DIY Electric Car Forums banner
1 - 12 of 12 Posts

Registered
Joined
2 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Been finding it difficult to find any examples where a modern car which was new in 2020 or thereabouts was converted to electric. All conversions happily talk about converting old cars, just with modern cars there are so many electrical modules, sensors etc, if I rip out the engine the ECU etc will light up like a Christmas tree let alone electronic systems not working rendering the car just mechanically useable bar basic electrics. Would be great to see examples. If your wondering why you'd convert a nearly new car its because currently electric cars are so expensive would it make sense to do a DIY conversion on a nearly new car? Lots of questions but no answers...help!
 

Registered
Joined
3 Posts
I have no real answers for you but I know exactly what you mean one of the latest cars I've found with any real detail is an rx8
converting a modern car is not it seems impossible but doing it properly with everything working and not having a dash full of warning lights is somewhat more problematic
I'm doing a leaf conversion on a 2002 Mini Cooper S with 2 Bmw g30 battery packs and all the CAN bus stuff is doing my head in 馃樀 and it's relatively simple compared to the sort of cars you appear to be talking about.
 

Registered
Joined
2 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Exactly my point. Definately a challenge for any car onversion company out there. Try converting my VW Passat Estate 2020 SEL diesel into electric.... not a classic car with only lights/indicators, heater motor, wiper motor and radio, that's the easy conversions. I'm sure my car is loaded with tons of black boxes everywhere and complicated coding, with the slightest touch it'll all mess up and throw loads of warning lights.
 

Registered
Joined
778 Posts
If your wondering why you'd convert a nearly new car its because currently electric cars are so expensive would it make sense to do a DIY conversion on a nearly new car?
You should look at the cost of the basic components, including the battery. It's unlikely you can make your own EV significantly cheaper than a factory made BEV, especially used one. Perhaps in the UK it's different, but in the US before the pandemic you could find Fiat 500e for $4000-5000, likewise with older Leafs. Plenty of newer Leafs were going under $10,000. For comparison, I recently bought a new AC23 motor with a Curtis controller from a distributor, it was about $3,000.
 

Registered
Joined
7,950 Posts
If your wondering why you'd convert a nearly new car its because currently electric cars are so expensive would it make sense to do a DIY conversion on a nearly new car?
I agree with cricketo.
If you use new EV components the cost will be as much as buying a new production EV, because you cannot possibly buy components for as little as a manufacturer, and you cannot build as efficiently as them.
If you use salvaged EV components to reduce component cost, you might as well buy a used production EV and get a better vehicle.

I think that conversions are hobby projects for enjoyment or education, or ways to create a vehicle of type which is not currently commercial available (and it probably has to be all of those to really make sense). For example, if you want an EV pickup truck today, you have to convert one... but wait a year, and if all you want is the EV pickup just buy one.
 

Registered
Joined
21 Posts
Buying new parts plus the car will cost far more than just buying an EV from a manufacturer in the first place. That would be if you can even find OEM quality parts for sale to the public. There are many aftermarket EV parts directed towards hobbyists but it is unlikely they are anywhere are robust as what is supplied to the manufacturers. Some of these crate motor plus inverter combos make the same amount of power as an entry level EV while costing 10x the used parts. Batteries can get extremely expensive if you get top quality Li-ion new.

As for the CAN bus issue, it isn't an impossible task if you have the computer skills to solve it. Each device is only sending out a minimal range of data, but the quantity and rate will be large (that is handled by computer). A CAN bus view tool is a must, and then you would have to make an substitute for the device you are trying to replace. You could also fake the sensors connected to the device to replicate the actual sensors, then let the device act as if it was normal. There are some projects out there that have done it but it can be a complex extra step which could be why so many people choose to use an older car.
 

Registered
1996 Toyota Land Cruiser
Joined
488 Posts
90s and early 00s cars keep going up in value for a reason. Insurance just gave me a quote on my old Honda a full $3k higher than I paid for it 5 years ago. Not only do modern cars suck for EV conversions, they just plain suck. History will show 90s and early 00s are the most reliable and longest lasting of all automobiles ever made.
 

