Ask Electric Car Conversion Questions

Some folks have been writing in lately asking very good electric car conversion questions, and I thought, "You know, if I was thinking of converting a car to electric, I might find the questions and answers very useful..."

...so I decided to devote a page just to that!

Here's where you can ask your question (pertaining to electric car conversions), no matter how simple, and I'll either answer it myself, or - if you've stumped me - we'll get one of my very smart conversion shop friends to answer the question.


Motor Questions
What size motor should you choose for your conversion? AC or DC?

Battery Questions
Which batteries are the best, and where do you find them? How do you wire batteries in series? Can I use airplane batteries?

Battery Charger Questions
Why do I need a special charger?

Electric Car Conversion Questions
Should I convert my monster truck to electric? Where do I get fuses? What's "electric reverse"?


Search for an answer to your conversion question...

More Conversion Questions and Answers

Click below to see contributions from other visitors to this page...

Is it wise to convert a VW Westfalia van to electric? 
I've been doing some research into some cheap-ish manual vans but was wondering if there is a limit to what can be converted based on size and design? …

On-board gasoline generators to give unlimited EV range? 
How could I add an on-board gasoline-powered electric generator to power my electric conversion pick-up? Is it feasible to then use this to power …

Generating Power with your Electric Cars Wheels 
Could you put a magnetic electrical generator on the axles of the unpowered wheels of your car to feed the battery/ could you use the wheels as a …

Wouldn't a Transmission Improve Efficiency? 
I've noticed that most people are bolting their electric motors directly to their transmission. Why aren't they using a typical flywheel and …

How Many Volts to Run an Electric Car on a Generator? 
If I can come up with something that produces electric power for a car motor, how many volts would I need to keep it running? Hi, William …

ABS Brakes for Electric Car Conversion? 
Is it a wise thing to buy a donor vehicle with ABS brakes or not, and what does one have to do to register and insure a converted electric …

Cost to Charge an Electric Car 
If you buy an electric car and everyday after work you need to plug it in to charge it how much is your electric bill going to go up? Hi, …

MG Midget Electric Car Conversion Kit? 
I am ready to rip apart my MG Midget to convert it to electric. Which kit is recommended for this type of vehicle, and what would the cost/availability …

EV Math: Electric Porsche 914 Range 
I have just been doing a little bit of math, and I am missing something. I was viewing a manufacturers website that does conversions …

Electric Car Voltage and Power Requirements 
Why do people us 6v batteries in their electric cars and not 12v or 24v? And what are the average power requirements for the average …

EV Transmission, or CVT? 
Is a transmission required on EVs? If so would a CVT from a snowmobile offer an advantage? Hi, Jim - No, you don't actually …

Why do EVs need batteries? 
Why use batteries ? Batteries are heavy, and maintenance hogs. Why not integrate a diesel powered generator, and use an AC motor to power the car? …

AC or DC Drive for Electric Cars? 
Why does one select AC over DC drive for electric cars? I see both kinds of kits offered but I don't understand why one would choose …

Why are Electric Car Motors so Expensive? 
I was wondering why the electric motors and the conversion process is so expensive. Motors are like $2000 gas engines don't cost that much. I wanted …

"Do it Myself" Electric Car Conversion? No Way! 
Since I don't have the tools, the expertise, nor the time, I'd rather pay a mechanic to do the conversion for me. So where are the conversion shops …

Triumph Spitfire Good Electric Car Conversion? 
Is it practical (money and technical-wise) to convert an old Spitfire to an EV? I mean, for instance, will the weight of the EV components exceed the …

Conversion Question: Electric Gas Hybrid 
I saw on your website somewhere there was mention of a gas generator powering an electric motor. This is called a "Parallel Hybrid Drivetrain". Is …

Will Solar Panels Help Power an EV? 
If you put solar panels on your car would it help? If you did it right, would it be like adding one or more batteries? Let's say you are at work …

Converting an Acura RSX? 
I've got a 2003 Acura RSX Type-S . It has a 6 speed manual transmission and a very large hatch. I think it would make the perfect EV donor. First, …

