The Maruti 800 was the first hatchback that was offered by the Indian manufacturer for sale in India. It was this car that made the dream of many Indian families to buy a car come true. The hatchback was in production for a very long time and the basic design of the car remained more or less the same. When Maruti launched the Alto, it was discontinued from the market. There are still some well-kept examples of the Maruti 800 in the country but, here we have a Maruti 800 that has been completely converted into an electric car.
This video has been shared by Northway on its YouTube channel. The electric conversion of the Maruti 800 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 are also displayed on our website.
Hemank bought an old 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 suspension setup on this Maruti 800 were in good condition, which meant that Hemunk did not have to spend a lot of time and money repairing the car before the conversion.
After the inspection of the car, the petrol engine installed in the Maruti 800 was completely removed. A 19 kW electric motor was installed with the Curtis SE controller. The 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 axles sourced from a scrapyard.
Nine batteries are placed under the hood and seven are placed under the front seats. This has been done to ensure a low center of gravity and improve handling. The electric Maruti 800 has a maximum driving range of 120 kms with a fully charged battery. The top speed of this electric Maruti 800 is 80-85 kmph and it takes around 4 to 4.5 hours for the battery to get fully charged using the twin charger setup. The battery does not currently support fast charging.
Once the electric motor was installed, the nature of the car changed completely. The Maruti 800 is generally seen as a small family hatchback and is not concerned with speed from any angle. Post conversion, the electric motor in the Maruti 800 produces 54 Nm of constant torque. It can be pushed up to 70 Nm if needed. The electric motor in the car is mated to a single speed transmission that comes with regenerative braking. It is a 7:1 step down transmission system which multiplies the torque. This meant that the car could generate a maximum peak torque of 378 Nm. This is actually much more than the petrol version of the Toyota Fortuner. The petrol version of this massive SUV only generates a maximum peak torque of 245 Nm.
That’s really a lot of torque for a car of this size and weight. Like any other electric car in the market, all this power is available to the driver from the moment he puts his foot on the accelerator pedal. This conversion has certainly made the Maruti 800 more challenging and fun to drive the hatchback.