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New guy, rare car, no clue.

1114 Views 6 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  Jimbo69ny
Hey everyone, I've got a weird one for you.

I semi-recently got my hands on the best little microcar, a Charly Camel, made by All-Cars. Well, the previous owners didn't like the 50cc motor, so they welded in a pocket bike engine and generally ruined a perfectly good car. I'd like to fix that, and I think the car would make a perfect little EV.

Thing is, I'm on a budget. Before I dedicate myself to a possible pipe dream, I'd like to know what I could expect to pay to electrify a little car like this. So, about the car:

1.It probably weighs >300.
2. It will never need to top 50mph, travel more than 40 miles on a charge, and will probably never carry more than one passenger and some groceries.
3. It has 3 wheels. It was shockingly stable, but that's likely because the engine bay is directly between the two rear wheels. I'm not largely concerned about what type of battery it uses, but I need to be be able to mount it underneath the car and technically exposed.
4. Its basically a fiberglass cockpit mounted on a triangular frame, other than lights it won't be powering any accessories. Not sure if that matters.
5. It has to be able to climb a substantial hill.

I'm not concerned about getting it built, I'm handy enough and know some guys, but I'm just not too knowledgeable on the parts available or the prices involved. If I can get this little toy rolling for a good price, I'd be ecstatic.


1 - 7 of 7 Posts

· Administrator
6,613 Posts
Where are you - put your location on your CP - makes lots of thing easier!

How much were you intending to spend?

Minimum would be a forklift motor (I paid $100 for mine) - the controller off the forklift and a 48v Chevy Volt module
Maybe $1000 ? all together + $500 for all the other bits
But get as many of them from the forklift place as you can

That will probably not quite get you your 50 mph - will depend on your gearing - or your 40 miles range

Adding an additional Volt battery module and a controller that will handle the extra voltage will make the target easy! - but may be a bit frighteningly fast

· Registered
1,033 Posts
+ 1 on golf cart drivetrain - do some research and see which ones have the best power/gearing options for a street legal vehicle. get one that was designed for 48V or higher, and run 72V minimum battery (meaning upgraded charger and controller, the motor will probably be fine) For batteries, get 10-12 leaf modules (or 20-24, paralleled), aforementioned volt module, or a bank of 24 100ah LiFePO4's. Don't bother with lead.

Another approach to the drivetrain might be an ATV rear axle unit, with engine replaced by electric motor.

· Registered
8,516 Posts
Golf cars (carts) seem to routinely use a live beam axle with a motor mounted on it... which appears to be is the same design as the original All-Cars Charly Camel, so it would be historically appropriate and more importantly would fit in well. With the motor on the back side of the axle, and suspension arms locating the axle up each side, would there be a reasonable box-shaped battery space ahead of the axle and under the floor?

ATV hardware - especially a UTV (side-by-side) powertrain - makes sense for size, but it looks like a typical ATV/UTV powertrain would take the entire space available... leaving no room for a battery.
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