Convention Explains How to Convert Your Car to Electric
The Electric Vehicle Conversion Convention began on Wednesday at the Cape Girardeau, Missouri, airport, and runs through Sunday. It was created by Jack Rickard and Brian Noto, whose folksy online video series, EVTV (Electric Vehicle Television), teaches listeners how to convert a car that runs on gasoline into an all-electric vehicle. National Public Radio (NPR) says the show — produced in Rickard and Noto’s Cape Girardeau garage — has developed “something of a cult following.”
After Rickard announced the convention on EVTV, 130 people from eight countries signed up to attend. “Most gatherings are about how electric cars are cool and how they’ll solve the environmental problems,” Rickard said. “We’re more about how to build an electric car.” He added that it’s about leveling the playing field. “You can now build a car, anyone can, much less a manufacturer,” he said.
The main safety problem with cars that owners have converted to all-electric has been the incorrect conversion of the power steering and power brake systems, Missouri Highway Patrol Lt. John Hotz told NPR. “As long as those things have been properly addressed, there’s not a lot of safety issues with the vehicles as far as actually driving them on the road,” he said.
Rickard and Noto say the key is to use the right batteries. They use Chinese-made lithium phosphate ones rather than lead acid batteries. But the lithium phosphate ones (which comprise half the cost of a conversion) jack the price of a typical conversion up to $15,000 to $20,000.
Why in the world would somebody pour that kind of money into a car when the major carmakers can’t seem to find much of a market for their own electric vehicles? For some it’s simply a hobby; others just love to tinker with gadgets.
[…] Rickard says if everybody contributes just one thing toward innovating electric cars, it could be a game-changer for how cars are used in the future.
WynneTruax119, writing for Key To The House, says that converting a gas-powered vehicle to all-electric is a tricky proposition, even with electric vehicle kits, and that not all vehicles can be converted:
Only those that are the very mechanically minded should try this. To transform the car would require intensive modifications to just about all-mechanical components of the car. The whole lot from the engine to the radiator, heater and air-conditioning, to the gauges on the panel.
Here’s the most recent EVTV show:
Image by EVTV, used under Fair Use: Reporting.