Zoom zoom zoom. Recharge. Repeat.
There's an old adage among car enthusiasts that the Mazda Miata is "the answer to everything." Truthfully, it maybe falls a bit short in the towing and family hauling departments. But if you're looking for a fun, reliable sports car that's easy to wrench on and won't break the bank, you'd be hard-pressed to find better than Mazda's beloved MX-5 Miata.
But what about years in the future, when gasoline is no longer viable as a source of propulsion energy and gas stations are harder come by than record stores? There, the answer is Mazda Miata with an electric powertrain conversion.
Apparently, someone else has had the same idea, because UK-based electric conversion company Zero EV just released a video this month documenting their progress with an electric NB Miata conversion. Zero EV carries a vast array of EV conversion components compatible with a range of vehicle makes and models, making them just the right outfit for this type of project.
This NB Miata probably isn't going to light the world on fire with its parts list, but nor should it give up much of its original performance. It's got a single drive motor - a Netgain Hyper9 with about 120 horsepower and 160 lb-ft of peak torque - which is supplied juice by ten 2.6-kWh battery modules from LG Chem, mounted up front and cooled by Zero EV's own liquid cooling plates.
Combined, that 26-kWh total is actually more than what was offered by the Mk I Nissan Leaf - a car EPA-rated at just north of 70 miles of range per charge. Each of those modules weighs about 12 kg, meaning that altogether, this MX-5 ought to get off with just 260 or so pounds of total battery weight.
We don't expect everyone to be a fan of this Mazda MX-5 Miata EV, as the conversion necessarily means there will be one fewer growling stick-shift roadster on the UK's roads. But if you're curious what "future-proofing" some of your favorite sports cars could look like, this project should give you a pretty good idea - for better or worse.