EV electric A2 conversion


A2OC Donor
I see that there was some chat a few years ago about resurrecting an A2 with a wrecked engine as an EV. I happened across some discussions with one of the regulars on this site on an EV forum raising the idea again.

Now that there are more advanced 'kits' and cheaper technologies available has anyone given this more recent consideration?

I know it needs to be a car that is loved, weighs as little as possible and something which will last to reap the benefits of the conversion. The A2 seems the PERFECT choice.

Surely someone has sourced a destroyed FSI and can find a crash damaged Leaf!

Ps. Not me- I'd love to but need to retire to have the time!

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A2OC Donor
It's something I mull over occasionally, like yesterday when I was getting a bit fed up with my A2, especially as I had experience of a BMW i3 over Christmas, but an A2 EV could keep me in the fold!

A quick German google finds this site selling EV parts with a mention of an A2 conversion (but not recently) https://translate.googleusercontent...rials/&usg=ALkJrhjU6Lo4l7QkBnubp5uqbUA-GZktjg but I couldn't see anything on battery technology but I may of missed it.

This A2 EV specialist was referenced https://translate.googleusercontent...age=32&usg=ALkJrhhSAJYsrmtqswR9dfQ0nggcJkudrQ but they have not updated their site since 2012.

Someone on this forum discussion https://translate.google.co.uk/tran...tforschung-fuer-umbau-t17714.html&prev=search suggested that the availability of lots of cheap second hand electric cars makes conversion uneconomical (circa 15,000 euros).

I have read recently that 2018 will bring the launch of many EV with a range of 200-250 miles, which seems to me to be a range that will attract a lot of interest (i.e. 150-200 real life range), though I expect costs may be a deterrent, but if there are buyers then the cost of 2nd hand EVs will drop even more.

If Elon Musk can pull it off, then it demonstrates that mass volume production will make EVs more affordable and higher sales volumes will accelerator investment in battery technology. But if Musk develops it I can see him keeping all battery production for his own factories and not letting the EV conversion market get a look in.

Keep us posted if you find anything of interest.


A2OC Donor
I think it would need to be for love of the car and the task - it'll likely not be economical unless there is a dramatic shift in the relative cost of the components.

I read this a while ago about an attempt to make such a car but the fella seems to have stalled in the attempt - definitely a long term hobby. It does also include some brake upgrade work though which was interesting. :)


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After a few years of Leaf ownership I had a number of forum conversations with a guy called Mike Schooling from these guys : http://indra.co.uk/ they've done many ev conversions. Now is as good a time as any, leaf drivetrains are reasonably easy to come by as they get written off quite readily due to crazy repair costs. If any one is remotely interested in such a project I can heartily recommend getting in touch with them first.


A2OC Donor
I saw the Wheeler Dealers' Maseratti conversion, too. Then I checked the West Coast EV, they seem to have many options for conversions of different motors AC or DC and for different car sizes but are very pricey. They have, among other, Tesla's current models batteries on offer. Based on my reaserch, you could get a 75hp AC motor and 36kwh battery and get a range of ~ 130 miles in A2 keeping its gearbox. That would cost ~ 14400 euros (sorry I live in Cyprus) plus the shipping cost. It's a pipe dream for me and I'm a non smoker.


This is a long term ambition of mine too. It is unlikely I would ever get the spanners out but if a kit of parts and instructions could be developed then I could get one of the specialist garages to do the conversion.

A decade from now and we may be struggling with air pollution laws related to our old petrol and diesel engines. If the A2 could then become a 'classic' electric car then excellent!


A2OC Donor
Very true, pollution by oil burning engines is a reality but so is the new Tesla Megafactory. Google it, battery prices will come down significantly over the next few years and electric conversion kits do exist today, so I'm full of hope that in 3-4 years it will be more realistic option.


Active Member
To EV or not to EV?

EVs are fun over short distances. Long range machines tend to have very heavy batteries - newest Model S 750kg pack. That takes energy to move as does the large structure it is attached to. Even the Fully Charged presenter says current Tesla's are too big for UK roads and he drives one.

Battery costs are slighter lower than a few years ago but the world economy is still slumped and post Brexit £ is lower against dollar. It is still more economic to by a s/h Leaf or even i3 than convert an A2.

Current battery density means to go 40 miles in winter / 80 miles in summer you are looking at a 250kg battery pack in a 4 seater car like the A2 vrs 4kg of diesel or renewable HVO - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gVkGXan7s7Q

How much energy is taken from the battery is shown on the EV DIS but it doesn't show how much was taken from the socket. BMW i3 BEV tester got 2.5 miles per kWh in Comfort mode from the grid (not the extreme eco plus) but the BMW App says more like 4 to 5.

