Amazing Project: Wayne Bickley's Electric C4!
Some Might Call This Project Sacrilegious, I Call it Awesome
by John Coyle
California is wonderful. There's sun, sand, surf, In-N-Out Burger, and a host of other things which make the Golden State worthy of its name. But its stringent emissions regulations make life difficult for car enthusiasts, and after trying to get his supercharged 396 Corvette through testing, Wayne Bickley went green. But he didn't buy a Prius—he converted his C4 to electric power.
Currently, the powertrain features a nine-inch, 100HP motor, a clutchless six-speed and 18 XP1000 batteries. To keep everything balanced, eight are situated up front where the radiator used to be, while the remaining ten sit on a custom rack in the fuel tank's old spot. With this set up, he's been able to manage 22 to 30 miles on a charge and hit a top speed of 85MPH. He hasn't lost his need for speed though, and a beefier 11-inch Netgain HV unit is on the way. After posting videos of the 'Vette on YouTube, Wayne says he's heard from a lot of "arm chair engineers" who have all kinds of suggestions about how he could have done a better job. But he spends his days doing Advanced Visualization—think 3D flight simulation and molecular modeling—and has taken all the comments with a grain of salt. One suggestion he'd like to follow? Using lithium batteries. But at 20K for the juice boxes alone, that's not really on the table.
Check out the video below to see this green machine in action, then head over to the Forum to see detailed pics of the build! (Rest assured, the supercharged 396 went to a good home!)