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The Car Conversion Experts

DIY Electric Conversion Info

What to look for in a vehicle

What to look for in a Donor vehicle?

  • No rust or small repairable rust areas only.

  • The Electric Vehicle will have to be road-worthied, so chose your vehicle wisely.

  • Look for a nice car with reasonable paint and no structural damage.

  • Most economical to convert vehicles are Holden Barina, Ford Festiva, Suzuki Swift, Daihatsu Charade 200G, Ford Metro, Mazda 131, and any other that is around the 900 Kg Curb weight.

  • Any vehicle can be converted, the rule of thumb is, that the larger the car, the larger the engine, controllers and batteries required (see costing guide below)

  • Classic Cars can be upgraded to full electric as well. Please talk to us about your proposed conversion. Converting an older classic can increase it's value.

  • Manual Transmission - Automatic transmission possible at an extra cost.

  • Please consider that this vehicle will last for a long time with the electric conversion.

  • Cars in the 1988-94 category, are available for around next to nothing.

  • Brakes and steering will become your most important components, so look for a car where these are in top condition.

  • Check Wheel bearings, rims and tyres, shock absorbers and springs.

  • Lightweight and Medium commercial vehicles are possible. Please contact us with your requirements.

Now What?

  • Recondition or repair to safe standard.

  • Keep the Clutch plate.

  • Now that you are happy with the value of your car, remove the engine and gearbox. ( Keep the gearbox in a safe place, you will need it later.)

  • Do NOT remove any electrical wires from the engine bay –only the ones that are attached to the motor. Mark them where they came from and forget them, for the time being.

  • Your motor is sale-able and so is your radiator, the exhaust system, the petrol tank and if the car had air conditioning, that as well. By selling the parts you will recover some cost or perhaps all what you paid for the vehicle. Ebay or particular car clubs of your car make will be interested.

  • Sell all you can because from now you will not need any oily parts.

What do you need to start?

What Do You Need To Start?

I would suggest a 96 volt system. This includes the following:

  • Motor: 15Kw AC System.

  • Controller: 96 volt, 500 amp complete and assembled on heatsink / Plug and Play.

  • Dc-Dc converter-charger from 96 volt to 12 volt for the accessories battery.

  • Battery charger.

  • All come with diagrams.

  • Vacuum pump with cut off switch to produce the vacuum for the vacuum brakes booster. Recommended vacuum is between 13-20 HG inches.

  • Safety Emergency switch required by guidelines from Transport department Installed in the cabin next to driver for instant power cut off to motor.

  • Window heater/ Demister: a required and compulsory item for defogging the windscreen – chat to us about options.

  • Cabling, solid and flexible conduits, shrink insulation, eyes and connections, relays (quantity 2-3), gauges.

  • Engineered components such as battery frames, couplings and adaptor plates are available as well.

  • Oil pump for hydraulic power steering if needed.

Tare and Gross Vehicle Mass

TARE and Gross Vehicle Mass

For successful load calculations on Vehicle Capacity, GVM – Gross Vehicle Mass, is the accepted safe, maximum allowable total mass of a fully loaded motor vehicle. It consists of the kerb mass (mass of the vehicle itself with all operating fluids) plus the payload.  


A vehicles’ payload is the maximum capacity of the vehicle for the transport of all non-standard items including the vehicles body (tray, tipper, van etc.), the cargo itself, occupants and optional equipment and accessories (bull bars, spot lights, roof racks, tow bars etc.)

Kerb mass- A vehicles kerb mass is the mass of the vehicle in running order, unoccupied and unladen with all fluid reservoirs filled to their nominated capacity. All standard vehicle equipment is also included in the kerb mass.


Maximum Available Payload - the available payload is calculated by subtracting from the vehicles GVM, the vehicles kerb mass, the total weight of the occupants, the weight of any fitted options (bull bar, tow bar, spot lights etc) and the weight of the fitted body (tray, van, tipper).This remaining figure is the maximum allowable weight of the cargo which is to be placed upon the vehicle.

Calculate your maximum allowable payload. Example: Calculator Results Subaru : Brumby (4x4) GVM: 1620 kg less Kerb Mass: 965 kg = Payload: 655 kg Less weights of the following items Occupants: @ 90kg 180 kg Bullbar – Alloy: 45 kg Tow Bar & Tongue: 10 kg = Total of Extras 235 kg Payload: 655 kg less Total of Extras: 235 kg = Available Payload Mass: 420 kg.

Remove all Auto parts that are no longer required for your Conversion. This includes the motor, radiator, exhaust system and fuel tank. Remove the gearbox as well. You will need the gearbox to assemble with the electric motor. Keep the clutch plate as its part of your coupling Don’t cut any wires from the electrical harness. When removing e.g. starter-alternator -just remove and mark them. Some of these wires could be making electrical loop. Clean thoroughly your engine bay, remove any rust and undercoat and repaint. This will be the EV’s last treatment. From now on, no oils or grease and no smoke. All the removed parts will need to be weighed in order to estimate the correct kerb weight when stripped. This will give you correct weight that you can place in the vehicle to be within legal limit.

Need help? Give us a call!
OZ-DIY Electric Vehicles

Orion Battery Management System (BMS)

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