As fuel costs rise, more and more people are looking for alternatives. One such alternative that is becoming increasingly popular, especially among do-it-yourself types, is electric vehicle kits. Anyone who knows anything about automobiles can now use these kits to convert traditional gas-powered vehicles into ones that run on electric power.
Converting a traditional gas-powered vehicle into an electric one, however, can be a daunting task. Only those who are very mechanically inclined should attempt this. Converting the vehicle requires extensive modifications to almost all mechanical parts of the car. Everything from the engine to the radiator, heating and air conditioning to the displays on the control panel. In addition, electric cars need to be recharged regularly, which means buying or using the services of a charging station. Solar energy could be another potential source of power for the electric vehicle.
Can any car be converted into an electric vehicle?
Unfortunately, the answer is no. Not all cars can be converted into an electric vehicle. However, the most common electric vehicle kit appears to be the Chevy S-10 pickup kit. To find examples, simply search online for conversions for the Chevy S-10 Pickup Electric. Other cars that are good candidates for conversion include the Chevy Geo, especially from 1989 to 1999. These cars are good potential candidates for conversion with an electric vehicle kit. Cars similar to the Chevy Geo Metro, such as the Chevy Sprint, Pontiac Firefly and Suzuki Swift, are also ideal for conversion.
Are there any disadvantages to using an electric vehicle kit?
A few years ago, many people associated electric-powered vehicles with slowness and lack of power. But as usual, thanks to technology, significant advances in electric vehicles have changed all that. With these electric vehicle kits, some cars can reach top speeds between 70 and 75 miles per hour. However, switching to electric drive still has its drawbacks.
The biggest drawback, of course, is the need to recharge the batteries. For example, depending on driving habits, the Chevy Geo Metro kit needs to be. Battery quality to be recharged every 20 to 40 miles. For city driving this would be ideal. However, this would not be ideal for longer trips on the highway.
The Chevy S-10 with electric vehicle kit installed runs a little longer on a single charge. On a single charge, the S-10 should last between 40 and 60 miles. This in turn depends on driving habits and the size and quality of the batteries. Some S-10 models can be equipped with solar-powered panels, which would reduce the need for charging, at least when riding during daylight hours.
Converting vehicles with electric vehicle kits is not a cheap affair. Most conversion kits seem to range from $8000 to $10.000 to cost. This doesn't even include professional installation and the cost of the batteries, not to mention access to or purchase of a charging station.
Quite frankly, with the cost of using an electric vehicle kit, it probably wouldn't be very practical for the average consumer, especially if they do a lot of freeway driving. That said, it would probably be ideal for a backyard mechanic who likes to tinker with cars and has a few bucks and wants to impress his beer-drinking buddies.