Electric Car Conversion - Southern California 
Where can I go in southern California to talk to someone about having one of my cars made in to a EV? Hi, Ricky! Like this little MG Midget …

How Do You Connect Ignition Wires On a Chevy S-10? 
I have a 1988 Chevrolet S-10 that I have converted to electric but I can't for the life of me figure out how to connect the ignition wires for the …

VW Beetle EV Conversion 
I am thinking of undertaking a VW Beetle electric car conversion. The mid 60's cars are not too expensive, and weigh around 1600 lbs. …

I Want To Buy an All-Electric Car 
Where can I find electric converted cars/ Rav-4 's for sale? Hey, Zeb! Keep an eye on Ebay. I've collected all the best ones together (for electric …

Great Gas-Guzzling Suburban EV Conversion 
I have a gas hogging Chevy Suburban. I love it, and would like to convert it. Is it possible? How much would it cost...approximately...how …

56 Chevy Electric Car Conversion? 
I really do not want to get rid of this old car I have, but with the price of gas now a days it's hard coming up with a reason to keep it! We all …

Snowmobile Drive in an EV? 
Has anyone used a snowmobile drive system to hold down the load placed on the EV's motor during acceleration? Or would the friction be too much? I am …

Electric Motorhome Conversion 
Is there a conversion kit available for RVs and vans? I have a 1976 RV that I would like to convert to electric. I also have a 1973 van. Both the RV …

Importing Electric Vehicle Conversions to Canada 
Are there any converted vehicles for sale in Canada? I find a few on Ebay but not from Canada. I'm afraid to bring one in from the US...probably …

Building an Electric Mazda RX-7 
I was thinking of converting an rx7 the year around 94 I like the body style. It needs to travel a distance at least 100 mile per …

Long Distance Freeway EV 
I have a '94 Subaru Legacy L wagon with right hand steering, all-wheel drive and an automatic on the floor. I use it on a 70-mile mail route …

4x4 electric car conversions 
My dream is to convert an old Series Land Rover to an electric vehicle , but wondered about conversions for 4 wheel drive vehicles. It only makes …

Electric Car Kit for a Miata 
Does somebody make an electric car conversion kit for a Miata? Hi, Sean - Yes. Check out this interview with Reverend Gadget at …

Luxury Car Conversions 
Everywhere I read "keep the curb weight down" , but I can't see myself and the wife and kids in a Geo or Ford Ranger. I'd like to see something …

Yes, You CAN Convert an Automatic to Electric 
I've done it, twice now, and I'm very pleased with the results. I average about 45 miles on a charge, same as everybody else. My range would be …

Battery Powered Lawn Mower 
Is it possible to convert a gas powered lawn mower into a battery powered lawn mower? Has anybody done it? Could this be done with a smaller riding …

Conversion Question: Wind-powered Electric Car? 
Could a wind turbine mounted on an electric car recharge the batteries? I wonder if using the wind turbines that are used in homes …

Conversion Question: Air Conditioning 
Air conditioning is one of my concerns. Do those that convert their cars to electric simply do away with that little luxury? Hi, Brad - Yes, …

Can an Alternator Power an Electric Car? 
Why couldn't a regular battery turn over an alternator the size of a gas engine to make the electric car run with plenty of electricity from the alternator? …

Electric Car Conversion's Electric Accessories 
How do you handle the electric accessories in a conversion, like the heater, AC, cd/radio sound system and airbags? How will that draw …

Can I Convert a F-250 Crew Cab to Electric? 
I have a 1979 Ford f-250 crew-cab with a 351m engine and a four speed manual that I am wanting to convert over to electric. I only drive about …

Electric Generator Under the Hood 
Is it possible to put a small diesel generator under the hood to recharge the batteries while you are driving? Can the car run directly off of the …

Electric Car Conversion: Where to Start? 
I have been toying with the idea of converting my Triumph TR6 into a EV. Are there any suggestions or input you can give to a first time EV conversion …

