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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all, I am dabbling in the thought of converting my 30-year-old Lada Niva to electric, I live in the UK so the car is extremely rare (especially being an early body shell RHD MPH car), I have been drawn in by the outlander PHEV Meiden 60kw y61 motor for a few reasons;

-Its output shaft matches that of a mid-2000s ford fiesta engine.

-It is rated at 60kw and 195nm at 0-4200rpm and will turn up to 9300rpm (I have heard numbers between 2900 and 5900 for peak power)

-They are relatively cheap (£500 for a refurbished warrantied unit) for an OEM water-cooled motor with a known shaft

Based on my basic ratio math and tape measure work

A: the Lada engine sounds uncomfortable beyond 3200rpm and redline starts around 4,000rpm

It is quoted to make 118nm of torque but that seems like a push

I have briefly spoken to a person who is well regarded in the EV conversion world and he told me a slight reduction is necessary to make it more drivable and improve low-end torque compared to running the motor as a direct drive unit. I want to keep the vehicle 4wd that is undisputed in my mind, my plan would be to do away with the gearbox and have the motor go straight onto the transfer case which has these ratios\/
top gear ratio1.2
bottom gear ratio2.135
My main concern is the loss of 1st gear as it is insanely low and in conjunction with the low ratio it can idle up almost anything, a potential remedy is to have a lower gear set put in the TC for low range
1st3.67
2nd2.10
3rd1.36
4th1.00
5th0.82
Reverse3.53

B: the motor should fit comfortably within the gearbox tunnel and should be easily mountable on the gearbox cradle


NOW... here is my dilemma and my lack of knowledge will really show, Batteries-
So I need to get 400v from somewhere, I have looked into 3 main options

LG Chem Cells, Zero EV sell these as ex OEM test modules (Possibly Jaguar Land Rover as they use those cells in the I pace and their hybrids) these cells are 11v 2.6KHw 60AH and £520 each

Tesla - Daimler units, these occasionally pop up for sale they are 24v 3kwh and usually cost £600-800 each

Yuasa - Mitsubishi units, these are CHEAP and plentiful they are rated at 1.2kWh or 40Ah and 29.2v however all reputable shops say they are really only at 0.8kWh but these cost £200-250

I need help in knowing how to set up these batteries in the appropriate configuration to get 400v and a reasonable range (130-200miles) this may seem high but the car has LOADS of room (the whole under bonnet area would be empty, the fuel tank space and the huge area under the boot floor, for example in the false floor area there is 1000x500x250mm, the fuel tank area 1100x450x250 and the under bonnet area is big enough that people have put Chevy LS engines and Toyota v8s. weight also isn't a huge concern as the car is rated for an internal payload of half a tonne, I have had near 800kg in the vehicle and it has remained fairly composed.

So thanks for any help and replies, I will get back as soon as I can

Kyle
 

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High mileage diesel smart car and a 1992 Lada Niva
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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Hi all, I am dabbling in the thought of converting my 30-year-old Lada Niva to electric, I live in the UK so the car is extremely rare (especially being an early body shell RHD MPH car), I have been drawn in by the outlander PHEV Meiden 60kw y61 motor for a few reasons;

-Its output shaft matches that of a mid-2000s ford fiesta engine.

-It is rated at 60kw and 195nm at 0-4200rpm and will turn up to 9300rpm (I have heard numbers between 2900 and 5900 for peak power)

-They are relatively cheap (£500 for a refurbished warrantied unit) for an OEM water-cooled motor with a known shaft

Based on my basic ratio math and tape measure work

A: the Lada engine sounds uncomfortable beyond 3200rpm and redline starts around 4,000rpm

It is quoted to make 118nm of torque but that seems like a push

I have briefly spoken to a person who is well regarded in the EV conversion world and he told me a slight reduction is necessary to make it more drivable and improve low-end torque compared to running the motor as a direct drive unit. I want to keep the vehicle 4wd that is undisputed in my mind, my plan would be to do away with the gearbox and have the motor go straight onto the transfer case which has these ratios\/
top gear ratio1.2
bottom gear ratio2.135
My main concern is the loss of 1st gear as it is insanely low and in conjunction with the low ratio it can idle up almost anything, a potential remedy is to have a lower gear set put in the TC for low range
1st3.67
2nd2.10
3rd1.36
4th1.00
5th0.82
Reverse3.53

B: the motor should fit comfortably within the gearbox tunnel and should be easily mountable on the gearbox cradle


