over..

The last two points you make I definately consider important though. Surely their would be health benefits with a reduction of benzene from vehicle's exhausts. Its funny you say about the noise thing, I was reading somewhere (prob US based) that they wanted to make EVs emit some sort of a noise. At the end of the day im just not prepared to start paying 2 or 3 dollars a litre for fuel down the track. Id like to start thinking about doing something about it now rather than later.
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Re: Converting my 280CE to electric..

Post by Ivanerrol » Sun 11 May, 2008 11:24 pm

There is a lot of rubbish being spouted by those associated with the global alarmism industry and future power sources.Wind,Solar wave etc etc.

Most of this comes from people unskilled in physics,mathematics, basic science or engineering. :roll:

The fact is nothing gives more bang for your buck than fossil fuel. Associated industries have been criminally negligent in not producing engines which are much more efficient and getting them out in the main stream.

Meanwhile its off to the scooter shop or squeeze in on public transport (if it arrives).

Talk about batteries. Here is my backup for the server and gateway in my home. There is a UPS at the bottom of those two machines. I have a solar array on the roof to recharge this if necessary. (Takes 10 hours though). The bottom line is . I'm in the industry and didn't have to pay for all this equipment. If you needed to pay a commercial rate for all this equipment you would be light nearly $8K

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Re: Converting my 280CE to electric..

Post by AMG » Sun 11 May, 2008 11:27 pm

I think you should be looking at LEV alternatives or ZEV alternatives.... aka MB 'Fuel Cell'

Hydrogen power? in the next 7-10 years, feasible.

CNG? available now, refuelling slightly problematic, but available.

Stored energy in lead-acid batteries? sure. But weight penalty + cost.

I just forked for a new odyssey battery (p1500) for Stella as I want robust + high CCA + rechargeability. It was over 500 (with a huge discount).

you will need considerably bigger (and heavier) deep cycle / high current batteries like optima yellow or odyssey p2100

at prices between 600 and 1200 each (discounted, not rrp) I hope you find a seriously good method for distributing the mass over the axles.

Sandwich floors of the a-class are what you need to look at (and therein is a fantastic experimental vehicle)

I'm not knocking the idea, simply highlighting some less financially painful alternatives - of which CNG would win hands down.

You might need to get some sort of financial backing to help fund your project. ( or perhaps at least try to?)

Best of luck.
Current:
1987 560SL 4sp. auto Signalrot "Stella"
1987 190E 2.3-16 5sp. man. Blauschwarz "Hermann"
1992 300CE-24 6sp. man. Perlblau / Iceblau "Gretel"
1992 Range Rover Vogue SE 4sp auto Ardenne Green "Oswald"
2012 Renault Sport Megane RS265 Trophy 8:08 6 sp. man. Liquid Yellow "Jean Rédélé"
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1986 560SEL Anthracitgrau "Schultz" - In Mercedes Heaven
1987 190E 2.6 4sp. auto Signalrot "Sabine" - which now resides/owns Andrew M's Garage
1972 350SLC Astralsilber "Lurch" - now in the loving care of Craig B
1989 2.5-16 Blauschwarz 4sp. auto (parted) formerly owned by Derek/Hasan.

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Re: Converting my 280CE to electric..

Post by Ivanerrol » Sun 11 May, 2008 11:46 pm

Hi Joe,

I think the A class was designed for the electric alternative and proved non feasible wasn't it?

Fuel cells - not in our life time.

CNG, LNG and LPG all available now - with some limitations. (Mainly the government will want to make a buck out of it).

Hydrogen - Think Hindenburg.

Lead Acid batteries are not feasible unless the rest of the car weighs very little and doesn't go very far. (And the drivers and passengers get off the super mac's)
City use only. However they are the only real game in town.

When the price of petrol gets up to $ 200.00+ a barrel the government is going to have no choice but increase the amount of buses dramatically. Even a system of super parking areas is devised in the outer suburbs and shuttle buses to the main work areas implemented.
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Re: Converting my 280CE to electric..

Post by AMG » Mon 12 May, 2008 12:04 am

MB already have fuel cell ready to go - it has been trialled already and apparently (like the diesotto), extremely efficient and incredibly safe. (no hindenburg)
problem: slated for production 5-7 years from now, but able to be implemented now if required.
also the FC tech is modular, meaning MB also plan on other alternative dual-powered vehicles, and simply replacing the 'module' if and when the need arises, for example, change of fuel type requirement.
MB have also finished testing other LEV's in Oz recently (CNG and electric hybrid I think it was) and results were outstanding.

