Why We Should Care About Electric Vehicle Conversion
Initially, I wanted to rant about my terrible experiences with LTO, the licensing agency for land transportation in the Philippines but I think it’s incredibly trite here. If all I can do is just write about how inefficient and corrupt they are overall without taking legal action, it could be an exercise in futility. This post may have a bit of that but there are greater concerns about the future.
Towards the year end, I took a cleaner path of not feeding the corrupt system and have gone through the more challenging part of vehicle renewal registration, which is doing it all yourself. No matter who you’d ask, yes, it is actually difficult. Believe it or not, that is how incredibly inefficient the office is in Baguio. It may be worse in other cities. So far, the way it goes here is you may be luckier on pandemic days than normal days. The term used for some people is “async” when you instantly get lucky by procrastinating for months and suddenly decide to walk into an office without ANY queue on the right time of the day. Unfortunately, that was not me. I was not that lucky, but relatively still lucky. The first time I hiked at the second highest peak of the country, I saw the sea of clouds and runrise. Majestic. Meanwhile one of my doctors spent 20 times trying to experience the same thing and failed. When it comes to government-related matters, I may be the least lucky. I spent a lot of time and money just going through the process. What is terrible: I got a perfect score for my theoretical driving test only to find out some rich guys just pay some guys to take the damn test for them. What is the point of having a CCTV on that room anyway? It was damn easy, rich guys. Took a little over 10 minutes for me to finish it and got perfect. Please change the system soon. The time you spend going through this depends on how much money you have as always.
Apart from this experience, I realized how incredibly expensive and wasteful the idea of the combustion engine is after learning how to do nearly all of the maintenance work myself. Cars are overall not for everyone, and this was precisely why I avoided having one when I was more nomadic in my 20’s. I lived like 1 km away from Burnham Park. Some of my relatives really do live around the park which is not so much of an advantage in this pandemic. The virus is airborne. A lot of my relatives died of resperatory diseases including COVID-19. And yes, it is true you are not allowed to have a wake. They are cremated according to the standards recommended by the WHO. When I was living around the area, I had to wake up at 5 A.M if I wanted to breathe slightly cleaner air for walk to the park. After seeing a maniac trying to chase my sister who was jogging with me, I definitely stopped having that as a hobby. Baguio is safe however. There is a police in nearly every block of the city’s park. Please just be aware that some days, even that won’t work well for you.
Currently, I live in another tourist area which is now thankfully for locals living around the area only. It isn’t extremely far from the city but we have no sidewalks on highways. Try to cite a Philippine city with a sidewalk that isn’t used by cars for parking. Yes, I will never hear from you because it is NON-EXISTENT. The forest reserve is guarded by police whose sole jobs are to look for errant tourists trying to hike around the area. The air is cleaner because while there are big trucks trying to look for freeish parking in the area, there are less cars. Despite having a lot less cars, I plan to have 100 trees to be planted around the property. They act as deterrents of both thieves and air pollution.
Carbonization and idiotic capitalism
If you have owned a car for some time, you know how crucial it is to follow the full preventive maintenance schedule. You can do it yourself but many people cannot even go under their car or use a ratchet wrench properly. Overall, it is costly. Honestly, it would be disastrous to have a driver who doesn’t even know how to change a tire.
When carbon builds up on part of your engine, particularly the throttle body, the air intake valve, the fuel injectors and even air intake manifold, your fuel economy will drop to nearly 20% of the average fuel economy for your car. What is the real cost of maintenance? Unfortunately, it is a lot because you cannot clean carbon deposits with water. I found a YouTube channel that perfectly explains to people how to clean their air intake valve and how you need a good carb cleaner for that. Overall you need a lot of different kinds of cleaners to remove carbon for different parts of the engine. The Mass Airflow Sensor cleaner is not exactly a carbon cleaner, it removes oil too and reduces the chance of getting the check engine light.
That is not the end of your expense list if you think you can just super clean everything to make your fuel economy exactly what the average reported ones or even better. The best path is to take your car to a mechanic who will do a full preventive maintenance and clean off the engine sludge that will never be removed by fake engine flush products. For older cars, you will always need to buy a lot of fuel additives and engine oil additives. These are two different products usually added after every 4000 km or the change oil schedule of your car. The change oil schedule also depends on the age of your vehicle. If it is older, you should not follow the manual. Apart from doing engine oil flush, you should do change oil a lot more often.
