How to Choose an EV Conversion Motor

Since you’re here, we know you’re at a crossroads when you stare at that old jalopy of yours parked in the garage. And since you’re still here, that means you’re considering swapping out the clunky old engine for something sleeker and sexier—an EV motor that’ll make your heart race faster than a Shelby. Kudos! You’re in the right place. But before you start tearing out wires, let’s talk about options.


Why the Bloody Motor Matters

The first time you hit the pedal on an EV, feel the tires grip the pavement, and take off with torque that’ll snatch your wig, you’ll understand the true importance of a proper EV motor. It can absolutely give your car a fresh breath of life. Let’s dive into the details.

Types of EV Motors

DC Motors

  1. Brushed DC Motors: These are like an heirloom watch—reliable, rugged, and a bit nostalgic, they get the job done. However, the nature of their motoring comes from brushes, meaning they require regular maintenance (brush replacement), and they aren’t as efficient as their brushless counterparts. However, where they shine is in their ability to produce maximum torque at zero speed. Zoom.

  2. Brushless DC Motors (BLDC): The James Bond of EV motors. They’re smooth, efficient, and practically maintenance-free. BLDCs use electronics to spin, eliminating the need for brushes and making them quieter than a shadow in the night.

AC Motors

  1. Induction Motors: These bad boys are brushless (nice), robust, and reliable. However, this is where a balancing act’ll come into play. Induction motors are outshined by BLDC in nearly every metric. They’re a little bigger, a little heavier, and a bit less efficient—but they’re definitely cheaper. They’re great, if not a little… primitive.

  2. Permanent Magnet Synchronous Motors (PMSM): The PMSM is a cross between an induction motor and a brushless DC motor, making it efficient and quiet as all hell. It’s powered by magnets, not brushes or electronics. These motors produce insane torque and have great strength-density for their size. However, their advanced tech and rare earth minerals drive up the price.

Key Factors for EV Conversion Motors

When you’re converting your car, especially if you’re doing a DIY EV conversion, planning and design will take up tons of your mental real-estate. You’ll have tons of factors to consider—if you’re not a professional we highly recommend at least getting a professional opinion about your project. Here, we’ll discuss the factors you should consider when it comes to choosing an EV motor:

  1. Power Rating: Calculate the power you need. Are you building a zippy city car or a monster off-roader? Match the motor’s power rating to your driving style and terrain.

  2. Voltage and Current: Max voltage determines how fast your EV can do, while current (amperage) determines its acceleration. Balance these wisely.

  3. Space Constraints: You’ll have to measure your engine bay. Is it cozy or spacious? How much room do you have to play with? Your motor should fit snug, like peas in a pod.

  4. Cooling: Motors get hot. You’ll need fans, liquid cooling, or passive heat sinks—whatever, just make sure you have the space you need to keep it cool.

DIY EV Conversion Tips

  1. Throttle Response: Want instant gratification? Choose a motor with snap. Your EV will leap off the line like a cat chasing a mouse.

  2. Regenerative Braking: This is a biggie for EVs. Look for motors that support regenerative braking and do the money dance every time you hit the pads.

  3. Controller Capability: Your motor and its controller should play nice. Make sure you check compatibility.

Remember, friends, choosing an EV conversion motor is a delicate process that needs to be done with care and attention. Get into it, channel your inner Tesla, do your research, and make your motor sing.

Discover the Process

My Electric Conversion Project Process


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