Forums

Complete Tesla DIY Hybrid System for making a Jeep Wrangler into a Hybrid

Complete Tesla DIY Hybrid System for making a Jeep Wrangler into a Hybrid

I realize that producing a system for the DIY community to retrofit their vehicles into all electric hybrid is at first glance against Tesla vehicle sales. Having said that, knowing that Tesla is one of the most forward thinking companies on the planet, sometimes looking outside of the "BOX" in a way that will help promote a world with only all electric vehicles. I heard on the news today that there are countries looking at setting a deadline for elimination of internal combustion engines in favor of an all electric vehicle country. I am sure that there are States in the USA that are already looking at how soon they can also set such standards for all electric vehicle state. I believe California will be one of the first on board with this Earth Saving change.
I recently purchased a 1999 Jeep Wrangler sport 4-wheel drive from my nephew and the idea of making it into an all electric hybrid using a Tesla battery pack and motor unit is a small step to help our planet. I can't afford to buy a wrecked Tesla just to use the battery/motor/controls unit.
I look forward to hearing from others on the forum both for and against my project.

Thank you for your time.

Sleepydoc1 | 26. September 2017

Is it all electric or a hybrid? Mutually exclusive.

grins.va | 27. September 2017

Why didn't you simply buy him a used Leaf or Prius? Either can travel most anywhere.

Earl and Nagin ... | 27. September 2017

@grins,
Actually, even a Jeep Wrangler can't travel over the majority of the land mass of the world. Leafs and Priuses can travel on even less of it. Actually, the Leaf is a lot better than the Prius. Its ground clearance is fairly good and, without a tailpipe and muffler underneath, is fairly reasonable. I drive one around on fairly rough dirt and gravel roads for work occasionally and it does ok but it isn't much of a mudder or rock-crawler.
Unfortunately, with battery prices as such, most cars today (epitomized by the Prius) are a whole lot less capable of off-road travel than they were even back in the '70's due to a push for more aerodynamics.
I wish there was an off-road capable PHEV on the market (too early for a pure EV) but I suspect it will be a while still.
The master plan is for a Ferrari killer, a BMW killer, a Camry killer, a Mack Truck killer, an F-150 killer, . . . , and eventually a Jeep killer but that is way down on the list.

Should_I | 27. September 2017

So what Tesla parts you want to use? The batter pack likely too long to fit between the wheels, the rear axle assembly with very short range of travel compared to a Jeep? You will you do hybrid, gas powered front and electric rear or electric front gas power to rear?

If planning all electric with some idea about feeding the tranny from Tesla's motor that is out due to rpm concerns as the electric motor turns nearly 3 times as fast.

Tesla powertrain into a rwd pickup as pure EV would work a lot better.

jordanrichard | 27. September 2017

Flat out wouldn't work. The battery pack alone is longer than the wheel base of a Jeep and is surely wider than a Jeep.

WhiteP85P | 27. September 2017

This is a very do-able job, but isn't a simple plug-in-Tesla-parts. As Jordan points out, the Model S battery is too large, though the individual packs that make up a Tesla pack are not and can be removed and re-arranged. Re-arranging a pack, making it work, and mounting it to a car that has no built in space for it will be a very intense job, extremely custom with a great deal of fabrication just to mount everything. I'd recommend putting the recharging socket up front (like a leaf) rather than in the rear, despite how fun it would be to use the original gas flap. I know I'd prefer a front charge socket!

If the jeep is a manual, mount the motor directly to the transmission as if it were an ICE - you pretty much never need to shift but if you wish the ability will be there; that's how every EV converted ICE car I've seen did it.

This is going to be such a colossal job, but if you aren't up to it as a DIY there are some companies offering conversion services as well; I saw an old 80s Ferrari converted that looked like a lot of fun, as well as a porsche recently.

ollewallen | 27. September 2017

Thanks to everyone for your comments. I think that to start I would use the current drivetrain to power the front wheels when I reach 35-40 mph and have a battery pack/electric motor to power the rear axle up to that speed. The battery pack/electric motor design would be smaller and could be used in multiple applications. Eventually I would change to all electric with a battery pack/electric motor for front also.
I don't intend to go off road. My Jeep would be used for travel on street and highways.
Thanks again for great comments.

nadurse | 27. September 2017

So yeah like others said, is this a hybrid (both electric and gas means of propulsion) or is this an EV?

I assume you meant full EV. If your not concerned about long range and 0-60 perrformance (which im guessing you arent, its a jeep) I would look at getting the battery pack out of Gen 1 or Gen 2 Volts. Much more affordable and they arent the skateboard style packs so you would be able to package it more realistically in a jeep chassis.

There are tons of electric motors on the market that you could size to whatever battery you decide on and whatever you decide to do for a gearing. Then you will have to figure out what to do for power management, assuming you use an AC motor you will need an aftermarket inverter. Doable, but definitely a tough project.

DIY stuff is very expensive and high degree of difficulty at this point in time. I figure with more cars getting on the road as full EVs in the next 10 years the aftermarket and conversion market will grow with it, but it will take time. And I dont see Tesla supporting this market segment anytime soon if ever. But who knows.

aeroncawr | 02. April 2019

New to forum and starting to look for Jeep Wrangled kit. Local secondary roads and light off road travel. No mudder or rock climber for me. I am a hobbies at best and retired avionic tech by profession. Like Tesla cars can't afford one. Looking for sport convertible electric with 100 mile range and top speed 80 in short burst. I can go $ 30 K range in dyi jeep conversion.

reed_lewis | 04. April 2019

Tesla most likely will never get into the conversion business. It is a completely different market compared to selling cars, and would most certainly require much more support than simply selling cars would. The vast majority of people who would attempt a conversion simply do not have the technical or mechanical knowledge and ability to successfully do this, and they would require a lot of help from Tesla in order to be successful.

Plus the price is very important to the DIY crowd, and Tesla would never make much money on the parts. Imagine if you purchased a conversion kit, and then it was not compatible with the car you wanted to convert. Either the customer would have to resell the parts, or Tesla would have to accept them back.

And even optimally I doubt that the conversion market is more than .01% of the new EV market.

blue adept | 05. April 2019

There are NUMEROUS aftermarket ICE-to-EV conversion kit suppliers scattered all over the place, so much so that one need only perform a simple search to reveal several options to choose from, @ollewallen, any of which would be exponentially easier to both acquire and install in your Jeep.