Solar Assisted 2000 Chevrolet S-10 Electric Vehicle

Conversion of Year 2000 Chevy S10 Pickup
EV Links

Last Updated: 08/01/2008 02:19:16 PM



Lee Campbell


San Diego, California


Web page

Base vehicle

2000 Chevrolet S10 LS extra cab


Slow on a hill


42 miles

Top Speed 65 mph so far

Seating Capacity

2 adults

Curb Weight
   Before conversion                                             
   Conversion Battery weight
   Component reduction
   Curb weight after conversion                       
   Battery weight to curb weight ratio

3200 lb
1600 lb
- 300 lb estimate
4854 lb actual


Original Kit Parts

Electric vehicle kit as purchased


Originally the kit was to supports a 120 Volt system, but I decide to upsize since the controller supports 144 Volts, the 9 Inch ADC Motor does not care and the smart folks at the:

convinced me that I would not be happy with the performance at 120 Volts.

The K&W charger would have needed a booster for 144 Volts but instead of upgrading I sold it and bought a BYCAN 120/132/144-25A. This charger is switchable among three voltages (120, 132 or 144). I cost quite a bit more but I told my wife that 120 Volts is all that will be needed for the Porche that I will convert for her. She believed me.

A note. The company I purchased the kit from will not be mentioned on this web page. It took 10 months or more to receive all of the kit parts from this company - no excuse.  Advice for anyone looking for a kit supplier first attend your local electric automobile club and ask for opinions. The manufactures and distributors referenced on this web site (also listed below) are excellent companies and you will be dealing with fine people who return phone calls and ship promptly.

KTA Services and
Canadian Electric Vehicles(CEV)



Damaged Motor (2nd One Sent) - S1 Terminal Bent During Shipment.
(See Note M.)


Motor View - Installed
(The blue tape helps prevent getting debris into the motor during the conversion process)

Advanced DC 9 , 20 hp  (Part of the original kit) Distributed by KTA Services )

Note M:
Just one of the setbacks - First motor sent has never been found (Could be setting in a warehouse along with the lost arc) . My wife and I finally drove to KTA Services and picked up the 3rd and final motor. (Was not a KTA problem - two different major shipping companies screwed up.)

High Voltage Electrical Interface

  Motor mount


Torque Adapter Manufactured Necessary because of Mismatch of adapter Plate and Motor Mount.***


  Motor Mount w/Manufactured Torque Adapter Installed


Canadian Electric Vehicles(CEV) ( Lee Campbell -anti torque modification)

Note MM:
The kit did not include a torque prevention mechanism for the motor. The kit distributor did not have a motor mount specifically for an S10 and recommended using a Honda part attached to the front of the motor. The correct motor mount was purchased from
Canadian Electric Vehicles(CEV) specifically for S-10s. This mount included a provision for torque prevention, but the adapter plate provided by the kit distributor is not oriented to take advantage of the superior CEV torque mount.  Therefore, I had to manufacture the torque adaptor and modify the motor mount to fit. 


Manual 5-speed transmission, stock driveshaft and differential.



Controller Mounted to Assembly with Kit-Provided Vacuum Reservoir



Curtis 1231c-8601 144V mounted on Canadian Electric Vehicles(CEV)  heat sink and plate assembly (includes temperature controlled cooling fan).

This is a superior solution to controller and heat sink installation.  It replaces the radiator and the air conditioner condenser. Although built for older models of S10s, it fits with only minor adjustments of the mounting plate. The thermostatically controlled fan does not activate very often even during the 80 degree heat we occasionally have in San Diego during December.

I originally intended to keep the air conditioner but air conditioners are very energy intensive and with the limited range of the S10 in San Diego, I will not be in the vehicle for long periods anyway.

High Voltage Electrical Interface


  Battery Boxes


Battery Box Front Houses 4 of the 6 Volt Traction Batteries


Battery Box Rear Houses 20 of the 6 Volt Traction Batteries (Cover on rear box is not shown). Also shown at the left   and right are the 2 Solar Regulators for the Auxiliary 1 and Auxiliary 2 Batteries.




The Battery boxes were custom made by  Canadian Electric Vehicles(CEV)

The purchase was made over the phone.  This was the first of many conversations with Randy Holmquist discussing my approach to the various aspects of the build and getting excellent advice.


