• Sep 28, 2011
If you want a drop-top electric two seater and you have $100,000 burning a hole in your very high quality wallet, you can stop at on your local Tesla dealer to find satisfaction (if you hurry). However, finding an inexpensive convertible EV can be an issue – unless your plans include a Nissan Leaf and a chainsaw. Luckily, this very issue is something that EV Works' electric Miata conversion kit is here to address.

The EV Miata kit is ready whether you're DC or AC (motors, of course). It contains all the brackets and mounts needed to fit electric drive and batteries inside the first-generation Mazda Miata's classically attractive shell. At $2,500 for mostly mounting hardware, the kit leaves you to find a lot of the make-it-go parts on your own, but EV Works has detailed parts lists that should have you zoom-zooming in relative silence for up to 90 miles at a time for a total price around $20,000... plus a donor Miata, of course. If you can get by with a shorter range, they have conversion options that will cut the total project price to around $12,000.

Previous kits from EV Works only supported DC motors, but the new AC arrangement allows for a ride with greater performance and range.
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EV Work's EV Miata kit allows you to convert a first generation Miata to quick, quiet, clean electric drive. The kit allows for a wide range of components and now with AC support, the converted Miata can now travel 90 miles or more per charge.

San Francisco, CA, September 22, 2011 --(PR.com)-- EV Works, announced today that their popular EV Miata kit now supports AC motors and controllers. EV Work's EV Miata kit is designed to bolt in to a first generation Mazda Miata, allowing EV enthusiasts, conversion shops or schools to convert a Miata to 100% electric drive.

Up to this point, the drive components supported by the EV Miata Kit were limited to DC. A revised motor mount now allows for a number of different motor and controller combinations – including those using AC. With the addition of AC, the EV Miata kit now supports the widest range of motors and controllers on the market today. AC is known for its efficiency and support of regenerative braking – allowing the motor to operate as a generator during braking. These advantages make AC a smart choice for long range electric vehicles.

"AC Support in the EV Miata kit allows you to build an electric Miata to go as fast or as far as you want - up to 90 miles on a single charge," explained Patrick Mackey, General Manager of EV Works.

The EV Works EV Miata kit is available to enthusiasts who wish to do the electric conversion themselves, conversion shops and schools. For more information visit www.evmiata.com.


