Application for Conversion


Below is a copy of my letter used in conjunction with documentation written by my Chartered Professional Engineer. The Motor Registration authorities have available a document that provides guidelines for the conversion of vehicles but these are very open to interpretation. The Chartered Professional Engineer submits the application to the South Australian Motor Registration Department. A "Statement of Requirements", valid for 12 months (but renewable) , is then issued by the department. It is recommended to go through this process prior to starting any conversion. In the case of a straight forward conversion (no mass weight changes etc) the services of a  CPE will cost between $500 to $1,000 dollars, but this fee can increase depending upon on the vehicle being converted.

The Chartered Professional Engineer used for the MightyBoyEV project is:


5 Cooke Terrace WAYVILLE SA 5034

T +61 8 8273 3100  F +61 8 8273 3110



Application to convert a standard 1985 Suzuki Mighty Boy to Electric Drive

June 26th 2008

Updated October 2008

Applicant:  Some information (personal details) not shown on this web page


Vehicle details before modifications:


Current Registration Number: VAP-179

Make: Suzuki

Body Type: UTE

Model: SS40T

Engine Number: FG1586098

Manufacture Date: 10/85

Seating Capacity: 2

Vehicle Identification No: shown as “Not Recorded”

Type of brakes front: Disc

Type of brakes rear: Drum

Engine: Petrol


Vehicle details after modifications:
Fit an Advanced DC Motor Model 203-06-4001 (72 Volt) with a Curtis 1231C Motor Speed Controller (or equivalent) in place of the current F5A 550cc petrol engine currently developing 19.2 kilowatts@ 6000rpm. Technical specifications for the Advanced DC Motor Model 203-06-4001 (72 Volt) are available at Technical specifications for the Curtis 1231C Motor Speed Controller are available at . A second option is the use of an Alltrax 7240 DC motor controller. This controller is more modern in design and can be programmed to suit the vehicles on road requirements. Technical specifications for this controller are available at


Fabricate a light weight PVC lined battery box, as per guidelines contained within Information Bulletin 74. This will be located under the UTES current rear floor panel (see drawing below). This will fit largely into the area now occupied by the petrol tank and some exhaust components. A new floor panel will be fabricated covering the battery compartment. This panel will be removable allowing servicing and replacement of the batteries. Batteries (6 off) will be Trojan (or close equivalent) 12V 115Ah Flooded Lead Acid Battery 27TMH. Full Technical specifications are available at . Li-Ion battery technology will be used if prices fall below $1.50 per Amp Hour. In such a case, 24 Thundersky Li-Ion 90Ah cells will be used. This is my preferred option.

Mass Weight summary:

Weight of new Advanced DC Motor Model 203-06-4001 (72 Volt) motor = 48.5kg

Weight of new Curtis 1231C Motor Speed Controller = 8.5kg

(3.25kg if Alltrax controller is use)

Weight of 6 Trojan 27TMH batteries (27 kg each) = 162kg

(72 kg if 24 Thundersky Li-Ion cells are used)


Engine bay weight changes….. It is proposed that the weight of the new electric motor will not exceed the weight of the current internal combustion engine including the weight of the associated hardware that will be removed (radiator, alternator, etc). The gearbox will remain.


Rear UTE section changes…. It is proposed to locate 162kg of batteries (72 kg if 24 Thundersky Li-Ion cells are used) largely under the current UTE floor replacing the vehicles petrol tank and some exhaust components. The Mighty Boy has a 350kg payload capacity (GVM) including two occupants and a full tank of petrol. The current rear single leaf springs will accommodate the battery weight loading.


Other considerations:


Accessories Battery:
The current battery will be used to power all accessories; lights, wipers, electric heater and all other accessories. The accessories battery will be charged from a DC to DC converter
(an electronic power supply that takes 72 volts from the main traction battery pack, and provides an isolated 13.8 volts output). The current alternator will be discarded.

Heat/demister unit:

The current coolant based heater core unit will be replaced with a fabricated PTC ceramic electric
(approx 1200 watts capacity) element. This style of heater is self limiting to a maximum temperature of 180 degrees Celsius.

Battery usage and monitoring:
Monitoring the state of the battery pack will be done by the use of a “Cycle Analyst”.

Battery charging:

A Zivan Model NG1 or NG3
(or equivalent) will be built in the vehicle. A safety interlock will insure the main battery bank is disconnected when charging is in progress.

Other gauges:

A large screen LCD ammeter
(using a suitable “shunt”) will be used to provide the driver with additional information on current drawn from the battery bank. This will allow the driver to monitor driving habits to prolong vehicle range.

Safety considerations:

A suitable main battery bank fuse will be fitted. In addition, a circuit breaker that is mechanically operated will be fitted and accessible from within the vehicle. This “Emergency Safety Switch” button will be clearly visible, red and labelled accordingly. The gauge
(cross section diameter) of all electrical cable used will meet wiring standards for the associated currents involved. All 72 volt cables will be colour coded orange or run within orange coloured conduit. Safety labelling will be as recommend within Information Bulletin 74.

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