Baker forklift + Suzuki Swift + Geo Metro = Project ForkenSwiftProject ForkenSwift - Electric car conversion on a beer budget

EV conversion parts list > 1992 Geo Metro host car ...

1993 Geo Metro electric car

The ForkenSwift was built by combining the best parts from a 1993 Suzuki Swift (which turned out to be too rusty to use) and a 1992 Geo Metro. The cars were essentially the same. The only big difference was the Suzuki had a 4-cylinder engine where the Metro had a 3-cylinder.

Why did we choose this car for the ForkenSwift?

  • Weight: it's a major enemy of efficiency. At under 1800 lbs, these cars were among the lightest available in the North American market. A small, light car can be a poor choice for an EV conversion if there isn't enough space or payload capacity to hold the batteries (usually lead acid). But with a relatively small 48 volt pack, we knew we'd be OK.
  • Cost: they were cheap to buy new, and they're even cheaper to buy used. This pair of cars cost $250.
  • Availability: between GM and Suzuki, probably several hundred thousand cars built on this platform were sold from the late 80's to the late 90's. They're easy to get parts for, and used ones are still kicking around (though fewer in the rust belt).

1992 Geo Metro before we bought it

< prev. photo
(Click image for larger view.)
next photo >

1992 Geo Metro before we bought it

Not a day after deciding the red 1993 Sukuzi Swift was too rusty to repair, I spotted this 1992 Geo Metro in Ivan's neighbourhood, settled into ruts in someone's yard. It looked like it hadn't been driven for quite a while.

(Pardon the lousy picture quality - old school 1 mega pixel camera in poor light conditions.)

I knocked on the door of the house, and the woman who answered said, "why sure it's for sale!"

After jump starting it, the car ran & drove, though there was the smell of gasoline at the rear, a hole in the exhaust and something loose in the front suspension.

A quick look underneath revealed the body was in much better shape than the red car, though on initial inspection it looked like there were a few rust spots in the floor that would need to be patched.

A deal was done for $175.

View all ForkenSwift galleries > 1992 Geo Metro host car ...

1992 Geo Metro before we bought it
Not a day after deciding the red 1993 Sukuzi Swift was too rusty to repair, I spotted this 1992 Geo Metro in Ivan's neig...
Metro odometer at purchase
April 6, 2006: 186776 km (116057 miles) on the clock when we bought it.

As of Oct 12, 2009: 190420 km (118321 miles)....
1992 Geo Metro and 1993 Suzuki Swift
What does $250 worth of Suzuki clones look like?

The $175 blue 1992 Geo Metro (left) and $75 red 1993 Suzuki Swift si...
Rust holes ground out in the Metro's floor
What appeared at first glance to be a few small patches of rust in the car's floor (passenger side shown) turned out to ...
Rust holes: new metal brazed in
Repair patches brazed into the passenger side floor. Even the metal was donated from the red Swift's flank....
Floor repair finished
Undercoating sprayed over rust repair....
Metro inner fender rust repair
Before and after....
Geo Metro rocker panel patch
Patched both rocker panels as well. They weren't bad, but there rust bubbles were forming on the bottom of each side....
Passed certification
May 19, 2006: The car passes certification with many of the red Swift's good parts swapped over (eg. wheels/tires, contr...
Big snow tires
One of the things the car needed to pass inspection was a set of tires. so, on went a set of snows i last used on my old...
Metro and Swift
Diverging roads: the Swift ready to be put out to pasture; the Metro safety certified and ready to be converted to an EV...
Geo Metro Suzuki Swift Pontiac Firefly hybrid
You could argue that the car was already a hybrid: a combination Geo Metro, Pontiac Firefly (Canadian market Metro) and ...
Metro engine bay
BEFORE: preparing to pull (drop, actually) the 1.0L 3 cylinder gasoline engine from the car....
Metro engine disconnected
During: here the engine and transmission (hidden- engine is turned 90 degrees) have been disconnected and lowered beneat...
Metro engine bay - engine removed
The empty engine bay, a blank canvas. Soon to be known as a "motor bay"....

- - -

plug graphic  

bullet Home

bullet How fast? How far? How much?

bullet EV parts list

bullet Videos

bullet Conversion journal

bullet The used forklift

bullet Conversion cost

bullet Thanks/credits

Delta-Q Technologies
Delta-Q Technologies / Roger S. - thanks!

(menu below not yet functional)


lessons learned


ev resources



  • Nissan's smallest global car is the Micra. More info & discussion at the new Nissan Micra forum.

  • Mitsubishi Mirage forum / owners club: info & discussion about the Mirage (plus Space Star, Attrage and G4).