There are many advantages to converting your car to run on electricity - lowered emissions and lowered operating costs -- but before converting your car to electric power, there are three important factors that need to be taken into consideration beforehand.
How Much Will It Cost?
A conversion from to electric power involves removing the existing internal combustion engine from the vehicle, then installing an electric motor, along with a bank of batteries.
Depending on the amount of effort needed, the conversion may run at about an estimated $6000 in parts and anywhere from $1000 to $3000 for the requisite batteries and other labor expenses.
The relatively maintenance-free nature of an electric motor should offset any other operation costs, including possible battery replacement every three to four years. On the upside, you'll have a vehicle that only costs cents per mile to operate and is relatively inexpensive to maintain.
Which Car Is Ideal For Conversion?
A light car with a curb weight of about 2000 to 3000 lbs is ideal for conversion to electric power. Heavier vehicles can noticeably cut the traveling range of an electric motor. Light pickup trucks and compact economy cars can fit the bill for conversion, but keep in mind that you have to have enough space to store the batteries and other accessories needed.
Cars with manual transmissions are preferable to automatics, since the latter will be a much heavier burden on a electric motor and cut down traveling range.
How Far Can I go?
Most electric cars have a range of up to 80 miles, with a top speed varying from about 50 to 90 miles per hour, depending on the type of car and electric motor hardware used. While it's definitely not ideal for any long distance traveling, it is perfect for driving around town and work commutes.
Also keep in mind that hilly terrain and cold weather reduce the overall performance of an electric car. Recharging an electric car takes about 6 to 12 hours for a complete charge - this can be done overnight in your garage with an average 110 volt power outlet.