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Build Your Own Electric Car

By Edited Nov 13, 2013 0 2

Anybody can build an electric car

build your own electric car

Want to learn to build your own electric car? Wondering if you can do it? The answer is yes. The majority of EVs on the road today were built by hobbyists in their garages. These people take a regular, gasoline powered car, remove the motor and replace it with electric drive components. This is something that anybody can do in your garage, you just need the right information and a little patience. There are several steps involved.

1. Decide on a donor car

When you decide to build your own electric car the first thing you will need is a donor vehicle. Your donor vehicle can come from a number of places. Auto wreckers, friends, classifieds etc. It is best to use a small, light vehicle with a manual transmission. Manual transmissions more suitable for conversion than automatic. Consider trying to find something with a seized engine as this can make your donor vehicle much cheaper. As with any vehicle, the more you spend, the more you will get. Don't just buy some junker that needs a ton of work though. Generally if it was a junker as a gas guzzler, it will be a junker as an electric vehicle.

2. Decide on a system and purchase your parts

This part requires some research. There are hundreds of potential setups with different motors, controllers and battery packs. You need to decide what is most important between quality and economy and find a supplier with a good reputation to buy your parts from. Check reviews and forums online to see what others have said about a particular business before you give them your business, you can save yourself a world of hassle this way. The  quality of the parts and service you get from a supplier will make a big difference in how smooth a process it is to build your own electric car.

3. Remove gas motor

This is really easier than it sounds. Get an engine hoist, support the engine with the hoist and start removing bolts and components until you can separate the engine from the transmission. Make sure to disconnect and remove the battery before beginning this process.

4. Install EV conversion components

This sounds simpler than it is. You will need a basic understanding of electricity and how it flows. You will need some basic fabrication skills or have a buddy who can cut and weld. These things however, aren’t that difficult and many people with limited mechanical experience have completed awesome conversions. There are huge communities of EV enthusiasts on forums on the internet who want to help you out and see you succeed. Make sure to use any resources you can find!

You really can build your own electric car at home. It will likely require learning a couple of new skills and recruiting the help of a friend of two, but what great project doesn't? If you decide to take the project on, make sure that you start with the right information to get your EV conversion project off the ground. Driving a vehicle that uses electricity for fuel is much better for the environment and will bring years of driving satisfaction.



Jan 3, 2013 3:14pm
I would love to build an electric car. They are really cheap to run, I hear.
Jan 3, 2013 5:37pm
They're also quite easy to build. I have completed one in a year of very slack effort. Thanks for reading.
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