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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi all,

My name is Andrew. I am 18, and am interested in converting my (Manual Transmission) 1989 Toyota Celica GTS (Hatchback) into an electric car. My car right now has an overheating engine (got it that way from my father) so it's the perfect excuse for me to swap something else in it. Originally, I wanted to swap a 3sgte (MR2 Turbo) motor in it, but after thinking about the fact that I'm only going to commute to school and back, I decided that going electric would be more feasible. (The engine swap would've costed me around 5 grand with a shop installing it).

Anyways, I was wondering if someone could estimate how much it would cost to build my car to the specs I'd like it at, and/or refer me to someone (in San Diego) that can do EV conversions. I'd prefer the latter since I don't have very much time to work on my car (and my parents won't let me do anything major.) I've seen the EV conversions range from $1000 to $20,000 so I have no idea what to guess.

One more thing. How are EV converted cars when they are lowered dramatically? I am also interested in slamming my car (think Hellaflush/Stanced) on custom made coilovers. I know that with a normal ICE powered car, the oil pan would most likely scrape (and crack) with really low cars. Would the electric motor sit lower than the average ICE? I'm not going to be driving very far in my car so I'm not too worried about ride comfort.

Here's a brief description of what I'd like in my future EV:

-AC motor? (more cost efficient regenerative braking right?)
-Have a top speed of at least 70mph (I want to be able to drive on the freeway, and no, I would not be driving at the top speed the whole time)
-Have a range of 50+ miles
-Room in the trunk

I bolded some parts that I thought were important in case no one wants to read everything. lol

Thank you everyone very much and have a nice day. :)

Andrew
 
G

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I have no idea what to guess.
Sure you do! What kind of performance and distance and quality did you find in the $1000 conversion and what kind of performance, distance and quality did you find in the $20000 conversion.

Have you gone over at EVDL and poured through the thousands of conversions they have listed? There you will see conversions ranging from $1000 to $50000 and more. Your budget will be high but you could do a decent priced conversion. Maybe between the two prices listed. So for $20000 you could have a great conversion. Just go with what has been proven and don't waste money and time with frivolous junk. Do a quality job and you will need to invest in good lithium batteries. Really.

Pete :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Cool, thanks for the information. Do you think <$10,000 would be enough to satisfy the things I mentioned above?
 
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Batteries will be your largest single expense. Expect a whopping huge payment for those. Aside from that I am quite sure if you are thrifty you could build a very decent electric car for under $10k. Not much under but yes it is possible.

I am getting ready for an upcoming project that will include another VW Ghia. We will be doing a video series on what is needed for a decent conversion for those on a budget but it won't be how to build a POS for $1k

It will be based in reality and will show the real issues that are involved and what kind of costs you may expect to pay and what is required to do one. Starting with a simple platform like the VW we will present to you some reality issues and that you can really have a viable electric vehicle. Don't expect a super cheap vehicle. If you can't afford to do one then don't but you can begin to gather parts so one day you will have what is needed.

I happen to have some money to play with so we will do a video presentation over time for this project.

Pete :)
 

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Hi Andrew,

It is possible to meet your goals of:
50 miles range,
San Diego Freeway speed,
and Trunk space.

Rough guess will be around $15k parts - most of that battery - LiFePO4.
It is not necessary to go with AC motor unless you REALLY want the regen, but keep in mind that it will drive up your costs.

If you want, PM me, and we can meet up - I live near SD State.

Cheers,
Peter
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for the estimate!
This would be assuming I try installing it myself right?

Do you think it's better to do a conversion yourself or bring the car to a shop?
Anyone in SD you would recommend? What's the average total labor cost?

Thanks again.

Andrew

Hi Andrew,

It is possible to meet your goals of:
50 miles range,
San Diego Freeway speed,
and Trunk space.

Rough guess will be around $15k parts - most of that battery - LiFePO4.
It is not necessary to go with AC motor unless you REALLY want the regen, but keep in mind that it will drive up your costs.

If you want, PM me, and we can meet up - I live near SD State.

Cheers,
Peter
 

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Hiya,

Yes, that rough guess is for DIY. I'm not aware of anyone locally, but then again, I haven't been paying that much attention. :) You could try asking at the local EV meeting - Last monday night of every month at the CCSE Energy Center (just north of Montgomery Field).

There's also a yahoo group for the local EV meeting:
http://autos.groups.yahoo.com/group/evaosd/

Also, check out www.evdl.org.

One company that has been doing excellent work for a long time now is www.ev-blue.com.

Since it took me about 3 years to convert (1st year was "rustoration", 2nd year was installing the kit, 3rd year was fixing the mistakes in the kit), I would guess an experienced person could do this in a month or less.

Cheers,
Peter
 
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