After covering Scott Masterson’s Bayliner 175 all-electric boat conversion last month, we have now learned of another interesting electric conversion. Electric vehicle enthusiast, Rich Rudman, transformed a 1984 4×4 Toyota extra-cab pickup truck into an EV with batteries from a Nissan Leaf.
EV owners use their vehicles for many different reasons: some might use it as a performance vehicle, some might use it to haul around the family, some might use it simply as their daily commuter. Or, if you were Rich Rudman, owner and CEO of a fairly popular electric vehicle component company, Manzanita Micro Power Systems, you would use yours as an offroading machine.
Mr. Rudman, who co-founded Manzanita Micro with his University of Idaho roommate, Joe Smalley, took his past experience from converting a 1978 Ford Fiesta and applied it to reconfiguring his 1984 4×4 Toyota extra-cab pickup to an all-electric off-road vehicle for him to use on the less beaten paths in Washington state.
In his interview with Off Road Xtreme, Rudman goes in depth into what he used in his truck and some of the specifications.
Unlike most automotive manufacturers using AC motors for their drivetrain, Mr. Rudman chose to go with an 8-inch DC motor from Advanced Drives and Motors that is cooled with a 2000 cfm (cubic feet per minute) fan which is mounted onto the truck’s transmission using an adapter plate and motor coupler.
In combination with the DC motor, Rich uses his own 2000 amp speed controller which yields an impressive 400 lb-ft torque.
The power source for this off-roading beast is a 12 kWh battery pack from a Nissan Leaf which he says gets approximately two hours of drive time in “low-range.” Eventually, he intends to add an aluminum exoskeleton which should help increase the range a little bit due it being lighter than the metal in the truck.
Lastly, Rudman uses, once again, his own digital fuel gauge displaying the state of charge in his battery pack.
I think it is definitely one awesome accomplishment. It could even eventually be an inspiration to some companies to further research, develop and produce similar offroad vehicles like a Jeep Wrangler-esque offering for the masses. Perhaps even like the ‘Tesla Allterrain‘ that we shared a month ago?
Would you use an all-electric off-road vehicle? What kind of specs would you want in it? Let us know down in the comments!