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  • 19 Comments
      Marco Polo
      • 3 Years Ago
      The Mazda MX-5 (Miata) has sold nearly a million cars world-wide. Early models make excellent conversions. (Later models equipped with ESC, are exceedingly difficult to modify to meet compulsory ESC). I have converted 5 of these small cars from ICE to EV with great success. EV enthusiast postings in EV association forums, will confirm the ease and popularity of converting the MX-5. In main, because no matter the expense or sophistication of your conversion technology, you are starting with a superbly built glider. There's a Japanese Coach body builder,(Mitsuoka Motor Co), who commissioned electronic specialist TGMY, to install an AC induction motor and controller from Azure Dynamics, into a custom built MX-5. The result is the beautiful Himiko EV. The Hiniko's 168 lithium polymer cells boasts a range approaching 550 klms ( 350 miles), on a single charge. Now that's something for EVsuperhero to aim to equal! :)
        PeterScott
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Marco Polo
        This is actually a dream of mine if I came into some money. I used to drive a 91 Miata. I would love to have an EV conversion of this car. A way to go electric and still drive a MT.
      Dave
      • 3 Years Ago
      I love my Miata. I love its light weight, its manual transmission, and its great exhaust sound. Piling in 500 lbs of batteries and an electric motor sounds like heresy to me.
        Dan Frederiksen
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Dave
        Dave, if done right you wouldn't be adding weight. the crappy combustion engine system in your slow miata isn't made of helium. done right as an EV it would be considerably more agile.
        2 Wheeled Menace
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Dave
        Go test drive an electric car and get back to us. Once you drive an EV, you will understand and not mind the extra weight so much. All the extra torque off the line is a freaking blast. Hop it up enough and it will be doing wheelies. Oh, and it will cost you a third of the money to fuel it up.
          Spec
          • 3 Years Ago
          @2 Wheeled Menace
          Yeah, if you use Li-Ions, there really won't be much of a weight difference between an EV Miata and a gas Miata.
          Dave
          • 3 Years Ago
          @2 Wheeled Menace
          "Go test drive an electric car and get back to us. Once you drive an EV, you will understand and not mind the extra weight so much." I didnt say EVs were bad in general. I said a converted Miata was heresy (a very specific statement). I would have no problem with adding the weight to my Ranger, but not to my Miata. And a conversion tends to be worse than a purpose built EV because the conversions tend to keep the unnecessary weight of the transmission and driveshaft. "All the extra torque off the line is a freaking blast. Hop it up enough and it will be doing wheelies." No you won't. You'll be spinning tires and creating smoke. And wheelies are pointless. The Miata is all about handling. Its has less than 140hp and that's plenty for its weight. "Oh, and it will cost you a third of the money to fuel it up." And I still won't ever recover the $20,000 cost. Cars don't last 30+ years. (My Miata is 14 years old with 51,000 miles on it) And I won't have enough range to drive to an autocross, then race, then drive home.
          2 Wheeled Menace
          • 3 Years Ago
          @2 Wheeled Menace
          Actually the transmission and driveshaft are an asset here. Putting electric power through the gears beats the hell out of a simple direct drive. You get a hell of a lot more power out of a smaller motor that way. As for the weight, it is not that bad. You can distribute the weight amongst the car so that it actually has better weight balance than OEM. The miata IS all about handling but don't act like you wouldn't like some additional power. Why do you think there are supercharger kits and turn key v8 swap kits for the car? Yes it is a big investment in cash, but electric does pay off in the end if you drive enough miles. You can do a conversion for FAR under $20,000. As for autocross, yes you can cross that off unless you are willing to 'go big' on your battery cost, Battery energy density is not there yet, but it is getting closer every year. Sorry i offended you with the thought. I'll be in my garage building an EV miata if you need me though.. ;)
      porosavuporo
      • 3 Years Ago
      Good luck finding a matching reasonably priced AC motor and inverter kit.
        PeterScott
        • 3 Years Ago
        @porosavuporo
        They have one listed on the "estimates" page: http://www.evmiata.com/estimates.html The AC motor/Controller is about $800 more than a DC Warp 9 Motor/Controller combo.
      stevefazek
      • 3 Years Ago
      now this is a joke, a bunch of angle iron welded together, the only thing in that that could be perceived with any value could be the motor mounts and no flywheel? sorry at best this is worth 300 bucks
      2 Wheeled Menace
      • 3 Years Ago
      By AC do they mean 3 phase brushless pulsed DC.... versus DC brushed? Anyway this is badass!! Always wanted a miata, but was always turned off by the poor fuel economy considering the size of the engine.
        • 3 Years Ago
        @2 Wheeled Menace
        Yeah, most folks want to call an electronically commutated permanent magnet DC motor "AC" (as in Alternating Current). EC motors run on direct current that is turned on and off by transistors, and the frequency of that switching is varied, sending current sequentially to each of three (or more) stator coils, emulating the switching accomplished by the brushes in a brushed direct current motor as it accelerates. The current does not alternate between a high positive value, across a zero current to an equally low negative value like an induction motor does, it is either on or off with varying frequency in a PM ECM. Not really sure what advantage a PM ECM has in a rear wheel drive EV. They motors cost more, require an extra electronic control module to stash somewhere, and with rear wheel drive, can provide mediocre regenerative braking to cut down on brake pad wear.
          JVK
          • 3 Years Ago
          Oh, and the advantage of an ECM is because of the permanent magnet design. With PM rotors, there is feedback, harmonics, and a need for active power factor correction by changing the shape of the waveform. In a brushed AC motor, this would be simply done by controlling the rotor current for ideal PF, but with the fixed EMF of a magnetic rotor, this is not possible. So to eliminate the brushes and achieve PFC, an ECM is needed. On the upside, efficiencies well into 90% are possible with these motors.
          JVK
          • 3 Years Ago
          Most EE's know that what is commonly referred to as "brushless DC" is really a permanant magnet rotor motor, so an AC current must be supplied to the stators which means its an AC motor at heart... with controls on the transistors that vary the alternating frequency as an inverter should from a DC source. What Im getting at is... they are one and the same. I dont get what the big deal is, but BLDC's are a type of AC motor... the current to the motor is AC, the waveform given by some sort of controller/inverter/VFD... what makes it AC or DC is really just what the controller works with on the input side... but no matter which, it gets bridge-rectified into a DC source anyways before the output choppers make the output signal... so whoop whoop... they are still the same thing!!!
        2 Wheeled Menace
        • 3 Years Ago
        @2 Wheeled Menace
        On second look.. no details about a motor to transmission adapter... the most important part.
      Dan Frederiksen
      • 3 Years Ago
      this doesn't exactly seem like news but yes you can convert your own EV for moderate cost although it is still not easy. still too much tinkering required and components are still too random and pricey. the right kit product could however be very easy to apply and be cost effective. but it doesn't quite exist yet. what do you say we make that happen Jack..
        Marco Polo
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Dan Frederiksen
        There's always an excuse why you just talk, yet never actually do anything!
          Dan Frederiksen
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Marco Polo
          your talk may be worthless, mine is not. and what do you know about what I do? and money is a fact of this world. you can choose to blame me for financial realities but that just makes you your usual 100% wrong.
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