DIY Electric Car Forums banner

Riley Elf / Classic Mini EV Conversion

4834 Views 16 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  boatman
Hi Everyone,

I planning an EV conversion for a Riley Elf but as far as I can tell this setup would work on any classic mini.

I am very early in the planning stage and I don't currently even have a car yet.

The forum has been a good start for learning what goes into an EV conversion but I am by no means an expert in fact I'm clearly a novice.

I have been trying to space out and plan the build using AutoCAD by using scaled 2D drawings I have found for the Elf, subframes, motor and shell. This clearly has its limitations and ideally I would like to get my hands on a scanned mini shell.

I am planning on using the SWIND HPD E 80 motor as this is such a small unit that mounts nice and low in the engine bay. I plan on either using a modified front subframe with mounting points for a battery box above the motor or by using a subframe similar to the design of the B-TEC tubular frame conversion.

This should allow for enough space for a battery box that will hold 8x CALB modules. This may require the inner wings to either be cut back or removed to allow for the width of the box. This will also require the radiator and fan to be mounted in the front grille, vertically for the Elf or horizontally for a normal mini grille.

I chose the CALB 6P2S for their voltage as the motor is 400V and this set up gives the most voltage over the LG version or the 4P3S CALB.

There will be a further 4 or 5 modules in another battery box in the rear subframe. This will require strengthening of the rear subframe and also the boot floor panel to be cut out and a flat panel to be welded in to remove the 12V battery box and spare wheel well. Potential to use a modified mini van rear floor panel.

This means that I should have total battery energy capacity of 26.6 kWh and a nominal voltage of 266.4V.

The controller, DC/DC converter are yet to be decided. I have found the Cascadia PM100DX for an inverter but am open to other options as the costs are starting to escalate by this point. They, along with the charger will be hidden in a fake fuel tank in the boot, this will allow for all them to be located directly underneath the filler neck.

I am looking at the potential of using two Tesla gen 2 charger to give a fast charging capacity of 20 kW. I don't currently have a place to park and charge the mini so would most likely be doing street charging hence the need to be able to charge quicker.

All connections from front to rear will be via exhaust tunnel so no HV inside the cabin.

I think additional weight / balance should not be too affected as the rear weight is over the wheels and nice and low. The front battery box (96 kg) and motor (50 kg) are not much more than the presumed weight of the a series & gearbox.

So what do you guys think? Any advice about this setup would be appreciated.



Tire Wheel Automotive parking light Automotive lighting Vehicle
Product Car Automotive lighting Automotive parking light Font
See less See more
1 - 2 of 17 Posts
That Swindon drivetrain ain't at all cheap, and it ain't all that powerful either. McGee's Custom Minis has a prototype subframe that fits a Honda gearbox and Hyper9 motor that you might want to look into. If you're any good at fabrication (or know someone who is), it's not all that hard to fit a (superior) Leaf motor and inverter up front (though you lose battery space, and your top speed is limited by your tire diameter).

With regard to CALB batteries...Perhaps I'm not up to speed, but I'm almost certain you'll get better energy density and performance for less money by using an OEM battery pack out of a Leaf, Tesla, or Bolt. Are these cars rare in your part of the world?

The Mini can handle plenty of weight in the rear, either by using stiffer cones (Yellow Spots) or by adding "helper" coilovers in addition to the cones that are there. The downside is that a FWD car with a heavy ass may not go around corners the way you want it to...

I will tell you that a tiny British EV is extremely fun to drive around town, and I've had very few issues with mine since I started driving it.

Edit: I see Swindon is now selling smaller component packages that seem priced pretty well. Nice!
See less See more
For charging, BMS, and DC/DC, it's worth looking at Thunderstruck's stuff:

I've had good luck with their products, and they're priced competitively vs other aftermarket stuff.
1 - 2 of 17 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.