Electric Car Conversions - No Previous Experience!
(Newmarket, Ontario, Canada)
What experience level is realistically needed to convert a car/van to an electric vehicle, and what kind of money are we talking about?
Since I am at it, what time frame can I expect from start to finish?
Hi, Jeff - It doesn't take much expertise, if you're willing to learn and are reasonably mechanically inclined. Can you change your oil? Are you the type to read the directions before you jump in and break $5000 worth of equipment? Then you'll be fine.
The amount of money you spend depends on how much you're willing to do yourself, and how patient you are. I've talked to guys who've done perfectly good, viable electric car conversions for less than a thousand dollars (because they were willing to do their own welding, sell their unneeded ICE parts on Ebay, and borrow tools from friends), and I've talked to people who've spent a lot more ($80,000) and got an expert EV builder to deliver them a perfectly tuned performance vehicle - turn the key and go. $15K is a happy medium.
Time? The less you know, the longer it will take you. There's a learning curve, and it takes time to figure things out. Then, even if you know exactly what you're doing, there's a sequence of events to line up, parts to order, parts to have removed, weather, your day job, building battery boxes, installing components that don't quite fit the first time like the kit manufacturer said they would...
...that sort of thing.
Gavin, the guy in the video above, built his EV with no previous electric car experience. Took him 8 months.