Go to content Go to navigation Go to search

Quick Survey · 24 August 05

Thanks for all of the email. Another of the most popular email questions is: “Can I convert my XYZ to Electric?” XYZ being everything from scooter to Suburban.

I’m writing an article on the subject of vehicle choice, trade-offs, considerations, and so on. It would be great to get an idea of what other people are looking for in an EV/Hybrid, so I thought I’d take a quick survey.

You can answer it in a couple of ways.

1. If you are already planning your own EV (or Hybrid) conversion, what kind of vehicle are you considering? And why that vehicle: already own it, like that model, or it matches EV research.

2. You just started thinking about an EV, maybe because there’s a hole in your wallet where gas money used to be, but you have certain driving requirements. What kind of EV/Hybrid characteristics would make you consider the jump?

Completely informal survey. Just click the Comment link right below this entry and tell us what you think. If you don’t want your thoughts published for everyone to see, then click the Contact link on the right side of the page and drop me an email.

Email addresses aren’t required for either. We don’t show them on the site nor do we send out unsolicited email. If you want a response you probably should include an email address. My telepathic skills are mostly telepathetic…

Comments 17
  1. Jerry Halstead    Aug 24, 2005 14:01 PM    #
    I’m looking for:
    Two door (convertible optional) enough room in back seat for a few bags of groceries or a dog.
    Don’t need much range, so hopefully it can use sealed lead acid batteries.
  2. — howard cohen    Aug 24, 2005 14:26 PM    #
    I’m looking for a 4 seater ev with highway speeds and minimum 40m per charge (angeleno)
  3. — Ben    Aug 24, 2005 18:56 PM    #
    ford ranger
  4. — Dave Silva    Aug 25, 2005 11:34 AM    #
    I need 60 MPH and a 50 miles RT range (25 if i can reccharge at work)
    I’m looking at a 95 Neon, blown engine, real cheap.
  5. — Ron Agurkis    Aug 25, 2005 13:15 PM    #
    The ideal situation that I see for my Suburban is to use it as a hybrid – electrical around town and gas on the highway. Have not been able to think out of the box far enough to figure out how to correct all the problems.
  6. — M. L. Weum    Aug 25, 2005 14:57 PM    #
    I have a 1993 Dodge caravan to convert to a total ev. I want to travel in it as well as use it locally. It is planned to be my only transportation. I will carry a generator when traveling.
  7. Dan Bentler    Aug 25, 2005 22:16 PM    #
    Want to convert small pickup to EV. At present my IZUZU is best option. Open to others.

    Thinking max speed 45, max range 15 – 20 round trip (goto work). Just a get there and back type.

    I know DC has been the “WAY” for eons
    BUT forklifts have been using 3 phase for about 3 years now and it is looking good (none in repair shops).

    I also like the low voltge 36 to 72 (?).

    I am an electician familiar with VFD and 3 phase.

    Anybody know who makes em (have e mail to Curtis)
    where to get the motor (20 to 30 HP) and controller?

    Dan Bentler

    I KNOW DC has been the “way” for eons.
  8. Jerry Halstead    Aug 26, 2005 08:50 AM    #
    Hey everyone, thanks for the great feedback. So far it looks like bigger EVs have the lead.

    Dan, maybe you can make your own motor(s)? Check out this homemade three phase wind generator.

    Maybe cook up some kind of in-wheel drive system. But, as you point out, the next issue is finding a controller. I’ll post something if I find one.
  9. Dave    Aug 29, 2005 07:36 AM    #
    I am looking to convert my 2001 Audi A4 quatrro to a gas/hybrid- I need the the AWD for the winters here in CT but also I travel around the area from NY-Boston-anyway does anyone know how I would get started in purchasing the pieces and what would be needed, thanks.
  10. — John Westlund    Nov 13, 2005 19:51 PM    #
    I own a 1969 Triumph GT6 that I am going to convert.

    My main criteria for wanting an EV first and foremost is to save money on gas.

    Second to that, and a very close second, is performance.

    Third, also almost equal with the other two, is range.

    These three items in a conversion tend to be mutually exclusive, not by virtue of electric propulsion, but by the fact that conversions consist of re-designing a car not intended for electric propulsion and compromising any of the above three things.

