PT Cruiser .... er LandRover EV
DIY Electric VehicleStage1,.... Acquire vehicle, Found on Gumtree: 2001 PT Cruiser, 5 Speed Manual with bad engine (running on 3 cylinders)
The PT Cruiser is based on the Dodge Neon platform & has the Neon 2.4 Petrol engine, The access about the Engine is somewhat limited, Timing belt & water pump changes are problematic, and from what I read on the Internet, mechanics do not like working on them & charge accordingly. This makes Removal & replacment with a Electric Motor an interesting solution.
At 1400kg the PT Cruiser is a little on the lard arse side for an EV conversion project, about 300kg heavier than the Neon it is based on, probably not ideal if efficiency is your goal, but Im not needing to break any EV speed or endurance records and the PT Cruiser looks kind of cool .
cue the 'screeching halt' noiseWell that project didn't last long did it! Thanks to Australian Design Rules pertaining to modifications affecting Crumple Zones on post '98 vehicles I have been advised by VASS engineer it's not practical to convert the PT Cruiser. Not impossible mind you , but since I'm not a stickler for rules and regulations the red tape I'd need to wade through makes this project untennable.
..... so now I'm faced with pulling the head off the PT cruiser and giving it a valve job, will also give it a timing belt and water pump , because youd be nuts not to whilst the head is off. Then I'll sell it .
..... So looking about the place I see my 1973 Landrover Lightweight, hmmm its pre '98, tick . Its 1560kg tare, 160kg heavier then PT cruiser, but has a 204kg engine where as the PT Cruiser had a 140 kg engine,
The Aerodynamic co-eficcient of the PT Cruiser is not great, but the LandRover is more like a brick, so no win there.
The LandRover has no A/C, no Power Steering, no Power Seats, no Power Windows, no ABS, no Airbags, no CANbus, no ECU, thats win win win win win in favour of converting the LandRover.
And the two underseat fuel tank locations under the seatbox alongside the chassis rails are perfect locations to mount LiFePo4 cells, more must be mounted under the bonnet over the new Electric Motor to maintain the current weight distribution.
I need to be mindful that I am working with a very rare (in this country) classic vehicle & I will be drilling no holes or altering the bodywork or chassis to accomodate the EV conversion in any way whatsoever, and there will be no visible external difference to original. Even the exhaust tailpipe will serve a function as the Battery box vent , which according to VSB 14 must exit at the side or rear of vehicle.
The conversion will save me fixing the leaky Zenith Carby (again) and will be completely reversible and I can reconfigure to original at any time.
A couple of Youtube Videos that make me think converting the LandRover isnt such a bad idea. One of them even had a picture of a Lightweight the same as mine.
(as it is I never drive it more than 50km so range is not an issue)
- Australian EV Association
- EV Motors, NSW
- OZ DIY Electric Vehicles, QLD
- EV Works, West Australia
- EV LandRover Series
- DIY Electric Car Forum