Starting out

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Starting out

Postby mikebradley » Tue Jan 13, 2009 8:09 am

Hi, I am planning on converting a 200cc Quad to electric and would like help finding sources for parts and information that could help me get started with this project. I am new to electric drive, so any links to sites or suppliers will be useful to me.

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Postby Jeremy » Tue Jan 13, 2009 8:32 am

Sounds an interesting project.

Your best bet might be a PM DC motor, as these will give plenty of power for this size project and have readily available controllers.

You could go for a high performance motor, like the Agni (see: or perhaps the Perm (see: or you could opt for a much cheaper (but heavier and slightly less efficient) Mars motor (see: Mars also do a brushless version that might be worth considering.

Controllers for these motors are readily available from several companies. Alltrax and Curtiss are both well known and have been around a fair while (see: and but a newer supplier worth looking at is Kelly (see:

A bit of time spent Googling will soon find vendors for these parts and allow price/performance comparison. Other parts, like contactors and throttles can be found on the sites of the vendors that sell motors and controllers usually, although it's worth looking on eBay once you have decided what you want.

Batteries are a whole topic on themselves, with lead acid being fairly easy to buy in the UK, relatively cheap but giving only modest performance. For best weight/performance it's hard to beat LiFePO4 cells, but these are more expensive, need battery management and nearly always need to be imported from the Far East.

Hope this helps.


A quick Google

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Postby MalcolmB » Tue Jan 13, 2009 8:34 am

Hi Mike and welcome!
It would help us give you relevant advice if you could give some idea of the loaded weight of the quad and the performance you want from it, but here are a few links to get started :)

General inspiration:

Pancake motors: (built in India, but office in Brighton I believe)

One-stop US suppliers who ship to the UK:

You can sometime pick up second-hand motors and controllers on ebay, but prices have been rising lately. This supplier occassionally sellls larger controllers as well as various switchgear and battery chargers:

EDIT: Looks like Jeremy got in there before me :) – a few links are duplicated, but I'll leave them as they are.

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Postby GregsGarage » Tue Jan 13, 2009 11:11 am

Hi Mike,

A good site for newcomers is Lots of info, mainly geared towards car conversions, but it will give you a good start on what you need to think about. Took me a week to get through it all! :shock:

Also have a look here;

For your first project go with lead acid batteries, probably an AGM style for your ATV. You can later upgrade to lithium, but testing with lead is cheaper, and once you know what your battery requirements are with lead you can then order the correct size lithium pack. I have seen EV projects scuppered due to the wrong size lithium cells being ordered.

Finally have a look at my Fiat 126 link at the bottom of this page. I am using the Agni motor and Kelly controller. This setup gives regen and is very light and powerful. Motor weighs 11 kg and powers my 650kg car (not including passengers) to 55mph.

Good luck with your project.
Greg Fordyce

Daewoo Matiz

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Postby mikebradley » Tue Jan 13, 2009 11:17 am

Thanks for the links, that should keep me busy for a while doing some research.
The Quad as is weighs in at 150Kgs, not sure how much weight will be shed when the motor comes out and apart from the 4L fuel tank theres not much else to strip off. I am not looking for a performance machine, 30 mph would be nice and I expect to be using it for journeys of no more than 15 miles, so a range of 40 miles would be ideal.

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Postby qdos » Tue Jan 13, 2009 2:47 pm


Have a look at the Etrike that Stuart Mills of MEV built it pretty much meets the spec it even used a Kawasaki Quad front end only it is a trike

Article in the last Plugged In magazine

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Re: Starting out

Postby BernardBradford » Sat Jun 11, 2011 3:46 pm

Hi Mike,
I'm in the position you were in(novice looking at ideas and seeking guidance), so I found the information supplied to you very useful. Did you progress to converting and if so what was your experience?

"The fool learns only from his own mistakes. The wiseman learns from the mistakes of others"

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