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Starter car for electric vehicle?

I am hoping to start a ev team at my high school and am trying to decide what type of car to start out with. I definitely want a sports car (not a muscle car!) and awd would be a plus. Paddle shifters would also be great but a manual is fine. It doesn't matter what type of engine the car comes with, we are putting in an electric motor anyway, but the transmission needs to be able to handle the torque from the electric motor. It also needs to handle well. I have been considering the rx8, evo, and Subaru WRX. We definitely need something fairly cheap (a car with a blown engine would even work since we would take it out anyway.) Essentially we need a cheap car that can handle the corners and has a good transmission. Any ideas for cars or where to look?


@Curtis I am not trying to buy an electric car. I am trying to build one. I have decided that I am not going to use the transmission anymore so that should not be a concern on the car neither will awd. I just need a cheap light weight car with good grip.

4 Answers

  • Texas
    Lv 7
    7 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    Honestly, the range of your EV will depend on HOW MANY BATTERIES can you get in there, which in turn asks, HOW MUCH CARGO SPACE does the vehicle have, and so to sum up quickly, you are looking for

    1) compact pickup

    2) minivan

    You can choose other vehicles for sake of style if that is a factor, but they will probably have inferior range and performance compared to vehicle chosen for large cargo/battery capacity.

    Other point to note, the transmission probably doesn't matter at all, Electric motors do not spin at idle when the car is stopped, so there is no need for a clutch or torque convertor, and they have high torque at low RPM, so usually you can direct attach an electric motor to the drive shaft on a RWD vehicle, and on a front drive vehicle you use the transmission mainly because it is one unit with the differential, but you can leave it in high gear, and you don't need to use the clutch. Other than that, if you have a transmission you have a reverse gear, if you try and save the weight and bypass the transmission, you need to ensure you can reverse the current in the electric motor to drive it in reverse. 4wd is just more extra weight and drive power loss through transfer case. You are best sticking with what is simple. A RWD pickup would be the easiest possible candidate to work with.

  • 7 years ago

    The sports car I have most often seen used for an EV conversion is a Mitsubishi Miata

    You should be able to find a salvage vehicle to rebuild:

  • John
    Lv 7
    7 years ago

    Use 1 motor for each drive wheel.

    Any existing car will be too heavy. That means LOADS of expensive batteries and motors.

    You need a lightweight space frame chassis as used in a race car or racing go-cart.

    You can make your own

    You need POWERFUL dc motors (ideally 24V) - look for 750W or more

    and a pair of 12V car batteries.

    wish I was there to help!

  • curtis
    Lv 5
    7 years ago

    Tesla is rank no. 1 in electric car.

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