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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Original spec : 300cc 4 cylinder single stroke, 13hp, 4 speed chain drive, 55mph top speed, curb weight 780lbs

Hi guys. I recently purchased a 1956 Isetta which needs a full restoration. The engine and transmission needs a rebuild so I’m weighing up the option of an EV conversion instead.

I’m new to this game so will need plenty of advice. I’ve restored a couple of cars in the past but don’t have any experience with electric vehicles.

Here are my expectations :

Top speed : Around 35 mph
Range : Around 45 miles
Load : Maximum 2 passengers so + 400lbs

I’ve been looking at everything from Tesla battery packs to golf cart running gear but I’m not sure where to start. I like to keep things simple so some sort of package deal or everything from a single supplier would suit my needs.

I’m limited on space so realize Lithium will be the best battery option.

Any suggestions to point me in the right direction will be greatly appreciated.

Budget : The cost to send off my engine and transmission for rebuild will be around $5000 after replacement parts, so I’d like to be around this price point for the conversion if possible.

Located in Canada so getting parts from USA would be the logical choice (once the border opens again!)

I’ve read through a couple of builds on here but they're 10 years old so not sure how relevant the information will still be.

Many thanks.


iPMBlzp3TyeUY9X2v4n3mQ.jpg
 

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Hi Niall
These are fascinating and wonderful little cars and it's great to see you thinking of converting.
Given packaging and performance targets I'd suggest getting a complete ev motorcycle as a donor, ideally a Zero or maybe super scooter and using the entire system for your build. The wiring and electronics will update the Isetta and the drivetrain and performance will be well suited. Packaging the battery is the biggest hurdle but I think the Zero battery modules 2x 7kwh could go under the seats or behind them.
It would be helpful to see the rear drive and interior space of the vehicle to see what options could work.
But sounds like a great project so good luck.

Cheers
Tyler
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Hey Tyler and thanks for your response.

I'll take a look at electric bikes, that might be a good plan.

I've been talking with Thunderstruck Motors and they have advised an electric go-cart set-up. I'll try and attach a link to the details.

IMG_0037.jpeg

I'll try taking some photos of the interior space available as I'm planning on stripping it down soon for a frame off restoration.
 

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That is a decent list they sent but they're businessmen and I think you can get a better package for less money if you find a Zero motorcycle to use. Might need some time to find it but ask the breakers to keep you informed while you do the restoration work and snap one up when it arrives. Frontal damage is best cause that's what you don't need, forks and frame. The rest you could pretty much transplant to the Isetta minus the large rear wheel. Might need a shorter drive belt and different pulley but the Zero does >80mph and you don't want that so may be ok.

I really like this project, downsizing our transport is a good thing. I'm almost always alone in my 7 seater! I have this now but no roof...





Cheers
Tyler
 
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