NOW... here is my dilemma and my lack of knowledge will really show, Batteries-
So I need to get 400v from somewhere, I have looked into 3 main options

LG Chem Cells, Zero EV sell these as ex OEM test modules (Possibly Jaguar Land Rover as they use those cells in the I pace and their hybrids) these cells are 11v 2.6KHw 60AH and £520 each

Tesla - Daimler units, these occasionally pop up for sale they are 24v 3kwh and usually cost £600-800 each

Yuasa - Mitsubishi units, these are CHEAP and plentiful they are rated at 1.2kWh or 40Ah and 29.2v however all reputable shops say they are really only at 0.8kWh but these cost £200-250

I need help in knowing how to set up these batteries in the appropriate configuration to get 400v and a reasonable range (130-200miles) this may seem high but the car has LOADS of room (the whole under bonnet area would be empty, the fuel tank space and the huge area under the boot floor, for example in the false floor area there is 1000x500x250mm, the fuel tank area 1100x450x250 and the under bonnet area is big enough that people have put Chevy LS engines and Toyota v8s. weight also isn't a huge concern as the car is rated for an internal payload of half a tonne, I have had near 800kg in the vehicle and it has remained fairly composed.

So thanks for any help and replies, I will get back as soon as I can

Kyle

EDIT: realistic budget within the next few years will probably be £12,000 any more than that and it's not feasible because a company in eastern Europe make a kit using hyper 9 motor for £14,000 which includes almost everything
 

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... I have been drawn in by the outlander PHEV Meiden 60kw y61 motor for a few reasons;
...
-It is rated at 60kw and 195nm at 0-4200rpm and will turn up to 9300rpm (I have heard numbers between 2900 and 5900 for peak power)
We got into a detailed discussion of these Meiden motors from the Outlander in 67 VW Beetle motor - Meiden 60kW EV Motor?

If the torque limit is constant from zero to some set speed (which is completely normal for modern EVs, determined by a motor current limit imposed by the inverter), then the power rises linearly from zero to the power corresponding to that torque at that speed. If the upper speed of the constant-torque range is 4200 RPM, then the peak power is at 4200 RPM or higher... certainly not 2900 RPM. 195 NM at 4200 RPM is 86 kW, so something is not right with those values. 195 NM at 2900 RPM is 59.2 kW, which makes sense. So the 195 Nm is maintained only to 2900 RPM. As discussed in the thread linked above, the 4200 RPM value is for the Meiden S61 motor found in the front of the Outlander, a higher-speed and lower-torque design; "195nm at 0-4200rpm" is mixing specs from the Y61 and S61.
 

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... I want to keep the vehicle 4wd that is undisputed in my mind, my plan would be to do away with the gearbox and have the motor go straight onto the transfer case which has these ratios\/
top gear ratio1.2
bottom gear ratio2.135
That seemed strange to me - transfer cases normally have a direct drive (1:1 ratio) in high range... but I was not familiar with the Niva's equipment. The most common style of transfer case, used in vehicles which are available both RWD and 4WD, has the output to the rear axle inline with the input from the engine - it's a direct connection, so 1:1; the drive to the front is shifted over and down by gears or a chain drive. The other style, typically used only in vehicles such as Land Rovers which are only available 4WD, puts the shafts to the rear axle inline with the shaft to the front, which is offset to one side (and down) to clear the engine; while those have the gears or a chain drive handling all of the power, the ratio is still usually 1:1 in top range. After some web searching, it appears that the Niva transfer case is the offset design (with shafts to the axles left of and below the input from the transmission), and so a 1.2:1 top range ratio is feasible (although still uncommon).

One concern with using the low range is that many transfer cases can only engage the low ratio in 4WD, and have no centre differential so 4WD is not usable (for lower gearing and better acceleration) on pavement. Even if low range can be engaged, it often uses straight-cut gears which are not tolerable at high speed. Again fortunately, it looks like the Niva uses helical gears in both ranges, and that the 4WD engagement is a simple in/out mechanism for the front axle output, with separate levers for range and 2/4WD, so it should be practical to run in low range and 2WD on pavement. The Niva appears to even have a (lockable) centre differential (in the transfer case, allowing 4WD on pavement).

