Re: Planning an EV build
It is possible (barely) to get a road legal conversion going for around $2000 (exclusive price of the car) but you are probably going to be looking at a 72v system and repurposed forklift and/or golf cart components. Batteries would probably be used or factory 2nd lead acids. The performance envelope of such a car would be more like 35-40mph top speed and 20 miles of range. I believe the record low price for a "successful" conversion on these forums was $500 for a geo metro conversion. Everything was scavenged, begged, borrowed, or repurposed. IIRC it was a 72v system or lower meaning not highway capable.
Anything with 50 miles of range at freeway speed your budget should be more like $10k USD minimum, of which 2/3 would go towards batteries. The rest towards secondhand, homemade, or repurposed controller, charger, and other components.
One shortcut might be to buy a used conversion that needs batteries, but is otherwise solid. Then, for the cost of the non-running car and a replacement battery pack you are on the road, possibly for less than what the original conversion cost. Obviously, in this scenario YGWYPF and buyer beware are words to live by. Especially avoid old-tech and mad frankenstein conversions and ones that have been sitting in the weather for years as electronics don't weather well if not being used regularly.
Last edited by madderscience; 05-30-2012 at 08:17 PM.