Maruti 800 was the first hatchback that Indian manufacturer offered on sale in India. This was the car that made dreams of many Indian families of owning a car into a reality. The hatchback was in production for a very long time and the basic design of the car remained more or less the same. It was discontinued from the market when Maruti launched Alto. There are still some well kept examples of Maruti 800 in the country but, here we have a Maruti 800 that has been completely converted into an electric car.
The video has been shared by Northway on their YouTube channel. The Maruti 800 electric conversion has been done by Hemank Dabhade of Pune. He is the director of Northway Motorsport and has converted several Internal Combustion engine vehicles to EVs. Many of them have been featured on our website as well.
Hemank purchased a used Maruti 800 for this project. He paid around Rs 75,000 for the car which was maintained by its previous owner. The body panels and the suspension setup on this Maruti 800 were in good condition which meant Hemank did not had to spend a lot of time and amount repairing the car before conversion.
Once the car was inspected, the petrol engine in the Maruti 800 was completely removed. A 19 kW electric motor was installed along with a Curtis SE controller. Maruti 800 was a front wheel drive hatchback and that changed when it was converted to an electric car. The electric motor sends power to the rear wheels using an axle that was sourced from a scrapyard.
Nine batteries have been placed under the hood and seven batteries are placed under the front seats. This has been done to ensure a low center of gravity and improving the handling. The electric Maruti 800 has a maximum driving range of 120 kms with fully charged batteries. The top speed on this electric Maruti 800 is 80-85 kmph and the batteries take around 4 to 4.5 hours to fully charge using twin charger setup. The batteries do not support fast charging at the moment.
Once the electric motor was installed, the nature of the car completely changed. Maruti 800 is usually seen as small family hatchback and is not related to speed from any angles. After the conversion, the electric motor in Maruti 800 generates constant torque of 54 Nm. This can be pushed to 70 Nm if needed. The electric motor in the car is mated to a single-speed transmission that comes with regenerative braking. This is a 7:1 step down transmission system that multiplies the torque. This meant the car can generate a maximum of 378 Nm of peak torque. This is actually a lot more than petrol version of Toyota Fortuner. The massive SUV’s petrol version only generates a maximum of 245 Nm of peak torque.
This is actually too much torque for a car of this size and weight. Just like any other electric car in the market, all this power is available to the driver from the moment he put down his foot on the accelerator pedal. This conversion has definitely made Maruti 800 a lot more challenging and fun to drive hatchback.