It also appears that the Niva transfer case is divorced from the transmission, meaning connected by a short jointed shaft rather than directly bolted on (see diagram). That's handy, because it makes mounting and connecting the motor easier. :)

So none of this is likely new to Niva owners (although it was an interesting learning experience for me :)), leaving one suggestion:
If anyone offers different gears with more reduction in both high and low range, that would be better suited to the Meiden Y61, or almost any modern EV motor. I found one set of aftermarket gears which goes the wrong way: it replaces the 2.135:1 low range with 3.152:1, but makes the high range worse (for this purpose) by replacing 1.205:1 with 1.186:1. On one shaft both gears are made as a single part, so you can't change the ratios independently; most listings that I found describe a different ratio for only the low range.
 

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Batteries-
So I need to get 400v from somewhere, I have looked into 3 main options
...
I need help in knowing how to set up these batteries in the appropriate configuration to get 400v...
The Outlander runs a lower voltage than typical recent battery-electric and even plug-in hybrid vehicles. The most common configuration for a BEV is a 96S set of 3.75 V (nominal) cells for 360 V nominal and up to 400 V when charging. The Outlander has similar cells but only 80S for 300 V nominal (and presumably up to 333 V when charging), and the specs for the Meiden motors assume the Outlander's system voltage. It would make sense to me to target the same 80S (300 V) as the Outlander system.
 

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LG Chem Cells, Zero EV sell these as ex OEM test modules (Possibly Jaguar Land Rover as they use those cells in the I pace and their hybrids) these cells are 11v 2.6KHw 60AH and £520 each
These modules appear to be an industry standard (although not widely adopted) VDA 355 size format (about 355 x 151 x 108 mm). The LG units sold by Zero EV are identified in the reference drawing as "X590", which is the internal identifier for the Jaguar I-Pace, or the program which developed it, or the resulting platform. They are 3S4P, so you would need 27 of them to hit 81S and 304 Vnom (resulting in about 73 kWh); the I-Pace uses them in an unusually high-voltage 108S configuration (36 modules so 94 kWh, but Jaguar only claims about 85 kWh). I had not previous heard they are "ex OEM test modules", which sort of explains why they are available (the I-Pace is pretty new and few modules would be available in salvage), but suggests that the quantity of supply would be unreliable.

In the same size, Zero EV also offers CALB modules which they rate at 2.2 kWh and are 4S3P or even 6S2P (instead of the 4S3P of the X590 modules), if you want to build a smaller pack (with proportionally lower energy stored) at the same voltage. For example, 20 4S3P modules would total 80S for 300 Vnom and 44 kWh.

In packaging these modules, keep in mind that they should sit on heat transfer plates (against the large bottom face) for best performance, preferably with liquid circulating through the plates.
 

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High mileage diesel smart car and a 1992 Lada Niva
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
That seemed strange to me - transfer cases normally have a direct drive (1:1 ratio) in high range... but I was not familiar with the Niva's equipment. The most common style of transfer case, used in vehicles which are available both RWD and 4WD, has the output to the rear axle inline with the input from the engine - it's a direct connection, so 1:1; the drive to the front is shifted over and down by gears or a chain drive. The other style, typically used only in vehicles such as Land Rovers which are only available 4WD, puts the shafts to the rear axle inline with the shaft to the front, which is offset to one side (and down) to clear the engine; while those have the gears or a chain drive handling all of the power, the ratio is still usually 1:1 in top range. After some web searching, it appears that the Niva transfer case is the offset design (with shafts to the axles left of and below the input from the transmission), and so a 1.2:1 top range ratio is feasible (although still uncommon).

One concern with using the low range is that many transfer cases can only engage the low ratio in 4WD, and have no centre differential so 4WD is not usable (for lower gearing and better acceleration) on pavement. Even if low range can be engaged, it often uses straight-cut gears which are not tolerable at high speed. Again fortunately, it looks like the Niva uses helical gears in both ranges, and that the 4WD engagement is a simple in/out mechanism for the front axle output, with separate levers for range and 2/4WD, so it should be practical to run in low range and 2WD on pavement. The Niva appears to even have a (lockable) centre differential (in the transfer case, allowing 4WD on pavement).

