How to Convert Your 2CV into 2EV

General discription

Our converted E.V. is basically the same as a late 19th century EV except with a modern hi-tech PWM(Pulse Width Modulation) type controller. We have used a DC motor to replace the original engine & connected 120V batteries.
With a DC motor we can have the highest torque with very low R.P.M.(under300). Usually an electric motor doesn't need a transmission,but our modified vehicle has the original transmission & clutch.Of course with an E.V. ,when the car has stopped,so has the motor.this means that the clutch isn't necessary when starting the car.
To modify a 2CV into an E.V. is easy.As the 2CV is quite a simple car,it doesn't have brake vacuum servo,power stearing,air conditioning etc,so an auxial power unit(A.P.U.:usually a small electric motor)which isn't needed.
The problem is that we can't use the heater!
I bought all of my 2CV E.V. parts from an American electric specialist, who sell many of their motors & other parts to E.V.hobbists.Their name is KTA SERVICING INC.their address is ...
944 West 21st Street - Upland,CA 91784 U.S.A.
We have read 2 books which helped in making our E.V.they are...
CONVERT IT by Michael P.Brown,
Published by FUTURE BOOKS
Published by TAB BOOKS Division of McGraw-Hill,Inc.


The parts that make an E.V.


The motor is an Advanced D.C. model 203-06-4001($1,398)which is a series wind type with a brush.Occasionally the brush has to be changed,but it's a very easy job.
The motor's 31.5HP/3600rpm(5min.rating),19.0HP/5000rpm(continuous rate) & maximam torque is 11.3kgEm/300rpm(Supply voltage is 120V).
An equivalent motor from another E.V. or forklift is available.

Adapter plate & Mount

These parts for 2CV aren't supplied.We need to make a bell housing & shaft coupling which is fixed to the motor shaft & the flywheel,clutch disc & clutch cover are also fixed.A steel mount is placed between chassis & motor(rubber mount is better).

Controller & Potbox

We used the CURTIS PMC model 1221b-7401 controller($750) & Model PB-6 throttle potbox($65).Potbox(variable register)that is operated by the original accelerator pedal control the motor through the controller. I highly recommend this controller,as an old type controller for an electric forklift is not quite good enough - there is too much power when the motor is started.

Contactor,Braker,Fuse & Others

We need a braker as the main switch & a fuse to protect the batteries.
Also a contactor to switch to propulsion batteries by the ignition switch.
The braker & fuse are 400-500A,250V,the contactor's current rating is 250A.
I used these parts...
G.E. model TQD-200 circuit braker($125)
Albright model SW-200B main contactor($130)
Another contactor will allow you to reverse the motor's "spin direction" & thus you can reverse the car without reverse gear.
By the way,you can make a 2CV Sahara without special modification of the transmission.If we could have a hi-tech controller between the front & rear motor,we could be able to have a full-time 4WD Sahara(with torque split).


We used 10 open-type lead-acid batteries at 12V-28AH each,as these are cheap & lightweight, Closed type batteries are better,because they are safer & easier to maintain but they are more expensive.For starters,we used batteries which were inexpensive and easy to get,but if you want a longer range,I suggest you choose excellent batteries for propulsion.Some excellent batteries I know are OPTIMA,GENESIS,TROJAN etc.
For safety reasons,I suggest you put the batteries outside the cabin & fix them firmly to the body,in case of an accident.
The original 12V battery is still required to run the lights,wipers,
contactor etc. I've been told by a Toyota engineer that the average battery lifespan is 1 to 2 years.

Battery charging

In Japan,It takes 12hours to charge the batteries at 100VAC but in the E.C.(at 230VAC)it would take about 8hours. If you charge the open-type batteries,you can use a simple charger.But for closed type,you must use the advanced charger with voltage limitter,current regulater,timer,& other control systems,because they are more likely to explode,if you overcharge them - So please take care !


The cost for the parts(motor,controller,batteries,stc)to make a 2EV is about $5,000($1 = \128).



We haven't done enough road testing on the 2CV-EV to know with 100% accuracy the specifications & performance of the vehicle.
I've calculated that the maximum speed is 115km/h.In theory,at an constant speed of 40km/h,the range(distance the EV could travel) is 57km for 1hr. 24min. Actual range is 20-30km at town use.
The reason why this performance isn't as good as many other EV's is because we have used only 10 small batteries. Of course,if you doubled the number of batteries,you would have twice the range. However, increased weight will be dameged your chassis
The torque is higher than the original engine,so care must be taken when engaging 1st gear & reverse gear as you could break the clutch disc,
transmission & drive shafts.
Concerning the weight of the 2EV. Recently,we weighed the car & discovered that it weighed 655kg. The original Japanese model was only 620kg,but we can reduced the EV's weight,if we use a lighter motor & batteries,which we plan to do.So hopefully,the EV's weight can be the same as the original Japanese 2CV model.


In 1930's the engineers,Andre Lefebvre & others created a very lightweight car. This was an excellent achievement because we can run the 2EV with only 10 batteries.With Andre Lefebvre & others excellent design & the addition of an electric motor,I believe we have made a "Dream Car",a perfect "People's Vehicle". We often compere the smoothest & quietest engines to an electric motor.when we find such an engine...We have got a real motor!

Until the end of the 2CV's production in 1991,the car lacked an electric clock. I would like to install an electric clock in the 2EV & really see if the following statement is possible with the converted "great people's vehicle".
"At 60 miles an hour the loudest noise in this new Rolls-Royce comes from the electric clock"(R/R Motor Co. 1956)

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