Rear Battery Box Vent System

Since the rear battery box is enclosed by the tonneau cover vents were added using pvc piping and 12 V computer  cooling fans. Both fans exhaust the box . The fans are each rated at 7 cu.ft./minute. This system helps remove the hydrogen gas during charging and keeps the heat inside the box lower thus hopefully extending the life of the batteries. A new addition in 2007 is a fan control circuit the turns on the fans at an adjustable preset value of 93 degrees. See 2007 mods. 

Traction Batteries


144 Volt (24 US Battery 125, 235 Ah)

A friend offered to drive the 100 miles using his large ICE Truck to pick up the batteries at US Battery in Corona, CA (100 miles North of San Diego). We drove on another 20 miles to KTA Services to purchase other parts and get some excellent technical advice (and purchased a number of parts) from the owner Ken Koch before we came back to San Diego.

High Voltage Electrical Interface
Battery Maintenance


Accessory Batteries


Accessory 1 -- 12 Volt - power steering and Accessory 1 backup

Accessory Power 1 (Power Steering) Electrical Interface

Accessory 2 -- 12 Volt - lighting, control, radio, etc.

Accessory Power 2 (Lights, etc) Electrical Interface


Power Distribution Assembly  


Power Distribution Panel - High Power Circuitry


 Power Distribution Assy  Installed
(Click on photo for larger view)



Custom (Lee Campbell).

The assembly panel was made to fit the space where the original 12 Volt battery was located. This position was chosen to allow for the shortest high voltage connections to the controller and motor. The high voltage fusible links (kit supplied) were replaced with better quality (KTA services) and potentially cause less damage (if fuses should open) to surrounding components.

High Voltage Electrical Interface

Solar panels (4)

Installed Solar Panels on 4-Way Tonneau Cover



Astro Power  (15 lbs each = 60lbs). Each Panel is rated at 3.3Amps:

 Accessory 1 Battery    ~3.3A x 2 panels x 5 hrs = 33Ahr/day. See update.

Accessory Power 1 (Power Steering) Electrical Interface

  Accessory 2 Battery       ~3.3A x 2 panels x 5 hrs = 33Ahr/day;   See update.

Accessory Power 2 (Lights, etc) Electrical Interface

The solar charging does the job without a 12 volt charger needed (so far). During the overcast days the solar system may need a little boost and f so I have made a provision for carrying a small on board charger to assist.


Traction Charger

Charge Jack Installed in Center of Chevy Emblem  

BYCAN Charger
(with both 115 Vac plug and 220 Vac plug)


144 Volt BYCAN, by-144-1, (off board) 115Vac or 220Vac, KTA services
  Time per charge at 110 volts                                      25 k watts 18 hrs
  Time per charge at 220 volts                                       9 hrs

The BYCAN was purchased to take advantage of the faster charging 220 Volt capability and if needed 115 Volt.  The BYCAN is heavier (55lbs) but not having a need to charge in away from home locations, the BYCAN is perfect.

High Voltage Electrical Interface


None currently

Air Conditioning


DC/DC Converter

Not used currently (Accessory batteries charged w/ solar panels)

Regenerative Braking None and probably not. See this link

Power  Steering                

Power Steering Pump as an Assembly
(See Note PS)
Power Steering Pump In Maintenance Position
Power Steering Assembly Top View Power Steering Dash Switch


12v @ 50 amp Canadian Electric Vehicles(CEV)

Power steering comes in handy when parking and turning a sharp corner after a stop. It is use infrequently otherwise because of the current drain to the Accessory Battery 2. 

Note PS:
The components on the top of the Power Steering and Pump Sub-Assembly include a starter relay, a 30A circuit breaker and the fluid reservoir. These components came as separate items. They were mounted to the top of motor and pump bracketry where they fit very well. A separate bracket to mount the fluid reservoir and the standoffs for the clear plastic shield as well as the plastic cover itself had to be manufactured. Overall his provided a single unit power steering assembly that could easily be raised or lowered for maintenance if necessary. (A pressure adjustment screw is located at bottom of the unit near the low pressure hose outlet). The hoses were manufactured to be long enough to support the maintenance position also.


