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On Monday I'm beginning my EV conversion on a Lotus Europa. I work 4 miles from home so my goal is to be able to drive it to work and back only. I want 10-15 miles of usable range. I also don't need to get above 45 MPH. I feel like these are reasonable goals for my first EV conversion. The car weighs about 1500 pounds with the gas engine in it and it doesn't have power steering or brakes, only lights and power windows. I'm not worried about heat or AC. I just want to be able to drive the 4 miles to work and back in a cool old ev. I want to keep it looking as stock as possible.... I'm not working with an unlimited budget but I am hoping the small goals I have set for the car will help me prioritize and keep costs down. Also I have all of the ICE parts from the Lotus that I'm going to sell to help with the costs. I think a Europa is the perfect car for conversion. It is light and has plenty of room in the back for batteries and stuff... I'm very excited.
 

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I think this is a great project, because the goals are so reasonable. :)

To keep the unassisted steering usable, I would want to avoid putting any battery weight in the front - you didn't mention using the front, but almost everyone does. Ideally everything (motor, transaxle, battery) is near the rear axle or between the rear axle and the driver (where the engine was).

If you use a motor and transaxle salvaged from a modern EV, one complete set of modules from a plug-in hybrid (Chevrolet Volt, Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid, Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV) would have more than enough capacity, and perhaps only a partial set would provide both enough voltage and enough energy. Unfortunately, like many cars of it's type and era, the Europa uses the axle shafts as part of the suspension, so if you use a different transaxle that isn't designed to be used that way you need to upgrade the suspension design (this modification, adding an upper link, is somewhat common even for people using the stock transaxle).
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I think this is a great project, because the goals are so reasonable. :)

To keep the unassisted steering usable, I would want to avoid putting any battery weight in the front - you didn't mention using the front, but almost everyone does. Ideally everything (motor, transaxle, battery) is near the rear axle or between the rear axle and the driver (where the engine was).

If you use a motor and transaxle salvaged from a modern EV, one complete set of modules from a plug-in hybrid (Chevrolet Volt, Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid, Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV) would have more than enough capacity, and perhaps only a partial set would provide both enough voltage and enough energy. Unfortunately, like many cars of it's type and era, the Europa uses the axle shafts as part of the suspension, so if you use a different transaxle that isn't designed to be used that way you need to upgrade the suspension design (this modification, adding an upper link, is somewhat common even for people using the stock transaxle).
Brian, Thank you so much for the encouragement. I do plan on keeping everything in the back(batteries, controller, motor, etc) but I never considered upgrading the suspension. This I will absolutely look into. The motor and transmission are out and I was planning on trying to mate an electric engine to the transmission and then install them both back to the original transaxle.... But we will see what I can get and what fits. I have never done this before although I have worked on my own vintage ICE cars before. Thank you so much for your interest in my project. I'll do my best to keep everyone up to date on my progress/struggles!
 

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I do plan on keeping everything in the back(batteries, controller, motor, etc) but I never considered upgrading the suspension. This I will absolutely look into. The motor and transmission are out and I was planning on trying to mate an electric engine to the transmission and then install them both back to the original transaxle.... But we will see what I can get and what fits.
That's the easiest configuration to build mechanically, as it keeps the suspension original and the transaxle supports at least one end of the motor. It also keeps some of the character of the original powertrain, as you can still shift the transmission for best motor performance. It does cause a packaging challenge, as the motor is sitting in the middle of the best big space for battery module mounting.
 

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Well after a lot of research I don't have the time to complete this job in a reasonable amount of time. I have other things going that I'm afraid will turn it into a pile of stuff in my garage for the next 20 years and not a cool EV... My father, who I was getting the car from, still has it for sale. If anyone is interested I would be happy to forward along his info. It's a great little car that is ready for a great conversion! Sorry to disappoint.
 

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Well after a lot of research I don't have the time to complete this job in a reasonable amount of time. I have other things going that I'm afraid will turn it into a pile of stuff in my garage for the next 20 years and not a cool EV... My father, who I was getting the car from, still has it for sale. If anyone is interested I would be happy to forward along his info. It's a great little car that is ready for a great conversion! Sorry to disappoint.
I'm sure you're disappointed. Where is the car located? I am starting to look for a donor vehicle and have considered the Europa. Please let me know whatever info you can about its condition, contact info, etc. Thanks!
Eddie
 

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I'm sure you're disappointed. Where is the car located? I am starting to look for a donor vehicle and have considered the Europa. Please let me know whatever info you can about its condition, contact info, etc. Thanks!
Eddie
Sorry Eddie but the car sold. It was in Colorado. Good luck finding a donor!
 
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