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Hi Team,

Interested in building an EV for my daughters first car. Looking for a late 70's early 80's rwd Japanese sedan. Unless you convince me a fwd is easier.
Couldn't imagine a better first car than one you don't have to put fuel in or service every 10,000kms. What a saving for a young person trying to navigate this hectic world!

Anthony
 

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If operational cost savings are the main motivation, it would be more practical, and produce a better-performing and safer vehicle, to just buy a used EV... or at least it would be here, but I don't know about the used market in Australia. If someone is relying on a home-built EV, and they didn't build it, reliability and their ability to understand and handle little glitches in operation could be a concern.

Front- or rear-wheel drive can both work.

If you want to use a complete drive unit (motor, transaxle, and inverter/controller) salvaged from a production EV then it will be easiest to convert a transverse front engine front-wheel-drive... because most production EVs are just electric versions of other models with that layout. If you want to use a complete Tesla Model S/X drive unit, the easiest conversion is something that started rear-engine (such as any air-cooled VW, but unfortunately none of your target Japanese models), which gives you rear wheel drive.

If you will be bolting a motor in place of an engine on the car's original transmission, it doesn't matter much if it is front- or rear- wheel drive.

One of the biggest challenges in a conversion is usually finding space for all of the battery modules. That's probably at least as big a concern as motor and drivetrain arrangement, so think of that in your vehicle choice. Almost all production EVs which have designs adapted from production engine-driven vehicles have substantially modified floors to accomodate an under-seat and under-floor battery pack - it doesn't just fit in spaces vacated by the engine and fuel tank.
 
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