As electric cars become more common, so too is the idea of doing an electric motor swap into a previously internal-combustion car. High-end shops and hobbyists have been at the forefront, but other companies are working on making the process easier. GM showed a modular electric motor swap kit at SEMA just last year that can be had with a Chevy LS transmission bolt pattern to easily pair it with a variety of transmissions. If you can’t wait for that, though, EV West has another way to easily add electric power to your classic.
The company announced on Facebook that it would soon start selling a Tesla crate motor kit. And the important part is that it is fitted with brackets that allow it to be bolted into anything with mounts for either a Chevy LS or Chevy small-block V8. That covers over half a century of Chevy products. Not only that, if there are companies making engine mounts to convert other cars to an LS or small block, this will bolt in, too. This Miata owner wouldn’t mind seeing a collaboration between Flyin’ Miata and EV West to make a Tesla-powered MX-5.
Besides the motor and bracket, the kit also includes the power inverter. The motor itself is one refurbished by EV West, since Tesla doesn’t sell new individual motors to private individuals and companies. Also important to note is that this crate motor is designed to be bolted directly to a driveshaft, so you’ll be ditching your transmission. The motor features a 2:1 reduction gear before going to the driveshaft and subsequently your differential. An EV West representative suggested a 4:1 rear end as a good possibility, for an overall drive ratio of 8:1, especially if your project is running somewhat small-diameter wheels and tires. The reason for this is that, with the smaller wheels and tires, the end result should be similar gearing to a regular Tesla, which would have a final drive ratio of 9.73:1, but it also has large-diameter wheels and tires. Of course, you could also choose from a variety of rear-end gear sets for whatever your purpose may be. EV West built a hot rod with a similar setup and geared it so that they were able to hit a 238 mph at Bonneville. You could also go with a really short gear ratio and have a completely absurd drag car or burnout machine.
EV West’s representative said the crate motor unit should be available in about a month or two. The crate motor will cost around $30,000. He estimated that the additional components such as batteries could bring the cost of a complete powertrain to around $50,000. Of course, that will vary depending on how many batteries you need.