Registered
Joined
60 Posts
Converting a car still under warranty and presumably still in working condition seems like a losing proposition to me. Using your 2020 VW Passat as an example, you could simply sell it and buy an equivalent EV with the proceeds. No, not a Tesla Model S Plaid, but a solid used EV with an acceptable range. It will be more reliable than something cobbled in your garage and you could be driving it tomorrow.

The reason you won't often see late model conversions is because the EV components are expensive regardless of how expensive or cheap the body/frame donor is. If the purpose is to gain skill or explore an interest, a $20,000 donor with a working powertrain makes less sense than a $1,800 car with a blown engine but otherwise in good shape.
 

Registered
Joined
7 Posts
Been finding it difficult to find any examples where a modern car which was new in 2020 or thereabouts was converted to electric. All conversions happily talk about converting old cars, just with modern cars there are so many electrical modules, sensors etc, if I rip out the engine the ECU etc will light up like a Christmas tree let alone electronic systems not working rendering the car just mechanically useable bar basic electrics. Would be great to see examples. If your wondering why you'd convert a nearly new car its because currently electric cars are so expensive would it make sense to do a DIY conversion on a nearly new car? Lots of questions but no answers...help!
the reason many people converted their car to an EV; Because:
1-They had a classic car they loved, but engine was blew, and to replace the engine not feasible along with hard to find parts, so they converted to EV to keep their classic car drivable.
2-They willing to spend time and labor to DYI, and find as many used part (as electric motors, batteries etc. ) that way they can save lot of money.
Like myself; I had an 04 Jaguar X-Type that engine blew out, I try to fix it but it doesn鈥檛 run right, I love the body style of my Jag, so now I鈥榤 in processing of convert it to the EV. To let some body do it for me is out of the question: Because with the cost that they quoted I couldn鈥檛 afford it, and even if I do, I could buy a brand new Model S.
See, if you buy a nearly new car to convert it to an EV( I suspected that you would have some body to do it for you) is not make sense, and all that money you spend probably you can bu a brand new Tesla ModelS
 

Registered
Joined
2 Posts
Been finding it difficult to find any examples where a modern car which was new in 2020 or thereabouts was converted to electric. All conversions happily talk about converting old cars, just with modern cars there are so many electrical modules, sensors etc, if I rip out the engine the ECU etc will light up like a Christmas tree let alone electronic systems not working rendering the car just mechanically useable bar basic electrics. Would be great to see examples. If your wondering why you'd convert a nearly new car its because currently electric cars are so expensive would it make sense to do a DIY conversion on a nearly new car? Lots of questions but no answers...help!
I have a 2008 B6 Passat and have recently been wondering the very same. I have electronics and computing experience and some CanBus experience but I am not in the aurtomotive trade. I figured that everything would revolve around the ECU so the biggest issue would be if you threw away the ECU you'd probably end up with a rather expensive brick that lit up the dashboard like a christmas tree ... or not at all !
My thoughts were to flip it on its head and fool the existing ECU into thinking it was dealing with an engine...sending the appropriate signals to it to think the engine was there and running. This approach also might be fraught with problems in emulating what the missing sensors might be doing. Simple things like the fuel gauge you could emulate, but getting things like airflow sensor to return the "right" value for the currently emulated "load" might be tricky.....unless that car would happily run around at speed when the emulated conditions were that the engine was at idle all the time....
 

Registered
Joined
899 Posts
People do all sorts of things for all sorts of reasons. If you have a modern car you love, but wish it were electric, and you don't mind spending a crap ton of money to get it there, then go for it. You really just need to figure out the CAN messages that need to be sent and received. Not necessarily easy, but easily implemented once solved. Sniffing CAN is simple. Sending and receiving CAN is relatively simple and can be done with an Arduino/Teensy/Raspberry.
 
1 - 12 of 12 Posts
Top