Parallel Electric Hybrid Conversion 
Has anyone used a electric drive system to use either gas/diesel or electric or both in a conversion? Hi, Craig - Yes, it's been done. …

Converting a '65 VW Ghia to an Electric Car 
I'd like to know where to go to explore the possibility of converting a '65 VW Ghia to electric. What I might expect cost wise, driveability, range, …

Electric Car Conversion Kit for F150 
I have a 2001 Ford F-150 that gets driven only a couple times a month, and for less then 50 miles. Would you know if there are conversion kits …

Electric Car Conversion: Classic, or New? 
I hope to start restoring my 1954 F100 this year. I am considering attempting to make it all EV. Where could I get some plan ideas …

Using a generator to recharge your EV? 
Has anybody tried applying a regular home generator with a rectifier for use in DC conversions? I would imagine the use of a generator would greatly …

Gas Electric Hybrid Jeep 
I am a retired machinist/ machine designer/ machine repair supervisor who has worked on cars all of my life. I own a 1952 JEEP CJ-5 …

Conversion Kit Companies in the North Eastern US? 
Hi, I am planning a project for my vocational school Advanced Auto Mechanics class. I want to create a conversion kit for my 1985 Toyota Van/Wagon …

Upgrading the Brakes on my Mini Conversion 
I've got a 1976 Mini that I want to convert to an EV. My question is: what is the best way to set up my brakes using the original drum set up? I …

EV Conversion: Why Keep The Transmission? 
Everyone seems to be keeping the transmission in their electric car conversions. I don't get it. If I upscale the motor why can't I lose the transmission …

Electric Land Rover Conversion 
I need a SUV for work, but feel guilty about the gas mileage. Thinking about buying a used Land Rover and converting it myself. I've …

EV Conversions in Seattle? 
Is there a place in or near Seattle that does EV conversions? Is it possible to convert a compact sedan (98 Mercury Tracer, automatic)? Hi, Anon! …

Motor Replacement Type: AC or Sep-ex best for NEV? Not rated yet
First I have a question about a particular OEM EV motor: what did the 1999 Ford Ranger EV have for a motor? And second, I am considering purchasing …

Adaptor Plate for my Jeep EV Conversion? Not rated yet
Does anyone sell the adaptor to convert my 1956 CJ 4X4 with the F-head 4 cylinder motor to electric power? Hi, Frank - I really doubt you'll …

Cost for Jeep Cherokee EV Conversion Kit Not rated yet
How much does the full conversion kit and batteries cost for a 1994 jeep cherokee? Hi, Greg - The answer is: it depends on the conversion kit components …

1987 Mercedes 300 SDL Electric Conversion? Not rated yet
I have a 1987 Mercedes 300 SDL with a bad automatic transmission, it has around 280k miles on it, and I was thinking about turning it into …

Austin Heally EV Conversion Not rated yet
My son and I have decided after two overhauls to our Austin Heally 3000 MKIII to convert it to an EV. The car is dismantled and ready for a …

Electric Ton of Bricks Car Conversion Not rated yet
I would like to know if anyone thinks it would be possible to convert a 1973 Cadillac Eldorado convertible to electric. For anyone that …

Separate Axle For My Hybrid Electric Car Conversion? Not rated yet
I'm planning to stretch and convert my long-wheelbase Land-Rover Defender to a six-wheeler (i.e. add another axle behind the present rear one, with a …

Heavy Donor Vehicle Questions Not rated yet
I have a 99 Durango I was thinking about converting to electric. I need the parts and if you know where can I get them. Hi, Claricio - …

Gearing the Electric Car Conversion Not rated yet
If you decide to keep the transmission , but also lock it in gear, I've heard of locking it in any from first to third, but let's say second …

Drive Shaft for Electric Cars? Not rated yet
I'm curious, do electric cars use a drive shaft? I know in gas cars it give the wheels their movement but it also comes from the transmission …

Should I Convert my SLK Mercedes to Electric? Not rated yet
I am considering converting my SLK Mercedes to electric. Do you think it is a good candidate? Hi, Val - It's lovely. On the one hand, …

