More and more electric vehicles are available in the market today, and with each passing year, more consumers are making the transition to save money on gas and long-term maintenance. Electric cars are increasingly available at similar price points as their gas-powered counterparts, from cheaper options without frills to expensive luxury models. However, did you know that DIYers can convert gas-powered vehicles to EV's for as little as a quarter of the standard sticker price? This article will talk about what goes into converting a car into an electric vehicle, including the basics and costs.
The Right Car For Electric Conversion
When choosing which type of car to convert, there are a few factors to consider. A lighter car goes at full charge and becomes more energy efficient than heavier vehicles. Space for batteries is important ̵
Remember that you take out engine and other gas related features, so you can find a deal by buying or saving a car that has engine or fuel line problems.
Consider reverse skipping cars with power steering and brakes. These are expensive features, and because they are driven by the engine, they will be inoperable after conversion. They also add extra weight to a car.
You must choose between a DC or AC motor (there are advantages and disadvantages to both). Cheap, used DC trucks are readily available for sale, making them a popular choice, but there are more alternator options if you are looking for something specific. The voltage system you choose will also dictate your battery needs. You also need a controller that is compatible with the engine of your choice.
EV batteries are expensive and heavy, but they are the propeller for your EV. They have to be replaced at some point (one of the disadvantages), and their service life depends on the quality and size. Determine the type of mileage and mileage capacity you are looking for and balance those needs with your budget. Stay away from cheaply made batteries as they can cost you more along the way, literally.
Once you have calculated a car and voltage system, start by removing the engine, radiator, starter, exhaust system and fuel system as well as the gas and coolant tanks. Getting rid of unnecessary parts reduces the weight and clears space for the new parts. You can sell extra parts to pay for the conversion.
The electric motor must be placed in a prepared bracket. Before that happens, it may be necessary to do some judging, depending on how you decide to connect the system – there are many ways to make this happen, depending on your design. A popular choice is to get an aluminum plate (manufactured by yourself or a mechanic) to connect the engine to the car's gearbox. Attach them to each other first and make sure they are centered and tested before mounting inside the vehicle. This will save you from lifting a heavy machinery in and out!
Installing the controller also depends on the desired design, but it usually happens when everything else is in place. Once all parts have been properly assembled, the new system must be connected.
Finally, prepare the brackets and install the batteries. Charge them up and test your new electric vehicle in a safe area before taking it to the streets.
A very general estimate for converting a gas-powered car into an electric vehicle is between $ 5,000 and $ 12,000. Batteries are available for $ 1,000 to $ 2,000, depending on how many you need. An electric motor and control unit will also be around $ 1,000 – $ 2,000 for each; But you might also find a very good used forklift truck for under $ 500 – it depends on how much time you can buy cheaper parts.
An adapter plate is a bit smaller, from $ 500 to $ 1,000. Other items such as cable wiring and switches also go around $ 500- $ 1,000. This does not take any labor into consideration, nor does the cost of the vehicle you convert. Hiring someone to do the conversion would run from $ 12,000-18,000, including parts and labor.
More conversion rates are entering the market every year, and new advances in electric motor technology appear regularly. Determine your budget in advance and calculate how much DIY work you can do, since the kits can sometimes cost as much as a new car. Remember to check municipal regulations on driving electric vehicles and think twice about converting a "classic" car if it is an antique investment – its resale price can change when it is electric.
With a variety of available options, an increasing number of car enthusiasts are considering electric car conversions. Maybe you're among them! Remember that all cars can be converted. It's up to you to decide if it's worth the effort.
If you do a conversion, show your work to the world on our Project page! This is a hot space, and our readers love to hear about adventurous new creations. Good luck!