after 10k electric milesUpgraded to Livacuum pump installedmaking room for front rackfront battery rackmid rackrear rackelectric bitson the road
OwnerDan Baker
Owner's Other EV1994 Mazda Miata
LocationSanta Fe, New Mexico United States map
Web/EmailWebPage email image
Vehicle1997 Suzuki Swift
3-door hatchback. Base car in reasonable mechanical shape, was still running and getting 40 mpg on gas; broken windshield, bald tires, but a great deal for $500.
MotorAdvanced DC 203-6-4001 Series Wound DC
8" ADC rated to provide around 20hp continuous, peak 80+hp which is pretty close to what ICE motor put out! Original built w 96v (12 x 8v) floodies, now upgraded to 120v (38 x 100ah Thunderskies)
Drivetrain5-speed manual, with clutch adaptor from
ControllerCurtis 1221C-7401
good solid affordable dependable... not a powerhouse
Batteries38 Thunder Sky 100ah, 3.20 Volt, Lithium Iron Phosphate
upgraded from 96v of floodies... WAY better performance, lighter, better range, and *should* last 75,000 miles
System Voltage120 Volts
ChargerElcon 1500
went with the smallest, cheapest one since I always have time to charge on 110vAC overnight.
Heater1500w ceramic in fan duct, considering upgrade to 2x 1500w units
DC/DC Converter ACME
Started w a Curtis when car was 96v lead, it was great. Switched to Chennic when I upgraded to 120v Lithium, which died after less than a year. Replaced w ACME 600watt open chassis for just $200.... good so far.
InstrumentationCycle Analyst multi-function. Works 'ok' but early version had trouble with 120v. It still wanders a bit and shows false drain/charge when car is sitting 'off'.
Top Speed80 MPH (128 KPH)
My daily errands are mostly residential and suburban collectors with speed limits of 25,35, and one of 50mph. I have not tried to get to MAX speed, but had no problem getting to 75 mph in 3rd gear on a flattish stretch.
Accelerationfeels the same as stock. quicker starts in 1st for merging into traffic or uphill starts, but adequate torque in 2nd in most cases.
Range50 Miles (80 Kilometers)
My typical daily commute to pick kids up after school and go to 'activities' is less than 20 miles a day. Allowing for some extra range for winter and heater, 40 mile range will be more than enough. Longest round trip so far is 38 miles at highway speeds, which took pack close to 75%DOD or so.
Watt Hours/Mile100 Wh/Mile
Cycle Analyst shows under 100 amps most of the time when rolling long at 35-40mph. AVERAGE use over 1000 miles showed 300Whr/mile 'at the wall' with kill-a-watt meter including all losses. AVERAGE consumption
at the pack' including normal starts and normal non-eco mode accel is probably right around 200Whr/mile, I use 250Whr/mile to estimate remaining miles from ah use showing on meter.
EV Miles
Start:131,000 Miles (210,779 Kilometers)
Current:150,350 Miles (241,913 Kilometers)
Total:19,350 Miles (31,134 Kilometers)
    As of 2/28/2013
Seating Capacity4 adults, backseat is surprisingly roomy once you crawl in behind the passenger seat.
Curb Weight2,020 Pounds (918 Kilograms)
1810 pounds curb weight as original ICE with an almost empty gas tank is what I weighed it as using 2 scales in tandem at each wheel and adding it up. Curb weight after conversion to lead was 2490# on a certified scale. This dropped to 2020# after upgrade to Li.
Tires155/60R13 - kumho solus kr21. Did NOT make a noticeable difference in efficiency, but are a lot quieter than old bald tires.
Conversion Time140 hrs to drivable, probably put in another 20 or so in little add-ons like bellypan and re-locating some components.
Conversion Cost$11000 or so with Li batteries. I bought a kit for most of the electric components from, and the transmission adapter plate direct from
Additional Featuresvacuum system for power brakes, ceramic heater in ductwork
visit website to see full documentation step by step, I have LOTS of pictures. Also note that the 1997 Suzuki Swift is basically the same vehicle as the Geo Metro and Pontiac Firefly.

12/08 - I have front and mid battery racks complete and am working on rear.... Guessing another 20-30 hours of work until I can drive.

3/1/2009 - Zappy hit the road. Without a hood for a couple weeks. Still need to do a bellypan and get heater in before next winter.

5/14/2009 - just humming along! hood is on, graphics, and going to add Cycle Analyst and a belly pan after to measure the difference.

7/14/2009 - still no belly pan, but I did spend an hour to cut and pound a hood scoop to feed cool air to my controller heat sink.

6/2011 - still humming along, close to 10k electric miles total now. VERY happy with upgrade to Li.

5/2012 - had to replace dead dc-dc, but otherwise faultless, and batteries remaining balanced w/o BMS.

2/2013 - coming up on another ELECTRIC year as an almost daily driver..... still grinning.

code by jerry