    I spent two years searching for the right glider, whether it would be a pickup or a sports car. More efficiency means you need less batteries to do the same job. More size usually means greater gross vehicle weight rating so more batteries can be stored, and thus greater range can be achieved. I don’t need long range, but I’d like to have it just to show that EVs can go the distance. The easiest way to get it is to convert a pickup and use a large number of batteries. This thus results in poor performance and a higher pricetag(And if you want good performance in a pickup, plus the range, and even higher pricetag). So the pickup was out. I also considered economy cars like a Geo Metro or Honda civic hatchback. Decent battery room, but ugly as sin and not very aerodynamic in the least, albeit better than a pickup. They do have good GVWR though, allowing for a good number of batteries. The sports car could offer performance, but usually lacked in battery room and GVWR. But likewise, they were the most efficient EV platforms due to low weight and low drag coefficient. Sportscars also tended to be more expensive than the others.

    Frustrated, I could not find any car that was all of the following:
    a) lightweight
    b) aerodynamic
    c) decent amount of battery room
    d) good GVWR in relation to glider weight
    e) inexpensive

    Pickups met criteria c, d, and e, most sports cars a and b, and economy cars were a compromise in all of them. Of course, there were exceptions.

    So I looked for a vehicle that could do all of them. A Lotus Europa met all of them but criteria e. Expensive as all hell, but would be perfect. .29 drag coefficient, weighs around 1,500 pounds, lots of battery room in the rear, decent GVWR, but good luck finding one for under $10,000 in good shape. An El Camino didn’t meet a and b, although could be made to meet b with inexpensive aerodynamic modifications. There do exist carbon fiber aftermarket bodies for El Caminoes that could reduce weight by over 1,500 pounds while maintaining the GVWR, but those are expensive.

    Enter the Triumph GT6. It’s GVWR is not good, until you realize that there is over 600 pounds of stuff to remove from this tiny car before converting! It is also quite aerodynamic with a very small frontal area, only with either today’s Hybrids or expensive exotic sports cars from 30 years ago beating it in overall CDxA. Battery room is about on par with a Honda civic hatchback or Geo Metro, not exceptional, but decent. Weight? You aren’t likely to find anything lighter, except for a Datsun 1200, Austin Mini Cooper or Fiat 850 Spyder and then only by one or two hundred pounds. Price? $1,200 later, and I was sold.

    I need 50-60 mph top speed and about 30 miles range at 50 mph to 80% discharge.

    I want 130 mph top speed, 0-60 acceleration of 6 seconds, and 80-100 miles range to 80% DoD at 60-65 mph.

    I originally intended to achieve what I wanted, and not what I needed. Not only is this very difficult to do in a conversion, but my budget at the moment is limited. I can realistically spend about $2,000-$3,000 on a conversion if I want to see it on the road next year, as opposed to the $10,000-12,000 I intended. Given gas prices, a cheap, slow, but functional EV is better than no EV.

    Solution? I’m going to start cheap and get what I need and keep upgrading it until I can get what I want(albeit, somewhat slowly).

    This car has a 1,790 pound weight, .32 drag coefficient, 14.9 square foot frontal area, 2,350 pound gross vehicle weight rating, 402 pound inline 6 cylinder engine block to remove, about 200 pounds of other ICE-related components to remove, and a plethora of cheap aftermarket parts available from fiberglass bonnets and fiberglass doorskins to lightweight seats that can drastically reduce weight. After all ICE related components are removed, sound deadener removed, interior trim pieces removed, along with the installation of inexpensive aftermarket seats(installing Miata seats over stock seats would cut 50 pounds!), I could have a glider weight of 1,100-1,200 pounds or so without installing any fiberglass body parts. If I build a bellypan, rear wheel well covers, cover to seal the grill from the inside, remove chrome exterior pieces, tape up all seams, install synthetic transmission oil(Royal Purple, Redline MTL, or others), install inexpensive LRR tires, install low friction wheel bearings, machine the brakes to cut drag, machine the flywheel down to cut weight, I could have a very efficient EV, on the order of 150-180 wh/mile at 60-65 mph, before any serious weight reduction via fiberglass body pieces is done or any further aerodynamic improvements such as shaved door handles or an extended/tapered rear end or front air dam are implemented.

    The above aero and weight improvements that I can do myself without making expensive purchases would do wonders for this EV in performance and range, even if it started cheap.

    To start, I’m going to go with a 96V pack of Trojan T105 6V batteries, 32-48V/200A continuous surplus aircraft starter motor, contactor setup, and a homeade badboy charger with timer. This could all be done for about $1,500-2,000, plus about $500-1,000 for tools and some minor restoration. Performance would be 0-60 in about 20-25 seconds, 70-80 mph top speed, 40-50 miles range to 80% discharge at 50 mph. I’d be happy with 50 mph top speed and 30 miles range though for a setup this cheap.

