Author Topic: Electric Conversion  (Read 1503 times)

Colingo

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Electric Conversion
« on: July 10, 2022, 08:56:59 »
Hi everyone
I'm contemplating buying and converting a Pagoda to full electric. Having looked around, 230s or 250s are quite a bit cheaper than 280s, but apart from the engine, were there any major enhancements? - otherwise a 230 or 250 would be my obvious choice.

There are quite a few available at the moment, but I don't know the specific weaknesses and faults to look for. Any helpful suggestions would be welcome.
« Last Edit: July 10, 2022, 09:11:37 by Colingo »

stickandrudderman

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Re: Electric Conversion
« Reply #1 on: July 10, 2022, 09:47:57 »
If you're going to lose the engine then the only thing that really matters is the condition of the shell and if you find one with a good shell it would seem a little sacriligous to modify it but hey, horses for courses I guess.

JamesL

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Re: Electric Conversion
« Reply #2 on: July 10, 2022, 10:45:04 »
Our own Dan Caron has a lhd 230 shell for sale. Think you’ll need the front and rear subframes but the whole drivetrain would need to be electric: it seems that very few old transmission units can handle the torque from an electric motor
Can’t remember who did the “Iconic” conversion (stickandrudderman might as he’s had it in his shop).
James L
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ChrisInNashville

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Re: Electric Conversion
« Reply #3 on: July 10, 2022, 10:45:36 »
First, I can’t discourage you.   While I love the sound of the engine,  breathing in my own exhaust at a stop light when the wind is right can be irritating.  For your purposes, Wikipedia can probably help…as you’ll see, converting to electric will “undo” many of the evolutions in design leaving just a handful of safety features as the difference. 

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mercedes-Benz_W113

In the short term, I suspect you’ll impact the investment value of the car, so you might as well make your cost basis as low as possible.  If I recall correctly, there’s a company in the UK specializing in converting pagodas, so you might put the same question to them…
Tennessee, USA

Colingo

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Re: Electric Conversion
« Reply #4 on: July 10, 2022, 11:20:39 »
Hi JamesL

I'd thought the gearbox would be going, but It's also been suggested that the diff will as well. I'm thinking of a 180-220kW motor. I'm shy of doing a build from shell up. I have another classic that ran into serious bills with a moderate restoration. I'm therefore looking for restored cars.

I know many will think this sacrilegious, but I want the practicality, the ability to drive in London, reliability and enhanced performance. This will also allow my wife to drive - unlike my other classic.

Colingo

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Re: Electric Conversion
« Reply #5 on: July 10, 2022, 11:23:08 »
Hi Chris

Thanks for the link - no major differences then.

MikeSimon

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Re: Electric Conversion
« Reply #6 on: July 10, 2022, 11:57:32 »
230SL has rear drum brakes, 250 and 280 have 4-wheel disc.
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AdelaidePagoda

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Re: Electric Conversion
« Reply #7 on: July 10, 2022, 12:20:55 »
Colingo, I am sure you have googled this topic and found many results. As you will have seen, there are several companies doing this to order e.g.

https://everrati.com/works/mercedes-280sl-pagoda/

This is a highly technical process and significant knowledge is required. There are so many variables that can go wrong in a normal Pagoda restoration that quickly adds up to an eye watering amount. Even if it all goes right, it will be an eye watering amount. Add the EV expertise required to get it roadworthy and I can confidently say this is best left to the experts. If you have a hefty budget then get in touch with Everatti and they will build one for you to your exact specifications (full disclosure I have no conflict of interest).

Let us all know what you end up doing and best of luck either way 👍🏻

Otherwise get yourself an off the shelf EV from one of the many commercial companies.
Dave Cleghorn
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Cees Klumper

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Re: Electric Conversion
« Reply #8 on: July 10, 2022, 12:56:13 »
"Prices starting at $360,000" for your electrified Pagoda. Sometimes I feel like I am living in an alternate reality!
Cees Klumper
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Colingo

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Re: Electric Conversion
« Reply #9 on: July 10, 2022, 13:59:15 »
Point taken about the brakes.

