How does it work?

Motor

Battery

Charger

Inverter

While all EVs vary significantly in design, there are some characteristics which they all have in common: They all use a method of storing energy (usually a high voltage battery). They all use motors to convert the battery's stored energy into motion. They all need a controller (or inverter) to deliver the energy from the battery to the motor(s). Finally, they all need a way of recharging their battery.

 

In the case of the Fig-Leaf, the battery will be stored in the boot. While this means you'll need to find somewhere else to put your luggage, the weight distribution on the car will be a lot more balanced, meaning it should handle a lot better and brake more effectively.

 

You can see that the Leaf's electric motor delivers energy to the front wheels in just the same way that the Figaro's engine would. It's actually much simpler as the electric motor uses far fewer moving parts and it is a lot more efficient, quieter, powerful and far more reliable. To give you an idea, the Leaf motor provides over 100bhp and over 200ft/lb of torque producing a top speed of around 82mph.

The motor gets its power from the inverter. This takes the direct current (DC) energy stored by the battery and converts it to an alternating current (AC) signal. The inverter also receives position information from the motor as it rotates so it can time this signal correctly, a bit like the valve timing on the Figaro's petrol engine.

 

Unlike the Figaro's engine, the Leaf motor delivers its maximum torque from a standstill. This means that whether you are pulling out from a junction or joining a main road, the Fig-Leaf will be able to accelerate when you really need it to. But the more power you demand and the faster you drive (cars create a lot of drag at higher speeds), the less efficient your car becomes and the quicker you will drain the battery.

When the car is fully charged, the aim will be for it to travel around 120 miles.

 

Just like filling up a petrol car, your battery will eventually need to be recharged. Like most EVs, the Fig-Leaf will have a built in charger which will take power from an AC or DC source to charge the battery. Most modern EVs also use DC fast charging methods like CHAdeMO and CCS and this will be available for the Fig-Leaf at a later date.

 

About Us

Katie and James are enthusiastic Figaro owners and fans of electric vehicles. Join us as we embark on a journey to make an all electric Figaro using components from a Nissan Leaf.