Mercedes Benz A160 ConversionMercedes Benz A160 ConversionMercedes Benz A160 ConversionMercedes Benz A160 Conversion
OwnerGreg Royal
LocationParemata, Wellington New Zealand map
Vehicle1998 Mercedes Benz A160
Mercedes A160 City Car. This car is a 5 Speed Automatic. We are replacing this with 5 Speed Manual Transmission with manual clutch.
This car was made for EV conversion. There is a ton of room under floor for upto 106 Thunderskys between the wheels and behind the rear wheels.
MotorHPEVS AC50-01 3-Phase AC
HPGC AC50-01 Motor, 52 hp Peak @ 96 volts, 60 hp peak @ 108 volts, 15 hp continuous, 6500 RPM.
ControllerCurtis 1238-8501
Curtis Controller married to the AC50 Motor. Complete with Regen.
Replaced with new 1238-8501 controller.
Batteries36 Thunder Sky WB-LYP160AHA, 3.35 Volt, Lithium Iron Phosphate
The big issue is that the weight must stay under GVM of 1505kg for registration.
System Voltage120 Volts
Charger Chennic Charger
AC Input Voltage: AC 90V - AC 265V
AC Input Frequency: 45Hz - 65Hz
Max AC Input current: 12A@110V, 6A@220V
Battery Voltage: 144V Max
Battery Current: 8A
DC/DC Converter Chennic DC-DC Converter 400W
Model JCDI41-12012 - 120V Input 12-13.8V output
InstrumentationAndroid 0S v2.3 tablet interface.
Pioneer DVD system with flip up screens for data display.
Custom ECU integration.
Top Speed70 MPH (112 KPH)
We are retaining the gearing for the 5 speed manual for the A160 so it should actually see 110+ Kmh without a problem.
AccelerationThe manual car does 0-100Kph (0-62mph)in 11.9 seconds. We should be able to comfortably beat this.
Range99 Miles (159 Kilometers)
This is a theoretical range so far based on 160AH battery pack consuming 1.6AH per mile (0.99AH per km).
This has not been tested.
The practical range is going to around 128Km or 80miles.
Seating CapacityThe car is a 5 seater BUT we may need to lose a seat to get the car under the GVM of 1505kg.
Curb Weight3,306 Pounds (1,502 Kilograms)
1505Kg is GVM for registration. We cannot go above this. However our battery pack for 160AHA has put us over the limit.
Tires17" Carlsson Tuner Alloys with Nexen N3000 205/45/17 unidirectional low resistance rubber.
Conversion Time12 months
Conversion CostBudget is $NZ45,000
Additional FeaturesAir Conditioning, Electronic Stability Control/ABS, Electric Lamella Sun Roof. GPS Navigation System. 3G Mifi System.
Full electronic instrumentation.
August 2010: We had the car shipped down from Auckland dealer. The first steps were to have the car checked out completely. When to the valet first. Replaced all the brake system including the calipers, pads and machined the discs.

Sept 1st 2010: Ordered Manual 5 Speed Gearbox from the United Kingdom. All the A class in NZ are Automatics (mostly).

Sept 4th 2010: Ordered Carlsson 17" alloys with Nexen N3000 205/40/17 rubber. Update: Delivered and installed.

Sept 9th 2010: Found an issue with the Auto transmission. Pulled out the transmission and having it refurbished even though we are not ultimately going to use it. Shipped it to European Auto Parts in Papakura. We also took the opportunity to run a test dismantle and take all the measurements.

Sept 19th 2010: Reinstalled transmission, this problem is solved. Came up with a few issues to be ironed out, so off to the Benz people for the next couple of weeks. Issue with alternator and having to recharge the air con (oops).

Sept 26th 2010: The A Class has an electric power steering pump which is a bonus. Removed pump and sent off to folks at BBA REM to be reconditioned.

October 2010: Busy ordering parts and arranging shipping.

November 2010: Parts off to be repainted while we wait for shipments. We ended up completely replacing Power steering Pump with rebuilt unit.

New subframe assembly has arrived. It is being shipped off for repainting. We also modified a transmission (500KG) jack to make it a subframe jack.

Electric Power Steering rebuilt and reinstalled. Working on the Electronic Throttle Design.

Jan 2011: Subframe back from painters. Ordered new engine and transmission mounts for fabrication.
Most of effort is going into designing the existing ESP system into the design. Current law requires ABS system must remain intact but it is tied closely to ESP system so the big question is whether or not we can split ESP from ABS.

Mar 2011: Due to a serious problem with the Auto, installing manual transmission and using the automatic transmission package for fabrication. Developed new subframe cradle, preparing for another tear down.

May 2011: Convert to manual, continue on fabricating powertrain. See updates @

June 2011: Manual conversion complete, ECU reprogrammed for manual vehicle and updated transmission controls.

July 2011: Purchased additional engine mounts and hardware for fabrication of motor/transmission adapter.

Sept 2011: Working on the ECU integration. Proving quite challenging. This issue is primary timeline.

Oct 2011: Complete overhaul of new leather interior and door panels. Finally commissioned adapter plate and half shaft mounting kit.

Jan 2012: Developed adapter plate and first electronics for ECU management and instrumentation.

code by jerry