Plug-in AND Solar Electric Car? Not rated yet
If I converted a car/truck to electric I would want it to be plug in and/or solar re-chargeable. Is that a major deal to do? It would seem …

Capacitors for an Electric Car? Not rated yet
So, could you create a system that uses alternators and the spin of the tire to create an electrical current that you could store in capacitors …

Electric Hot Rod Conversion Not rated yet
Traditionally, street rods have been powered by fire breathing, and belching, large displacement V8's. Recently, Ford has supplied its …

Conversion Question: Manual, or Automatic Transmission? Not rated yet
What types of transmissions can be used in electric car conversions? Should I use an automatic or could I use a manual transmission? …

Lightweight EV Battery Charger Available? Not rated yet
I got 12 Yuasa 12v lead-acid batteries (SWL 2250F) in my car, and the charger I got is a heavyweight - is there anything lighter on the market that I …

Electric Kit Car Not rated yet
So I was thinking of building a kit car , which typically has a fiberglass body. I thought, "If I build a fiberglass body, the vehicle ought to …

Porsche 911 EV Conversion Not rated yet
A few years ago I picked up an early model 1971 911T Targa. After stripping her down to the metal, prime, paint, restore the interior, rebuild …

Saturn SL2 Electric Car Conversion Not rated yet
I have been considering converting my 1999 Saturn SL2 to electric. This has an automatic transmission. I only drive 12Km to work every day …

Insurance for an Electric Car in Florida Not rated yet
My EV Conversion: I have the funds and time to start my electric car conversion, but there is just one thing stopping me. Before staring …

Electric Car Conversion Manual Questions Not rated yet
Is there a guide to converting a small car to electric, and a complete parts list of the needed hardware? I want to learn how, but …

Fixing up a Old Electric Car Conversion Not rated yet
I have just bought a 72 pinto electric car conversion that was converted in the early 90's by an eastern Oregon college. I had lots …

65' Volvo 544 Electric Car Conversion Not rated yet
I have a 65' 544 Volvo that I've loved, painted, moved 3x's, and want to convert it to electric. It has a 4 cyn, duel SU carb, and …

Regenerative Hybrid Electric Car Conversion Not rated yet
I want to convert my VW Cabrio (Rabbit/Golf) to a regenerative hybrid (just an onboard gasoline generator is fine) with plug-in and …

Electric Car Performance Comparison Not rated yet
What is the horse power of these AC motors in comparison to a gas engine in relation to size? Example, to have an electric motor replace …

Electric Car Conversion: Dodge Neon Not rated yet
I'm thinking about converting my 99 Neon to electric. Should I use AC or DC, and how big should I make the motor? Hi, Andrew - …

Beginning an Electric Car Conversion Not rated yet
I want to start converting a 98 Eclipse into a electric car. I am just doing the research on it right now. What are some suggestions …

D Cell Batteries for EVs Not rated yet
Would a series of small battery cells (like D cell batteries) hooked up in series and in parallel provide more and longer lasting power …

How do you heat an electric car? Not rated yet
How is the passenger compartment heated on an all electric car? Hi, Ray! Here's Canadian Electric Vehicles' solution: An EV heater kit …

Can I Build My Own Plug-In Hybrid? Not rated yet
I want to add electric motors to my Dodge pickup, to be able to plug in and charge for running errands, 15 mile round trip to work …

Advice on Buying an Electric Car Conversion Not rated yet
I'm looking at buying a converted EV (taking your advice:) and don't know much about 'em. How do I know how much HP is good? If the …

Converting My Mazda Automatic to Electric Not rated yet
Would it be possible, or practical, to convert my 2001 automatic Mazda 626 ? These gases prices are obscene and I feel that this is my best course …

Cost of Electric Car Conversion Not rated yet
What are the main components for building an electric car? Batteries, motor...what else? Hi, Will - Here's what a DC conversion list looks like: …

Gas Electric Hybrid Not rated yet
I have this 2002 Dodge Durango (4.7L V8 4X2) and I'm considering converting it to a gas electric hybrid to improve its fuel economy. My idea …

