As electric cars become more common, so is the idea of replacing an electric motor with a car with a combustion engine. High-end stores and hobbyists are at the forefront, but other companies are working to make the process easier. GM showed at SEMA last year a modular electric motor exchange kit that can be used with a Chevy LS transmission bolt cartridge to easily couple it with a variety of transmissions. If you can’t wait for that, EV West has another way to easily add electricity to your classic.
The company announced on Facebook that it would soon be selling a Tesla crate motor kit. And most importantly, it comes with brackets that allow it to be bolted to anything with mountings for a Chevy LS or a Chevy small-block V8. That includes more than half a century of Chevy products. Not only that, if there are companies making engine mounts to convert other cars to an LS or small block, this will screw up too. This Miata owner wouldn’t mind seeing a partnership between Flyin ‘Miata and EV West to create a Tesla-powered MX-5.
In addition to the motor and bracket, the set also includes the inverter. The motor itself is one that has been refurbished by EV West as Tesla does not sell new individual motorcycles to individuals and businesses. Also important to note is that this crate motor is designed to bolt directly to a driveshaft, so you’ll be running your transmission on the run. The motor has a 2: 1 reduction gear before going to the driveshaft and then your differential. A representative from EV West suggested a 4: 1 rear as a good option, for an overall drive ratio of 8: 1, especially if your project has small diameter wheels and tires. The reason for this is that, with the smaller wheels and tires, the end result should be a similar gear to a regular Tesla, which would have a final drive ratio of 9.73: 1, but it also has large diameter wheels and tires. Of course you can also choose from a wide variety of gearboxes at the rear, for whatever purpose. EV West built a hot rod with a similar setup and tuned it so that they could reach a speed of 238 mph at Bonneville. You could also go with a really short gear ratio and have a completely absurd tow truck or burnout machine.
The EV West representative said the crate motor unit should be available in about a month or two. The crate motor costs about $ 30,000. He estimated that the additional components such as batteries could bring the cost of a complete powertrain to about $ 50,000. That of course depends on the number of batteries you need.