Electric Truck Conversion Kits – Convert Pickup To EV

Easy Way to Convert Your Pickup Truck to Electric Vehicle



If you were to look at DIY electric car conversion projects, one of the best donor car you can choose is a pickup truck.

Why is it so?

There is one advantage a gasoline driven truck has that other normal sedan cars doesn’t. It is the flat bed storage space at the back. The ample storage space of a truck is great to keep all the deep cycle batteries needed to power the electric motor.

An average homemade electric vehicle (EV) would need about 15 to 20 units of deep cycle batteries to supply to power needed to run the electric motor. On a full charge, the batteries would be able to provide sufficient power to the electric motor to cover a range of approximately 50 miles.

Obviously, by adding more batteries, it will increase the mileage of your electric truck. More batteries also means more weight and space required. Check out the YouTube video below where a 2003 Ford Ranger truck has been converted into an electric vehicle by EV West Shop.



What is the best way to convert a truck to run on pure electricity? If you are well versed with the internal workings of an automobile and you are good with hand tools, you can start by purchasing electric truck conversion kits.

Most of the electric truck conversion kits in the market are not the same. Make sure you have the correct kit made for your truck model.

The key components of the kit is the joining plate. The function of the plate is to hold the electric motor in place. The electric motor shaft has to be perfectly aligned with the center core of the transmission.

Any misalignment will cause vibration and reduce the efficiency of the motor. That in effect will reduce the net mileage of your electric truck.

The steel joining plates are custom made to fit the transmission housing for the specific truck model. Therefore, choosing the right electric truck conversion kit is very important.

DIY Electric Car Conversion Guide

Do you want to convert a conventional truck to run on electric power? If you do, first, find out what is involved in an electric vehicle conversion project.

One of the top EV conversion guide is the Electric Conversion Made Easy by Gavin Shoebridge from New Zealand. Gavin is known as the “EV Guy” by DIY electric car enthusiasts and he has personally converted an old Mitsubishi Treadia into a pure EV in his garage.

The entire conversion process was documented and recorded on video. Gavin’s manual was written based on his experience retrofitting the Treadia. His work was also featured on New Zealand local news report.

For more information on Gavin’s DIY electric vehicle conversion guide, click on the link below.

==> Click here to visit Gavin’s web site now!

Comments

  1. SLV

    Im all for electric cars, and doing away with gas, but the only problem I find with this kit is that it takes up the storage space, which im sure people need since they bought a truck in the first place.

    just my 2 cents worth, other than that its a great idea and buy!

  2. admin

    Hi SLV,

    I do agree with your comment about electric car conversion kit taking too much space. Most of the spaces required will be used to store the deep cycle batteries. A pickup truck with a flatbed in the back will be very useful for that purpose.

    ‘Will

    • Marto

      I have competed in highmileage competitions in college, using fuel, and we were able to obtain 327miles to the gallon, only it is with a scooter. I love my Miata, so I don’t want to convert that one(although if there is an oil shortage I may). I have come to the conclusion that I need my full sized pickup for hauling, yet it is 4,000lbs, about 1,500 more than I like, and it get 15 miles per gallon best sunny days… It should get better, so what I’m considering on doing is gutting the engine, the transmission and exhaust, of course the large plus sized fuel tank can be used for extened range hybrid or just removed all together. I think I can do a better job than GM and I don’t have to wait for our demographics to fit their business model. On top of it all I plan on trying for the 300 mile range. I now put average of 300 miles on per week. So I will do some research first, but that may be the next project.

    • TB

      I have a Suburban and I am willing to sacrifice the size of my 3rd row to do it. I only have theoretical knowledge at best. Do you think the conversion is possible?

      • Jerry Johnston

        I am just beginning with an 83′ Ford Ranger. I am assembling it piece by piece. My intention is to make it electric. It is already a low-rider and a hard-top convertible. I have what I believe is all I need but for the batteries. Total cost as of today is “0″ as the truck was given to me as well as the electric motor. I am excited beyond belief to be doing this and, I expect success.

  3. SLV

    Hi Will

    Thanks for the feedback comment. Feedback comments are rare.

    Keep up the great work!

