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Hello, I have a lot of questions.. I checked the FAQ here and it doesn't really say much about getting started in this. Is it legal? Safe? What are the pros and cons? Can you totally remove the need for gas? Is electricity cheaper than running a car on gas? Any links or answers will be much appreciated.
 

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I am also a newbie with not a large income. I read that it would be cheaper buying a electric car or truck that has already been converted would that be the cheapest way to go? The vehicle I am interested in is a Chevy S10 conversion. I have a question has anyone converted a Mazda B3000 to electric? I have a Mazda truck just wanted to know what are the guidelines when converting trucks?
 

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I am also a newbie with not a large income. I read that it would be cheaper buying a electric car or truck that has already been converted would that be the cheapest way to go? The vehicle I am interested in is a Chevy S10 conversion. I have a question has anyone converted a Mazda B3000 to electric? I have a Mazda truck just wanted to know what are the guidelines when converting trucks?
That may not apply anymore, since we seem to be in an EV frenzy at the moment. I have been seeing used EV conversions go for "interesting" prices lately.

A S10 is a good candidate, simply because there are quite a few of them done before. They have kits complete with battery boxes for them.
 

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In answer to your questions, yes an electric conversion is legal. Like any other vehicle on the road, there are certain requirements which must be met. Typically these include: headlights, taillights, brakelights, horn, turn signals, windshield wipers, seatbelts, etc. It's pretty much common sense stuff.

The safety of an EV depends on the person doing the conversion. For example, the high voltage / high current cables for the battery system should not be run through the passenger compartment. The batteries must be properly secured in case the vehicle is in a collision. Batteries may need to be vented, depending on the type used. You want to have some sort of emergency disconnect in case the contactor welds and the controller fails. Remember, for an EV to function, all that is needed is for the electricity to reach the motor. In a gas vehicle there needs to be fuel, air, spark, timing, etc. all coming together properly or the vehicle stops. So an emergency disconnect is a good safety feature. Some EV designs also use two contactors for safety. One contactor switches on with the ignition key, the other cycles on and off as the accelerator is pressed.

As for the pros and cons, the pros far outnumber the cons. Here are a few, others may add some more:

Pro: Environmentally responsible, with significantly reduced pollution even if your electricity is generated using coal. In areas using solar, wind, natural gas or hydro to generate electricity, the benefit is even greater. An EV is good for our country, using domestic energy instead of imported oil. This keeps energy jobs here and reduces funds to governments and leaders that may not be our friends. An EV is good for your wallet. The current cost to fuel my S-10 is the equivalent of about $1.10 per gallon of gas.

Con: There are some downsides. There are reasons why EVs are alternative fueled vehicles instead of being the primary choice for most people. The biggest problem is range. My S-10 is good for about 50 miles per charge. For me, that's plenty, as I use it to drive around town. There are times when you want to go further, and generally speaking, an EV won't work for that. Comparing an EV and a gas vehicle is sort of like comparing a regular oven and a microwave oven. Both have their purposes, and they can compliment each other nicely when used for what they each do best.

You can totally remove the need for gas except if you wanted to drive on a long trip. Many of us here are doing that right now. Most Americans drive less than 30 miles per day, which is perfect for an EV.
 
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