Electric Car Conversions - Converting Conventional Vehicles Into Electric Vehicles

Submitted by: Peter Clarck

In the past, if you wanted to own an electric car, you would have to convert your current car to one - either by yourself or by having an electric car conversion manufacturer do it for you.

There are still some existing car specialists who can convert your conventional car to an electric one. Some conversions are particular to the make and car model while others can be custom-made to your requirements.

The Northern American Electric Vehicle Association (EVA) was created to assist electric car conversion enthusiasts in the engineering facet of such vehicles. EVA holds training courses, competitions and regional meetings, along with publishing a club magazine regularly for its members. Their members have successfully made many electric vehicles in t

 

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he past years, including the 1978 solar powered car that was legally allowed on the road; a world first.

If people cannot find the electric car of their choice, and they do not have the skills or the time to do their own conversion, they can resort to a car professional to do the conversion as per their specifications.

Using a tested conversion formula, with proven components like lead acid batteries, normal motor controller and DC motor gives the converted car a good range and performance. The conversions keep the original gearbox minus the clutch so that the correct motor gearing is maintained; however the gearbox is locked in one gear with no gear lever. The standard formula used in the conversion process provides a very reliable electric car which serves the owner well over the years. Enthusiasts have also tried incorporating solar panels into their electric cars for a completely self-powered car.

But not every car is capable of being successfully converted. Bigger cars have poor aerodynamics and performance and can be very costly to run on electricity. Conversions work best with smaller, lightweight cars as they take on smaller batteries and motors for a better result.

It is not cheap to convert a conventional car to an electric car. A small car with a maximum speed of around 35-40 mph that offers a 20-mile range can cost about $3,000 in the U.S. This is when it is done personally by a skilled car enthusiast. Professional conversions that enable your electric car to travel on the highway with a100-mile range will cost a minimum of about $15,000.

The price can be lowered significantly by using free second hand parts, which can be obtained from fork-lift trucks and auto yards if you are vigilant. Second hand batteries are also feasible, but this option will cost you more time and effort. The VW Beetle has been a popular choice for such conversions. Hence, it is easy to obtain the relevant conversion kits required. The conversion job becomes easier as you are confident of the proven components. Alternatively, you can use kit-cars, which are suitable for light weight vehicles. Kit-cars have proven to be a good base for building an electric car.

If you are planning to personally convert your car to an electric one, you will need to have at least a basic understanding of mechanics, as well as a good understanding of the electrical systems you will be required to fabricate for the motor mount and to connect the motor to the adaptor plate and gearbox. Otherwise, you can engage a local machine shop for this task.

Be wary of choosing lithium-ion batteries when you perform an electric conversion. These are temperamental technologies which have led to total battery failure and fires, the latter which can destroy the whole car. Rather, adopt a straightforward technology if you are converting the car personally; use the tested and proven technology of the lead acid battery.

Of course, many mainstream car manufacturers are producing more practical electric vehicles with better performance. With the increasing number of electric cars now available, and technology improving all the time, conversions are limited to the true enthusiasts. For the consumer, and for the die-hard individuals who continue to tinker in their garages at all hours, powered by caffeine and battery fumes to build the perfect electric vehicle of their choosing, the growth of the electric car industry is a big boom.



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About the Author: Peter Clark is an energy and water management specialist guiding others to save energy and water. Check http://www.Solar365.com if you like to know more about electric cars.

Source: www.isnare.com