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Land Cruiser EV

6419 Views 4 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  brian_
Hi, I would like to convert a Toyota land cruiser 2001 automatic transmission to an electric vehicle. Is it possible to be done on an automatic transmission, and I would like to use it for mud driving which motor should I go for an AC or DC and what type of batteries to get the highest range and also I have no idea about controllers anyone would like to help :D
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You are asking questions that are pretty common, and several of them, like how to choose a motor and whether or not automatic transmissions will work have had a lot of coverage. If you look around on some of the earlier threads you will find a lot more detail, but to summarize:

an AC motor system like a dual stack remy coupled with a reinhart inverter (typically sold as a set) would probably be best for a vehicle that will be getting very dirty, as they are fully enclosed and liquid cooled. These are very nice motors but are also quite pricey. DC motors which are often recommended on budget and torque arguments are open frame and will probably have a lot of trouble with all the dirt and lack of cooling during low speed, high torque operation. You might be able to mitigate that with very high gear reduction and very powerful forced air cooling with good dirt filtration. If you did go with DC an 11" warp or bigger would probably be appropriate, and a Z1K or bigger would be plenty of power.

Automatic transmissions can work, but are more complex to set up and unless customized heavily require the motor to 'idle'. The best thread on here is the one about setting up a powerglide for EV use. But barring extreme requirements, what is the point? you get very high torque from zero with an electric motor already, which would be a great benefit to an off road vehicle. Just pick a gear range with the manual, and let the advantages of the electric motor do their thing.

Plowing through mud is going to dramatically limit any range you might get in what is already a challenging chassis (a late model full sized SUV) to get much range out of. For example if you were to take the top-of-the-line 100kwh battery from a brand new Tesla model S/X and put it in your land cruiser, you would probably see 120-150 miles of range at 60mph. This assumes you don't have giant mud bogger tires. If you do, reduce the range estimate proportionally to the reduction in gas mileage you would expect from the same lift setup in a gasser.

Most EV conversions use either leaf battery packs (24 or 30kwh each) or volt battery packs (16kwh each). You can do the math on how much range would be likely relative to the 'best case' tesla pack.

The good news about EV offroading is when you are in technical stuff and doing a lot of tight manuevering, working with a spotter, crawling, stopping to think, etc. you aren't idling and using any power, so in that situation you might see decent battery endurance, but in the flying-through-the-mud case you will be burning battery very fast.

You might note that the best components suggested are not cheap. You did not specify your budget. EVs are all about efficiency when getting range, and propelling a large SUV through mud is not efficient. That means big battery, and big $.

Good luck.
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