Great Gas-Guzzling Suburban EV Conversion

by Diana
(Missoula, Montana)

I have a gas hogging Chevy Suburban. I love it, and would like to convert it. Is it possible? How much would it much would it save the environment, and cost?

Hi, Diana -
You CAN convert your Suburban to electric, but I'd better warn you, it will either be expensive to convert (but satisfying to drive) or unsatisfying as a vehicle (but reasonably priced).


Because it's heavy. I guess you already figured that out, huh? If it's a gas hog, that means it takes a lot of energy to move it; energy you'll have to pack around in the form of lead (or lithium) batteries.

Also, because it's heavy, an AC electric motor will be the wiser choice. Think of it as a crowbar you'll need to pry that hulk out of the garage; ) I suppose you've heard AC motors are a little more expensive? That's true; at least, the inverter you'll need to control the AC motor is more expensive. So what I'm saying is it won't be a cheap conversion.

Don't worry, all is not lost. What I'd be tempted to do if I had a giant gas-hog is to turn it into a plug-in hybrid. For something like 7000 USD, NetGain (one of their dealers, actually) will install an electric motor assist system into your beloved gas-gulper, and you can sort of have your cake and eat it, too.

What will it save the environment? Well, it will still be a Suburban, no getting around's just that the gas mileage will dramatically improve.


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by: Happy camper

There is a company that is making a hybrid suburban where a gas engine is connected to a generator. There is no connection to the rear axle in their system. Instead the gass engine charges batteries and a A.C. Motor is connected the rear differential and does all the propulsion of the vehicle. They are about $20k more than a base model suburban. A really nifty idea and a worthy note is that they also can be used as a generator for your house if power where to go down.

Milage to expect and toe copacity.
by: Jordan

I have a 2001 suburban and I'm having the same thoughts. What kind range could I expect and would it be possible to add a generator for roadtrips? Also would towing say an rv even be a possibiliy if I did this?

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