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· Registered
4 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi all, i've been wanting to have an electric car since the 80's - who didnt? anyway, i'm 43 now :( and life etc got in the way, but now i have some time and a small workshop, and would LOVE to convert a car to Battery power!

budget is not huge, i reckon i might be able to spend £3000 on it (and maybe another GBP £3000 in 12 months time?? )

I've purchased a very cheap smart car (it was a mates). He says the engine is lacking power, it has 2 flat tyres (it was basically clogging up the street outside his house), but otherwise it's ok. It even has a current MOT (running out soon).

Mechanical Skills: not great but i'm a quick learner.

Fabrication Skills: OK (...ish - i own a stick welder), and have made various heavy duty implements for my 1970 tractor, but they didnt require finesse, at all. (no seriously... a hammer was my 'careful' tool)

Donor car: Smart City Pulse 3dr (2001)
Already purchased for £200

range wanted: 45 miles (not 100% sure)
Basically to my wife's workplace and back (30mi) + 15mi for safety.

performance: 0-60mph in 10sec (again not 100%)
Doesn't need to break land speed record - but having said that, it would be fun to have it accelerate quickly 0-20mph.

Budget: £3000 to start with
This is a figure plucked from my head - i'd 'rather' not spend more than this asap but i am pragmatic, so we'll see.

i'm hoping to do an AC motor conversion. but i know nothing right now to don't hold me to that.

I'm currently clearing out the workshop of junk to make room for the Smart Car. i've actually never seen the car so i hope it's ok.
Should be receiving the car on Thursday next week :)

As the GB pound has collapsed recently are there any UK firms making good EV motors/batterys? (forgot to say i live in Suffolk, in the UK).

i hope to update with pics etc as it happens.

would love any advice/help from you guys o/

· Registered
1,320 Posts
Hi. A perfect donor would be a damaged Mitsubishi i-MIEV if you can find one and basically transplant all of it into the smart. Been tempted to do this myself. There's even one in the for sale section a little while ago.


· Registered
4 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
I see what you did there Tyler ;p

Ok update...
i saw my Donor Smart car for the first time. It's pretty rough and has some bodywork damage. So i'm considering a different donor car altogether.

I've had a look round this site but cant see a list of "good" starting vehicles for EV conversions, does such a list exist?

i'd assume it'd be small light cars with Low(ish) CD, presumably not too new and expensive either...

Any idea where i can get a cheap car (<£500) with a low CD AND small frontal area???

lol i guess i'm back to the drawing board

ok i found this list...

· Administrator
6,647 Posts
I think you are looking at this wrong - you will not save money on any converted car
The cheapest solution is simply to use an old cheap IC car

The reason for doing a conversion is because you want to - so select a car that you really want
A classic car or a sports car - something that will make something that you really want

· Registered
4 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
cheers Duncan. i totally see what you mean, it's obvious now you've said it! i wasn't impressed with the smart car. I think you are right. Start with a car you like.... hmm...

Cars i could like:

  • small/sporty

  • classic car

  • unassuming car (with monster acceleration inside!)

  • pickup truck (i have one of these at the mo, and the cost of diesel makes me wince on the infrequent times i have to use it), so this could be a good one. Although i think id have to start with a different one, mine is a bit too modern/costly to muck about with it - maybe i could sell it once the EV one is done.
more ebay research required
great advice cheers :)
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