1990 Mazda MX-5


Completed vehicle as of mid-2008



This was my first EV conversion, and was a great learning experience. The difficulties I encountered with doing my own conversion was a major motivating factor for me getting involved in the professional EV industry, in the hope of making things easier for future converters!

A major aim for the project was to make an electric vehicle to break the golf-cart stereotype, i.e something with sporty performance and fun to drive. After much deliberation I chose an MX5 as the donor vehicle, being one of the lightest and smallest rear wheel drive vehicles around, and with a reputation for excellent handling.

I opted for a large DC motor as the best bang-for-buck, running direct drive (i.e no gearbox, motor coupled directly to the tailshaft) since the motor has plenty of torque. Direct drive is a great option for rear wheel drive vehicles, but you do need to run a more powerful motor and controller for good performance.

The vehicle was originally completed in mid-2008, but has since had an extensive rebuild to bring it up to date with the latest revision of NCOP standards for electric vehicles including all the latest best-practices for EV safety, as well as reverse cycle air-conditioning as a more efficient option for cabin heating.

-Ian Hooper

PS: Lots more pictures and information can be viewed at this vehicle's Conversion Blog.


Technical Specifications

  • Motor: NetGain Warp 11 (Series DC)
  • Controller: ZEVA MC600S
  • Batteries: 40x Thunder LFP160AHA
  • BMS: EVPower TS90
  • Charger: Zivan NG3
  • Instrumentation: ZEVA Fuel Gauge Driver+
  • DC-DC Converter: IOTA DLS-55
  • Vacuum Pump: MES-DEA 70/6E
  • Contactor(s): 2x Kilovac EV200
  • Fuse(s): 2x Bussmann FWH 600A
  • Safety Gear: Inertia switch, emergency stop, EVMS
  • Other: Reverse cycle A/C on the way


  • Top Speed: 100km/h
  • 0-100km/h: Approx 10 sec
  • Range: 130km
  • Curb weight: 1100kg