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About a year ago, I bought a 1968 Corvair 500, thinking it would be a good donor for an EV conversion: 2 speed powerglide transaxle, relatively light weight (2550 lbs) and room for batteries in the 'frunk'. The car only has 14,000 miles, so I have been enjoying it with the ICE until now, but I think I'm ready to get started.

My goal is to have a nice little Chicago commuter vehicle. Work is 10 miles each way. I would like to be able to take it on the highway. So 35 miles/ 70 mph seems like a reasonable target.

I have considered these broad strategies:

Budget: get a refurbished electric motor and some deep-cycle 12v batteries. Pull the ICE, bolt the motor to the existing transaxle, distribute the batteries at various locations around the car.

Prius: I have a 2006 Prius in good mechanical condition I would be willing to donate to the cause. This has some real benefits in terms of range, modern systems, etc. I know the "Corvarius" would be a major project.

All out: Buy everything from one place and get the latest/ greatest batteries, motor, etc. Maybe even have someone do the conversion. This one is unlikely, but I may win the Powerball, who knows?

I am a decent shade-tree mechanic, but I don't have great work space, or a lift. I have pretty limited fabrication skills and no access to machine tools.

I would love to hear any "how I'd do it is..." from the experts as a way to clarify my thinking and get further motivated. If you're in Chicago and up for getting together to discuss, beverages are on me...
 

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I think Nader was talking through hisass because I have had some good experiences with Corvairs.

The Prius in Corvair clothing sounds like an idea worth trying.

While LA's are still doable it would be best to go the extra cost for and get lithium from the start.

Limited knowledge is not necessarily a draw back but limited tools and work space can be a problem in my opinion.
 

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About a year ago, I bought a 1968 Corvair 500, thinking it would be a good donor for an EV conversion: 2 speed powerglide transaxle, relatively light weight (2550 lbs) and room for batteries in the 'frunk'. The car only has 14,000 miles, so I have been enjoying it with the ICE until now, but I think I'm ready to get started.

My goal is to have a nice little Chicago commuter vehicle. Work is 10 miles each way. I would like to be able to take it on the highway. So 35 miles/ 70 mph seems like a reasonable target.

I have considered these broad strategies:

Budget: get a refurbished electric motor and some deep-cycle 12v batteries. Pull the ICE, bolt the motor to the existing transaxle, distribute the batteries at various locations around the car.

Prius: I have a 2006 Prius in good mechanical condition I would be willing to donate to the cause. This has some real benefits in terms of range, modern systems, etc. I know the "Corvarius" would be a major project.

All out: Buy everything from one place and get the latest/ greatest batteries, motor, etc. Maybe even have someone do the conversion. This one is unlikely, but I may win the Powerball, who knows?

I am a decent shade-tree mechanic, but I don't have great work space, or a lift. I have pretty limited fabrication skills and no access to machine tools.

I would love to hear any "how I'd do it is..." from the experts as a way to clarify my thinking and get further motivated. If you're in Chicago and up for getting together to discuss, beverages are on me...
Forget the lead acid. You save money using Lithium actually.

I would figure out where and how to mount your batteries first, then go from there.

Think used packs, Tesla, Chevy Volt, etc.

Maybe talk to the guy who built the Electrovair and see if he can hook you up with an adapter.

https://www.corvairforum.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=13925
 

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If you use a Corvair transaxle, you basically have a choice of using a manual, adapting a very expensive converted PowerGlide, or doing your own transmission conversion, since an automatic is unsuitable for an electric motor.

The Corvair transaxle is a weird thing, which can accept drive from the front (which is how some mid-engine V8 conversions have been built). There are possibilities beyond the traditional approach of bolting an electric motor directly in place of the engine, and if you get the motor on or ahead of the axle line you could have a great space for a battery pack in the back.

Whatever you do, keep in mind that the Corvair suspension uses the axle shaft as locating arms, so the final drive (differential) bearings take all of the cornering force on the rear tires, so any change of transaxle requires either maintaining that capability or radically changing the suspension.
 
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