    From there, it will be upgraded in phases until it has a large 9’’ motor, Zilla, AGMs, regs, and a serious weight reduction.

    Here’s a list of the possible stages it will see:

    1) Partial restoration: replace floorboards, some bodywork, low quality paintjob/some rustproofing done myself plus tools, synthetic transmission oil(Royal Purple, Redline MTL, or others) ~$1,000

    I am doing this right now.

    2) Begin cheap conversion with floodeds for ~ $2,000 in
    parts. Expected 96V DC.

    Here is a parts list:

    -Cheap surplus aircraft motor or forklift motor x1 $200 (budgeted)
    -Trojan T-105 225 AH flooded lead acid Golf Cart batteries x16 $1,360
    -Parts for Contactor Controller x1 $100 (budgeted)
    -Parts to construct bad boy charger $70
    -Some sort of Car Battery x1 $30 (budgeted, use in place of DC-DC for lights, wipers, ect.)
    -EV200AAANA contactors x1 $75
    -Feraz Shawmut A50QS400-4 fuse x2 $109
    -Curtis Potbox x1 $75
    -Ammeter/Voltmeters $50
    -Adaptor Plate x1 $0(I will be machining myself, so don’t count cost)
    -Miscallaneous components(Heat shrink tubing, metal for adaptor plate/battery boxes, battery cable, ect.) $200

    Total for EV parts for initial conversion: $2,269 or less (especially if I buy other parts used)

    After this point, the conversion will be operational and perhaps be able to hit 70 mph on the highway, but even 50 mph top speed would be fine. Range should be 40 or so miles to 80% discharge doing 50 mph. Weight would be about 2,200-2,300 pounds. Acceleration will be tepid and likely embarrassing, and I will not yet publicly display that this car is electric.

    3) Instrumentation(E-Meter and such) and DC-DC converter ~$500 for both

    This will allow me to make the car drivable by others and the instrumentation would be valuable for knowing how far it will really go.

    4) ADC/WarP 9’’ motor with motor mount and adaptor fabricated by me ~$1,700 for all

    This will boost range and performance some. Range should increase about 10% with improved motor efficiency. Acceleration will see a rather significant improvement, but would still be quite slow. Weight will increase about 75 pounds.

    5) LRR tires, aero mods, LeMans bonnet, lower friction wheel bearings ~$2,000

    This could perhaps increase range another 20-30% from greatly improved aero and reduced rolling losses. Top speed would gain about 10 mph. Weight will stay about the same, the low weight of the fiberglass bonnet canceling the added weight from the belly pan, shaved door handle kit, ect. Range would be about 60 miles.

    6) Weight reduction with fiberglass parts and lexan windows, LeMans style aluminum alloy wheels ~$2,000

    Weight reduction by anywhere from 200 to 300 pounds. Boosts in both acceleration and low speed range. A 5-10% range increase would be in order. 0-60 mph should be around the 15 second region now, top speed around 90 mph. Range would now be 65 miles.

    7) Professional paintjob(perhaps with acid bath) and nice stereo system ~$3,000

    Now the car would be all show, no go. At least it would get attention and look a hell of a lot more expensive than it is! I want it to be British Racing Green.

    8) HV Zilla 1k ~$2,700

    This would drop the 0-60 time to the 12-14 second region with a nice 0-30 mph acceleration boost under an imposed 500 battery amp limit with 1,000 motor amp limit. Still all show no go, but at least it will be able to smoke its tires at this point and would have no problems passing other cars. It would win most 0-30 mph drag races, but after that it would still be a slug.

    This is the point where I would proudly display this car as an EV, and order license plate holders displaying this car as electric along with emblems displaying it as electric.

    9) PFC-20 charger ~$1,500

    Cut the charge time down a bit, but most importantly, prepare the car for acceptance of AGMs.

    10) Optima or Exide AGMs, Rudman Regs, leaf springs, upgraded DC-DC converter ~$4,000

    This would be the big upgrade and would necessitate new battery boxes. Afterwards under the condition weight reduction was earlier done, car should weigh about 2,400 pounds with a 300-336V pack of Exide Orbitals or 300V pack of Optima D750s. Range may be about 80-100 miles under careful driving in ideal conditions due to greatly lowered Peukert’s effect of AGMs(25 amps or so to cruise at 65 mph), and with imposed 600 battery amp limit, 800 motor amp limit, and 170 motor volt limit, 0-60 will drop nicely to about 6 seconds, 1/4 mile time to the high 14s, and top speed increase to over 130 mph. Leaf springs would allow car to go over GVWR some if needed. Without weight reduction, it would be in the 2,600 pound range, and I have decided I will not let the car go above 2,400 pounds with me as driver(although it could reach 2,600 pounds with another passenger and some luggage). The weight reduction outlined above would keep it under 2,400 pounds including driver.