I have spoken to four companies specialising in Pagoda conversions with a vast spectrum of pricing - some way OTT

I already have an electric car, but like so many - a bit characterless. The only electric sports cars around are either very exotic or very large. Neither of these options fit my lifestyle.

I have contemplated other vehicles for conversion - Aston but even more expensive, Ferrari but removing its heart, Jaguar, Lancia and Alfas. The appeal here is that a Pagoda is one of the best cars Mercedes came out with and it was built when Mercedes were bomb proof (sadly no longer the case).

An article I read recently suggested there are a large number of Pagodas with bodgy restorations. If bodywork deteriorates where are the typical places?

kampala

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Re: Electric Conversion
« Reply #10 on: July 10, 2022, 15:29:11 »
I assume you have seen this series of YouTube videos on converting a Pagoda to electric.  But in case you or others have not seen it:

https://m.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLj1NdhlC39Vm6lWLoFZGn2xkFcqAwm-kZ

This is a playlist. 

Also go to final video and at 3:50 he explains the math. 
« Last Edit: July 10, 2022, 15:33:26 by kampala »
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GM

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Re: Electric Conversion
« Reply #11 on: July 10, 2022, 16:23:38 »
Or you could start with a Porsche
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pNyn0SYBB-c
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Garry

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Re: Electric Conversion
« Reply #12 on: July 11, 2022, 00:32:48 »
There is a company in Melbourne Australia that is doing classic electric conversions for around $65k - 80k Aust dollars. Last time i was there they were working on a Landrover, an MGB and also a E Type Jag
Garry Marks
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JamesL

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Re: Electric Conversion
« Reply #13 on: July 11, 2022, 06:26:39 »
If you can catch the last episode in the current series of Top Gear, they did a drag race of electric v it’s ICE equivalent. The swb Defender was done (owned) by Electric Classic Cars (Vintage Voltage). Last I spoke to them, a year back, they had 3+ years of back orders and the conversion is ~£70k + depending on spec, batteries etc.  They have done a 107 or two.

I chatted to them over this mini.  Exc resto etc, it was £60k to convert, and they owned the car https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tvZdWQTOKnI
(I loved that the means of swapping between a “normal” mode and the full 300bhp was a 1970 toggle switch in the middle of the dash. )
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MikeSimon

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Re: Electric Conversion
« Reply #14 on: July 11, 2022, 19:05:31 »
There are a few hidden gremlins when converting an ICE car to full electric. One is the tires, believe it or not. Just educate yourself about the tire issues with a Tesla, life and replacement....
Each his/her own but to me, there is absolutely no attraction whatsoever to convert any of my cars to EV.
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mdsalemi

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Re: Electric Conversion
« Reply #15 on: July 12, 2022, 12:03:57 »
…a few hidden gremlins…issues with a Tesla...

Tesla had recalled every single car they’ve ever made, some more than once.

Great around town I suppose (when you can charge at home) but not ready for prime time and certainly not for distance driving. I just completed a 10 day vacation. About 1600 miles. 800 up and 800 back. 5 gas stops, each taking no more than 5-10 minutes, all around the highway. Impossible with any PEV yet.
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Pinder

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Re: Electric Conversion
« Reply #16 on: July 12, 2022, 12:32:52 »
I think its a great idea.  Its easy to say just give it to the experts. Thats fine if you have the budget but I fail to see why it would be so difficult to do at home. the complication Tesla has are to do with self driving etc. 
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mdsalemi

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Re: Electric Conversion
« Reply #17 on: July 12, 2022, 14:43:42 »
...I fail to see why it would be so difficult to do at home. the complication Tesla has are to do with self driving etc.

Um, no. Tesla has a lot more issues than their automated driving.