Many modern cars have what is called an IACV or Idle Air Control Valve responsible for letting air in when you are not accelerating. Often, it is impossible to remove the carbon inside of the valve because you can completely damage it. Depending on your car make and model, the cost can be low to absurdly high. Locally, I found an original Mitsubishi Lancer IACV but it costs $400. It is just a tiny valve. Overall, it wasn’t shocking compared to transmission repair costs I have gone through. That was well over $1800.
Many sedan users have reported that changing timing belts can reduce fuel economy because of course, the alternator performance is affected. They had to ask people why despite the fact a lot of papers were released before they asked about it. This also proves that people buy things they do not understand, because it is the only convenient choice. What is the alternator anyway? It converts mechanical energy to electrical energy, which overall is inefficient compared to not having any conversion. A DC current from a battery charged can just power up everything and the heart of electric vehicles and renewable energy systems are actually batteries, not the sun or wind. I am pretty sure someone can turn a damn typhoon into an opportunity if they wanted to but this is research-level in Japan at the moment. Not a reality.
What I am talking about so far is just part of the idiotic capitalism that helped people accept the conventional cars we have. They are mostly Japanese cars, and the bad news is Toyota is making more idiotic cars for the future compared to other carmakers. They are building hydrogen cars. A lot of videos have explained the conversion waste. I am more concerned about how users become less independent because it is far more complicated than just charging your car on your existing solar system. I would be honest I do not want to see a single hydrogen station anywhere in my country. Just get the hell out of here.
We fed the system when we accepted the system as though it is the only thing that makes sense. Similar to our Philippine government corruption, they exist because we fed them. Baguio City has new mini buses contributing to air pollution around the city because the Australian company that proposed the electric vehicle ones failed to deal with the bureaucracy likely. From dreaming of green smart city, my city has degraded even further.
Without a doubt, the Philippines did hit rock bottom with its ways ranking LAST of all countries in the world for COVID-19 resiliency. I am fully vaccinated only because I live in Baguio City, the city with the highest vaccination rate in the country. Imagine the rest of the country. How do they even live?
This is not an “I hate how everything works” kind of rant. I mean seriously everything was just incredibly idiotic and political. We have seen how America degraded and waged wars due to fact that is an OIL ADDICTED country. As a
former American colony, we are eerily similar.
The global South including Australia is suffering due to carbon emissions. Recently, a typhoon took lives on Southern Philippines. Even parts of Malaysia experience flooding. I have been to these countries. Actually lived in these countries. Much of Malaysia’s terrain is similar to the Philippines. They have a Genting highlands which has slightly higher recorded temperatures due to fact we are much close to colder region of the world here in Northern Philippines. A lot of their cities look resilient enough as they are not as highly urbanized as Manila, but they still experiencing floods. Some Canberra residents found their car windshields damaged due to a hail storm. I just saw this on my Australian cousin’s Instagram which I haven’t checked in 2 years to be honest. Everything is just bad news or food porn.
This instability in the South has led to a lot of corruption even in countries perceived to have a lot less corruption. To keep the economy going, you have to lie somehow to the general public.
No one can deal with fire. Some scientists can tell you it is some kind of organism in the ocean causing this is which is just fake news and idiotic once again. It is climate change.
China has been higly criticized for many things, including its increasingly autocratic ways. I have separate opinions of their government and their people. Their government is vile. They killed pets of owners who tested positive for COVID-19. There was a missile attack on the the disputed West Philippine Sea which I believe my country really owns legally and undisputedly, and the whole world knows it.
I think that overall the Chinese are geniuses. They have a patent for a lot of important technology that will actually make sense for the future and fix the world. Recently I even bought an aftermarket thermostat housing for my car from AliExpress that was a whole lot better than the original design. Because why in the world will you have the ground pin touching water and coolant? They got rid of that and everything works better. The cause of the overheating was that design so the Engine Coolant sensor was not working properly. Overall, they know how to fix things and how to make things less idiotic.