    11) Race-prep the ADC/WarP 9’’ motor for high revs and higher end horsepower at small expense of torque ~$1,000+

    This will significantly increase the top speed and drop the 0-60 time to the 5 second region if motor can be rebuilt to handle 240V but with an imposed 700 motor amp limit. Range under lead foot driving will be improved some, but top speed would be about 150! 1/4 mile would be well into the low 14 second region, if not high 13s. I’m thinking Jim Husted would be the one to send the motor to at that point.

    So it would start out as a humble $2,000-3,000 conversion(Plus some for the restoration and glider) to get my hands wet with and wind up a $20k road demon a few years down the road. I expect to have a low performance but highway capable conversion on the road sometime in mid to late 2006, and eventually for it to be a high performance car capable of holding its own against $40k sports cars around late 2007.

    Now for a quick cost analysis.

    The cheap initial conversion, I’d expect the batteries to last about 15,000 miles if I don’t murder the pack due to negligence. The contactor setup will be hell on them, making them occasionally discharge 600 amps, thus preventing them from seeing the 25,000 or so miles they normally could in most conversions. This would be a $1,360 battery pack, or $.091/mile for batteries. At $.06/kWh and 300 wh/mile from the outlet(180 wh/mile from the car with 80% eff. charger and 75% efficient battery), electricity cost would be $.018/mile. Add $.005 per mile maintenance in the form of motor brush swaps and such. $.114/mile total to run. This would tie a gas car getting 28 mpg at $2.10/gallon if the gas car had $.04/mile needed for oil changes, tune ups, ect. This would be quite cheap!

    When the weight reduction, aero mods, and WarP 9’’ motor are implemented, efficiency will improve to about 130-150wh/mile from the car. Further, with a limit on the battery amps, a new pack of floodies could last 25,000 miles. This results in $.015/mile electricity cost, $.0544/mile battery cost. Add in the $.005/mile maintenance costs, and you get $.0744/mile. You’d need to equal 58 miles per gallon with a $.04/mile maintenance cost on a gas car to match this at $2.10/gallon.

    When the PFC charger is installed, the charging efficiency will go up to about 92% from outlet to batteries, from the bad boy’s 80% or so. The flooded batteries are about 75% efficient charging. $.013/mile for electricity, .0544/mile battery, $.005/mile maintenance. $.0724/mile. That gas car now needs 65 mpg to be as cheap as the EV if its maintenance is $.04/mile.

    Finally, the AGMs and regs will come in. Due to dischargers of around 40%, these batteries could reasonably expected to last 30,000-40,000 miles with proper care(theoretically could last double that), although a smaller pack would last 15,000 or so miles due to deeper discharges and thus cost more per mile. 25 Optimas is $2,500. That’s $.083/mile for battery. But Optimas are 85% efficient charging, bringing the electricity cost to $.012/mile. This is $.10/mile to run. A gas car with a $.04/mile maintenance cost would need to get 33 mpg. BUT at this point, this car would perform like a Porsche, only it would be much cheaper to operate, on par with a Honda Civic. It would be a bargain, quite frankly.

    Further, Commuter cars quotes the cycle life for the Optima D750 as follows:

    %discharge/Cycle Life


    If I have 100 miles range to 100% discharge, 40% discharge on average would mean 40 miles. At 2,100 cycles, this would be an 84,000 mile pack life. A gas car would need to get 310 miles per gallon with a $.04/mile maintenance cost to equal this! Of course, an 84,000 pack life certainly isn’t expected, but it’s doable in theory.

    Likewise, if I go with shallow discharges on the floodies AND dump the contactor controller for a Curtis, they could in theory last over 40,000 miles. This would also be very cheap to run.

    Perhaps after the AGMs wear out, I’ll have a good job by then and be able to afford a set of Kokam Li Poly, along with a setup of twin 9’’ motors, Dutchman rear end for direct drive, a charger designed for Li poly, and a Zilla 2k. Wouldn’t dropping that 0-60 mph time to 4 seconds, 1/4 mile time to the 12s, keeping the top speed, and upping the range to 200 miles or more be nice? Ok, I’ll quit dreaming now.

