56 Chevy Electric Car Conversion?

by Robert Carreon
(Frederick, Maryland)

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 know it drinks gas like crazy, the question is, would it be a good candidate for electric car conversion or not? (I think my car weigh is about 5000 lbs maybe more not sure.)

Since it weighs more, would it also cost more and around how much?

Hi, Robert!
It's beautiful.
It's a classic.
And unfortunately...
It's not a very good candidate for a budget-minded conversion.


Because, as you say, it's heavy. It was born back in the days of cheap gasoline, so there was little effort made to make it light or aerodynamic. It's a brick.

So what does it take to push a brick down the street?

If you want to accelerate faster than the old ladies next door out walking their poodles, no problem. You're going to want an AC system. 5000 pounds? Make that a Big AC system.

Now that you've lightened your wallet by 15-20k, time to put 300v or so worth of batteries in it. Budget-minded means lead acid batteries. Lead is heavy.

(The good news? Looks like plenty of space for battery boxes, at least; )

Sigh. Now that I've talked you out of it, hopefully, I think it would be a really cool electric car in some ways. I kinda hope you ignore all of us and just go for it.

Um, then come back and let us know how it went!

All the best -

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Lightening the car?
by: Anonymous

I don't know if this is still relevant, but I remember seeing a 88 Chevy Monte Carlo that had the wheel wells, etc. removed and replaced with fiberglass parts to reduce weight.
I'd try every option before putting her to rest. Go electric, drive slow so you give kids a chance to stare and point...The world needs to see cars like that.

Do you still have your '56?
by: George

Do you still have your '56 Chevy? Are you interested in selling it? Let me know please. Thanks, George

Weight of '56 Chevy
by: Observer

According to 56classicchevy.com:

It should weigh in around 3200 lbs. For comparison, that's about the same weight as a 2010 4-cylinder Honda Accord. Of course, the Honda's going to have a lot of heavier systems in place like power steering, etc. Generally, I think converting to electric will see an overall mass increase of 500-1000 lbs in the car's weight (from the battery pack)?trending towards the heavier side if you decide to go with lead-acid battery chemistry. So, new suspension may be required. That said, I think oldies conversions are the coolest conversions; check out Neil Young's LincVolt for a similar mod.

56 Chevy
by: Ken

My first car was a 56 Chevy, also the second, and third. (Took me a long time to learn to be a careful driver). Actually the 56 Chevy is one of the lightest old Chevys. It weighs in the neighbor hood of around 2500 lbs. The four door hardtop will be heavier than most other 56 Chevys. Not sure by how much though.

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