An Electric Suzuki Hustler?

Ross Hall

November 1, 2021
(Updated on October 28, 2021)

Photograph of a green Suzuki Hustler in front of a hill with a house on top of it

In 4-and-a-bit years I’m planning on swapping my Suzuki Hustler for a full EV.

Which is a shame.

I like this little bundle of bright green fun. It’s comfy enough, got legs for a long journey and a chunk of character. Seeing as she’s likely to be a completely serviceable piece of kit, I’m wondering why retire her?

Classic cars are getting EV retro fits, and it can’t be long before the kits start reaching down to the mass market. Classic Fiat 500s are being converted, and they’re not much smaller than my Kei.

A couple of issues spring to mind though:

Range

20kW batteries are being targeted at Kei, which should give 150-200km range. Real world with the A/C on that’ll be less. Although most of our journeys are under 60km, we go 200-300 about once a month.

Weight

There’s a weight limit, and I’d be worried about breaching it with a decent battery pack. I also have a 3 tonne limit on my licence.

Where to stick the batteries.

We don’t use the boot that much, so losing some space there might not be a bad thing, although that’s a chunk of weight to stick aft of the rear axle.

And we can put a bit extra under the passenger seat (there’s a battery there already)

Anyway, if I’ve a choice between shelling out a couple of million on a new EV, or putting the same towards a conversion I might be tempted to go with the latter.

At least we’ll keep the much loved Pandas on the back(!)

Photograph of the back of a Suzuki Hustler showing the Panda insignia

I'm Ross, a digital editorial designer and content creator from the UK now living in Japan. I help growing companies plan, source, produce and promote a range of content. Find out more

Like what you read? Sign up for my weekly(ish) missive, delivered straight to your inbox.