The popularity of the Maruti Suzuki 800 is something that changed the whole automobile scenario in India. The 800 is the first front-wheel-drive car in the Indian market and became an extremely popular car that was available in the Indian market for a long time. Well, the Maruti Suzuki 800 had to be forced out from the market because the all-new Alto was not getting enough attention. There are quite a few Maruti Suzuki 800 hatchbacks present in India and many of them are in great condition too. While many of these well-maintained Maruti Suzuki 800 is owned by the collectors, there are many others that have been modified and do not have any resemblance to the original product. Here is a Maruti Suzuki 800 that has been transformed completely and is now an electric vehicle. And it makes more torque – 378 Nm – than the petrol powered Toyota Fortuner, which makes 245 Nm.
The transformation job has been done by Mr Hemank Dabhade, who has done similar transformation jobs on the Chevrolet Beat diesel and even on a Honda Activa. This conversion project is on T-BHP and is explained by Mr Dabhade himself.
The idea of creating a Maruti Suzuki 800 EV was to find a vehicle that is lightweight and is fun to drive. The Maruti Suzuki 800 was bought from the used car market and cost around Rs 75,000. Since the body and chassis were in good condition, no changes were done to it and the engine was removed from the body. The Maruti Suzuki 800 EV gets a 19 KW electric with a Curtis SE controller. The constant torque output from this motor is 54 Nm but it can be pushed to 70 Nm for a few seconds if required. It gets a 7:1 stepdown transmission system that multiplies the torque! At the wheels, it generates a maximum of 378 Nm of torque, which is massive. Since the 800 is very lightweight, it becomes extremely fun to drive around.
It gets a 13.2 KW battery pack that is charged through a twin charger set-up. It takes about 4 to 4.5 hours to completely charge the car. There is no provision of fast charging. There are a total of 16 cells in this car. 9 of them are placed in the engine bay while the remaining 7 are placed under the front seats. This allows a low centre of gravity. The battery pack allows it to go for 120 km on a single charge with the top speed of 80 to 85 km/h.
Unlike the Chevrolet Beat EV, this Maruti Suzuki 800 EV gets single-speed step-down transmission. The axle was bought from a scrapyard and was reconditioned to be used in this vehicle. A unique feature in this car is the single-pedal operation. Since the stock brakes are non-vacuum type, no efforts were put in to increase the capability of the brakes. Instead, the programming is as such that the regenerative energy is much higher, which ensures that the car slows down drastically whenever the foot is lifted from the accelerator pedal. The stock brake system is still there. It also gets hill hold for uphill and downhill.
It gets bucket racing seats and glow-in-the-dark steering wheel too. A few electrical installations like instrument cluster and other such items are yet to be installed.