It also appears that the Niva transfer case is divorced from the transmission, meaning connected by a short jointed shaft rather than directly bolted on (see diagram). That's handy, because it makes mounting and connecting the motor easier. :)

So none of this is likely new to Niva owners (although it was an interesting learning experience for me :)), leaving one suggestion:
If anyone offers different gears with more reduction in both high and low range, that would be better suited to the Meiden Y61, or almost any modern EV motor. I found one set of aftermarket gears which goes the wrong way: it replaces the 2.135:1 low range with 3.152:1, but makes the high range worse (for this purpose) by replacing 1.205:1 with 1.186:1. On one shaft both gears are made as a single part, so you can't change the ratios independently; most listings that I found describe a different ratio for only the low range.
Thanks for replying with so much knowledge and information, the niva is permanent 4wd (like no way to make 2wd without taking props out) and you can switch between diff lock and low range and high range freely seperate of each other (or at least I have for the last 45,000miles) both gear sets in the transfer case are helical, and s reputable parts shop in Poland sells a huge variety of gear sets for the transfer case, and the transfer case is completely disjoined from the gearbox with a tiny propshaft which is two uj's and about 30mms of shaft.

Sent from my SM-G770F using Tapatalk
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
These modules appear to be an industry standard (although not widely adopted) VDA 355 size format (about 355 x 151 x 108 mm). The LG units sold by Zero EV are identified in the reference drawing as "X590", which is the internal identifier for the Jaguar I-Pace, or the program which developed it, or the resulting platform. They are 3S4P, so you would need 27 of them to hit 81S and 304 Vnom (resulting in about 73 kWh); the I-Pace uses them in an unusually high-voltage 108S configuration (36 modules so 94 kWh, but Jaguar only claims about 85 kWh). I had not previous heard they are "ex OEM test modules", which sort of explains why they are available (the I-Pace is pretty new and few modules would be available in salvage), but suggests that the quantity of supply would be unreliable.

In the same size, Zero EV also offers CALB modules which they rate at 2.2 kWh and are 4S3P or even 6S2P (instead of the 4S3P of the X590 modules), if you want to build a smaller pack (with proportionally lower energy stored) at the same voltage. For example, 20 4S3P modules would total 80S for 300 Vnom and 44 kWh.

In packaging these modules, keep in mind that they should sit on heat transfer plates (against the large bottom face) for best performance, preferably with liquid circulating through the plates.
So, zero EV (a local company to me) state in a YouTube overview of the LG Chem module that they are direct test units from a large OEM and that they are in great supply with over 1000 in transit and more in stock
.

What would your recommendation for batteries be?

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I've always liked the Niva...

In the US, the cheapest good batteries you can buy are from a Leaf, and perhaps the best bang/buck would be from a Chevy Bolt, for which a good running car is selling for $10-15k used these days.

Electric GT has started packaging packs that are very configurable in terms of aiming for high voltage:


They claim costs and specs that are comparable to used Model S modules, but they're still pretty new and I haven't seen much in the way of real-world use.
 

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What would your recommendation for batteries be?
All I can recommend is that you understand your needs (for energy and voltage), understand your limitations (such as available spaces and vehicle load capacity), and work out in detail how any potential modules would fit those.
 

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Electric GT has started packaging packs that are very configurable in terms of aiming for high voltage:

The "energy" modules from Electric GT are in the VDA 355 size format and are available in 4S and 6S, like the CALB modules from Zero EV. They may come out of the same factory, for all we know, but they could be unrelated other than the configuration and external format. I see some significant appeal to using modules which could later be replaced, even with modules from a different supplier, without redesigning the whole battery system.

For 130 to 200 miles at 30 kWh per 100 miles (for instance), you would need 40 to 60 kWh, just like current versions of moderately priced production EVs. In 2.2 kWh OX-Drive Energy modules (all are 12 cells at 183 Wh or 50 Ah each), that's 18 to 27 of them for the desired total energy; to hit 96S to match production EV drive unit designs would take 16 of the 6S modules or 24 of the 4S modules... which coincidentally (okay, it's by design not just coincidence) would also provide amounts of energy in the desired range. But if you're looking for 80S (to suit the Outlander components) it would take about 13 modules @ 6S or 20 modules @4S - that's 150 kg (325 lb) for 13 modules (but only 29 kWh) or 230 kg (500 lb) for 20 modules and 44 kWh... plus mounting structure, enclosure, interconnection wiring, BMS wiring, contactors, fuses, maintenance disconnect, and relief vents.

Electric GT's "power" modules offer higher discharge rates and more configuration options, which is promising. The modules appear to be all made of the same cells (220 Wh or 59 Ah) and they offer the standard size (12 cells) in four different configurations (2S6P, 3S4P, 6S2P, and 12S1P), plus two more physical sizes (16 celland 24 cell) in four and six different wiring configurations respectively. Due to the standard cell size and stacking design, they are all the same in two dimensions and vary only in the stack length to suit the total number of cells in the module.

