Before you get started on a homemade electric vehicle project, please research all you can about electric cars by getting information from the library or from online. Once you have a general idea, then you can get to work!
Will you have a hybrid of gas and electric or a complete electric car? A hybrid car has an electric battery and a gas engine that works together to power the car. While the hybrid can drive for short distances using just battery power, it’s not good for touring.
A fully electric car makes it difficult to drive much longer distances as you will need to eventually recharge. For trips around town, it is doable.
To create such a car, you can try using solar power. What happens when it is cloudy? Although it isn’t completely off the grid, you can plug your car’s battery to recharge the solar cells.
Plugging your car into any outlet won’t work as the car will need much more power. A standard household socket can charge the car but it will take longer. You will need a dedicated charger.
Advances in battery technology makes lithium batteries most suitable for electric cars. It holds a charge much longer and is better for driving longer distances.
To store energy in lithium batteries, using wind or solar power can charge them while being completely off the grid. When charging is complete you can drop the battery into the car and drive wherever you need to go. It is a great option for backup batteries that you can store for later use.
You can use solar, deep cycle, airplane, and golf cart batteries. Golf cart batteries are the best and cheapest to use. To determine how many batteries you need, you need to figure if you are using DC or AC conversion.
Using lithium batteries have no need for DC/AC conversion. Lithium batteries aren’t cheap, but it lasts the longest.
To make an electric car, you will need a donor car (preferably a newer model as parts are hard to come by for older cars) with lots of room for battery cells. Depending on the battery you use will determine how fast the car will go, how much electricity it can contain, and how big of a space you need to build the engine.
The car must have a manual transmission for the conversion to work. Having a car that is light in frame is best.
Purchase a conversion kit.
An EV conversion kit has everything you need and the costs are reasonable according to what size and actual parts you need. In spite of the fact that you can use surplus parts, it’s best to buy something already readymade. When acquiring parts, remember, buy from reputable dealers. You just don’t want any old part to put into the car.
You will also need some mechanical know-how as converting a gasoline powered car to electric is quite a task. The transmission adaptor plate and assembly that fits the motor is quite precise. If you don’t know what you’re doing, take your project to someone who does, but with a conversion kit and following instructions you can do the retrofitting yourself.