An electric car conversion technology is relatively easy. An electric motor run by power stored in the battery bank propels the electric vehicle (EV) forward. The addition of gears will enhance the efficiency of the motor.
The battery needs recharging from time to time by including a solar power panel though it takes a lot of time to completely charge the battery. To start with, it is advisable to construct an EV based on a simple design. The final shape would be something like a ‘go-cart’ instead of a normal automobile.
Nevertheless, the experience gained by building a simple model will boost your confidence in building a superior electric car with advanced features in the future. The process of building the simplest type of electric car begins with wooden or steel frame and wheels. It also requires an electric motor, battery and a switch for tuning on and off of the motor.
The switch will act as an accelerator in the same way as in a gasoline powered car. The capacity of the motor must be adequate to withstand the load of heavy components, frame and at least a driver of the car. The seller of motors will be able to guide regarding the capacity of the motor required for the car. The easiest method of transmission of power from the motor to the wheels is through a belt and pulley system.
A body made of fiberglass and Styrofoam can also be included, though it may not be essential. A test drive in an open area may be essential with one or two people in the car. A windshield made of plastic can also be included in the construction.
All the parts need to be properly connected by means of wiring. After all the parts including the electric motor with the battery are fitted in the car; the construction of the car can be completed by fixing a steering mechanism. It is absolutely essential to protect the eyes and the ears when building an EV.
You should wear protective clothing and an open space with sufficient lighting and ventilation should be chosen for building the electric car. The size of the wooden or door frame should be carefully chosen and wherever required it should be cut to proper size so that it can easily be pass through a doorway or arch.
The battery, motor, seats, ‘drive train’, steering mechanism should be assembled on the frame and the switch connected to the battery. The battery should then be connected to the motor. The wheels should be attached to the frame, body and windshield.
After completion of all connections, it should be carefully checked whether all parts have been fitted and properly connected before the car is ready for a test drive. There are local laws regulating the use of electric cars on roads and public places. They also require registration. It is important to read these regulations before driving out of home or business property.
It is also essential to keep in mind the limited battery capacity and the distances and routes should be carefully planned so that the battery can be recharged at the right time during the trips. In view of several shortcomings, the electric cars cannot as yet replace traditional gasoline-powered vehicles.
These limitations include limited battery capacity, frequent recharging between trips and the time consuming process of recharging. A hybrid car has more advantages than the normal electric car and therefore, is extensively used. Hybrid cars use both gasoline and electric current to power the car. Such hybrid varieties are already in use in railroads and military tanks.
Rust usually begins through the chips and cracks you receive from the pebbles and stones that hit your car through daily driving. With a small nick exposing bare metal in an unnoticeable location, rust will begin to form.
Once rust begins to happen, it cannot be stopped, only repaired. Whether you spend many of thousands of dollars on your homemade electric car or a couple of hundreds of dollars, you want to keep it looking nice.
While after spending so much money on your EV, you may not be left with a lot of money to repair damages such as rust. Below is a guide to repairing the rust without emptying your pockets.
A few things you will need include a good amount of elbow grease, a fibreglass cloth kit, electric grinder and cordless drill, spreader, sandpaper and sanding discs. Here are 10 easy steps to fixing the rust on your car:
Step 1 – Access where the rust is located.
Once finding the rusted spots, remove all excess trim and loose debris from the corroded part of the vehicle. Next, remove the rusted metal but leave enough to keep the shape of the electric car.
Step 2 – Prepare the electric grinder with 24-grit disc.
Just about 4 inches from the edge of the rust hole, grind all traces of the rust including the primer and paint.
Step 3 – Sanding.
Using a 100-grit sanding block, sand the corroded surface until it is clear and shiny. Using a ball-peen hammer, tap around the edges of the rust hole, slightly turning it inwards.
Step 4 – Filming rust hole.
Cut the release film from the fiberglass cloth kit about three inches larger than the sanded area. Using this piece of film, place it over the rust hole. Use a pencil to mark this area but do not wrinkle the film.
Step 5 – Covering.
To cover the rust hole, cut two pieces of Fibreglass matte. Cut one piece of this matte about one inch smaller than the size of the first matte.
Step 6 – Using repair jelly.
