I've already put down $2250 for the holistic EV system from Belktronix. This system contains pretty much everything you need including controller, charger, contactor, potbox, battery balancer and DC-DC converter.
There are many good things about the Belktronix system:
- The tech support is excellent
- The system contains low-voltage protection circuitry to prevent hurting your batteries
- The potbox is optically based so that there is no resistive potentiometer to wear out
- Everything is designed to work together holistically so that you don't have compatibility issues between parts
- The price is excellent for what you get. I can't piece together a cheaper system
There are also a few downsides to the Belktronix system that I've pondered over the past week:
- There's only one person making these systems which can be problematic if that person wins the lottery and moves to Tahiti (or gets hit by a truck)
- The battery balancing system is very similar to the regulators put out by Rich Rudman at Manzanita Micro. They work, but they require a lot of wiring and need heavy duty heat-dissipating resistors which may put out 60 watts of heat apiece.
- Parts of the system are powered off the first two 12V traction batteries, which has generally been frowned upon in the EV community as it tends to lead to battery imbalances.
- All the pieces aren't really interchangeable with similar pieces available on the market. That is, you can't just replace the controller with a Zilla or change your potbox.
- Logisystems 144V 550 amp controller
- 12 Soneil 1214S 7amp individual battery chargers (balancing implicit in the process)
- Albright SW200 contactor
- PB-6 potbox
- IOTA DLS-45 DC-DC converter
While I'm still sticking with the Belktronix system for this version of the vehicle, there are many things to ponder for the next version as improvements. We'll see what issues come up with the Belktronix system. Next time around, I'll look at how to gain the advantages of the Belktronix system while sill retaining the off-the-shelf components of standard EV parts.