It seems the crate electric motor business is charging up. Earlier this week we learned about a company developing a motor package that will bolt up to existing drivetrains. Now we learn about an even more complete package from British company Swindon Powertrain, a company that in addition to building race car engines, also converts classic Minis to electric power under the Swind brand name.
The motor, previously reported on by Jalopnik, appears to be the same as what’s used in the company’s Minis. It’s an 80-kW motor, which is equivalent to about 107 horsepower. The company doesn’t say exactly how much torque, but it’s probably fairly high, as the first-generation Nissan Leaf used an 80-kW motor that produced a healthy 207 pound-feet of torque. The motor is fitted to a single-speed transmission in a transverse layout. It appears to also include the inverter and cooling system.
Besides being a fairly complete powertrain package, it’s designed to be easy to adapt to various vehicles. The company highlights a variety of mounting points and the ability to place the inverter and cooling equipment wherever is convenient. Swindon Powertrain also notes that it can add extra waterproofing for vehicles that will see more off-road conditions. It’s light and compact, too, weighing in at 154 pounds with everything it comes with.
While this crate motor will likely be a great solution for people looking to convert vehicles both recent and classic, there are some caveats. It appears that this powertrain will be best for front-engine, front-drive or rear-engine, rear-drive cars, since they’re already designed to have the entire powertrain, transmission and axles in one place. Converting a front-engine, rear-drive car would probably be easier with the Electric GT motor kit; at least unless there’s space in the back to fit all that. So far, there’s also no ready-to-go battery pack and charging and management system to go with the Swindon Powertrain motor, and the battery system is arguably the more difficult part to put together. It’s certainly the most expensive.
On the topic of price, Swindon Powertrain doesn’t have one yet. We’ll probably have a price closer to its planned production date of next June.