Power Steering Electrical Block Diagram


Left Pillar Pod w/ Amp Meter and Fuel Meter Right Pillar Pod w/ State-of-Charge Meter and Motor Hour Meter


Curtis Fuel Meter     Westberg State of Charge Meter

Left Pillar Pod

500 A Meter( Westberg)
Tell the driver if he has a lead foot. Like a vacuum meter in an ICE vehicle it tells how efficiently the fuel is used

High Voltage Electrical Interface

Curtis Fuel Meter (KTA Services)
An absolute necessity. With the ten 10 percent gradients the driver can get a very good idea of the fuel he has remaining while driving. When in charging mode the meter will not change from the lowest graduate reached before charging was started. Once fully charged the meter resets to the full gradient.

High Voltage Electrical Interface

Right Pillar Pod

State of Charge (Westberg)
Can be used to get a state of charge during opportunity charges and can indicate when the batteries are reaching the fully charged state. It is useless while driving since it flops all over the place . A hour or so after letting the vehicle sit without charging the meter will indicate the percentage state of charge.

High Voltage Electrical Interface

Hour meter
Monitors 144V usage or motor on-hours. It can take the place of the speedometer for an ICE.

12V Accessory 2 (VDO)


Pot box Assembly                                                             

Pot box in enclosure


Curtis pot box (part of kit) (Custom Enclosure -lee Campbell). The enclosure was purchased from Industrial Liquidators, San Diego as surplus.

High Voltage Electrical Interface

Vacuum Pump

Vacuum Mounted Under Truck Bed Behind Cab

12 V  15A (part of kit)
Provides the vacuum for the power brakes
. It is isolated because of noise and vibration - suggested by engineers at Canadian Electric Vehicles (CEV)

Circuit breaker Assembly                    


Interior view


 View of Circuit Breaker Assy w Attached Pot Box Assembly and Power Steering Assembly

Heinemann (Custom Enclosure - Lee Campbell


High Voltage Electrical Interface

 Emergency Power Shutoff   

Emergency Shutoff Cable Pull knob (left of vent)

General  Purpose throttle cable in cab installation   

 High Voltage Electrical Interface


Slow on a hill
  start in low gear when starting from a complete stop -- winds out a 10 mph
 start in 2nd gear most times winds out at 25 to 30 mph
 shift to 3rd a 25 to 30 mph


42 miles

Top Speed 65 mph so far

Seating Capacity

2 adults

Curb Weight
   Before conversion                                             
   Conversion Battery weight
   Component reduction
   Curb weight after conversion                       
   Battery weight to curb weight ratio

3200 lb
1600 lb
- 300 lb estimate
4854 lb actual


L215/75/R15 Laredo at 53 psi
26 lbs each



Stock alum wheels (24 lbs each),



 Rear Air Shocks for Leveling and Ride


stock front,  rear air lift and load leveler shocks

Conversion Time
Ordered Kit 3 Jan 05

  Tear down and Build and non kit part acquisition

Parts dribbled in over 10 month period the ADC motor was last kit part to be received  Oct 05

Tonneau cover                                                                              
    See Solar Panels, Battery Boxes

Four-way- Tonneau Cover (50 lbs)


Schematic/wiring Diagrams

 custom (lee campbell) - used KTA Services , Bob Brant and other block diagrams as general resources then conjured up the details as each individual must do also to verify and/or modify for their own application.

See Diagrams - Details.


Conversion Cost

Don't want my wife to know. Actually I need to tally the receipts someday. Suggest contacting Canadian Electric Vehicles(CEV) and KTA Services for estimates.


Most wires were cut - ensure all grounding is connected. The speedometer (at least),  battery indicator, abs indicator, motor temperature gauge, accessory battery 1 gauge appear to require the computer.

Recommended  Suppliers

Canadian Electric Vehicles(CEV)

KTA Services  

Industrial Liquidators (San Diego)

Industrial Metal Supply (San Diego)  
Ridout Plastics (San Diego)  
Westach Meters  

Four-way Tonneau Cover,



Things to do 
dress wiring - shorten, shrink tubing, tie wrap, clamp  
finalize pwr distribution assy - plexi-glass substrate, relay enclosure, test points  
accessory 2 battery backup cabling -  link to accessory 1 battery  
bolts and nuts - tighten, install nylon hardware where feasible  

lighten vehicle  - fiberglass bumpers, fiberglass hood, remove not needed hardware (tailgate saves 43 lbs)
 and electronics,

power steering - consider automatic activation  
electric heater -  
onboard 12 v charger - consider  
paint - entire truck, electric vehicle sign  
running lights - disconnect  
144v solar charge regulator - pico electronics  
documentation - this web page and more  
dmv - smog exemption  
insurance -  stated value ~ 20000$  




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