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Building an electric car?

Has anyone ever done it? Any advice on how to do it?


Good God I know electric cars have been built before, I'm wondering if anyone who's on here has actually built an electric car.

Update 2:

"The only electric cars I ever built were slot cars for the track in my basement. As far as advice, any good hobby shop can help you with instructions."

Look at the subject this question is in.

8 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    I am starting one, and have been attending the TEAA electric vehicle club meetings the past few months.

    Everyone who has one says NOT to take a car you like and try to convert it, although this is always what everyone wants to do. (As I did too.) There is always unforseen problems that cause practically insurmountable obstacles and frustration, This is why there are so many unfinished projects out there.

    The advice given is to look on the internet for others unfinished projects and pick one that you like and can finish. More times than not it just requires someone with some fresh motivation, and also these usually come with all the materials purchased already for you (motor, batteries, controller, charger, pot box and cables) at a good discount as people just want their garage space back for something else and are willing to take a loss.

    If you do decide to do one from scratch, make sure it has a manual transmission (you do need to shift using 2nd, 3rd and 4th gears to keep the rpm's of the motor in peak efficiency range or your amp meter will peg, and your batteries will drain quick, and it is near impossible to run the automatic as is usually requires computer control and vacuum fluctuation for shifting and you won't have either of these working.

    Also you will need to have access to stronger rear suspension springs or leafs as you will be adding about 750 pounds over the rear axle and 750 lbs up front, although this will be almost an even swap for the motor.

    Make sure it is a light and aerodynamic vehicle as this will increase your range.

    Also if you think you need to drive 50 miles a day, plan for 100 miles worth of battery capacity and then never go more than 50 miles as keeping your batteries from deep cycle discharging will triple their usable life.

    That should be enough to get you started. Post again after you begin and I should have some more information for you.

    Good luck!

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    The only electric cars I ever built were slot cars for the track in my basement. As far as advice, any good hobby shop can help you with instructions.

    Source(s): At least it's a start.
  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Follow these links. People are building electric vehicles every day. I have plans to convert my Mazda truck in the future. You can find the parts you need at

    And for some cool links showing you the cars that are available.

    (this links to more links)

    This should make a believer out of you. This technology is available NOW!!!! There are a lot of people who belive this stuff is in the future, but it is happening now. You made the right call to ask about this. It is very important that everyone know about the realism and practical use of plug-in EV's.

  • 1 decade ago

    Thousands of people have taken a gas car and converted it to battery electric. I'd advise getting hooked up with people who have. Here's a mailing list I recommend highly, it's full of smart and experienced people.

    There are a lot of messages per day, so you might want to peek at the archive to see if it's for you.

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  • 1 decade ago


    Great idea! There's advice on building electric vehicles on this page:



    I also recommend the book 'Build Your Own Electric Vehicle' by Bob Brandt, there's a link to the book on this page:



    Also on that page above are links to EV converters who can help you with your project.


    Also, here's a guy who sells ready-made kits to convert cars to electric. They cost about $8 - 9000 each:



    Yes, I drive an EV. You will love it!


  • 1 decade ago

    CVT transmission connected to an older electric outboard motor, light vehicle, the only problem is the tremendous cost of batteries

  • 1 decade ago

    it's been done before, you should watch the documentary who killed the electric car

  • 1 decade ago

    Try these:

    Source(s): Here is a detailed diary of an EV in-progress based on a prior EV that was used for ten years: Here is an EV being built on a 'beer' budget: Another in-progress EV: A more generic EV site:
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