Electric Vehicles

The Case For The DIY Electric Car

Skeptics love to challenge the idea that a regular person can build their own electric car at a reasonable price using parts that are regularly available and easy to find

Frankly, I don’t know why everyone isn’t building a DIY electric car of their own. Who wouldn’t everyone rather drive for $0.04 per mile instead of $4.00 per mile if given the choice? Surely, everyone would gladly say goodbye to tune ups, oil changes and the gas pump forever if the could. Therefore, many conclude that converting a car to electric power must be difficult, highly complicated and beyond the ability of most people. I only know that it is relatively simple to complete and its a really fun project to do.

Anyway, every DIY electric car project starts with a good set of instructions and a vehicle that is appropriate for converting.

For the car, use something with enough room to mount your electric motor and batteries inside but that is still relatively light and small. Use a manual transmission vehicle too. Automatics make the project a lot harder to complete. If you can’t or don’t want to drive a stick, don’t worry. Once your conversion is complete you won’t have to shift. Used cars with engine damage, but that are in otherwise excellent condition can be found at amazingly low prices. You just have to look around a bit, but its worth it. Check the breaks, transmission, undercarriage, etc to make sure there aren’t issues there before you buy something.

Here’s another tip. If you take long trips or do a lot of freeway driving, don’t convert your primary vehicle. You won’t be happy if you do because this is just not a car you want to be driving across country or at high speeds, in spite of their 50-60 MPH top speed and range of 200 miles between charges.

Another thing is take some time to get used to the vehicle’s responsiveness once your conversion is finished. These things are amazingly quick off the line and you have to get used to the touch of the controller (the electric vehicle version of the gas pedal).

A good set of plans will guide you step-by-step through the entire project. This is important to have. More importantly though, a proper instruction manual also provides priceless information on how to find every part you need very very cheap-and in some cases even free. You can save a ton of money on a good instruction guide.

Consider that conversion kits cost $6000 or more and that’s before you even purchase the vehicle or a single battery, or you can spend $50 on a set of plans up front and convert the entire car for under $500 including the batteries. You can find the right DIY electric cars plans here.

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