Learn about converting a gas engine car to an electric powered car and the cost savings and environmental benefits of electric vehicles.
You can convert a gasoline-engine powered car to electric power for about half the price of a new electric vehicle. While virtually any auto can be converted to an electric drive, select one that had decent fuel economy as a gas-fueled car. The lighter the car, the less energy needed for acceleration and climbing hills, and the less it will drain the limited amount of energy a battery pack contains. Popular models for conversion are the Geo Metro, Honda Civic and Volkswagon Rabbit. Cars with power steering, air conditioning and automatic transmissions are not good candidates. If you prefer the use of an automatic transmission over a manual one, don't worry. A car with a manual transmission, after conversion, may be shifted manually or worked like an automatic. Choose a vehicle that will safely contain and accommodate the weight of the 12 to 20 batteries needed for the propulsion pack.
Avoid converting an old bucket of rust. After spending up to $7,500 for the conversion kit and labor to install the motor, you'll want a clean, green vehicle. Expect friends and strangers alike to shower you with questions when they find your car is electric-powered and emission-free.
Gearheads get step-by-step instructions for converting a dirty gas engine car to a lean, green, electric machine in Michael P Brown's book, Convert It! ($30; on MOTHER's Bookshelf, page 103 in this issue), and Michael Hackleman's book, The New Electric Vehicles. Order The New Electric Vehicles ($24) at www.homepower.com.
Books, videos, conversion kits, parts
KTA Services Inc.
Electric Scooter World
Electrifying Times magazine
(a series of articles on EVs)
Home Power Magazine
The Electric Auto Association
Read more about electric cars: Switch to Fun and Economical Electric Vehicles.
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