What many pie in the sky people don't seem to realize--and this probably started with Tucker and hasn't ended yet, is that manufacturing cars is an extremely difficult process, far more difficult than many know or understand. That's why firms like Rivian are having such troubles, despite being given tax breaks, $5B from their Texas factory alone. Or, why Lordstown Motors despite being essentially given a factory, has so far failed to launch. It's just exceedingly difficult to make cars.

Tesla bought the ole NUMMI factory that once made Toyota and GM products, and paid $0.04 on the dollar for the factory. They have, cumulatively since inception, not made money but have a pretty big accumulated deficit. They are not making money from cars, but rather--selling their regulatory credits. $3.3B in sales of these credits in the past five years, far outweighing their income from auto sales. It's like those carbon credits that the big firms trade...it's a big game that they all play because they can.

Once upon a time we didn't have filling stations all over the place, and a long distance journey was challenging. We'll get there with PEVs but we are not there yet. As for all these relatively new startups, as I said, making cars is a very difficult task.

Electrifying a shell of any ICE car in your garage is also not an easy task. For certain there are many who have done it, but like making cars for production, it's not easy.

It's perfect for the engineering minded who like challenges however!!
Michael Salemi
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Benz Dr.

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Re: Electric Conversion
« Reply #18 on: July 12, 2022, 15:24:43 »
The foot print for electric cars is larger than one might think. It's the manufacturing of batteries where that comes into play and the more powerful the battery, the bigger the print. It's kind of like moving the deck chairs around on the Titantic, it's still not gonna float.

But, we have been able to find the wreck and ponder upon the hubris of the past.
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Paul & Dolly

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Re: Electric Conversion
« Reply #19 on: July 12, 2022, 18:29:00 »
As you are UK based you could watch the TV programme "vintage voltage" they like to use Tesla motors for their conversions, I have not been impressed with some of their Engineering though.
Hemnels here in Cardiff also done electric Pagodas, probably quite expensive
Good luck
Paul
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Colingo

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Re: Electric Conversion
« Reply #20 on: July 13, 2022, 08:42:12 »
Hi Paul and Dolly

You are highlighting the two extremes of conversion. Hemmels are circa £270k for an electric version - very expensive, but the cars are as new or better and they are doing a run of electric Pagodas and therefore more likely to have worked out the bugs. The Vintage Voltage cars are from Electric Classic Cars mentioned earlier in this thread and seem to be the largest UK conversion company, but in considerable demand with a 2yr waiting list.

GM

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Re: Electric Conversion
« Reply #21 on: July 13, 2022, 16:00:20 »
Last year I did a deep dive into EV conversion.
In the UK, ZeroEV looks to be the best - per my Porsche post earlier
https://zero-ev.co.uk/

Gary
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Colingo

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Re: Electric Conversion
« Reply #22 on: July 13, 2022, 16:41:26 »
Hi GM

On your Porsche suggestion - there does seem to be a number of companies doing 911 conversions, I have owned a 911 for many years and prefer to move on. I was initially excited about the Taycan until I found out how big it is - useless for London parking and UK country lanes.

I've just looked at zero-ev. There's very little to go on from their website. I can't even find out where they are and they don't give a phone number. How far along the track did you go, and why do recommend them? Maybe I'll try and contact them.

GM

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Re: Electric Conversion
« Reply #23 on: July 13, 2022, 17:25:38 »
Hi,
I was looking into converting a Porsche to EV so looked into all the major players and sources from around the world. I was interested in it until I learned that the EV kit itself (parts only) was £55k. The other big takeaway for me was that the industry, and particularly battery technology, are changing rapidly. Power densities are improving all the time. Oh, and other than Tesla (who doesn't want to share their tech), China is eating our lunch in battery technology - see CATL and BYD.
I have no personal interest in ZeroEV, but they just seemed to be the most professional and experienced of all the sources I reviewed.
Check this out - they've got YouTube videos of their builds - https://www.youtube.com/c/ZeroEV
This is an excellent conversion, but the batteries are no longer available (see above) - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AJLdzRJdKrs
Good luck to you - pm me if you want/need more info and sources. No sense bogging down the Pagoda group with this.
Gary
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Merc_Girl

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