How Far Can You Go On a Charge? Not rated yet
How do you calculate how far you will be able to drive on a charge when you're building a conversion? Hey, Maltby - There's a pretty good …

AC or DC Conversion Kit for Electric Cars? Not rated yet
What do you think is a better system, AC or DC, and why, for a conversion project? This seems to be a topic of some debate . Hi, Dan! Are …

Why Does an EV Need a Transmission, Anyway? Not rated yet
If an automatic transmission is such a bummer for EV conversions, why not just "can" the transmission and hook the electric motor to the drive shaft …

EV Conversion: Electric Reverse Not rated yet
I've noticed with EV conversions there is mention of "electric reverse" being used. Doesn't the manual transmission have reverse …

Conversion Question: Power Steering and Brakes? Not rated yet
Does the donor car have to have manual brakes and steering? Is this why the list of cars used in conversions is set to cars before 1992? Can newer cars …

How Many KW of Power Needed For an EV? Not rated yet
How much power (watts per pound? KW? ) do you need to run an electric car? Hi, Bill - According to Electro Automotive : A small car (2500lbs. …

Electric Minivan Conversion? Not rated yet
We'd like to have a minivan or airport bus sized vehicle converted to electric with air conditioning, We'd like a 60-70 mile range at highway …

What does a car with no ICE weigh? Not rated yet
If I take my sister's 1995 Dodge Neon (currently 2500 lbs curb weight) and remove the engine, transmission, cooling system, fuel system, battery/starter/alternator, …

Plug-in-Hybrid, Cigarette Lighter Not rated yet
I read your article about Plug-in-Hybrids - how the Prius won’t let you add batteries, nor add in a plug to recharge the batteries. Why couldn’t …

Conversion Question: Transmission Adaptor Not rated yet
I would like to convert a 1994 Nissan Hardbody to electric. If I keep the original transmission, I assume I'd have to have some kind of adaptor to …

Toyota 4x4 Hybrid On Its Way To Costa Rica Not rated yet
I have a 1987 Toyota truck 4x4 , I have dreams of driving it south (like Costa Rica or further). I am thinking it would be nice to put in an electric …

Gas Electric Hybrid Car Not rated yet
Has anyone been successful converting an all-wheel drive vehicle (like an Audi) to a plug-in hybrid? My ideal end product would be an Audi Quattro …

Need New Battery Charger for Lithium? Not rated yet
Do you really have to have a lithium ion battery charger if you put lithium ion batteries in your EV? It's time to replace the batteries …

Conversion Question: Charge as you drive? Not rated yet
I have seen a couple of alternative solutions here used to recharge the batteries without plugging the car into the wall, such as the generator in …

Where Can I Get Parts For My Electric Conversion Project? Not rated yet
Two questions: One, I keep hearing about battery life. What does the new Tesla roadster use that gives it such long battery life? Two, I'm planning …

Conversion With a Weight Problem Not rated yet
I am looking to convert a Saturn with 144 volts, 28hp motor, to achieve about 72 miles at 60 mph. In my quest to get the range and speed I require, I …

Can I Convert a Front Wheel Drive to Electric? Not rated yet
Can I convert a front wheel drive car to electric? I was wondering if it would be just as easy as a rear wheel drive, or even possible. Hi, Kris! …

New Book!

Let's Talk About Electric Cars book

From Electric Cars are for Girls



Conversion Help

EV Conversion Videos

EV Conversion Videos


Electric car Conversion books

EV Conversion Books


CanEV Conversion Kit

EV Conversion Kits


Conversion Shops

Venus Motors
Want to build electric cars in your own shop? Fiberglass body, electric motor, and LiFePO4.

Duke's Garage Conversion Shop
Interview with Dave Altschuler from Duke's Garage in Westminster, CO.

Ampmobiles Conversion Shop
Interview with Tanya from Ampmobiles, an electric car conversion shop in Lake Wylie, SC.

Canadian Electric Vehicles
Interview with Randy from CanEV, a (very busy) electric car conversion shop in BC that ships S-10 kits to anywhere in the US.