OwnerMalcolm Reeson
LocationPerth, Western Australia Australia map
Web/EmailWebPage email image
Vehicle1986 BMW 318i Bauer Cabrolet
MotorAdvanced DC FB-4001 Series Wound DC
Wish I had got the dual shaft version so I could
run altinator and AC compressor off the front
DrivetrainEV system consists of an Advanced DC FB-4001
motor direct drive, 45 x 160 Ah LiFePO4
Thundersky battery pack, Rod Dilkes Battery
Management System (BMS), ZEVA 1000A controller
and Zivan charger.
ControllerZeva 1000A
Zilla died. Replaced with ZEVA 1000A - great
controller, ZEVA make excellent stuff
Batteries45 Thunder Sky 160 Ahr, 3.20 Volt, Lithium Iron Phosphate
Rod Dilked BMS - elegently simple, very


System Voltage144 Volts
ChargerZivan NG3-144VDC
HeaterI live in perth where it is always warm
DC/DC ConverterMeanwell SP500-13.5
Think this thing leaks and has a constant
battery drain. Have been experimienting with
putting diodes on it.
InstrumentationUpgraded to ZEVA EVMA with monitor etc.
Excellent setup, provides lots of good info

Also have 7 LEDs and buzzers for various
Top Speed80 MPH (128 KPH)
Have had it up to 120 km/hr, and was still
AccelerationBetter than when it was petrol. I estimate 9
seconds to 100 km/hr
Range80 Miles (128 Kilometers)
Have done 120km, and think the actual range is
around 130 km
Watt Hours/MileHave been measuring this at the powerpoint and
been getting high readings - 350 w/km - suspect
this is a charger efficiency issue and a low
level leak/drain somewhere in the system
EV Miles
Start:271,850 Miles (437,406 Kilometers)
Current:310,000 Miles (498,790 Kilometers)
Total:38,150 Miles (61,383 Kilometers)
    As of 10/15/2021
Seating Capacity5 adults
Curb Weight2,650 Pounds (1,204 Kilograms)
Weight is now around 1200 kg. Car is about 70
kg heavier than when it was petrol.

Weight distribution is around 630 kg front /
560 kg rear
TiresYes. Round and black
Conversion TimeRoughly 8 months from motor coming out to on the
road registered as EV
Conversion CostAround $30k Australian, done when the exchange
rate was 65c to the US $. Reckon it could be
done for A$20-A$25k now.
Additional FeaturesSound generator on the dash that makes vroom vroom noises for the
people who keep asking if it is on when you stop at traffic lights.
About 4 years ago I began thinking about making an EV. The
reasons for this were many and varied � environmental reasons,
energy security, had a friend working on one, my car had just been
hit and needed replacing and, well, I love a good project and

The first step for me was lots of research � what was involved
technically, what sort of car to convert, what it would cost. My
objective was a �100/100/10� car � that is it could go a minimum
of 100 km on a charge, minimum of 100 km/h and a 0-100 km/h time
of 10 seconds or better.

During this time I decided that the critical part of choosing
which car to convert was that it had to be a car that I would
still want to be driving in 10 years � there was not point putting
all this effort and expense into something and then not enjoy
driving it.

I considered a number of donor cars, and decided to target a BMW
E30 Bauer cabriolet. The reasons for this were many � I had had
an E30 before and they are a great little car and fun to drive,
parts are readily available, they are a decent size (I�m quite
tall), they are well built, and the Bauer convertibles have the
advantage of a 2-part removable roof so you can still have shade
in summer with the back part down, and they have a built in roll
bar. They also avoid a lot of the leak paths that many
convertibles suffer.

I was luck enough to find a car in Victoria on the internet that
was being sold unlicensed as the owner didn�t want to fix what
would be required for a roadworthy. I had it inspected and no
major issues were found, so I picked it up site unseen for $2000.
Luckily when it arrived I found out it was in excellent condition
inside and out, but with a tired motor. It took all of $300 to
get the car register in WA, and I proceeded to try and wear the
tyres out before the conversion started.

The next big decision was EV drive train configuration to use. I
laboured long and hard about whether to keep the gearbox or not,
but at this point I met Rob Mason who had just converted another
BMW E30. One drive told me that a direct drive system worked
fine, so that made all the pieces fall together. This also gave
me the ability to copy Rob�s design and layout, and gave me
confidence that everything would fit.

The final EV system consists of an Advanced DC FB-4001 motor
direct drive, 45 x 160 Ah LiFePO4 Thundersky battery pack, Rod
Dilkes Battery Management System (BMS), Zilla 1K LV controller and
Zivan charger.

Next came the grunt work of the conversion. I drove the car to
the EV Works workshop, and pulled out 280 kg of junk � motor,
gearbox, muffler, fuel tank, radiator etc, then left the car with
them to mount the motor and build the battery racks. I then took
the car home on a trailer, where it spent months sitting there as
I slowly added all the smaller components (vacuum pump etc) and
cabling etc.

Just as the car was ready to be completed, work asked me to go to
Houston for 6 months (which became 9 months�). Damn frustrating
to be so close and not be able to finish it off, but within 2
weeks of my return to Perth the car was running.

Overall it has been a great project, and I�m really happy with how
the car has worked out. The car easily makes the �100/100/10�
objectives, and is a hoot to drive. Many thanks to my patient
wife, and all the great and help and advice along the way
particularly from Rob and Ian at EV Works.

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