There is a lot of green wash about emissions. An EV is better in Norway with a high proportion of renewable electricity vrs Hong Kong which has coal fired power generation. Japan and Germany now burn more coal than before due to shut downs since the Fukoshima nuclear disaster. In the UK we have one day (daylight hours) where no coal was used last week and it's seen as a miracle! When we had the high pressure weather system over christmas 2016/new year for 3 weeks we had minimal Solar PV and very little wind. The temperature inversion in the atmosphere trapped ALL pollutants and caused smog that affected most of western europe. Oslo banned diesel cars for a week but it didn't change what is not directly a local issue. Winter space heating (mostly combi boilers in UK) emits significant NOx. Combine this with lower speed limits introduced past 5 years (in some cases 40's becoming 20s), dual carriageways reduced to single lanes, speed humps, excessive street furniture, and every larger cars (more congestion, less flow, less space for cyclists, higher vehicles more entrapment of street airflow....) and idling taxis and busses, the results are hardly surprising.

In truth ALL pollutants have been reduced massively in the UK since the 1970s. The only stubborn one is Ammonia and now NH3 is actually rising in our cities due to the uptake of petrol hybrids and PHEVs. DEFRA 2014 reported that 50% of ALL urban NOx is from Petrol cars (euro 1-3) and last year's real world tests revealed petrol euro 5 cars had higher NOx than expected. Add in PM 2.5 petrol particulates (no traps fitted to new petrol cars) and 66% of all PM 10 from road surface/tyres/brake dust (see Hatfield A1M tunnel report by University of Herts) and it's no wonder the roadside air quality can be poor on those light wind days. The heavier the vehicle the higher the non exhaust PM10s - so a heavy battery car is still an issue.

Yes, diesels do pump out NOx and some PM10 (less so with PTs). Yes, diesel fossil fuel is not sustainable but it is wrong to demonise the engine (or the drivers!) over the fuel. The engine can be made to run on cleaner fuel like #HVO made from waste (no fuel vrs food issues unlike SVO). The UK throws away over 7 million tonnes of food waste per year:


We can also plugin our ICE engines to pre-heat them before start just like EV owners pre-condition their cars for better winter range but again there are grid emissions.

But ultimately we need to get back to Geoffrey de Havilland (Comet - the world's first jet airliner) view of "adding lightness!"and Colin Chapman's: "Adding power makes you faster on the straights. Subtracting weight makes you faster everywhere."

#vehicleobesity has been shown by DEFRA roadside monitoring to be the single greatest cause of higher roadside pollution. Pre 2005 diesel emit less NOx than today's bigger cars. Every manufacturer is taking a simple hatchback, jacking it up into the airflow, adding huge wheels and tyres and then working an existing engine harder to cope - all in the name of "consumer demand" /"fashion" or is it so they can charge 25% more on the price?

We know diesel can achieve remarkable efficiency (Container ships, Lupo 3L, A2 1.2, XL1.....) but it was squandered to suit every larger cars - 30 mpg was achieved in the 1950s! The risk is we now use Batteries to hide the excessive consumption. Take the Outlandish PHIB 2 tonne SUV - NEDC calims 148 mpg but testers found it did 28 mpg real world and that excluded the electricity used from a dirty grid. Oh but I only go to the shops 10 miles a day... Then why build such a heavy, complex and expensive car? Surely a BEV would suffice.

The amount of energy and materials used to build, ship and deliver to the dealership is rarely considered.

Gordon Murray has looked at it. His 3 seater petrol car could be driven for > 60,000 miles (incl manufacture and delivery) compared to just getting an SUV to a dealership in pollution and energy terms:


As for the future?

I'd say #scrappageiswasteful in the case of efficient cars like the A2. We can use drop in solutions today.

EVs can work well in cities but they are not "zero emissions". We need to address de-forestation and is the cost of batteries falling because of child labour used in mining Cobalt?: http://www.skynews.com.au/news/world/africa/2017/02/28/four-year-olds-mining-cobalt-for-phones.html


H2 has a future as well provided we can green the production. But the fastest way to reduce consumption is to improve vehicle weight & aerodynamics, reduce size and improve traffic flow.

Riversimple seem to have the best concept at present:


An A2 EV conversion is possible but maybe it's better to just buy a s/h EV - just watch out for battery degradation (worse with lots of rapid charging unless you have a very big pack like a Tesla).

The VW e-up! is a fun machine for short trips. If you want a new medium range EV then the Hyundai Ioniq is closest to the A2 in terms of low drag and the newer BMW i3 90Ah BEV looks good for the city. Sticking with VAG? Try the bigger battery VW e-Golf.
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A2OC Donor
Well named I see Ecoangel - that was fascinating.

I read an article recently about energy density, battery chemistry and capacitance which described the refining of existing technology versus developing new. Musk's plant will cement existing LiFePO4 chemistry making a new alternative harder to successfully introduce.

For me, I asked the question because I find it fascinating and would like to have the 'off grid' local energy storage options in every house with PV or renewables which would make the car's energy 'free'... I'm also afraid the engine will die and I'll need to replace it!

What are your thoughts on range extended EVs? A small, engine in an EV to claim higher mpg. Cheating the figures or a real practical response?

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A2OC Donor
Has there really been no discussions on an Electric A2 since 2017? Maybe I’m not looking in the right place...

I think an electric A2 could make a lot of sense. There’s really nothing special about the engine or driving experience, generally, in an A2 after all!