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Luxury Car Conversions

by W Jones
(Dallas, TX)

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 BMW 5-Series or MB E series converted.

Besides the weight, and the fact that these are automatics (manual is easier and gets better range mileage) what other roadblocks am I seeing?

Hi, WJ!
There are luxury cars being converted.

To see a recent EV conversion of a luxury BMW, in which the owner kept every luxury feature except the cruise control (and he's working on that, too), check out Bob Simpson's 2003 BMW on the EV Photo Album.

True, they tend to be heavier. That's what a top-of-the-line AC drive system was invented for.

True, the luxury automobile tends to have a collection of fancy electric accessories, as well, and also tends to have a whole lot of little computer chips to control this and that. So you'll need expertise to manage that.

So the only significant roadblock I can think of is that your conversion will cost more - an AC drive system and lithium batteries are what you want, and that stuff doesn't come cheap - and require more expertise to power all your accessories correctly. But my goodness, you've got a BMW - you're not a starving college student. Money well spent, I say.

Under the category of "great minds thinking alike": I'm happy to see Rolls-Royce experimenting with electric drive this year, too.


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