DIY Electric Car Forums banner

1 - 8 of 8 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hello to everyone who knows way more about this than me! I am by no means an expert of any sort, I just want to get involved because I feel like I really love this kind of stuff. Please help me out by finding someone who can help me converting my car (Nissan Altima 2016).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
961 Posts
You will own the worlds most expensive “Ultima”

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,577 Posts
The most professionally converted Nissan is clearly the Leaf, based on the Nissan/Renault/Dacia B/V platform and done at the time of construction by Nissan itself, and available at any Nissan dealer. ;)

I understand the appeal of DIY projects, and I understand the appeal of an electric version of an interesting car (even it if costs more than it could possibly be worth to anyone else), but I don't understand paying someone else a fortune to make an ordinary sedan into an EV, rather than just buying one. Maybe I'm missing something...
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
6,082 Posts
Hi Heemcool
Unfortunately Brian and rmay are correct

If you do the conversion yourself it will cost twice as much as second hand Leaf and be half as good

If you PAY somebody to do it it will cost MORE than a brand new Tesla and be half as good as a second hand Leaf

Think of converting as like "Hot Rodding"
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,045 Posts
If you PAY somebody to do it it will cost MORE than a brand new Tesla and be half as good as a second hand Leaf
This should be repeated every time someone asks, it's perfectly succinct.

And this is true of almost any car mod. You're lucky to get 1/3 of your parts cost back in a value increase, and zero for labor.

It's fairly common to spend $30,000 turning a $5,000 car into a $10,000 car for example. Which is why mod-heavy car projects are done by people who love a specific (usually classic, sometimes a specific personally-attached-to) car and want something personal done to it, for them, not for resale. If it could be done cost-effectively for resale, then bodyshops and mechanics would be too busy doing their own restorations and modifications to have time to do it for you.

EV conversions are especially awful value-wise. See guys that spend $25,000 on a flawless EV conversion that, 5 years later have to literally sell it for parts because no one wants to pay for a DIY EV.

So, Brian's comment about ending up with an ordinary sedan is the crux of it. It is going to cost you just as much to pay someone to convert any car, so you might as well pick the perfect car if you're going to spend that.

But I bet the OP was actually hoping to hear a number in the high hundreds or low thousands of what this would cost to do and that's why they're asking. Not the tens of thousands.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
48 Posts
Hi Heemcool
Unfortunately Brian and rmay are correct

If you do the conversion yourself it will cost twice as much as second hand Leaf and be half as good

If you PAY somebody to do it it will cost MORE than a brand new Tesla and be half as good as a second hand Leaf

Think of converting as like "Hot Rodding"
This should be repeated every time someone asks, it's perfectly succinct.

And this is true of almost any car mod. You're lucky to get 1/3 of your parts cost back in a value increase, and zero for labor.

It's fairly common to spend $30,000 turning a $5,000 car into a $10,000 car for example. Which is why mod-heavy car projects are done by people who love a specific (usually classic, sometimes a specific personally-attached-to) car and want something personal done to it, for them, not for resale. If it could be done cost-effectively for resale, then bodyshops and mechanics would be too busy doing their own restorations and modifications to have time to do it for you.

EV conversions are especially awful value-wise. See guys that spend $25,000 on a flawless EV conversion that, 5 years later have to literally sell it for parts because no one wants to pay for a DIY EV.

So, Brian's comment about ending up with an ordinary sedan is the crux of it. It is going to cost you just as much to pay someone to convert any car, so you might as well pick the perfect car if you're going to spend that.

But I bet the OP was actually hoping to hear a number in the high hundreds or low thousands of what this would cost to do and that's why they're asking. Not the tens of thousands.
I would say that things are getting better, though. The biggest issue is the cost of off-the-shelf, "boutique" parts and batteries. Essentially, if you buy a new motor, controller, and battery, it's going to cost you a whole lot more than a capable used EV from a number of automakers. Even a used BMW i3 would cost less. Throw in labor and other supporting parts, and it's going to cost you a whole lot more than a new EV. I really doubt that any hobbyist is going to come close to putting together an equally capable EV conversion for less than the price of a new 2020 Chevy Bolt EV, a 150 kW (200 hp), 259-mile range EV equipped with DC fast charging that can be had at this point for less than $30,000 before incentives.

However, that being said, we're finally hitting a critical tipping point in new EV production where second-life EV components are available for a fraction of the cost of new, off-the-shelf EV components. There are still challenges in modifying these components from OEM EVs so that they can work in conversions, but at least it's now a whole lot cheaper to do so. In addition, the batteries are starting to come down in price to the point that it is more cost effective to buy used EV battery cells (purpose built for use in autos) than it is to buy new cells that aren't necessarily designed for automotive use.

A competent DC EV conversion could be made for under $10,000 minus the labor and cost of donor car just by using second-life Nissan LEAF cells instead of new battery cells (even relatively cheap LiFePO4 cells). This was unheard of 10+ years ago when I was first pricing out EV conversions. The best I could hope for at that time was about 40 to 60 miles of commuting range with a PbA battery that would cost several thousand dollars, only last about 500 cycles (30,000 miles), and literally weigh a ton.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12 Posts
Hello to everyone who knows way more about this than me! I am by no means an expert of any sort, I just want to get involved because I feel like I really love this kind of stuff. Please help me out by finding someone who can help me converting my car (Nissan Altima 2016).
Bad idea. Sell it and buy a used EV. I can't build up a car like that economically. However for a speciality vehicle like a van it might make sense.
 
1 - 8 of 8 Posts
Top