Electric Vehicle Conversion Motor Selection

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Electric Vehicle Conversion Motor Selection

In this blog post, I am going to write on one of the most important components of a DIY electric car. It is the “heart” of the matter. I’m talking about the [tag-tec]electric motor[/tag-tec] or the power unit of the electric vehicle (EV).

Many EV enthusiast are not very sure about an electric vehicle conversion motor selection process. Should you go with an AC motor or DC motor? How about power rating? What should the RPM be? I will try at address some of the questions.

Now, in regards to whether choosing AC or DC motor, both have their advantages and disadvantages. One thing is for sure, DC motor are less expensive to purchase and quite good in any [tag-tec]electric car conversion[/tag-tec] project. If given the choice, I will choose a DC motor.

When you are choosing a DC motor, look for these criteria.

  • Rated for high DC voltage.
  • Low revolution per minute (RPM).
  • High current ratings.

What you want is a DC motor that will put over 12 Volts at a fairly low RPM while maintaining a useful current level. As a rule of thumb, look for a DC motor with RPM rating of under 400.

In terms of size, look for a motor with a shaft size of over 5/8 inch because that will insure that the motor has adequate bearings or bushing to accommodate the constant spinning and harsh outdoor treatment it will receive.

In terms of voltage, get a motor with between 50 to 80 Volts.

As I am researching for material for this post, I went back to Les Oke’s Convert 2 EV manual. For electric vehicle conversion motor selection, Les recommends the WarP Motors series of electric motor. One of the coolest electric truck conversion that I have came across also uses a WarP electric motor.

I’ve decided to do further research on them. Here’s a few points about the WarP Motors. It comes in a broad range of sizes with different torque, voltage, rotation and shaft configuration.

The motors are designed for high efficiency. WarP Motors use only low-loss lamination and welded or fused commutator connections for peak motor performance. This methodology lowers the heat build-up when the motor is working.

All WarP Motors are build to withstand wear and tear. Both the armature and the field assembly are resin varnish treated to lock in its mechanical integrity and to provide permanent protection from harsh environment. WarP Motors are distributed by NetGain Motors Inc in the United States.

If you are looking for the right choice of electric motor for you DIY electric car conversion, give the guys at NetGain a buzz. For more information on how to get started in an EV Conversion at home, check out Les Oke’s Convert 2 EV.

Related web sites:
1) Convert 2 EV and Electricity 4 Gas Guides Review – Top Electric Car Conversion Kit Manuals

2) Nanotube Structures Could Improve Electric Motors

3) Old Electric Motor – Hacked Gadgets – DIY Tech Blog

4) MNCs Compete to Enter China’s Booming Electric Motor Market

By | 2012-08-17T14:13:50+08:00 June 5th, 2009|Electric Motor|6 Comments

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  1. Hansel Serenio January 31, 2010 at 11:01 am

    Hi ,

    Do have a EV KIt for Motorcycle? and how much is the price & also the instruction manuals.

    Thanks very much

  2. Will January 31, 2010 at 11:03 am

    Hi Hansel,

    Sorry, I am not very familiar with electric conversion for motorcycle. I am more familiar with electric cars.

  3. Jim June 28, 2011 at 8:19 am

    I have a 1977 Datson 280z that I have partially restored but the engine does not run so I am interested in converting it to electric, what voltage motor do you recommend for it, and do I leave the 5 spd trans in it or go direct to the drive line with the motor?

  4. Sherie September 3, 2011 at 9:28 pm

    UQM Technologies makes some of the best motors/controllers. Google for interesting articles re: Audi, Saab, Rolls Royce, and others selecting their motors for some of their EVs. Also, Chip Yates has been setting speed records with their motor in his electric motorcycle, and Quimera’s AEGT01, reffered to as the most powerful electric car on earth, has 3 of their motors in its car.

  5. Glean December 16, 2011 at 7:48 am

    thanks for ur continued interest,by far your info is the best.

    I am in the process of retiring after twenty plus years of working,so first things first.I will be using your info to build an ev.I have to ask this question have u not seen on the internet an older gentleman that built an ev that can go unlimited miles,I think i saw it but now I cannot find the site,if this is so please inform me.

    Do you not believe that alternators can generate the same amount other current twenty batterys can to run a 144 volt electric motor.with what I see them doing today putting magnets in alernators it does not seem impossible.I wait ur input on this.

    God bless you and thanks

  6. scorn May 27, 2012 at 5:02 am

    Hi, thanks for informations.
    If possible i want to ask your idea on ac motors. I have a project to change toyota yaris 1.0 to an EV. but i will use an ac motor and driver. Tesla and Renault uses ac motors, but they are more powerfull than i need.
    yaris’s engine specs;
    max torque 90Nm
    max power 50kW

    thanks !

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