  4. commenter person number three

    if people are buying like a cheap used car to do this on (you dont really wanna mess up your normal car untill you got this down right?) then you might get a pickup knowing it wont have any storage space. another option would be to get a 5/6 person cab, then you could just put groceries ect. back there. and also to me, looking at the picture of the pickup on the top of this page it seems that you could lay down like a board or something on top of the batteries and put your things on there right? and if you have one of those locking bed cover things, it would be just like a very long trunk. oh well i just looke at it again and it appears the battereies go all the way to the top, but there still apeears to be some space behind them

  5. Brian

    Hi Will,

    I was hoping you could tell me which motor i would need for this truck so I can do a budget up.

    I would like a ac motor and dc example as well so i can compare pros and cons of both before i decide on the system i would like to use.

    Thank you for your time Brian N.

    • admin

      Hi Brian,

      Check out the following link on electric motor for your truck.

      http://www.go-ev.com/motors-warp.html

      I’ve seen a lot of good reviews about the Warp 9 motor on the web. You should check it out.

      ‘Will

  6. John

    The EV truck I saw had the batteries stored under the truck bed and up under the hood. He had cut access ports in the truck bed floor. There is lots of space for batteries between the frame with the gas tank and exhaust system gone.

    • admin

      Hi John,

      A truck is a much better choice as a donor car for an electric car conversion project.

      As you’ve mentioned, there are lots of space. Another reason is its weight carrying capacity.

      Remember, the batteries on an EV can be quite heavy. A normal sedan car may not be able to handle the extra dead weight.

      ‘Will

  7. darrel

    Im trying to decide what to do. Putting me in a small vichile is like putting a square peg in a round hole. I know that I need a vihicle that hax manual transmition which limits me and uses up more electric energy. Is there such a thing as running a vihicle like a train a small gas motor running a generator to charge the batteries when needed. I know that would cost more than chargeing but havn’t seen anything on using bigger vihicles. Thanks for your time.

    • Will

      Hi Darrel,

      Using a gas generator to charge the batteries would defeat the purpose of using an electric car in the first place…which is to save on gas cost.

      I think the best approach for you is to get a pick up truck as your electric conversion project donor car. It will have lots of space for you and the batteries.

      • darrel

        Will
        Thanks for your advice. When you mentioned a pickup were you thinking of a small pickup or a 1/2 ton pickup ?

        I ask because the only pickups I’ve seen converted to Electric were the smaller pickups. I like the idea of using a 1/2 ton pick up. If I use that size of pickup I imagine the mileage will go down.

        Thanks Darrel

        • Will

          Hi Darrel,

          You’re right. I’m referring to a 1/2 ton pick up.

          • vincenzo

            hello my friend Will
            I have a 2005 dodge hemi 2500hd I have this crazy idea turning my dodge pick truck in EV . And was wondering what will the cost be ? and will the quality be there in parts and performance ? at the end of day will i have something better then what i had ?
            I do drive alot and also sometimes pull weight I have wondered is the technology there for me to make this transition ? regard charging is no problem cause i have a big wind turbine and solar panel

      • mike

        Yes, you wouldn’t have a gas-free truck, but wouldn’t you have a truck with some really great gas millage? My dream is to put in a small diesel engine which would turn a bunch of high output alternators.

        • Ron

          I like this Idea with alternaters in series. I was thinking of a 240V motor so you would need less amperage and use a generator type setup with a small diesel or gas engine. You could get 100MPG in a big truck if done right With out loosing too much power and not having to worry about battery wieght or having to recharge all the time. The site with the motors are only DC @ 72 or 42 volt. BUT gives me something else to think about.

  8. Keithallen

    for a 1/2 ton truck like my F-150, an A/C motor (AC 55 minimum) and manual tranmision would be mandatory. Due to the payload capability and large bed, it can also store MANY batteries under the bed and under the hood.
    A/C motors are a bit more pricey, BUT they do better on top end, no brushes to change/worry about, and they do re-gen breaking MUCH easier than DC.

  9. Used Cars @ Dial a Demo

    Here in South Africa we have quite a few really nice small trucks, some FWD ones from Mazda, Ford, Opel and even the Golf Mk1. Then the venerable old RWD Nissan 1400 LDV is both small, lightweight and readily available, as they were manufactured until about two years ago. Definitely a unit I’ll look at converting.

