Monday, July 7, 2008

Background

I've been wanting to do an EV conversion for awhile but never committed to anything. The ever increasing gas prices and some research pushed me into realizing this isn't that crazy of an idea. I was originally thinking of selling my car and buying something even more economical but the car already got 26mpg commuting to work. So even doubling my mileage just didn't make up for the cost of a new Prius for example vs how much it would cost to convert my current car and how quickly I could recoup that investment.

I currently spend a minimum of $300/month just to get to work assuming I don't drive anywhere else. Cutting that cost in half with a Prius 20-30k would take awhile to pay for itself. The conversion I've estimated at around 6k. Monthly costs being about $30 in electricity. So in theory I can recoup this investment in a of couple years. Not bad compared to the 10+ years for the Prius purchase. Now we know gas prices will continue to raise so it would actually pay for itself in less than that amount of time but not needing gas at all is the real solution and it's just cool!

UPDATE:
I haven't changed this post because I wanted to keep the real history of the build. Many are reading this post and not understanding things change. Gas was over $5.00 a gallon when I started and to my surprise it did drop and drastically. I originally was just hoping for 45 mile range and on lead acid batteries. This wasn't feasible so I had to change to lithium cells which blew away my original estimate of only $6k.

Recouping the cost was based on the original estimates and gas prices. I haven't done the math but I'm guessing it will take a very long time to pay for itself if ever. It's now just a project that I've thoroughly enjoyed.

3 comments:

Jim said...

I stumbled on your blog about converting your s2000. Funny, I have been thinking about the same thing. I have one that I only drive in the summer, and have been researching motors/batteries/controls etc.

Did you decide to do a DC motor or an AC motor?

Jim

Brian said...

I'm going with a DC motor for the simple reason of cost. The DC system will cost me about 1/3 of an AC system (motor/controller). I've read the AC systems are ~10% more efficient and regen braking is common where it is not in DC systems.

Also just looking around there seems to be more options when it comes to DC system on the market today.

Anonymous said...

You have done a great job and thank you for sharing your experiences.

I did something similar in 1977 to a F250 4x4. But with a Mitsubishi 231 6 Cyl. diesel when finished 24mpg @1750 rpm on the freeway 17mpg average,hauled 100 gal fuel and weighed 8000 lbs.Ten speeds forward with a 27% syncro overdrive Top speed 105 mph. I still have the pictures. Lots of friends helped,same as you.

I am glad to donate a little money to your cause!

Ray