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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Greetings from sunny California!
New member here, looking at doing a classic car conversion, and the 500e seems like an ideal donor. I'm a little surprised that I don't see more (or any, really) conversions based on the 500e. They're seriously cheap, and it would seem like an donor car. Am I just looking in the wrong place, or is there some flaw I'm missing?


Thanks,
-Zandr
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Where are you seeing cheap 500e's to salvage for parts?

Craigslist. Going rate for a 2015 500e is $6000-8000.



More than that, there are seven cars listed on Copart right now, three of them 20 miles away. I don't know how to find price history for Copart auctions, but if the cars are $6k undamaged, they can't be much at salvage. In the one thread I found here on a 500e, the insurance buyback was $1000.


Also, I know the second generation Leaf is better, but the ones you'll find on the used market are 80kW motors and 24kWh batteries, without active cooling of the battery packs. In what way do you think the Leaf is "more capable" than the 80kW/24kWh 500e?


Yes, they're compliance cars, but I see them on the road *all the time* here in CA.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
So, again, I'm looking at doing a conversion of a classic car. This means the interior space of the donor is not really a factor.


Anyway, thanks for the warm welcome to the forum, I guess what I want to do isn't acceptable here.:confused:
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I can only guess that they have substantial repaired collision damage (okay as a source of swap components) or nearly dead batteries (a problem) - otherwise, why would they be so cheap?

You think that every 500e on the used market has something significant wrong with it? These were almost entirely leased, so there's a glut of lease return cars out there. The compliance issue hasn't gone away, so there are still cheap leases on new ones, so people just lease a new one when the old lease is up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
No, I was referring to $8K cars. A car which sells at the end of a short lease for 1/4 of the new price just seems suspect to me. Perhaps it only means that the market has assessed the new price to be much more than the car was worth. Maybe all lease-return EVs are good deals, and potential donors?

They are, I think. The most expensive 500e on sfbay.craigslist.org is $10,850. This is just the going rate for these things. There's lots of supply, and demand isn't that high because a lease on a new one is still cheap.


brian_ said:
Another reason for the lack of conversions using 500e components would be that to use OEM bits in a DIY conversion you need to either transplant the entire control system of the vehicle, or make components work outside of the original vehicle.

Agreed, and I was planning on transplanting everything, even possibly making what my friend calls a "Hat Car", just placing the classic body on the "roller skate" of the donor.

The Leaf is another possibility, but the packaging of the drive unit is a problem. That's very tightly integrated, and it looks like it would be difficult to relocate any components of that stack. The 500e is built around the Bosch SMG180/120, and the looser integration makes packaging in a different shape much easier.
 
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