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Unread 07-01-2015, 11:52 PM   #1
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Default Tesla motor retrofits?

I think this would be the appropriate section to ask this;

Since this is my first post I just want to give a tad of background on me and my vehicle. I currently own a 2008 Chevy Cobalt LT. I have a few minor upgrades to it but nothing crazy, seeing it's not a great tune car. It is however fairly reliable, and despite popular opinion, safe. I previously own a 2005 base model and was in a wreck (not my fault) and walked out pretty unscathed.

Anyways, even though my Cobalt lacks performance I've become rather fond of the body style. I've pondered and done research about engine and drivetrain swaps that could possibly be done after I'm on my own. One that I noticed was that somebody dropped the engine from a Pontiac GTO into a Cobalt and managed to convert it to RWD. It seemed like a tedious and expensive project though, nothing that I would care to do.

Now, I'm actually a fan of electric cars. Fast ones, of course.

Most EV swap kits are low power and have incredibly terrible range for their price. Often it involves locking a manual transmission into one gear, and seeing as though I have an auto, that seems fairly out of the question.

Now, after more research and drooling I've found that Tesla Model S's has their electric motors basically on the axle(s) and lack the need of any transmission so to speak.

Tesla also has their batteries down to a pretty efficient science. Most of them can now run as far as my car could on a full tank of gas, and recharge within 20-30 minutes on their hyperchargers.

In a nutshell I'm curious if anybody's ever heard of someone who's taken a totaled Tesla and retrofitted that technology into another car, and how well it would work. If you could find a scrapyard Tesla it might still be a lot cheaper than some of the EV kits you find out there. Not to mention, it would be an effortless RWD conversion, should it work.

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Unread 07-02-2015, 08:41 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WahyaRanger View Post
it would be an effortless RWD conversion
I laughed.

In any event, no I haven't heard of this yet but I would only venture into this area if I had an in depth understanding of the Tesla's systems and I had a team of people to back me up.

This would be a far more expensive project in terms of time AND money than any other conversion/swap. This would also require extensive customization and a good deal of expertise in this area to make it work properly.

It isn't totally unheard of to do an EV conversion but I wouldn't unless time and money is of no object to you.
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Unread 07-02-2015, 12:39 PM   #3
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I laughed.
You laughed because why? The effortless part? Effortless was probably the wrong word, but there is no drivetrain to figure out, as I mentioned, the motors are on the axles.

Are you laughing over the idea of an electric conversion to try to make a lack-luster car better?

Or are you simply laughing about me trying to do what I love?

Quote:
Originally Posted by enderx475 View Post
In any event, no I haven't heard of this yet but I would only venture into this area if I had an in depth understanding of the Tesla's systems and I had a team of people to back me up.

This would be a far more expensive project in terms of time AND money than any other conversion/swap. This would also require extensive customization and a good deal of expertise in this area to make it work properly.

It isn't totally unheard of to do an EV conversion but I wouldn't unless time and money is of no object to you.
I don't know about more expensive. There's some salvage Tesla Roadsters and Model S's starting at about $2500-$3000. If you give it a few years, more may become available (hate to say it, but people crash cars every day) and more people may start tinkering with them the way I want to. If you go on Youtube, you already find videos of people doing homemade EV conversion, so while it's not a cake walk, it's something I think is manageable.

I came here for that kind of help, if anybody knows a thing or two about it.

May I add that while I mentioned the Model S as my choice engine, a Roadster would probably be better seeing as though the trackwidth is closer to that of a Cobalt, in the rear.

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Unread 07-02-2015, 01:46 PM   #4
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Relax, I'm not making any personal attacks against you. You're on a forum full of car nerds, I'm very obviously not laughing at you for "doing what you love" because I love this stuff too. You came here soliciting our opinions so I gave you mine. Sorry?

I just think you're underestimating the difficulty and expense of this project. You've got so many factors to consider here -- whether or not any of this is going to fit and where it's going to fit, getting the wiring and electronics to work properly, whether this is going to be even road legal, etc. The fact that you downplayed converting the car to RWD so significantly is very telling to me.
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Unread 07-06-2015, 10:13 AM   #5
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Tesla is not the first to offer direct drive electric motors. Anyone who has built a performance EV has gone this route as it just makes more sense. Check out the white zombie on youtube. The truth is that the cobalt has zero room over the axles for those type of motors without massive modifications. Most guys will design and build a whole new tubular frame with suspension to accommodate the torque and weight requirements of an electric motor and large battery pack. I actually went so far as to make a preliminary design build for one of these projects when I was in college, and with no labor at retail pricing and assuming you know how to go about designing a car, you are looking at 30k just in parts and material.
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Unread 07-06-2015, 09:34 PM   #6
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I'm as big of a motor swap fan as you can get. I also like EV technology and Tesla.

This would be about the hardest motor swap you could do to a Cobalt.
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