    The bottom line is, whatever I start with, I will keep improving upon. In order to do the things I outline above, you will need the right glider, preferably a chassis designed as an EV from the ground up, and if not that, an excessively researched conversion candidate so that you can match what you hope to achieve.
  11. Jerry    Nov 14, 2005 08:20 AM    #
    Wow, John, that’s quite the write-up. Seems a pity to have it hidden away in a comment like this.

    Maybe I can get a few pics from you and wrap it up into an article?

    Thanks for the post and all the best on your multi-stage conversion!
  12. — Seth    Nov 14, 2005 18:40 PM    #
    Did you buy the GT6 for this purpose?
    How much did it cost?

    The car that sparked my interest in EV’s wasn’t ideal, so I got rid of it, and I am now shopping for a glider.

    My email is my name at
  13. — John Westlund    Nov 15, 2005 00:00 AM    #
    Yes, I did select the GT6 for the purpose of actually building something that is rarely done: a high performance EV that had long range(if driven normally) and wouldn’t cost more than $12k in parts.

    The GT6 was $1,200, as I mentioned in my previous entry.

    This choice of conversion had the goal of attracting others to the concept of owning an EV after my own primary goals of low operating cost and high performance were met. Why, if it can smoke a Porsche Boxter and go one third to half as far on a charge as a typical gas car, cost much less to operate than a typical gas car, and also cost about as much to build as a typical second car is to purchase, handily defeat in races cars more than double its cost, and make horny teenagers or old farts in midlife crisis alike drool over its sex appeal, maybe they might ask why they can’t go into a dealership and buy one!

    See my austinev.org entry for an explanation on what I originally wanted to do with this car:


    I noticed that Alan Cocconi’s Honda CRX achieved 100+ miles range because it was aerodynamic, lightweight, and had a sufficient number of batteries(336V) that it only needed to draw 25 amps to cruise at freeway speeds, thus allowing Peukert’s effect to be made practically irrelevent(for normal driving). To do this, nearly half its weight was in batteries and it used EVERY efficiency trick in the book to get its drag coefficient down to about .25, decrease rolling losses, decrease transmission losses, decrease wheel bearing losses, ect. Thus on the highway it could achieve 150 wh/mile efficiency going about 60-65 mph.

    I also noticed that the car was ugly and a rolling science project. Not really the best way to attract people to EVs. Sex appeal this did not have. Its acceleration was decent, but it wouldn’t go more than 80 mph due to lack of transmission.

    The exact opposite of Cocconi’s CRX is John Wayland’s Blue Meanie. Blue Meanie has a custom paintjob, nice stereo system, and was built to do 0-60 mph in about 6 seconds and could hit an honest 125-130 mph according to Wayland thanks to its transmission. Plenty of sex appeal this car did have and recieved much love from casual onlookers. The thing with this car is, it had what I and most others consider poor range, 30 miles or so. That range would meet MY needs, but it would turn off most people from considering an EV because it would be just plain inconvenient to them. Further, by deeper battery discharges from lower range, cost per mile increases heavily. This range was due to the fact that Wayland sacrificed battery room for lots of stereo equipment and also wanted the car to have a “light and tossable” feel. He could have used a larger pack and gotten 80-100 miles range, but that wasn’t his goal.

    I got to thinking. Why not try to combine the best characteristics of both cars into the same car? Why not try to achieve long range PLUS high performance, and do it in an economical package? Usually range, cost, and performance are mutually exclusive in a converted EV. The best conversions tend to only allow the builder to pick two.

    Why? This is due to the car not being designed as an EV from the ground up. And doing such is expensive anyway due to low production volume and large amounts of labor, so your options to achieve the above three traits in a single car are slim to none.

    But if a vehicle was aerodynamic, lightweight, and had a sufficiently sized battery pack so as to keep discharges down and cycle life up, not only could it have long range from AGMs, but they could also last much longer, on the order of 40,000+ miles(in theory).

    So I had to search, and search, and search. I needed something that would have a glider weight under 1,400 pounds, at least enough room and GVWR capability for 1,000 pounds of batteries, wasn’t too expensive, common enough to find, and had a coefficient of drag times frontal area(in feet squared) of no more than 5.5 or so. Bonus points if it has a wide selection of aftermarket racing parts and a slew of ways to shave off weight.

