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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello from Toronto Canada!

I am in the design stages of building a classic Mini EV. I bought the car when I was 13 and restored it over 10 years. However, I have been using it and loving it for the past 10 years (I’m 33 now), however it is time for it to be updated. I am thinking I want to toss out the old A-Series with 36hp and install an Electric Motor.

I was thinking about design a little bit. I have a few books I have to read to understand the EV conversion better, but I think I have a design in mind that maybe I could get some feedback on.

I really like the idea of using the differential from a motorcycle engine swap. This would allow me to skip on a transmission and run the motor super low in front of the diff. I think this would help lower the center of gravity of the car and also allow me to mount some batteries above the motor to keep the weight distribution not too far out of whack.

In the rear I would replace the rear subframe with a beam style subframe and coil overs which would drop quite a bit of weight from the rear of the car. It was also allow me to pretty much drop the entire rear floor by about 4-6” to make a battery box that is quite large and would sit low in the trunk. I think I would build a bit of a frame around the battery box and tie it into some strong points to give a little more strength to the rear in the event of a rear ender. The car also has a roll cage in it that I could tie into the rear box section. I will also most likely replace the steel trunk lid with a composite one to reduce weight in the rear.

It is almost always driven under 70km/h as I use it to zip around the city…I wouldn’t mind a top speed of 80+ but if that is completely out of the question that is okay. I however would like some decent acceleration.

List of planned components:
- ES 31B electric Motor from D&D with their controller
- Promotive Sprocket Mini Diff ( I think once I got the ratio perfect I would put in a belt drive to make it a little more quiet. I would also look into an LSD to avoid wheel spin.
- Battery? Maybe a 96V @ 20.5kWh (200Ah - 32 Cells) from Canada EV? Are there cheaper options with similar range? Used EV Batteries?
- Forced cooling?

As of now I know very little about EV’s. So I guess my questions are:

- Does this plan look okay?
- Do I need a transmission? Or would being sprocket/belt driven allow me to choose a gear ratio that would be ideal enough to outweigh the benefits of gears (low center of gravity, simplicity of mounting and much more space in the engine bay to put some batteries and keep the weight ratio decent)
- What sort of range should I expect
- Is this plan terrible and I should just keep the A-Series

Should I move this to a different part of the forum? I’m not really ready to tear apart the mini this summer, so it is really in the concept stages right now. Also I have to sell an E30 to make some space and add some funds.

Thanks for any input!

Pic of the Mini

6,544 Posts
I'm an old "mini guy" - I was very tempted to go "mini" when I built my EV

Back in the days I had a 1430cc A series in my mini convertible - after 40,000 miles it was about worn out so I fitted a two litre Lancia twin cam - Holbay Cams and twin webers gave me about 170 hp - great fun

The picture is in "track mode" - the wheel arch extensions and the slicks would come off for normal driving

If I had a nice mini (no rust) today I would try and fit a Nissan Leaf motor in the front

The later Leafs have the charger on top of the motor - that may make them too tall but you CAN - with a bit of work - move the charger
Or get an earlier motor without the charger on top


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