Spread the cut release film over it a layer of auto body repair jelly. The film needs to be facing outward. Next, take the smaller fiberglass matte and place it over the release film with the jelly.
Spread more repair jelly to the smaller fiberglass matte and place the larger cloth on it.
Step 7 – Filling.
After step 6 is completed, place the entire repair material over the rust hole. Again, the film must be facing outward.
Going in an outward motion, use a spreader to smooth it out over the rust hole. Remove all bubbles and follow the shape of the car.
Step 8 – Let the repair set overnight.
Following the next day, remove the release film. Check if the material is completely set. Using an electric drill and sanding disc, sand the repaired area. Finish the repair and sanding using a block sander.
Step 9 – Fill in the low spots with the filler material.
After the filler dries, use an 80-grit sandpaper to file and smooth it out.
Step 10 – Smoothing.
To complete the repair, apply the topcoat and hardener to create a smooth finish. Use a 200-grit smooth the topcoat, then use the 400-grit sanding block to finalize the repaired rust hole.
Many people would like to know if electric cars are truly more inexpensive to run than standard gas powered cars. At a quick glance, the obviously glaring answer would be a huge YES!
The ability to drive much further on a dollar’s worth of electricity versus a dollar’s worth of gas is what we are looking at when we consider having greater efficiency.
Of course, there can always be exceptions to this standard rule; however, it is common that a homemade electric car has about thirty percent more efficiency than a standard gasoline powered vehicle.
Still, there are things to think about when computing the differences between the option of gasoline powered and electric powered forms of transportation. DIY electric cars use deep cycle lead-acid batteries, which can typically require replacement with a brand new battery pack approximately every three or so years, under normal operating conditions. The cost of doing so is approximately around $2500, give and take depending on the model of battery you use.
A cost as great as this, is certainly something which must be taken into consideration when making a decision. Dependent upon on the exact type of lead-acid battery you have, you may also need to purchase one or two gallons of distilled water every three or so months, in order to top up your batteries. Although it’s not a huge expense, consider you could possibly distill it yourself if absolutely necessary.
Taking that into consideration, let’s now look at the operating expenditures of an electric car: The first task is to work out how much it is going to cost in electricity charges each year to drive your car a distance of 10,000 miles. It is typical by conversion that you might expect to drive four miles per unit, referred to as a kilowatt hour, of electricity.
The cost of a unit of electricity may be around fifteen cents (US), which would make the electric car really cost around 3.75 cents per mile to drive. At a rate of 10,000 miles per year, that would work out to about $375 worth of electricity per year.
The possible generation of electricity is a whole other story, to be left for another conversation, but should be kept it in mind as an alternative to eliminate this cost.
Next, we will add to the cost, the calculation of a new replacement pack of batteries. Remember, this is a cost of approximately $2500 every three years or roughly $833 per each year.
Don’t forget that there are other fees too, such as insurance, road tax (as applicable), new tires and standard wear and tear. Add all that together and you could be looking somewhere around $1700 in expenses. (In this calculation, I have not accounted for devaluation of the vehicle since electric cars hold their value extremely well).
The United States Department of Labor has stated that by comparison, the average gasoline powered car costs approximately $2,227 per year, just in gasoline and motor oil expenses. Gasoline powered cars cost an additional $2,355 in other common vehicle-related costs, such as fluid replacements, exhaust repairs, and the like. That is a total sum of $4582 US to drive a standard gasoline powered vehicle.
Do note that these prices are based on gas being at a cost of or below $2.20 US per gallon. Even in the case of excluding tax breaks and the refunds available to many electric car drivers, and perks such as carpool lane access, free parking and free public charging, the average the electric car is a great deal cheaper to own and drive than the gasoline powered option.
Remember, the more the price of fuel and oil rises (which is very likely by the way), the less expensive when compared will be the cost of a pure electric car.
DIY Electric Car Conversion Guide
Are you planning to convert a conventional automobile into a homemade electric vehicle? If you are, it is best you read up on the science of electric car conversion.
Before you begin your electric vehicle conversion project, check out the Convert2EV ebook by Les and Jane Oke. The Okes live a green lifestyle in Canada and one way of keeping their carbon footprint small is by using pure electric car. The Convert2EV manual was written based on their experience of retrofitting old gas guzzler into electric vehicle.