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Discussion Starter #1
I have been interested in the idea of a DIY Electric Car project for a while now - I'm an Electronic Engineer by training, and not super mechanically inclined, but I figured the best way to tie everything together would be a big project. I'm young (23), so a project car/conversion has been off the table - but I'm decently happy that I want to do this, and so will try and commit all I can to this idea :) I saw a couple of conversions in an MGF/TF researching it and kind of fell in love with the idea. The car seems alright to convert, mid-engined with a drop-out rear subframe- some space for batteries (It's not perfect but a pack distributed between front and back could be used. Electricmg.com has done his all in the back in a way similar to what I think I'd like to do)

If anyone's got experience doing conversions in the UK, specifically with parts sourcing and eventually with what legal requirements are in place to get a conversion roadworthy I'd greatly appreciate it!

Your skill level with auto mechanics and fabrication
Functional but not amazing - I do most of my own maintenance, but I drive a car that's only from 5 years ago - and it doesn't break often, so there's not a lot to fix. Can fabricate some stuff decently - though I think i'll end up relying a bit on local friends who are more tooled-up and experienced than I am.

The range you are hoping to get (how many miles/charge)
50-70miles. I am thinking of using salvaged cells from a wrecked EV - this seems a much much cheaper way of assembling a large lithium pack.

What level of performance you are hoping to get
Sprightly. it's a sports car after all. AC motor seems like the way to go, as DC is old-tech now.

How much money you are willing to put into your project
Probably £10-12K as a cap if I can keep it under that (I don't have a great track record of projects sticking to budget...). Figure that using salvaged EV cells, perhaps from a wrecked Leaf or other EV will become more avaliable as time passes - and being realistic with my life where it is at the moment, I'm not going to be starting until next year anyway.

What parts you've already considered, if any.
  • Battery - Salvaged cells from a Nissan Leaf? Aiming for ~120V nominal system
  • BMS - i've no idea what would work well for my pack - more research needed.
  • Motor - Something like an HPEVS AC-5x or Hyper9. The latter sounds tempting as it's a good deal more powerful and around the same price for me in the UK. I considered going DC - but I'm quite keen to have regen braking for 1-pedal style driving. Transmission-wise I'm keen also to make it so anyone can hop in and drive it without much trouble - so keeping the original transmission in place with it's clutch.
  • Charger - Something that can use Level 2 charging stations - maybe not all the way up to 7kW but it'd be nice to know I could drive it a 100 miles in a single day with one or two longer stops. (5-7 hours or something).
  • Accessories - Keep the original (electric) power steering, No idea what to do for AC/heating (but it's a convertible, so minimal)

Thanks for your time and I welcome any tips or advice for someone starting out!
 

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How about getting a crashed Leaf and putting everything into your MG - more power than a wimpy Hyper9 - and probably 300 hp with a different controller
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Some updates since back in August...

Ive got the donor car now, and a better idea of what's avaliable. Current Drivetrain plan is a Siemens Ford Ranger motor and inverter from a forum member.

Malvern is a bit of a trek as I'm from Bristol but it's a kind offer regardless 🙂 What parts did you get into the TF you have up there Skooler?
 

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I'm in a similar position to you. Accidentally bought an MG F 6 months ago when an Ebay auction didn't go very high at all.

I saw the Indra MG TF at Fully Charged this year and it is a very smart conversion. Convinced me that the Leaf motor would work great.

I am just working on some smaller projects first while I get some funds up for the required parts. After working with pouch cells I am very keen to try Leaf modules, feels like they would be far easier to work with.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Indra had their TF at Fully Charged? I must have been blind, or my 23 year old memory is already going senile! Didn't spot it on the Friday this year :)

I was keen to not work with really small cells too - Pouches seem even sketchier in regards to packaging them for safety, but I had the option of buying a large number of lightly used 18650 cells and avoided that because the labour and high degrees of parallelisation needed scared me off :) Tesla might be able to do that well - but I'm not capable of spending their R&D budget designing a large pack of 18650s that won't overheat and explode etc. Leaf cells seemed like a decent balance between cost, avaliability and complexity of building up a battery pack - and it's proven as well - There is an almost finished MGF conversion in Australia that fits around 20kWh of Leaf cells in.

Currently my project is a bit stagnant as funds have dried up for now, and I've my TF off-road in the meantime. If you're local and want to meet up to exchange ideas etc. let me know :) I'm in Clevedon so that isn't too far away whatever part of Somerset you're in...

edit: It's not my eyesight, it's my memory... I even took a picture of Indra's TF :eek: My bad Skooler for not remembering it straight!
 

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Definitely with you on the pouch cells. They work fine for my off road quad bike project where the max current draw is about half of their max capacity. But wouldn't trust my fabrication abilities to hook them up for a car.

The nice thing about leaf cells is that it shouldn't be too hard to upgrade to the 48kWh modules once they drop in price.

I'm only on the other side of the Mendips, so would be good to exchange ideas sometime in the new year.
 
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