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Wytbishop, MX-3 Conversion...long term

1740 Views 3 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  Wytbishop

My name is Charlie and I am a long time MX-3 owner and general Mazda enthusiast. I was turned on to the idea of converting an ICE MX-3 to electric through a somewhat heated discussion that came up on the subject on an MX-3 forum that I frequent.

Essentially a guy in Holland was showing the progress of his MX-3 conversion and another guy basically said it was stupid and wouldn't work...blah blah blah. So I started doing some reading to figure out for myself the truth about EV's.

So now I'm totally hooked. I've been obsessed with fuel efficiency for years and i've got my 200hp ICE swap running at 28-30mpg, but I am really excited about building a nice commuter that I never have to buy gas for ever again.

I'm an accomplished mechanic and a professional Mechanical Engineering Technologist so the physical and conceptual stuff are both well within my grasp (although truthfully I've forgotten most of the Electrical Engineering I took). I don't expect to be in a position to start a build until next year so in the meantime I will be spending most of my time on the site reading and learning but I welcome any suggestions any of you have for me.

I will be converting an MX-3. In stock form with full interior etc. the car is ~2400lbs. It has a large cargo area and engine compartment and is quite aerodynamic. I will be retaining the clutch I think. I would like to do Lithium obviously, but of course that remains to be seen. My initial thoughts are AC50 with about 120V pack. I don't need high performance and my daily range is about 60km (40mi). the kicker is that I live in Canada, and today for example, it's -24ºC and I would like my EV to be viable year that creates some additional details to be considered.

Anyway...glad to be here. Look forward to learning a lot over the coming months.
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Go for it. I love the mx3 and think it would make a great EV! Especially with Lithium batts as they would take up less space. You might want to do more looking at ac/dc again. The more and more I look at it, I just don't see the real advantage to AC when you consider the added cost and complexity - but JUST my opinion. You could do a 144volt dc mx3 conversion with 130Ah cells and probably have a 60-70 mile range. Even in very cold weather that might drop as much as 20% with lithium, but still be well within your range requirements. Or you could do a simple battery box insulation and heat combo to maintain most of your cold weather range.

Warp 9 (or impulse 9)
Curtis 1231 (or Soliton Jr. when available)
130Ah CALB lithium batts

Great conversion!
I'm sure in a year you will learn a lot and have all the details of your conversion worked out. I'm also in Canada (Calgary) and I'm looking forward to the benifits of an EV in the winter, quicker heat, no warm up time, etc. I will probably be heating my battery boxes, to decrease the cold weather impact on range.

Like PatricioIN mentioned I would take a closer look at AC vs DC again. The efficiency gains of the AC system are small, and a higher voltage DC system would be pretty close while giving you better performance for less money.

I think a 9" motor and the soliton jr would make a pretty sweet commuter. CALB cells seem pretty hard to get up in Canada (atleast I couldn't find any) however Randy at has Thunder Sky cells at very very good prices.

There are lots of great/brilliant/experienced people here so read/ask as much as possible and your conversion should go well.

As for the "haters" on MX-3 or other forums, just ignore them, and/or prove them wrong. There are some people very strongly against my Porsche 944 conversion, it's like I'm hurting the reputation of their favorite car.
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I like the AC conversion for the improved performance on hills, regeneration and high rpm capabilities. I'm nowhere close to starting though so through my research and the learnign curve who knows what I'll finally settle on.

Thanks for your comments.
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