EV conversion cars. ICE cars converted to electric models. The thought of this sends shivers up the spine of the EV enthusiast. But what about conversions that are better than their ICE donor cars?
Mitsubishi i-MiEV: This is probably the best example of a conversion that is better than the ICE model. The Mitsubishi “i” is a kei car, meaning it has specific size, weight, and engine displacement regulations. The Japanese love kei cars because they’re cheap, small, easy to park, and have copious insurance benefits.
The maximum displacement of a kei car is 660cc. Yes, 0.6 liters. Granted, 660cc of intercooled, turbocharged goodness, but still. Peak output of the ICE: 64HP. Peak output of the electric version: 66HP. Whooo! Big deal! Well, remember electric cars have full torque from 0 RPM. This makes the electric version significantly faster than the ICE version. All without any intrusion into the cabin or other EV conversion badness. (See this article for a comparison between the gas and electric versions of the “i”.)
Fiat 500e: Another conversion gone well, the 500e is actually faster than the non-turbocharged ICE version. With Fiat offering a lease that is the same for the gas model, the 500e is a great choice… if you live in California.
Honda Fit EV: Although the Fit EV loses its “magic seats”, that’s a small price for better performance and zero emissions. With the rock-bottom lease rate (again, only in California) that includes collision insurance and unlimited mileage, the Fit EV is flying off the shelves. Too bad you cannot buy them outright.