When there's a will, there's a way, right? Rich Rebuilds proved that with a rat rod and a salvage Zero S, but this Indian YouTube channel called Technical Partha beat Benoit and created what must be the cheapest EV conversion we have ever seen or heard about. All it took was a Maruti 800, an electric motor, a controller, and a 60V lithium-ion battery. Oh, and a steel plate as well.
You must be wondering what the steel plate has to do with anything. The explanation is that Technical Partha decided to keep the combustion engine as the base for the motor. We always knew electric motors were superior to combustion engines, but the Indian youtuber took this literally to an entirely new level. Part of the genius in the conversion and many of its future problems is here. We only wonder if this conversion is to have a long life at all.
What Technical Partha did was dismantling the engine entirely without removing it from the engine bay. He took off the oil pan, the cylinder head, the water pump, and the three pistons of the small 0.8-liter three-cylinder, apart from all other engine accessories. Only the engine block and the crankshaft – still connected to the gearbox – remained in place.
The steel plate – apparently thicker than the one used on the Tesla Cybertruck – came as a rough cylinder head replacement. Technical Partha drilled it to have the same holes at the top of the engine block and four more. These holes had the purpose of attaching the steel plate to the top of the block and the other four to bolt the electric motor over it.
The Indian YouTuber then adds two gears to that arrangement, probably the ones the car already had for the timing belt. They make the motor move the crankshaft and give electric life to the tiny car.
The motor is a 60V, 3,000W unit. It gets the company of a 60V, 4,000W, universal controller, and also 60V, 40Ah lithium-ion battery. As the technical specifications make clear, we are really talking about a single battery. You can see it below.
By doing that, Technical Partha avoided having to adapt anything other than the steel plate and a motorcycle throttle that probably works like a potentiometer. Instead of adapting one to the gas pedal, the Indian youtuber connected the gas cable to the motorcycle throttle.
The Maruti 800 EV still has the original engine mounts, a working gearbox, and his creator claims to be able to reach 50 km/h (31 mph). How far will it go? Probably less than a mile with such a power source. With the lack of oil on the crank bearings and other parts that need lubrication, perhaps it will have a much lower range – if the timing belt does not break or jump out of the gears in a bump.
Regardless of how brief this EV conversion may prove to be, we'd love to see what Technical Partha would be able to do with a proper budget. Perhaps a Renault K-ZE, starting from the Indian Kwid? The Nano EV Ratan Tata never managed to sell? An electric Toyota Etios? As famous as this youtuber may get, the budget will not be a problem very soon. He may even open an EV shop in India very soon. Does The Electrified Garage have plans to go international?