Converting Gasoline Cars to Electric

It has become increasingly popular to convert gasoline vehicles to all-electric vehicles. Small front-wheel drive cars such as the Geo Metro or small pick-up trucks such as the Ford Ranger are popular vehicles to convert. Enthusiasts usually use rebuilt electric forklift motors and 12 volt lead-acid car batteries to power their converted vehicles. This forum offers simple formulas for calculating battery capacity (amp hours) needed for a given range and motor: http://www.diyelectriccar.com/forums/showthread.php?t=11709 The fork-lift motors are typically brushed DC motors with less than 50 horsepower and are bolted directly to the cars original transmission. Manual transmissions are preferred over automatic transmissions for these conversions because they do not slip and are thus more efficient. Remember, there is not mechanical connection between the engine and wheels in an automatic car. Fluid (automatic transmission oil) pressure is used to turn an impeller which turns the gears of the transmission. Electric vehicles need as much efficiency as possible so that they can maximize their driving range. However, driving a manual transmission electric car is easier than driving a manual transmission gasoline car. In fact, the clutch is often removed and the motor is simply switched off in between gear changes. Also, since electric motors have flat torque cure, one can start out from a stop in higher gears than in a manual gasoline car. All in all, this may be a great alternative to buying a purpose built electric vehicle, especially for the do-it-yourselfer.

 

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