How do you build an electric car via a Do It Yourself (DIY) project from home? One of the major challenges faced by many car owners is high gasoline prices. We like the convenience of driving a car but refueling the vehicle has become a very expensive ordeal. Gasoline prices are pegged to the global crude oil prices. Anytime there is a disruption in the crude oil supply, local gas price will shoot through the roof. One solution to cut our dependency on fossil fuel is to convert our internal combustion engine driven vehicle into an electric car. How can we do it? This article will highlight the basic science of converting a car into an electric vehicle (EV) at your home garage.
The concept of an electric car is quite simple. What we want to do is to replace the internal combustion engine with an electric motor. The electric motor will generate all the power needed to propel the car forward. Since we are removing the engine, all the associated components such as gas tank, radiator and fuel lines are also removed. The existing drive train such as the transmission, drive shaft and clutch system can still be used. The idea is to attach the electric motor to the transmission housing.
To supply electricity to the motor, a series of lead acid flooded batteries are use. Usually you will need from 20 – 25 12V batteries to have sufficient power to cover approximately 150 miles per charge. The mileage will depend of the weight of the car, the driving condition and also the speed of the car. To achieve more mileage, all you have to do is add more batteries.
To control the speed of the car, a variable resistor is attached from the batteries to the electric motor. The resistor will act as the accelerator paddle of the car. Generally, a Do It Yourself (DIY) electric car conversion project is not difficult. All you need is to pre-source the right parts and have a good step by step instructional guide book handy.