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Build Own Electric Car

Choose the right car to convert.

It really depends on your purpose for this car. Commuting? Taking kids to school? Entertainment? Hauling stuff?

Believe it or not, but a Porsche 914 is a terrific car to convert to EV but can you afford to? Really any car under ten years old, which is as light-weight as possible and plenty of room for batteries is good.

People have converted VWs, Audis, Nissans, Chevrolets, Pontiacs, Mazdas, Subarus,Hondas, Fiats and Fords. And so on…

In a very small nutshell;

Essentially you remove the donor car’s engine gas tank, exhaust, and clutch. Next you install the electric motor and controller and wire these to the batteries.

Then there is quite a bit of “detail” in between to take care of including a reduction gear, mounting and wiring electric motors for any power steering and air conditioning, and much much more.

Sounds easy? No, it isn’t quite that easy! You need a decent set of step-by-step instructions to work your way towards your own electric car.

Getting a heart for your frame, the electric motor

Converted electric cars usually use something between 96 volts and 192 volts. Once that is decided you can choose the right motor and controller. Most commonly used by EV convertors are DC-wound.

Which batteries?

There are five types of batteries that are used in EV conversions. Flooded acid lead batteries are by far the most common. VRLA (Valve Regulated Lead Acid) AGM (Absorbed Glass Mat) batteries, gel cell batteries, nickel-cadmium batteries and lithium-based batteries are also used.

Each has pros and cons. Any decent electric vehicle conversion plan will lead you to the one best suited to your project.

What does it cost?

You can build an electric vehicle for under $1,000 with a forklift electric motor, 8 six volt batteries and a golfcart controller but you won’t go very far in it, nor very fast!

Depending on the cost of donor car and required repair work to it, of batteries, adapter plate, motor, controller and wiring, the average lies between $5,000 and $12,000.