One caution about reading Electric GT's configuration descriptions: the columns in their tables which they label "cells" are almost certainly "cell groups". For instance, rather than stating in their module list on page 5 that their Energy modules are 4S3P and 6S2P, both of roughly 50 Ah cells, they only list them as 4S and 6S, and in pack configurations they list 144 and 96 "cells" for combinations of 24 modules (6S and 4S) which likely contain the same 24 x 12 = 288 cells. They could be using several different cell capacities, always 1P, but it really doubt it. The actual cell count doesn't matter externally, but the physical dimensions make more sense - given that all modules are stacks of identical cells - when you realize that they are making this error in description.

They claim costs and specs that are comparable to used Model S modules, but they're still pretty new and I haven't seen much in the way of real-world use.
Three months ago in another thread, buseybr said that he had ordered OX-Drive Power modules in a special order configuration for his project, apparently to replace his original four LG Chem modules (32S2P overall). I haven't seen an update.
 

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EDIT: realistic budget within the next few years will probably be £12,000 any more than that and it's not feasible because a company in eastern Europe make a kit using hyper 9 motor for £14,000 which includes almost everything
Hi, do you have contact details for this company in Eastern Europe, please?
 

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Hi all, I am dabbling in the thought of converting my 30-year-old Lada Niva to electric, I live in the UK so the car is extremely rare (especially being an early body shell RHD MPH car), I have been drawn in by the outlander PHEV Meiden 60kw y61 motor for a few reasons;

-Its output shaft matches that of a mid-2000s ford fiesta engine.

-It is rated at 60kw and 195nm at 0-4200rpm and will turn up to 9300rpm (I have heard numbers between 2900 and 5900 for peak power)

-They are relatively cheap (£500 for a refurbished warrantied unit) for an OEM water-cooled motor with a known shaft

Based on my basic ratio math and tape measure work

A: the Lada engine sounds uncomfortable beyond 3200rpm and redline starts around 4,000rpm

It is quoted to make 118nm of torque but that seems like a push

I have briefly spoken to a person who is well regarded in the EV conversion world and he told me a slight reduction is necessary to make it more drivable and improve low-end torque compared to running the motor as a direct drive unit. I want to keep the vehicle 4wd that is undisputed in my mind, my plan would be to do away with the gearbox and have the motor go straight onto the transfer case which has these ratios\/
top gear ratio1.2
bottom gear ratio2.135
My main concern is the loss of 1st gear as it is insanely low and in conjunction with the low ratio it can idle up almost anything, a potential remedy is to have a lower gear set put in the TC for low range
1st3.67
2nd2.10
3rd1.36
4th1.00
5th0.82
Reverse3.53

B: the motor should fit comfortably within the gearbox tunnel and should be easily mountable on the gearbox cradle


NOW... here is my dilemma and my lack of knowledge will really show, Batteries-
So I need to get 400v from somewhere, I have looked into 3 main options

LG Chem Cells, Zero EV sell these as ex OEM test modules (Possibly Jaguar Land Rover as they use those cells in the I pace and their hybrids) these cells are 11v 2.6KHw 60AH and £520 each

Tesla - Daimler units, these occasionally pop up for sale they are 24v 3kwh and usually cost £600-800 each

Yuasa - Mitsubishi units, these are CHEAP and plentiful they are rated at 1.2kWh or 40Ah and 29.2v however all reputable shops say they are really only at 0.8kWh but these cost £200-250

I need help in knowing how to set up these batteries in the appropriate configuration to get 400v and a reasonable range (130-200miles) this may seem high but the car has LOADS of room (the whole under bonnet area would be empty, the fuel tank space and the huge area under the boot floor, for example in the false floor area there is 1000x500x250mm, the fuel tank area 1100x450x250 and the under bonnet area is big enough that people have put Chevy LS engines and Toyota v8s. weight also isn't a huge concern as the car is rated for an internal payload of half a tonne, I have had near 800kg in the vehicle and it has remained fairly composed.

So thanks for any help and replies, I will get back as soon as I can

Kyle
Hi, just seen your post. I', a brit living in Spain, plenty of Lada Niva's on the roads here. Hoping to get mine by years end. Very interested to get rid of engine and gearbox and put motor direct to transfer case. I understand your concern re which batteries to go for and even which motor. However, I think getting the gear ratios correct is the key. Once you have settled on this I think the batteries will not be such a problem, as you quite rightly say, on the Niva you have plenty of room and weight handling capabilities. Please keep us posted, I want to follow in your footsteps.
 
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