You don’t have to be an expert to build your own electric car, honestly speaking most people enjoy doing it and you can consider this electric car conversions (pdf) book to easily do it yourself.
By the way did you know that most of the electric cars on road today are built at home and this should give you some motivation to move on. With right information at their fingertips anybody can do this effortlessly, don’t worry the entire process is broken down into smaller and easy to follow action plans.
We are here to do our electric car conversion so let’s avoid the noise and get to work. Below is a list of important parts that you need to grab.
- Electric DC motor
- Adapter plate
- Motor Controller
By now you should have chosen a car for the conversion and usually it is termed as a “donor car”. Well the first doubt in your mind might be, which car should I go with? Preferably a light weight vehicle with manual transmission would do good because you need to add up extra power as the weight of the car increases but it is totally up to your individual desire. It really does not matter whether it is a diesel or petrol car, just choose a small car. You can buy a cheap car that suits your need or the one you would like to convert, if you already have a car to start with then thumps up you are one step closer. Do not break your head too much over the condition of engine because any how it has to be replaced by an electric motor.
If you are still uncertain over this step, then pick a model that most people have successfully converted in the past.
When it comes to batteries the most commonly used are the AGM or absorption glass mat batteries (a type of lead acid batteries), these are more reliable than the alternative lithium ion battery. AGM batteries can last longer and sustain even at lower temperature conditions and they are sealed meaning they do not spill electrolyte, also they do not need any maintenance at all and they are much safer for the environment. There are other types of lead acid batteries like gel and flooded batteries which you can consider.
Next it is the electric motor, a series wound dc motor works best for electric car conversions. An important note while choosing the motor make sure it’s weight and power is equivalent to the gasoline engine which existed previously. The motor controller, which powers up the motor and also controls the voltage. The controller should be made water proof to protect itself from water during rainy season or when you wash it. Care should be taken while selecting connecting wires it should bear the heat and high current used to drive the motor.
The battery chargers you can go for the one that best addresses your requirements, if you need a low cost charger then you need to monitor the charging but there are better chargers built by companies that are bit expensive but they are pre-programmed and it requires very less attention from your side they prevent from over charging the car batteries.
After deciding on all the components required for your electric car conversion start with your work.
First step remove the gasoline engine, fuel supply lines, fuel tank, exhaust system, radiator and other unwanted parts from the car which is of no use to an electric vehicle. But do remember that some parts might be reused so do not remove them let it be in it’s respective location. After this process fix the adapter plate that was custom built for mounting the motor and transmission together with the help of a shaft coupler.
Install the motor make sure they are fixed rigidly and it should not vibrate which might damage the transmission.Later batteries, organize these batteries in a box to hold them all in one place and put it in place where the fuel tank existed. Then install the motor controller in place and now add a dc-dc converter that will power the auxiliary equipments of the vehicle like headlight, air conditioner etc. Now to the power brakes most cars today have them without them one has to press the brakes really hard to get them working and if your donor car needs one then you need to add a vacuum pump that gives some power to the brake when applied.
By now all of the wiring work and installation of parts in their appropriate places should be finished. Congrats you have successfully finished your electric car conversion. Now test carefully whether your electric car is working fine as intended and enjoy a ride.
You are doing a favor to the environment by considering car conversion, as result there will be less pollution from your vehicle into air. And also you are saving money on gasoline wait let us not forget the tax credit that the government offers on electric vehicles.
More information on parts required for a electric car conversion.
- Decide on the number of electric batteries that your vehicle might require (more the batteries more will the range you can drive).
- Then about the electric motor for car conversion, read what type of motors are well suited for your requirement.
- You can get these from your local hardware market or get them from suppliers online. If you don’t mind going after used parts then you can find many up for sale, just try them.