4x4 electric car conversions

by Jeremy
(Alaska)

Wilde EVolutions 71 Land Rover 4x4 Conversion

Wilde EVolutions 71 Land Rover 4x4 Conversion


My dream is to convert an old Series Land Rover to an electric vehicle, but wondered about conversions for 4 wheel drive vehicles. It only makes sense that a heavier vehicle would burn through the charge quicker, as would running two additional wheels, but has it been done?


Hi, Jeremy!
Certainly, it's been done.
Above is a picture of Rod Wilde's Land Rover, with the 4x4 drive train it was born with, now fully electric.

He used an Advanced DC motor, 144v system, and 12 volt AGM batteries. As to the part about burning through the charge quicker with a heavy vehicle...you're right, of course. I'd consider using 6 volt batteries in this vehicle rather than the 12 volt (same number of volts total, but twice as many batteries) for better charge conservation and more cycle lives.

Note on keepin' it warm in Alaska: There's a company in Canada called REV Consultants Ltd that specializes in cold-weather electric cars. You can contact them from their website, and I interviewed Richard Lane from REV on the topic of winterizing our electric cars - you might be able to use that, too; )

Update 2011: LiFePO4 batteries are coming down in price, they're as cheap as lead per mile. You might find you like them better than lead for a 4x4 off-road application.

Good luck!

Regards,
Lynne


Comments for 4x4 electric car conversions

Average Rating starstarstarstarstar

Click here to add your own comments

Rating
starstarstarstarstar
Advice?
by: nooby bob

I bought a rav4 a while ago with the intention of electrifying it at some point. I know little about this but grew up in an engineering workshop. Am i better to consider brushless DC motors with couplings to the existing cv shafts, rather than one whopping DC drive. I live in a hilly rural environment, need the ground clearance, there are NO charging stations near, and I'd like to pick up the charge from the motors. Where should I start? can I get the torque? and is this even viable?
Cheers.

Rating
starstarstarstarstar
LR Defender 110 conversion
by: Robert

Hey Folks, has anyone attempted to convert a 110 defender station wagon? I know curb weight is about 2 tons, so batteries will be an issue. Would love to see if anyone has done it. Strongly concidering it. Thanks!

Robert

Rating
starstarstarstarstar
true 4WD
by: Anonymous

Consider tossing out overhead weight and space-consuming stuff like almost anything in the engine compartment and the actual 4WD mechanical gear in the bottom of the car (except for steering stuff, of course) - and instead, mount four small engines, one to each wheel. 4WD can be easily controlled by wire and you gain much space for batteries and luggage. Plus: esp. abroad, even if one or two engine/s break, in most cases you will still be able to drive to a place where repair is easier than in the wilderness. --rGr

Rating
starstarstarstarstar
go4it
by: daren

im planning 2 do the same . dont kno how yet but its being planned im on it after years of thinking about it may b i should butcher a milk float. well done those that hav good luck those that try it thanks

Rating
starstarstarstarstar
Land Rovers Rule
by: Biggles

Gadzooks, I thought I was the only one who wanted to convert an early series Landy to electric. Wonderful!!!!

Rating
starstarstarstarstar
AWD EV OK
by: Dan Bentler

Have couple thoughts regarding 4WD EV
1. Battery size (range) will vary with vehicle weight. There will be a little more battery needed to overcome the front axle spinning (unless you have disconnect hubs)
2. Chucking engine transmission transfer case and driving front shaft with one motor and rear shaft with another AND use two controllers (one possibly slaved from other) would give you an ideal (almost - IDEAL is 4 motors one on each hub) AWD setup. This also gives you a limp home ability ie one motor or controller fails turn it off and use other.
3. In my experience AWD is needed only at 25 MPH or less and off road or in snow ice only.
4. Over 25 or so and on hard pavement and with front axle hubs disconnected you should do about as well as a truck of comparable weight.

Dan Bentler

Click here to add your own comments

Return to Conversion questions.