    After playing with all kinds of cars over the years, I really am amped to fool around with an electric conversion. Your blog is really helping to steer me in the right direction.

  10. SamSmith

    I like this concept. i would like use this kit. Thanks for sharing this article.

  11. frank

    What do you think? Sounds interesting. Would this type conversion work with a “1938″ 2 door sedan? It currently has no engine nor transmission?

    • Will

      The truck sounds a bit old, nonetheless, you can give it a try.

  12. Gary

    Thank you so much for this website. I was getting tired of all the over the top green hype and half truths. I love the idea of going electric as long as it is feasible. Not everyone can break the piggybank to be the first to help bring the cost down, especially now. I am surprised that more government agencies have not purchased more of these vehicles in order to help in that area. Having read very little so far, I am curious as to why transmissions are removed. Isn’t that the whole point of having multiple gears is getting a smaller motor to do more? Thanks.

  13. John Martin

    I have a 1984 3/4 ton p/u with a big block 350 not original. I want to replace this with a e/v, and I want to be able to pull my 14000. lb rv. I do believe this is possible with the right electric motor and generator. Can you PLEASE give me some advice, other than no way

  14. Connie D.

    How do you get heat – defroster? Very cold in the north

    • Ron

      add an electric defroster/heater and same with the AC with a power inverter

  15. Kevin

    I have been wondering why not follow the trains. with electric you really do not need the trans. why not bolt the engine between the frame in front of the back axle and one into the front axle do away with the trans and just add a portable welder under the hood. they run for 20 hour+ on 10 gals and if they can provide the power you need to run down the highway. you could use the 2 wheel (rear engine) for normal driving and under heavy amp draw kick in the front motor. great for pulling loads. and if I could pull a load like my RV for 10 hour and use 5 gals of gas it would be the hybrid truck I would dream of.. I figure that would be close to 90 MPG and put FUN back in camping :-)
    just a thought. and if any one would like to help build a project truck I would LOVE to test and try and get involved

    • Ron

      Im right there with you. I have plenty of room in my gas guzzling RV to put 2 electric motors to maybe even assist the gas engine with electric assist.

  16. Jeramee

    Will Vans work like Ford Aerostar? Have not got a chance to pick up the book but will soon? And I was wondering if Ford Aerostar vans will work as I have a broken one outside. I was thinking of fixing it up for my girlfriend as I have a job that I have to travel a lot and an EV is not really an option for me, although perhaps a hybrid would work.

    “Hint next book should be how to make hybrid.’

    Thanks for help.

  17. Adam

    Hi Will

    lets do a bigger truck… in stock we have a 2003 GMC 3500 cube van on gas, ya a big V8

    I bought it to do volunteer work and short deliveries, it’s a pig on gas….

    ya were busy guys but were having fun out here on the west coast lots of great projects!

    Will were also working with a group involved in the production and distribution of a new line of Tritium batteries of announced later… different company….When I have more I’ll update you.

    I would like to build this one in my private garage rather then the plant, it would be a distraction down there… ya motor and other components need to be planned and sorted out.. lets talk more on this I’m pleasantly impressed with your approached to solutions.

    thanks Will

    Adam

  18. David J.

    I am considering converting either a min van or pick up truck to run on electricity. My only question is what would be the towing capacity of either vehicle? Which type, and possibly a amke and model idea would work best? I am in the planning stages of taking the family on a major road trip, and want to take a travel trailer along the way. So would need something big enough to tow that sort of thing. Does anyone have any ideas?

  19. luc59457

    I am a firm supporter of electric, in fact I have a youtube channel with lots of great videos on high performance electric bikes. I use sealed lead acid for them because they are cheap 50 bucks each and don’t take too much space for my system. But if you guys don’t mind paying more and saving on space and weight and having a higher capacity and amount of cycles vs lead acid, I think you should look into the higher end batteries. You pay more initially, but it becomes more worth it in the end because your batteries last more cycles. To name a couple of these types of batteries: Lithium iron phosphate and Molten Salt/Zebra Batteries. There’s also lithium vanadium. And another still in research is lithium air. There’s so much, and the molten salt being as expensive as it is, is expected to drop in price over half within this decade according to a detailed article online about the molten salt battery.

