If there ever were a more appropriate off-topic label… .
I’ve been doing some posts on solar estimations using data from OpenDroneMap, i.e. here and here. In the first of those, I made reference to acquiring an EV and looking for ways to power that. Some folks have asked what I acquired and it’s an odd-ball choice – it is a 2017 Mercedes Benz B250e. It’s kind of a box-of-parts car, like if Mercedes-Benz made the mistake of financially bailing out Tesla and decided to learn some lessons from that mistake by putting together some Tesla parts into a bclass MPV, selling as few as possible to comply with California codes, and then bail on Tesla investments after/while building their own EV team. Oh, never mind. It’s not like that: it is that.
Anyway, it’s got a tiny battery (28-31kwh usable), not fantastic efficiency, no rapid charging, but is super comfortable and kind of the nicest commuter EV at its price. And it almost immediately died due to a coolant leak in the motor coils and is waiting on a (thank goodness warranteed) motor replacement.
But that’s not what I came here to talk about. I came here to talk about this really cool FOSS forum and wiki I discovered called openinverter.org:
It’s a bunch of folks building, reverse engineering and then building, and open sourcing all the info needed to build EVs, from motor control, charger development, battery controls, etc… It’s really cool.
And the reason I bring it up (other than I am looking to add fast charging to my B250e if/when it ever comes back to me) is that I am a super outsider there. I’ve only read stuff, not even posted yet. I know not much about cars, even less about HV electronics, and I am reading through their documentation and forum discussion, and youtube videos, their cottage industry of suppliers and support contracts. Getting to see a FOSS community from the outside for the first time in a while, and it is a super useful exercise for me for understanding what we do well and what we might improve.
Oh, and if you get the urge to buy a Mercedes-Benz B250e or RAV4 EV, go ahead and double check the motor before purchase using the directions here (youtube link):
Those Tesla parts weren’t so reliable, as it occurs, but it is easy to check for damage.