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MG MGA - Electric MGA

Just out of interest...

There was an electric powered MGA made by someone in the US which got me thinking recently about the future of our hobby.
In the EU there is no real push yet by the greens to get older cars off the road, they are too busy trying to get new cars cleaner (no bad thing).
In the future however, I am sure the spotlight will come our way.
As I use my MGA every day to travel to work (it makes the journey bearable!!), and this being only 15 miles, an electric conversion could be a nice solution.

I however think that going 100% electric has too many negatives (range, electronic complexity etc.) so am thinking a plug-in hybrid solution could be the answer.
Does anyone know if there is any old car group working on such a project that I could get involved with or anyone have skills/interest to start such a project.
If the conversion was simple enough it could be a good way to keep older cars on the road with low emmisions?

The downside would be cost and a lack of engine noise I suppose? Upside, cheaper & clean motoring.

Neil Purves

Neil, great idea but is sure to inflame some here...I am looking at electrifying my old Lotus Europa (its a bits car anyway without a drive train). Suggest you look at for an amazing (but expensive) production car! Maybe talk to some of your local tech colleges to see if there are any sparkys who might be able to provide some technical advice or take the project up as part of their practical training??
Mark Mathiesen

"The downside would be cost and a lack of engine noise I suppose?" High costs seem difficult to avoid, Neil, insofar as one must rely on expensive storage batteries. But at some minor loss of efficiency, the engine and exhaust sounds can easily be retained and even enhanced through the wonders of audio recording technology. Have you longed for an Abarth exhaust system? The background whirring of a Judson supercharger? Or the unbridled scream of a 250 Testa Rossa? With cunning placement of the right speakers, you can convert your electric MGA into a mobile sound lab.

Ken Korey

An "electric MGA" is not keeping a vintage sports car on the road. Without a proper internal combustion engine, it has no soul. So, why bother...?
G Goeppner

You might consider propane conversion, kits are available, still expensive fuel but will probably have workable emissions with the added advantage of higher net octane yielding higher compression ratio without pre-detonation. Morgan V8 for example. We will have to make choices eventually, premium gasoline is rapidly heading for $10.00+ per gallon in California making us retireded people think twice about taking our pride and joy for a little cruise.
GrandPa Fuzz
Russ Carnes

Twenty years from now, all MG owners will probably be considering an electric conversion, if they want to actually DRIVE their cars more than once in awhile.
Jim P

Neil. Search the archives of this BBS. One of the people associated with the original MGA electric conversion posted here during the project and that should give you some information about where to start your researches.

Les Bengtson

See here:
and here:
Barney Gaylord

As long as the electrics weren't Lucas!
A Pearse

Gasoline will always be available, and barring any spectacular technological (or taxation) breakthrough, it will still be the cheapest way to run a small vehicle for another generation. By that time, most MGA owners will live to see their cars turn 100 (I'll only be 99 when that happens!) and the prospect of installing a completely new power plant, in such a treasured time capsule to a bygone motoring age, just for the sake mollifying a few enviro-crazies will seem truly foolhardy.
David Breneman

In 20 years I will be eating pureed food and wearing a diaper-Again!
I think that I will be able to keep my MG on the road as long as I am physically (mentally?) able.

Rich McKIe

Dear all
Some good feedback, thanks Barney for the link to the original conversion project.
To explain a bit more, I use my car every day, and have done so for most of the 16 years I have owned the car. Most of what I do time wise is sit in a queue, most mileage is however at speed (and a good one at that). I want to explore the possibilities of hybrid conversion to propel the car from standstill to 10-30kmh before the engine kicks back in.
It would require a bit of lateral thinking to get this done but is not impossible.
In this case the number of batteries is much less, the motor does not need to be large and so on.

I will look around and see if any of the other old car forums have anything going on (and let you know of course).

Neil Purves

I don't knopw whether this helps or not, but many golf carts are electric start by pushing the pedal, maybe you can look at those and modify as necessary?
mike parker

This thread was discussed between 19/06/2008 and 27/06/2008

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