Yes... another idea

So I’m new to this. I’m currently in Iraq earning some extra cash to catch up for all of the irresponsible spending I did in my 20’s. I’m not really banking like some stories you hear, but it’s enough to make me happy. But with some of this extra cash, I’d like to convert to an electric vehicle and I would like to share my idea so that way experienced others can come crashing down on it like a load of bricks.

Most coversions, people are trying to do on the cheap and I understand. For mine, I’m willing to spend a little more than normal but still try to get some bang for my buck. Here goes:

Use a small Toyota extra cab pickup maybe mid 90’s.

I would prefer a truck since I feel the frame is a little easier to work with to hold the extra weight of batteries, but still not a bohemouth frame for the motor to lug around. I also like the idea of the RWD which you’ll see in a minute. Plenty of room for batteries up front also with the RWD platform.

VW style trans: Sand rail spec

This style trans is lightweight, and easy to convert. I understand I’ll have to modify the rear suspension for trailing arms etc etc. Not a problem for me, I enjoy modifying and building. This transmission can be easily built up with a variety of gears (V8 sandrails, turbo’d flat fours…), EV swap parts are relativly easy to comeby, the case is light and ditching the whole toyota driveline saves space and weight. The shifter would be a basic rod that runs to the back like a regular air cooled bug. The electric motor would hang off the back. Even if I need to add a brace to the motor, there’s enought frame rail leftover to do that. And as for cost, from what I’ve seen, under $2k should easlily get me what I want, if not actually for less dough.

Motor controller combo:

Electro Automotive (about 3 hours from my home) seems to be the most thorough source, though I wonder if I could bargin hunt for better prices. As for complete packages this seems the way to go. I would go with the larger AC motor (the name slips my mind at the moment), and their packaged controller with it. Remember the RWD, Ideally the regen function would be the rear brakes. The front brakes would be retained and hopefully I would use a non power master cylinder (low end toyota?) in order to forgoe the vacuum pump. Ideally I could use a manual rack and pinion too.

Well, the controller is rated up to 312 volts. I’m not an electrical engineer, and haven’t really done a lot of math so feel free to hammer away. [I]I really like the idea of Optima batteries. They pack a lot of punch for their size, sealed, and maintence free. Seriously I don’t know how well their yellow tops hold up. I know they’re deep cycle, but does anyone have more info on this???please…[/I]I know this would be $$$ but batteries are the heart and sole of this machine. So 26 batteries, but I think they have about 1000 amps available??? Getting some extra miles along with the regen would make this expensive project more practical. I have a red top in my car, and at 800 CCA in the size of a lead acid 600 CCA…thats gotta account for something.


So I’m looking at $15k for this thing, and actually probably more. I would keep the bed off most of the time for weight, but I could set up the bed in the garage hanging off the rafters where I could drop it down, install 4 bolts and make my run to Home Depot. [I]Could someone give me info on the weatherability of many of these electric motors?[/I] I realize I’m jumping into this kind of blind, and your inputs would be appreciated. Who knows, This project may end up in the back recesses of my mind and only return with me in a retirement home wheelchair saying “I remember I had this idea for an electric truck…”


sounds like you have it all planed out, good parts list, and cant wait to see this thing go together.

thanks for serving for us!

Sounds like a plan to me.

You should call or visit Electro Automotive and ask how well the motors hold up to weather.


Sounds like you have a good idea of what will be going into your project. The only thing I would say is I’ve read that the Optimas USED to be the shiznit, but not anymore. I’ll see if I can find a link to where I read that and what others are saying is the beez kneez in batts.