How did we do it? Well, it really turned into a family project after it began. Here’s how you can do it too.
What you will need to get started:
- Detailed plans on how to build your own electric car
- You can use any vehicle - gas or diesel
- A garage, shop or barn as a work space
- Simple tools every home workshop has - wrenches, drills, etc.
First off, you will need a large DC motor (9 inches or larger) and a source of batteries. Note that AC motors can be used as well but they are a bit more expensive so we went with DC. They are easier to install too.
You can, of course buy all these parts brand new but this is the heaviest cost of the whole project so we suggest using the sources of free DC motors and free industrial batteries listed in the plans.
They’re not hard to find either and since a DC motor will run for probably longer than you will own your car, using salvaged motors makes sense. Your car will rust out from under you before the motor gives up.
We wanted to keep the costs down and figured this was a great way to do it.
After obtaining your DC motor and batteries, you have to remove your gas engine from your car. Rent a hoist or find a friendly mechanic to lift it out for your. A few bolts and it’s free.
Leave the clutch and flywheel assembly and detach the rest. That will leave you room for batteries and DC motor mounting.
It is imperative that you only use a standard transmission vehicle for your conversion as automatic transmissions simply won’t work.
Don’t worry, you won’t even have to shift gears in traffic once the conversion is done. It will drive just like an automatic transmission, which is nice. Put it in gear and go. When you stop, the engine simply stops too. It doesn’t keep idling, requiring clutching like a gas engine.
The accelerating ability takes some getting used to as there won’t be a vehicle in town that will beat you when taking off from a stop light. This is no slow golf cart you will be building here.
Learning how to build your own electric car is a lot of fun too. Putting together the controller and motor assembly is not that difficult either.
Your new electric car will be able to go at least 50 mph and travel up to 100 miles on a single charge too. Pretty amazing.
With gas prices such as they are, isn’t it time you got started on your own conversion project?