I agree, but check that the motor will fit (in width) into that space. Duncan's car has a custom tube frame which can be any size, but with the Sprite you're either fitting into a tunnel designed for a narrow transmission, or modifying.Putting the motor where the tranny would normally reside, is the logical thing to do. It would free up a lot of space for batteries.
I agree that shifting is part of the driving experience, but keeping weight down and avoiding battery mass stuck way out front (which is what most people do in these conversions when they keep the transmission and use up the engine space with a lump of motor) might be more important to preserving the feel of the car.I'm just afraid it would lose its sports car feel if it didn't have the transmission.
The plug-in hybrids (including the Chevrolet Volt which is a popular source of battery modules for conversions) typically have about 16 kWh of battery capacity. That means an entire set of their modules would work, but for a brushed DC motor with most controllers they need to be reconfigured for lower voltage.I will need about 16kWh to have a range of about 60 miles. Of course we would always like to have more.
More would be nice, but even 16 kWh is going to be difficult to fit in.
I like that battery box idea. I assume that this means cutting out the floor above the fuel tank, and building the box to occupy both the space originally containing the fuel tank and the space occupied by the spare tire above the floor. This is unfortunately right out at the rear end of the car, which is not good for dynamics (handling), so don't try to put all of the battery there.If you are not familiar with Bugeyes, they have no trunk lid. You access the trunk area from behind the seats in the cockpit area. I may have to cut out the trunk floor and build a battery box that installs from underneath the car.
If by some miracle you can get in enough battery without filling the engine bay to the top, perhaps a shallow front trunk over the front battery pack (or over the motor, if you keep the transmission) could replace some of the original trunk volume?