Steps to Keep Your Electric Car Conversion Cost Low
1) Source for donor car with a faulty engine. An internal combustion engine is expensive to replace. A donor car with a busted engine will be cheap because the owner knows how much it will cost to fix it. A good negotiation point.
2) Get a donor car with a manual transmission. An automatic transmission does not work very well with an electric motor. It needs constant torque to shift gears. An electric motor stop spinning when it is stationary. A donor car with a manual transmission is much better suited for an electric car retrofitting.
3) Get a light weight donor car such as an old VW Beetle. A light weight car is beneficial because you can get a better mileage per charge and you can also put in less number of batteries. Less weight means less power needed to move it.
4) Source for electric motor from auction site like EBay. Many people use EBay to get rid off their unwanted stuff. Someone may want to sell off their electric motor. Some time you may get lucky and find a good deal.
5) Check trader magazines for electric motor on sale. Some people are not good with computer and rather advertise in magazines. It is always good to check for attractive deals there.
6) Source for used batteries from golf course. Electric golf carts need to be serviced on a regular basis and its batteries have to be replaced. The batteries are still in good working condition. You can get them cheap if you talk to the service technician.
7) Source for used batteries from industrial area. Some industrial equipment such as fork lift or mover has to replace it’s batteries after a certain time frame. These are heavy duty batteries that can last a long time. Excellent for electric vehicles.
8) If possible, rent the tools instead of buying them. Some of the tools needed for an electric car conversion such as welder, hoist, tooling machine can be rented instead of outright purchase. You are only going to use them a few times. It is better to rent them.
The list above is some points that I came up it. I know it is not comprehensive. If you have any ideas to reduce an electric car conversion cost, please feel free to comment.