Converting gas-powered cars to electric

 Cnn 2008 Tech Ptech 08 14 Electric.Cars Art.Horsley.Hood.Cnn
Converting gas-powered cars to electric @ CNN

Larry Horsley loves that he doesn’t buy much gas, even though he drives his ’95 Chevy S-10 back and forth to work each day.

Horsley, a self-described do-it-yourselfer, simply plugs his truck into an electric wall outlet in his Douglasville, Georgia, garage and charges it overnight, instead of buying gasoline refined from mostly imported oil.

“If I can keep a dollar from going overseas, I’ll spend two dollars,” he said. The whole conversion, including the truck, cost him about $12,000, which parts dealers say is about standard.

Another Atlanta-area tinkerer, David Kennington, converted his Honda Civic del Sol from gasoline to electric for a different reason: “I’m a raging greenie,” he said.

Both Horsley and Kennington are fed up. They’re among a growing number of Americans who are refusing to wait for big-car manufacturers to deliver mainstream electric vehicles, called EVs. Not only have they rebelled against the status quo by ripping out their gas-guzzling engines and replacing them with zero-emission electric motors, they say just about anyone can do it.

10 thoughts on “Converting gas-powered cars to electric

  1. I’m curious, there was an Makezine article about an Illinois man who converter his diesel and got fined thousands of dollars. Due to unpaid taxes because fuel is taxed and no gas purchased equals no taxes paid.

    Would this be the same thing, as the electric vehicles are not requiring gas, therefor the owners aren’t paying taxes?

  2. I think the details of that case involved some sort of fee that a gas station has to pay to legally operate in Illinois. Since he was dispensing fuel (even if it was just to himself) they were arguing that he has the pay the same fees that a gas station that handles a thousand customers a day has to pay. (One hopes that they don’t decide to start regulating home cooked meals with the same logic.)

    Still, as eletric vehicles start to become more and more common, they’re going to have to restructure the way they tax things or stop fixing the roads.

  3. You should call bullshit on that.

    If you dont buy it then you cant tax it. Technically he is paying taxes on his electrical bill. Though you can create your own electricity you cant tax what you dont need to buy.

  4. I remember people doing things like this in the 1970s when oil prices spiked and most people abandoning the projects very quickly when they discovered that their heaters didn’t work any more and the batteries went flat in subzero nights. Let’s see where they are with these next spring!
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Re. the issue of unpaid taxes on electric vehicles, you’re referring to 79 year old David Wetzl from Decatur, IL, who was running his 1986 VW Golf on recycled & converted vegetable oil. The Illinois Department of Revenue decided to pursue him because he wasn’t paying any fuel taxes as required by the state, which he was more than willing to do if asked. The big problem was that the nimrods at Illinois Department of Revenue decided that paying taxes wasn’t enough but that he had to buy a license as a fuel vendor.

    http://www.herald-review.com/articles/2007/03/01/news/local_news/1021491.txt

    The whole flap went away pretty quickly because it was such an embarrassment, which takes a lot here in Illinois where payoffs are standard practice and corruption and incompetence are a daily opera.

  5. I have some photos on Flickr of an East German Trabant that has been brought over to England and converted to battery electric power. It has ten 12V lead-acid batteries:

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/anachrocomputer/sets/72157604747849759/

    And the finished vehicle, driving around north Bristol:

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/anachrocomputer/sets/72157606536166815/

    As for tax, all electric vehicles are allowed free road tax in the UK (hybrids pay a reduced rate).

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