An electric car conversion from an internal combustion engine vehicle is what has students, teachers and home mechanics all abuzz around the country. With high gas prices the idea behind an electric car conversion is to save fuel and lower emissions to zero.
Many people presume that the cost or time invested would be too high. Some electric car conversion plans cost less than $100 and say that one can create the makeover for less than $200. Those who buy a kit or take it to someone else for the conversion are looking at $3000 to $4000 for the electric car conversion.
And, let’s face it, this is not for everybody. Pulling out an engine and transmission in a vehicle and substituting the drivetrain with an electric motor and a set of batteries requires some mechanical ability, determination and a willingness to go green.
This is just what a Wichita, KS man named Roger Nethercot has. Mr. Nethercot converted a 1986 Isuzu truck in his spare time to go all electric for around $4000. He can convert yours for about the same.
In Manchester, NJ teacher Joe Gawlik and retired Navy man Hank Trabold decided to convert a 1973 VW Super Beetle into an all electric vehicle. One of the motivations for the project is so that Gawlik could show off his zero emissions vehicle to his high school students and let them start on a similar conversion with a scooter.
An electric car conversion may make sense for a certain type of person. If you’re an environmentalist who is mechanically inclined and wants to save gas and go greener then this may be a weekend project for you. If you’ve got a second car that you wouldn’t mind tinkering with and making a primary car (providing you drive less than 100 miles a day) then this may just be an intriguing option.
Since the major automakers are slow to respond to public need when it comes to electric vehicles, it’s the DIY’ers who will make an impact on the market over the next several years. And, why not? Most good ideas start at the bottom and eventually work their way up.