Converted : Toyota MR2 – Electric Speed Shop


I live in Sydney, Australia, have a degree in electrical engineering majoring in telecommunications and am employed in the television industry. My wife has a theory that Engineers always need a project and I think my fascination for EV’s is confirmation of that.

An interest in cars developed in my early teens through helping a neighbor restore his classic car. This stayed with me and when (much) older I started planning construction of Lotus Super Seven kit car. Whilst researching the project I met someone who had built a Lotus Super Seven EV, and this fused two ideas together. The conversion/construction of an electric vehicle.

Through the process of researching, planning, and building my EV I found the Australian Electric Vehicle Association and am now the National Treasurer.

Why did you choose the Toyota MR2 to convert to electric?

As a teenager one of my first cars was a Toyota Twin Cam Corolla. I had lusted after the Toyota MR2 but could not afford one at the time.


When researching the EV conversion process I found someone in the US (via EValbum) who had converted an MR2 and was able to quiz him about the process, which confirmed my thoughts that the MR2 would be a good base vehicle.

Not long after that I found a suitable vehicle in good condition, at the right price, and was able to convince my wife that the idea was not crazy (she is still not convinced 10 years and 4 vehicles later).

How long was the process to convert, from when you first started pulling out the ICE to driving on electric power?

Total time from purchase to registration and on road was 5 years … but that was exaggerated by work/family issues. The actual time spent on the project was about to 24 months.

What EV components did you choose for this conversion and why (batteries and motor specifically)?

I spent an inordinate amount of time researching the components, and then a significant amount of money purchasing them. But there were two key themes; AC drive and Lithium batteries.


The major components I chose were:

  • MES-DEA 200-250 3 phase AC motor, which was the most sophisticated and powerful motor that I could afford.
  • MES-DEA TIM 600 controller, paired with the motor.
  • Thundersky 60ah prismatic batteries, which were just becoming available.
  • TCCH H417 battery charger.
Did you plan to use these parts from the beginning or did that change along the way?

Yes, I had planned to use these components right from the start. However, I purchase the key components before I found the Australian Electric Vehicle Association and had a chance to talk to other builders. I might have gone down a different path had if found AEVA earlier.

Choosing and AC motor definitely made the build more challenging at the beginning (the manual was in Italian!)

Did you have an initial design for the entire project to start with and how much did you deviate now that the conversion is complete?

MR02EV has gone through several phases. The initial build which focused on getting the vehicle registered. Next was improving the reliability so that I could use the car as a daily-driver. Then refining the car for improved speed and range. It has evolved significantly over the past 10 years.

What are the standard specs for your electric MR2? ¼ mile, 0-60, range etc.

I never did get around to measuring the ¼ mile or 0-60. But the range was approx. 100km.

What is the primary use for your MR2? Daily driver, track car?

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It was primarily used as a city-car and daily-driver. And later a show car.

Have you entered this conversion in any car shows? What has been the reaction?

Being an executive in the Australian Electric Vehicle Association, MR02EV and I have been to many shows. It is one of the nicer conversions in the association and always gets plenty of interest.

There a generally two reactions. The overwilling majority is positive, most people appreciating the effort involve. But every now and then you get a “hater”.

Do you have any plans to convert another MR2 or a different vehicle?

MR02EV was my first build, and I am now onto my fourth.

  1. 1989 Toyota MR2 EV conversion.
  2. 2010 Vmoto Emax motor scooter (my current daily driver).
  3. Another Vmoto Emax motor scooter (yes I have two – long story).
  4. 2002 Lotus Elise.


 In fact, I recently sold the MR2 so that I could focus on the Lotus. The Lotus Elise was already converted when I purchase it but had fallen into disrepair and needs significant love to get it back on the road (now that was an interesting conversation with my wife!). I hope to have the car back on the road before the end of 2019.

How can people reach out to you and learn more about your electric Toyota MR2?

Very happy for people to reach out. If you would like to know more about MR02EV the best place to start is my blog


Lookout for the Lotus EV Blog soon!

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