2006 Subaru Impreza WRX Under the hood

Last update: Jul 6 2017

2006 Subaru Impreza WRX with Electric Drive

Primary Systems
12 Volt Power
Cabin Heat
Power Brakes
Power Steering
Nitty Gritty
Fuel Tank Removal
Power Cabling
Mods and Upgrades
Odds and Ends

You read that right, an electric WRX. Why do such a project? For fun, of course. Electric is awesome.

The car works much like before the conversion. There is no air condition or cruise control. But everything else works, even the fuel gauge.

Performance is good and driving the car is fun. I generally start off in third gear. The car takes off and pulls nicely all the way until 40mph, when I shift to fourth. Second gear works well for parking and steep hills, but it can be jerky so starting in 3rd is the norm. The overall power feels quite respectable although it is less than the 2.5L turbocharged engine. It is difficult to compare an electric motor with a gas engine. The noise of revving a gas engine greatly impacts your senses, and the torque curves are very different. The Subaru driveline has a lot of lash and flex, which leads to a harmonic surging effect on takeoff. To counter this, I hold the brake with my left foot for a moment while applying the throttle, to take up the slack.

There are all sorts of subtle sounds to hear such as the tires and drive line. When accelerating briskly, the motor controller goes into performance mode and whines. When stopped at a quiet location, you can just hear the hum of the motor cooling blower. Turning the ignition on or off makes all kinds of loud clicks from all the new relays.

The power steering and power brakes work smoothly and feel just like before the conversion. Traction balance front-to-rear seems unaffected by the change in weight distribution. The car neither understeers nor oversteers.

The car has limited range and I originally intended to add more cells after I had the car working. A few months of use changed my mind. This car is my daily driver.

Here is an instruction card I made up for occasions when I leave the car at the body shop after a fender bender, or such.

Electric vehicle operating instructions