    The GT6 was thus perfect, after looking at Datsun 1200s, Lotus Europas, Fiat 850s, Triumph Spitfires(a convertible and less aerodynamic GT6, basically), VW Kharmen Ghias, Opel GTs, Honda CRXs, Honda Insights, Geo Metros, Chevy Sprints, Honda Civics, Lotus Elites, Datsun 240Zs, and many others. None of them could meet ALL the criteria, although the Datsun 1200 and Triumph Spitfire came very close and the Datsun 1200 may even make a better platform for my goals than than the GT6.

    Further, the car could be drastically altered to maximize efficiency.

    On the aerodynamic front, covered rear wheel wells, full smooth underbelly, passenger side mirror removal, more aerodynamic driver side mirror, sealed grille, taped seams, side skirts, front air dam for ground effects, elongated and tapered rear end, and shaved door handles.

    See the following article, as improving aerodynamics alone can improve fuel economy by over 30%:


    On the rolling resistance front, LRR tires, weight reduction via composite parts, low friction wheel bearings, 0 degrees camber alignment, machined brakes to where the pistons are perfectly round and don’t drag.

    For the transmission, a synthetic oil is a must.

    Unfortunately, I also am inexperienced. As much as I’d like to try, there is no way I will succeed at this on my first conversion, no matter how possible it is in theory. My family’s financial situation is also not in good shape since my dad is not able to work any longer and I’m in a very expensive university, thus I have to reduce drastically the amount of my money I can spend on the car.

    As much as I hate to do it, I’ll have to start cheap and work my way up. But I’ll keep playing with different configurations. One day I will have this car how I want it, where I will race it, terrorize law enforcement with it, demonstrate it at protests, and save money driving it.

    Imagine it: an EV as a babe magnet. Think of the possibilities.
  14. — James Payne    Jun 27, 2008 18:32 PM    #

    It’s Jun 2008 gas is $4.00 per gallon. I have a 1993 Jeep Wrangler I would like to convert. I don’t take it off road as I have been using it to get to work and back. MPG is about 15MPG.

  15. Jerry    Jun 28, 2008 11:36 AM    #

    Why the Jeep and not a lighter, more efficient car? While it’s possible to convert practically anything the bigger question is: why are you converting? Most likely you are trying to have a more efficient vehicle. Turning an inefficient Jeep into an EV isn’t going to miraculously turn it into a highly efficient electric: it’s still heavy, non-aerodynamic, and has lots of heavy moving parts (drive train). Find an old, cheap lightweight car with a bad engine and convert it. Then you have your jeep for the times you might need 4×4 or hauling more stuff and an EV for all of the rest of the time you are commuting.

  16. — JJ MILLS    Jul 21, 2008 22:48 PM    #

    i made a pathetic post on the other page, i don’t recommend reading it. i want to go 100% ev conversion on my 65 chevy van. i need to take my whole tool kit from west philly to center city ( 6 miles round trip) every day. i also have an S-10 which i’ve seen is a popular choice for conversion, but it runs great with its og V-6, so my plan is to take that to the mountains and the beach, and the friggin awesome 65 into town.

  17. Ed    Jul 24, 2008 13:12 PM    #

    I am in the middle of my conversion now and I chose a 1994 Toyota Tercel as my donor. My goals for this conversion was to have a commuter car to run to work (20 miles RT) and do our shopping on the weekends (30 miles RT). I would like to see around 50-55mph top speed. Based on the above, I decided on the Tercel for these reasons:

    1. This is a light vehicle. The curb weight is 1950lbs with the ICE still installed. With the engine and all associated gas parts removed I estimate the weight will be about 1600lbs. This was a huge factor in choosing this car – lighter cars will get better range and speed than a heavier vehicle(all things being equal).

    2. The car does not have power assisted steering. This greatly simplifies conversion. I don’t have to worry about changing the steering rack, installing any electric pumps, or running anything else off of the electric motor (which would reduce range) This also means there is one less thing on my “to do” list.

    3. The body of the car is in pretty good shape. This may seem trivial, but the body of a car takes quite a beating up here in Maine – it’s rare to find an older car that doesn’t need major body work.

    4. Between the engine bay and trunk, I should be able to keep all the batteries out of the passenger compartment. It would do me no good if I were not able to bring the groceries home or bring my daughter to daycare. Keeping batteries out of the passenger compartment makes the vehicle all the safer.

    5. It was cheap.

    6. The car is pretty sharp looking. It is certainly not a sports car, but it’s not “boxy” like some older vehicles tend to be.

    7. It was cheap (so important I had to list it twice).

    These points are how I ultimately came to buy the Tercel for this project.