welcometomynightmare med med
welcometomynightmare medAliceCooperScary

Well, my imagined  nightmare

I foolishly thought that line from Alice Cooper’s song (1975, for those too young to remember) was going to be close to reality - but the lads at the EV Shop where the conversion happened made it anything but a nightmare. I may be THEIR nightmare of course but - bless their cotton sox - they rarely complained.


  • Equivalent performance to an ICE MR2 on the street
  • Drivable by anyone who can drive a normal car
  • Lithium batteries for lower weight/higher power
  • Motor choices: AC or DC? DC motor will be easier.
  • A Board of Review - small group of interested but uncommitted friends to provide independent review of the decision-making processes.


  1. a reasonable performance EV which proves that electric cars are not just golf carts, and may even be saleable*; and
  2. justification for governments to stop funding the traditional solutions (like the car companies, which in the US have proved they haven't been listening) and support any individual who takes an ICE (internal combustion engined) car off the road and replaces it with one using no petrol.
  3. Another successful EV conversion by EVshop here in Perth.
  4. As I learned more about EVs, I realised that the lesser-known V2G (Vehicle to Grid) option was potentially as important as the traditional G2V (ie charging via off-peak) option. All we need is a smart charger which knows what time we want to use the car tomorrow, and it can use and restore the battery charge as necessary for the grid AND the car.

*Now to test this idea, since my wife and her knees have decided low-slung performance cars are not as much fun as they used to be.


Jan10: Hmmm, good question, still not finalised but expecting to spend around $30k or $35k altogether; my guides are the budgets of other EV converters for performance vehicles ( Ian at ZEV and his MX5; that guy in NZ with, iirc, a 2002 MR2 Spyder; and Matt’s ‘Black Magic’ MR2). Changes of the Oz dollar from 65c to near parity substantially altered the battery price (from $14k to $7k), and imported AC motors too (used to be $8k). I feel sorry for Oz exporters, but not for the buyers of Lithium batteries!

Nov09: Observant readers will have noticed no mention of dropping the gearbox... Yes, it stays, instead of dropping the whole box and rear transaxle and then finding a replacement differential of reasonable cost and timeliness. It is possible, according to Tristan at WTF autos, a local MR2 etc works shop. He did some research and worked out we could use the rear differential and sub-axles of a 4WD Toyota Tercel, iirc.  But this first ZEV attempt is going for the simple, driveable solution.

Oct09: Hopefully the build budget will be under $AU30k. This will include reverse-cycle air, thus simplifying heating needs.  For my first conversion, I’m going to go DC motor, Zilla 1kA controller, and a good charger. 144V@100Ah of batteries (thats 14+ kWh of powerpack; 45 batteries at 3.3kg each or ~150kg of batteries; 68kg (150lbs) of DC motor and sundry other items will take this 220kg to something like 250kg to 300kg; here is hoping the discarded motor, exhaust, radiators etc weigh at least that. ;-)

© bdc 2014