Plug & Play Ozdiy Electrical Ute Conversions

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After listening to Jo’s story concerning the restoration and conversion of Peppermint Pattie, I believed I’d test in with Graeme Manietta at OZDIY to see what he’s as much as today. He tells me that OZDIY is at the moment designing options for battery pack upgrades for the Mitsubishi Outlander, Nissan Leaf, and additional enhancements to the i-MiEV. “These are taking over all our time and spare sources proper now,” he mentioned. “The flat pack kits for Mitsubishi Triton utes is our subsequent venture and we’re assembly with grant writers to hunt funding to quick observe it. We’re beginning the Analysis and Growth quickly with or with out funding.” Will probably be plug & play know-how.

Busy OZDIY workshop in Brisbane’s south. Extra plug & play. Picture courtesy of David Waterworth

OZDIY is upgrading the batteries of 1st-generation Nissan Leafs from 24 kW to 53 kW. “They need to be capable of get 300 km of vary.” He’s additionally supplying elements to installers within the European Union who’re doing upgrades. His worldwide prospects embody installers in California, Chile, and Auckland, New Zealand.

Packs are being ready for abroad cargo to do upgrades on the Mitsubishi i-MiEV and Minicab. The demand for these packs is rising. Over 50,000 i-MiEVs had been offered within the EU and the USA via Mitsubishi, and in addition because the Citroen C-Zero and Peugeot iOn. So, there’s loads of scope for development.

Graeme tells me he has a minimum of ten years price of labor simply upgrading the Mitsubishi Outlander. Many 1000’s have offered all through Australia, the place it has been the one plug-in ute for the final decade. Though the 2024 Outlander comes with a 20-kW lithium-ion battery with a variety of 84 km, the unique one solely had a 12 kW battery. Graeme is upgrading the older Outlanders from a 12 kW to a 18 kW pack.

A boot load of batteries. Picture courtesy of David Waterworth

The Outlander PHEV has acquired many accolades since its introduction in 2001. In 2014, it was the highest promoting plug-in car in Europe. “Throughout 2015, the Outlander plug-in hybrid surpassed the Leaf because the all-time prime promoting plug-in passenger automobile in Europe. In 2017, the Outlander PHEV topped plug-in hybrid gross sales in Europe, for the fifth 12 months operating.

“European gross sales handed the 100,000 unit milestone in January 2018, and international deliveries achieved the 150,000 unit mark in March 2018. The 200,000th unit milestone was attained in March 2019. International gross sales reached 250,000 items in Could 2020, and 300,000 items in January 2022. Based on JATO Dynamics, the Outlander PHEV grew to become the world’s all-time finest promoting plug-in hybrid in December 2018. As of March 2019, the Outlander plug-in hybrid was accessible for retail gross sales in 50 international locations.”

So, OZDIY has numerous potential prospects. Picture courtesy of David Waterworth

Graeme’s subsequent venture is the manufacturing of a flat pack conversion equipment to covert the Mitsubishi Triton from diesel to electrical. Nothing can frighten a Triton — particularly whether it is electrical! “The drive system will arrive in a flat pack on a pallet — identical to every other auto accent — like a bull bar. Every thing is there — all of the electrics — as a lot of the wiring within the battery field as potential. You simply hook into the wiring loom of the automobile.” Plug and play!

He has already used the same technique when supplying Australian mines with conversion kits for the Suzuki Sierra. “We despatched them a flat pack and two males working collectively can match it in a day as soon as the petrol elements are eliminated, 2 days if not and the components eliminated might properly have a 2nd life to maintain one other Suzuki going. Financial system of scale will make it very inexpensive. Buyers very welcome!”

“We see a tsunami of ute conversion coming. We are able to present an inexpensive equipment. If the ute continues to be in good nick (situation) it may be transformed for half the worth of an electrical ute and it really works higher.” He’s not incorrect concerning the prices of electrical utes in Australia — the Ford F-150 Lightning transformed to RHD has simply been launched and prices over AUS$200,000.

As I’ve written beforehand, 2024 might be the 12 months of the electrical ute in Australia, with the JAC T9, the LDV Maxus GST, the Geely RADAR RD6, a Ssangyong (KGM), and a PHEV ute from BYD referred to as the Shark anticipated to reach this 12 months. Costs and vary aren’t all introduced. If OZDIY can worth their conversion kits competitively, then the brand new entrants would possibly discover some homegrown competitors. Both means, there’s loads of room out there for electrical utes.

Workshop humour. Picture courtesy of David Waterworth

At a latest automotive convention in Tamworth, New South Wales, Graeme was struck by the thought that as extra electrical vehicles hit the roads, mechanics will likely be on the lookout for work. With the addition of some new expertise and a few electrical security coaching, changing vehicles to electrical is figure that they may do — giving petrol and diesel vehicles one other 10 years of life with as an electrical powertrain. Future proofing! Lessons could possibly be run for off-grid communities utilizing outdated batteries from the Leaf, the Outlander, and the i-MiEV. “Every thing has a second life, and the variety of batteries going to landfill is decreased.”

Electrical security gear. Picture courtesy of David Waterworth

“We may ship a equipment out to the native service station at Wagga Wagga they usually can match it. With a hoist any mechanic can match our kits. Will probably be plug and play in a day. The transformed ute might final one other 10 years.” Graeme may be very optimistic concerning the enterprise alternatives. For reference, Wagga Wagga is inland, about midway between Melbourne and Sydney. Graeme’s level is that you simply don’t should be at an enormous metropolis workshop with numerous further coaching. He’s aiming for a stage of simplicity so {that a} yard mechanic can do the conversion. Australians love tinkering with their vehicles. This could possibly be the following huge venture — make the Kingswood electrical!

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