EV MX5 Conversion
(page 2)

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For the first part of the conversion I had to decide on the type of battery's to use, Lithium type battery's are the obvious choice if you want a light weight and efficient battery, but are currently extremely expensive. Because of a limited budget, I have opted for the Lead Acid type, heavier but substantially cheaper. I have spoken to a few people in the know and I have come to the conclusion that 12x 6volt, 242Ah batteries providing 72volts would be my best option. After a chat with the people at Manbat it was decided that a model made by US Battery's would best suit my needs, they weigh in at 30Kg's each, thus the total power pack is going to weigh 360Kg's. Pictured are six of the twelve battery's that will be required.

Now that the battery type has been chosen, I have to work out the best weight distribution around the car, ideally the same proportions as it's factory build weight which were about 50/50. As well as the battery's, the two PMAC drive motors and speed controllers weight will have to be taken in to consideration. So here's the plan, six battery's inside the engine bay, three where the gearbox used to be and three in the boot, the motors are going to be rear mounted, thus hopefully balancing the car nicely.
Pictured above is the start of the front battery rack, made from 4mm x 40x40 angle, it should be plenty strong enough to hold the six battery's placed on top of it, I have to keep reminding myself that weight is a key factor in this conversion.
Front battery rack fabricated, it's worth noting that the rack was made 10mm larger on the sides between the battery's and the rack contact points so that Foamex Board could be added as an insulator, this will help protect the battery's in colder weather, a necessity as the charge can be hugely reduced in the winter months, the battery's are also insulated from underneath with Foamex.

The front rack after a trip to the powder coaters, it would have been quicker and cheaper to paint it, but a good powder coat job is worth it's weight in gold (my opinion of course) as you get an even finish that is extremely durable.

All six battery's now in place and secured by metal straps running from front to rear of the rack. Tension is added by the use of four M8 studded bars.

The gearbox located battery rack will sit just below and behind the engine battery rack and consist of three battery's. The retaining frame has been made enlarged slightly to allow 10mm Foamex to be added to the extremities, as I did with the engine rack above to aid insulation in colder weather.
Fabricating the gearbox rack, which will bolt directly on to the MX5's front sub frame was going to be a little awkward with the sub frame in place, so while I looked after my little girl, Will kindly (with a poke) removed it for me. I considered this quite an easy job to do.

I had to make a mistake sometime and that mistake was not measuring the depth of the gearbox tunnel correctly, unfortunately it will only take two battery's not three as I had planned. As there isn't a lot I can do about it now I have re-made the battery holder to take just two battery's, I will have to give a little thought where the third battery is now going to live, a minor setback I hope.

The original car configuration had power steering, as power steering is a source of power drain I am not going to make use of it. As a quick workaround I have cut the supply and return pipe to the pump and joined them together. When I get more time I will either replace the rack with a standard unit or modify the original power steering rack.
Modified gearbox battery rack in it's place, fits like a dream, i'm just a little concerned where to find the space for the other battery.

Front battery's and gearbox battery's in place.
I have now decided on the location to fit the ninth front battery, this is the one that was meant to go as a pack of three in the gearbox's location. It will fit just behind the 6 battery rack and above the gearbox rack. This does increase the COG slightly, but as I see it I don't really have another viable option.

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