Why I am converting my old Lancer to an electric vehicle
The maintenance costs are absurd and conventional cars are noisy. It is true they make a lot more noise no matter how you super clean every part of the system. I bought fuel injector cleaners and a lot of things you probably don’t know exist for cleaning car engine parts, but even if I know how to do all these, it is useless.
I really did the Math. There are apps for this. Although, it didn’t cost me a lot compared to what some people paid for, I believe learning about conventional cars is the most useless thing I have ever done in my life. I could have learned about EV conversion without knowing how it works because yes, you can actually get rid of nearly everything in the car. Only the fans and condenser would be useful.
This is the reason why I did not change everything because they would be overall useless in the future. I build my own powerwalls, so I am not part of the crowd who buys Tesla’s. I built a lot of them. Even 48V powerwalls. A lot of the important parts handling charging were from China. Unfortunately, even the wires are made in China because it is rare to find silicone wires from the Philippines. I thought going through 7 years of school was undergraduate and graduate school was useless, but this was even worse because yes, THIS SHOULD NOT BE THE FUTURE.
Many Filipino engineers have already converted their cars to electric vehicle. My friend called me saying he knows a guy who converts cars into electric vehicles. The cost was too low I am certain it is incorrect. Always doubt something that sounds too good to be true. My overall guess is it would cost 180,000 PHP minimum to convert most sedans to an electic vehicle. The parts will be similar to what I have for my house. I found some Filipino companies getting rid of the Lead Acid which is crucial because this is not ideal for both cars and houses. They made it so smart that you can turn off your car engine with your phone in case it gets stolen.
Why can’t I just buy a new electric vehicle?
Because it is wasteful too. I would rather spend that on Soju and Philippine mangos. The best of Asian stuff. Overall, there will be more waste if we treat old cars like old iPhones. And somehow maybe even old iPhones would get better treatment by those who only know how to take a selfie.
I have seen everything under my car and it looks like it will last for another decade. The best news is some critical brake parts can be upgraded to better ones as many have done this and shown how. Overall, it looks like kids stuff and anyone can do it.
Please note my car is automatic, and my license states specifically that I cannot drive anything other than an automatic 5-seater vehicles. LTO has changed the rules. It makes sense. The only thing that makes sense actually. I am still anti-LTO overall.
EV kits are currently expensive, and while I studied nearly ALL of the wiring on my engine bay, I will not do it myself. Yes, I really mean nearly everything. It is good thing to know nearly everything, but some knowledge is useless in the future. I will add learning combustion engine as one of the top things you should never learn. You can learn about the old financial system and Generally Accepted Accounting Principles, and I am certain that would be around even after web3000 or whatever they will call it. But learning about fixing conventional cars is an expense you should not take unless of course, the problems are minimal like carbon buildup on valves and fuel injectors which you can do yourself.
Similar to house powerwall systems, cars should have 48V batteries and never 12V ones. Why? Because unlike the conventional cars that use fuel, you will need either a battery swap which NIO does or recharging your electric vehicle. My country does not have a single electric vehicle charging station. NADA. Because I know about the buck down converters, I am not afraid of the fact you need 48V ones. Well, if they fail, just treat them like a spare tire on your trunk. They are getting tinier each year by the way. Smaller than the smallest screwdriver.
Another important question in the future is how will LTO deal with these car modifications. Normally, during vehicle inspection they check your engine code and whether the engine still matches what is on the original car model. Likely, they will charge me higher for the conversion much like how the Bureau of Customs charges us more if we have something over $200 shipped from overseas. If you are a Filipino, what do you think? Will they go lower than how they already are now? I am quite certain everyone in the world can go the right direction but this government can only get more idiotic.
I was in my college years when they were talking about “smart cities.” And so far, there is nothing smart even about road designs. If you lived nearly everywhere, you will see a significant difference in road designs. Philippine roads seemed to have been built and designed by low I.Q DPWH corrupt officials. Traveling is expensive right now, but search how roads look like overseas and compare them to how roads look like in the Philippines. Every year, it is getting even worse.
In the future, I hope my car upgrades will be done and the world will look a lot better. We hope for less calamities. The easiest for me to work on were the sensor installations. I have front and back sensors. They are also crucial for safety reasons. Car automation and AI is not even important. Honestly please just learn how to drive. These are absolutely useless tech for me.