At first, you laughed at your friend for driving their Eco-friendly machine around, but a recent comparison between your receipts from the gas pump left you astonished and amazed. Now you’re wondering how you can keep the luxuries of your current car, but trade in the poor fuel economy for that of a more Eco-friendly model.
The answer is simple; getting there is not so simple. The answer lies in converting your vehicle to electric. While it sounds easy on paper, getting it right or finding a professional who knows what they’re doing can be difficult if you don’t know what you’re doing.
WHY THOUSANDS OF AMERICANS ARE CONVERTING THEIR VEHICLES TO ELECTRIC
Other than being good for the environment, there are several reasons why converting your car from a petrol guzzling machine to an electric friendly machine is beneficial. Some of the reasons why consumers are making the decision to convert their current vehicle to electric are:
One of the benefits of running off of power is a lack of emissions. Since there are no toxic fumes that are produced, the air quality improves immensely for not just humans and animals, but for the environment as well. These toxic fumes are notorious for becoming trapped in low air density areas such as tunnels, parking garages, malls and even schools.
When you charge your electrical vehicle, emissions are generated, but these are referred to as greenhouse gasses and are less harmful compared to petrol or diesel fumes in a gas powered vehicle. Charging your electrical vehicle overnight will have a less harmful impact on the environment especially if renewable energy resources such as wind or solar power are used to generate the electricity.
LOW MAINTENANCE COSTS
You may be wondering what the trade off is for owning and driving one of these Eco machines. Operating and owning an electrically powered vehicle is cheaper compared to its gas-powered counterpart. Since you’re not paying a visit to the gas pump every other day, you’ll save on fuel costs.
As if it couldn’t get any better, the electrical system that the electrical vehicle is powered by doesn’t require much upkeep or maintenance. Can you say bonus?!
THE ECONOMY BENEFITS
Since your vehicle relies on electrical power, each person that drives an EV (electrical vehicle) is trickling their savings into the economy by reducing our reliance on imported fuels. The money that is spent overseas to import gasoline could be better used elsewhere in our economy.
What about performance? You would think that since the EV runs completely off of electricity, performance and quality of the driving experience might be sacrificed. Despite the rumors and stereotype of poor performance being associated with EVs, most electrical powered vehicles have comparable performance to that of their counterparts.
Unfortunately, it wouldn’t be fair to discuss advantages without taking a peek at the disadvantages as well. Some of the disadvantages are:
LIMITED TRAVELING RANGE
The frustration you experienced when your Walkman ran out of battery juice mid-song is probably the same frustration you’ll experience if you’re planning a long distance trip of any sort. Because electrical vehicles require special hookups or places to charge, planning a long distance trip can literally turn into a nightmare.
At the most, with the new generation of electrical batteries, you can expect to travel up to 40 miles on a single charge. The more advanced batteries might be able to get you to 120 miles, but those batteries can set you back quite a bit.
NOT AS COMMON
Despite the benefits of owning an EV, they’re not in mass production compared to oil guzzling vehicles. Regardless of which dealership you go to, you won’t be able to walk out the same day with an electric vehicle that functions completely off of electricity. That’s where converting the vehicle you currently own comes into play.
Now that you’ve read the benefits and drawbacks, perhaps you’ve decided to convert your current vehicle to EV, or you’ve just been waiting for the push. Below gives you a brief over glance on how to convert your vehicle or find a shop to do it for you.
MAKING THE CHANGE- CONVERTING TO EV
PICK YOUR FOUNDATION CAR
Ideally, the car you already have is a smaller sedan. Smaller vehicles are easier to convert to EV because they require less energy to power them. Hopefully, you weren’t thinking of converting your Hummer to EV anytime soon!
RE-ARRANGE THE INTERNAL COMPONENTS
We say “re-arrange” lightly. What we really mean is ripping out all the internal components such as the engine, alternators, and basically everything under the hood.
FIND AND PURCHASE THE ELECTRICAL COMPONENTS
You’ll need the following four pieces:
An entirely new motor (electrically powered this time)
An electrical device which will help monitor and regulate the power of the batteries to the motor
A battery that will suit you and your needs (remember, the most advanced ones will allow you to go further in your travels)
A battery charger that is compatible with your chosen battery
Of course, we’d be lying if we said this is all you need to add to your shopping cart. You should expect to purchase a variety of cables, connectors, gauges and more. You may need additional parts.
Now for the fun part, installing the parts.
This is a project not meant for the do it yourself-er (sorry guys!). Instead, this process should be trusted to a trained technician or someone who has experience in converting vehicles to electrical. Things can become complicated and downright dangerous, so let a seasoned pro do it for you.
PASSING THE INSPECTION
After your vehicle has undergone the overhaul, you’ll have to have your vehicle tested to ensure that its safe for you to operate and won’t endanger anyone while operating. You’ll need to find an engineer or determine the criteria your vehicle must meet by contacting your vehicle registration department. Upon approval, you’ll be given a certificate for your records.
FINDING A MECHANIC SHOP TO DO IT FOR YOU
We mentioned that converting your current vehicle to EV is not a project that just anyone should undertake, but how do you go about finding someone to do it for you?
If you’re willing to swallow your pride and the additional expenses of hiring someone to convert your vehicle for you, you can find plenty of shops that are not only knowledgeable but experienced in this specialty.
To begin, you can start by calling around your local area and seeing if you can get any leads that way. Be warned, however, that even with the surprising increase in popularity, there are very few shops that specialize in electric vehicle conversions.
Hopefully, the information that was presented here will be of aid to you during the initial planning phase. Still, we encourage anyone thinking of making the change to do more research before investing their time and money further into the project.
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