Frustrated Car Owners Turn to Do-it-Yourself EV Conversions

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For drivers who are truly fed up with paying high gas prices and who don’t want to wait around for automakers to bring affordable electric vehicles to the market, CNN has a report on car owners who are converting their cars and trucks to electric power by themselves.

Described as “surprisingly easy,” the conversion basically involves ripping out the guts of a car, including the radiator and exhaust system, and replacing others, like the fuel injector, with electric components. We’re thinking this would only be called “easy” if you do engine swaps on a regular basis. Most people don’t even change their own oil.

Supporting this burgeoning do-it-yourself industry are suppliers like Electric Vehicles of America that sell the necessary parts for the conversions.

Once that work is done, the car is loaded with rechargeable lead-acid batteries (lithium-ion batteries remain a bit pricey at $10,000 to $20,000). A small truck with 20 6-volt batteries will have a top speed of 60 mph and a range of about 40 miles.

Larry Horsley of Atlanta said the whole conversion cost him $12,000 and saved him $700 in gas in just four months. Before you undertake your own conversion, though, heed our advice: It will void your car’s warranty instantaneously, and, in case you didn’t realize it, messing with your car’s inner workings can be dangerous, especially if you don’t know what you’re doing.

Converting Gas Powered Cars to Electric (

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