  20. Andrew

    Hello,

    I’ve seen someone mention using a gas generator to charge the batteries. Someone else said that this defeats the purpose of going electric. I would just like to point out that having a gas generator to charge the batteries is a great idea and is probably one of the most feasible in the automotive industry. I will qualify this below.

    Consider a full size pick-up. It is heavy and has a large engine. The truck does not need all that power all the time, only while accelerating, towing, driving up hills, etc. If the engine charged the batteries and was independent from the drive train, it could operate at its most efficient point all the time. Couple this with a decent sized battery bank and plug-in capability and you have a pick up that can handle short trips without any fuel at all and can handle long trips with efficient gas usage.

    The fact that there are 8 cylinders firing just to idle a truck makes me throw up in my mouth a little bit :)

    • Robert

      The chevy volt has an onboard generator to do just that extend range.
      Don’t pay thier price just build it yourself

  21. Sergio

    Hi, My name Sergio i am deaf. I read about EV Vehicle, I never know that it was exist. i though suppose 2012 or later but i was surprise that it exist 1999 i didnt know. that time i was graduation. so anyway i wonder if can fix my 2 classic vechile in EV? I has Ford F-100 1/2 Ton and Pontiac Firebird too. i dont know where i can find website good price and Kit Explain show sample I never experience electric. Mostly i know Engine and body that all. i want learn more about EV? i like to save my neck save budget than waste it because i has limit amount Income that why!

    I hope u read my comment and Thank for ur time!

  22. Clay

    There are a lot of great questions that I have read but not many answers….The questions that I have not seen yet are: How will I power my brakes & power steering? or are you restricted to a earlier model vehicle only?

    • Will

      There is a separate battery system to power all the auxiliary electrical devices on the DIY electric car.

    • Ron

      An electric heater/defroster for the heat and use an inverter for A/C unit, an electric vacuum pump for power breaks and just a pulley system for the power steering pump. This can be done. I would still like to see this done with higher voltage and less amperage by using a generator setup simiar to the diesal elecric train engins. Worst case would be 100MPG with a full size truck, that better that the 11MPG that Im currently getting.

  23. andree marshall

    I have read many articles on this subject and i find it fasinating i never had any idea about converting a vehicle too all electric, but it makes so much sense. So I say untether yourself from the oil industry, the technology is out there. read everything you can and make it happen, and as far as converting full size pickups or other gas guzzlers what ever you gain by converting is money your saving, build and enjoy.

    • tim

      4 wheel independant suspention, trans axles can be converted to generate power x4, drivelines at transfer case more generators x2, brake calipers and rims to make mag. system x 4. these things are moving, keep the state of mind that if it moves it producing somthing, and all of these things are out of site. just some ideas to keep your dailily driver as normal as posible and gas free. the idea of going wheeling for FREE is for some reason appealing to me.

  24. ralph culbert

    I am building a ev truck. I have taken just about everything i have learnrd and placing it in my truck. i have two electric motors mounted to a gearing system at the rear end, no drive line, one is operating at a highway speed, and both come on line when the acc pedal goes down, on the same gearing i have geared a pully for my power steering, power brakes and charging systems x2. I am currently trying to figure out how to get the regen bracking, and regen costing (down hill) gear and wired into my current system. I have a clutch system, but it is not reliable enough, sucks actually. I have my batt pack mounted below my frame line. still have full use of my bed. I am going to trade in my current bed for a lighter aluminum square box type. numbers show i could save another 320lb. i would like to add to the comment about using gas powered charging systems on your ev. a small, fuel eff honda gen or a propane one that only comes on when a circuit tells it to, is better than just saying, “well, thats stupid” and not trying to make it better. PUT IT OUT THERE, TRY IT, IF IT DOES NOT WORK LIKE IT SHOULD, TRY SOMETHING ELSE.

  25. tim

    im not green i just am tired of somone else having that control over me, and these guys that have these warp moters, way over priced try baldar or kelly theyll match a controller to a moter and send it to ya, with pluggs and everything,and it tested in harsh enviroments. theym call them warp engines because we dont want ya to know the specks on the moter or ya might find better for cheaper,me i like 300hp DC instead of that other jibberish, WAY OVER PRICED, SHOULD BE ASHAMED.

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