All we have to do is see the models come to fruition - which is slated to start within the next 4-5 years. Interesting times ahead!
Current:
1987 560SL 4sp. auto Signalrot "Stella"
1987 190E 2.3-16 5sp. man. Blauschwarz "Hermann"
1992 300CE-24 6sp. man. Perlblau / Iceblau "Gretel"
1992 Range Rover Vogue SE 4sp auto Ardenne Green "Oswald"
2012 Renault Sport Megane RS265 Trophy 8:08 6 sp. man. Liquid Yellow "Jean Rédélé"
Previous:
1986 560SEL Anthracitgrau "Schultz" - In Mercedes Heaven
1987 190E 2.6 4sp. auto Signalrot "Sabine" - which now resides/owns Andrew M's Garage
1972 350SLC Astralsilber "Lurch" - now in the loving care of Craig B
1989 2.5-16 Blauschwarz 4sp. auto (parted) formerly owned by Derek/Hasan.

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Re: Converting my 280CE to electric..

Post by 70499 » Tue 13 May, 2008 7:30 pm

Just recently, The Sunday Times ran a full page article about a guy with a Electric Mustang.
If you like, you can send me a private message with your address and I can post it to you.
Here are a few links that were attached to the article.

http://www.evwa.com.au
http://www.aeva.asn.au
http://www.ev-power.com.au
http://www.evshop.com.au

Cheers,
Brad.
Brad.

1958 L319.

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Re: Converting my 280CE to electric..

Post by aconnoll » Wed 14 May, 2008 7:39 pm

Gday, yeah my old man pulled the article out for me aswell, I havent been around to see it yet. I am familiar with the car from surfing the net on the websites youve pretty much listed below. Cheers for let me know though :)
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Re: Converting my 280CE to electric..

Post by SEDECREM » Fri 16 May, 2008 4:01 pm

What ever happened to the Tesla electric sportscar? that was on the news last year
It was a prototype electric sports car based on a lotus elite or some lotus, could out accellerate a ferrari or porsche . George Clooney and a host of celebs had put their orders in.

google tesla electric car ... for more info....it seemed a great concept....a good looking performance electric car rather than a slow transport device for the elderly.
Stefan
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Re: Converting my 280CE to electric..

Post by aconnoll » Sat 17 May, 2008 11:31 am

Alot happened to them! Check out their flash website.

http://www.teslamotors.com/

My boss wanted to try and become an australian dealer for them, but they are a no go for Australia at the moment.
1975 Mercedes 280CE coupe

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Re: Converting my 280CE to electric..

Post by 230ew123 » Fri 30 Dec, 2016 12:09 pm

I just forked for a new odyssey battery (p1500) for Stella as I want robust + high CCA + rechargeability.

AGM, Did you have to modify your reg and or alternator to up the volts and amperage to charge the odyssey 1500? I think that size battery requires something like 14.7v to fully charge whilst I believe the original merc charge setup shall put out about 13.6v or so?

I think this maybe why some folks out there are complaining upon their expensive batteries dying..

very interested as I am sick of having to replace batteries (over years), the longer you can keep them the better.

Northstar split off from odyssey and compete, northstar gives a 4 year warranty! (best offer I have seen)

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Re: Converting my 280CE to electric..

Post by 230ew123 » Fri 30 Dec, 2016 12:17 pm

Sorry, merc should put out 14v at medium engine speed..

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Re: Converting my 280CE to electric..

Post by CraigB » Sat 31 Dec, 2016 10:28 am

You should put this in 'mod squad' forum where the idea is people can do all sorts of crazy stuff and the idea is to offer support and not judgement. You did ask though. Personally i am interested how you go. Not particularly interested how this relates to mass production of vehicles etc etc., i am just interested how you go about it and what issues you run into and what it is like to drive at the end of it. I've been interested to read drive impressions of all that torque and driving on throttle only (albeit with regen brakes). And these cars are heavy with batteries so maybe the benz will still ok. Good point about looking at stuff fit for purpose instead of judging it all black and white good or not. I have an electric chainsaw i use a lot more than my petrol one. It does this amazing thing, you plug it in and pull the trigger and it works.....no spark plugs, no fuel bulb getting cracked, carby warping, diaphragm going hard, cord breaking etc etc. and not once have i stood and yelled at it at the height of my voice "start you f....ker!!!". But when a big bow drops in the bottom of the yard it is probably not big enough or i have enough extension cords. Do i just off the little used petrol that i haven't worn out. And if the electric doesn't work it will be the brushes or the switch and incredibly easy to fix. Similar with the cars, if the new solar panels from Oxford university i read about the other day work etc etc then i could see myself running around in an electric car that has a fraction of the moving parts in it etc etc but then also other cars to get long distance to the scrub block etc. Anyway, I don't think you are evil or an idiot for having a go and doing some exploring of your own rather than accepting blanking what you read.... there is a lot of information out there and it is usually polarized and hard to get the real story that is usually not just black and white.

And writing this has triggered me into researching electrifying my ride on mower!
Craig Baulderstone
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Re: Converting my 280CE to electric..

Post by merc-304 » Sat 31 Dec, 2016 11:03 am

White Lightning Suzuki Mighty Boy - an electric conversion from around 2011.. a good read.
380 SEC

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