“I’m not one of the EV advocates that will snow you, and talk only about all the wonderful things about it.
I’m also going to tell you the negative things, and let you make an intelligent decision for yourself.” Hazen believes that some people will go forward—even after knowing about the extra costs and drawbacks—mostly motivated by a desire to be green, and for the sheer joy of driving a silent gas-free electric car that draws attention and admiration from friends and passers-by.
The cost of doing an electric car conversion (DC system) on your own, according to our three experts, is between ,000 and ,000—not including the donor car.
If you hire a company to do the conversion, expect to spend in the range of ,000 and ,000, including all the necessary parts and labor.
After speaking with Lough, Hazen and Moore, we identified these 7 key issues in your decision-making process.
To state the obvious, you’ll need a donor car to use as the basis for your conversion.
Fellow Seattle EV association members are encouraging Lough to convert his first-generation Honda Insight into an all-electric car, but he’s got his heart set on the new Nissan EV scheduled for release in 2011. Do I spend ,000 on a used converted Honda or ,000 on a new Nissan? As the previous owner of five electric vehicles, Lough is well aware of the tradeoffs when it comes to driving range, warranties, battery replacements, and safety issues. Conversions can work and be less expensive than a new car, but it’s not a new car.” Mark Hazen, of Florida-based EVHelp.com, also has his eyes wide open regarding the pros and cons of electric car conversions.There are reports of electric car conversion as high as ,000, but anything above ,000 is price gouging.It’s hard to get more specific about costs, because there’s a broad range of issues to consider: the specific vehicle being converted, the quantity and technology of the batteries, the drive system, and the quality of the work and rates charged by the conversion company.But be prepared for major compromises to test the limits of your skepticism and impatience.“It all depends on how eager you are,” said Steve Lough, president of the Seattle Electric Vehicle Association.