• Introductions by new attendees
  • What’s new in the EV world
  • Thoughts on Caterham’s plans for EV
  • Seven Conversions
  • AOB


  • John, Mac, Ian, Simon, Dan, John, Jonathan, Stuart, Martin (new)


  • Martin
    • Non-practicing engineer
    • Built 420R about a year ago
    • Work in sustainability field running own company for 9-10 years
    • Racing driver. Used to race R400s. Endurance and prototype races including Le Man 24 twice
    • New project 

We then spend about 40 minutes talking about Martin's project which he would like not to be minuted. If you'd like to find out more about Martin's project then you can join the meetings :-)

Other Discussion Points

  • McMurtry Speirling video on Carwow. https://youtu.be/TptzkkbC1vE
  • Caterham / Webinar EV question:
    • A different question was asked this time. Previously the question was when should Caterham do an EV whereas this time we asked when Caterham should do an electric Seven. People were less enthusiastic about an electric Seven.
  • EV Vehicle Financing and costs:
    • EV's are getting much more expensive and some on the call have decided they'll need to do an ICE car again next time as EV's are not cost effective.
    • Ford announced a $20k car. [ after the call a link posted to WhatsApp about how Ford has agreed to use the VW MEB platform for its cars to be built in Europe] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=awqnysdTX8I&ab_channel=Velocity
    • The other side of this is that manufacturers are going to be forced to sell certain volumes of cars that are "eco" and so can't just have expensive EVs that don't sell.
    • Motorway charging stations now asking for 79p/kWh.
  • Under the radar Seven EV conversion
    • JM had a video call with him last week
    • Saw pictures of very good progress
    • 5 battery boxes - front engine bay, fuel tank, boot, etc
    • Custom built motor
    • Field weakening being used
    • Cost of components has gone up, some almost doubled
    • Discussion about field weakening, where signal processors create a rotating field to produce torque but also a static field that opposes the stator static magnets and so reduces their field. One of the problems with this is that under certain circumstances the permanent magnets can get demagnetized and become less effective.
    • JM is writing another LF article, hopefully for Feb'23, about the different components of an EV
  • Steering Column and packaging issues
    • One of the problems with a Seven conversion is that the steering column gets in the way of where you'd like to put more batteries
    • Stuart recounted how Club members in his area had taken over the conversion of a Seven to include a V6 (?) engine and where they had to re-route the steering column over the top of the engine to a transfer box and then down to a rotated steering rack. He thought the solution worked well for them. Rack can be rotated to take a vertical input. Transfer box could possibly be attached to the battery box so the chassis doesn't need anything welded to it. JM will contact them.
    • JM said his current thoughts are to make a single rectangular front battery box but to have holes cut in the front and back where the steering column would naturally run. Then weld a pipe between the two battery box holes that the steering column runs through. This would mean only one box is required and reduce the need for extra metalwork and cabling between the boxes. Martin asked if a steering column could be added after a battery box is installed but Mac pointed out that you could include the steering column when the battery box is outside the car and then that whole assembly could in installed and the two ends of the steering column can be connected after install.
    • Jonathan asked if mechanical linkages are a requirement under UK law. Nobody seemed to know.
    • We had a discussion about removing some chassis members for better battery access... but JM nervous about chassis changes and DVLA
    • Mac asked how we're going to get the battery and motor in if we can't change the chassis. JM said he was planning to create a sub-frame off the engine and gearbox mounts. 
  • We had a discussion about software updates
    • Point made that VW software updates are very slow
    • On the flip of that, Tesla updates can be infuriatingly frequent - you can get into the car in the morning and find all the controls have moved
    • General view that Tesla has too few physical controls/stalks.
  • Jonathan asked if there are any thoughts on "regular" EVs
    • General view that Tesla still has the best charging network and in-car software that supports it
    • View that EVs are also too highly spec'ed and therefore increases cost of what is already expensive offering

Meeting closed at 21:20

Other Links

After the call a few links were shared on WhatsApp


Sorry to miss this - hosting the area meet- given that the new Meganne range is all electric presumably means there will be an electric Alpine Renault which might be an interesting car to study

See you at the Ace Cafe and or Hare and Hounds in Osterley