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DIY Electric Car

Updated on May 2, 2014

A DIY electric car was little more than a pipe dream only a few years ago.

But with the rapid development of electric power drives and high capacity batteries, creating a road going vehicle is now within the grasp of any keen amateur mechanic.

Read on, as I look at the options available to the DIY car enthusiast, revealing a few of my secrets along the way!

I know that you're eager to get started...so grab yourself a beverage, lock the door and discover just how you could be assembling and driving your very own low cost DIY electric car!

Build Your Own Electric Car

Unless you plan to pedal your car, you will need a reliable DC motor that's up to the task as well as a bank of batteries to fill with electricity.

Now while this may seem daunting to the beginner, Gavin Shoebridge has created an easy to follow manual and video series that will walk you through each step. All you need to do is follow along. It really doesn't get any easier than that!

Simply click on the download link to the right and grab yourself a copy of Electric Conversion Made Easy to see just how quick and affordable it really is.

In this short video clip, Gavin introduces himself and his electric vehicle, giving you a brief idea of what's involved.

Why Build Your Own?

As the major motor manufacturers start to roll out their own electric vehicles, wouldn't it just be easier to wait a while and buy one of them?

Even with heavy government subsidies, the latest models are still well over the price of a comparable petrol or diesel powered model. And wasn't cost one of the top reasons you wanted to drive electric in the first place?

However, cost alone isn't the main reason for building your own electric car. There's also:

  • Satisfaction
    Building your own car will give you a tremendous feeling of satisfaction, especially when you discover just how much car you could have for your hard earned cash. And if you have ever been on one of the many mechanic courses available at colleges around the country, now is the time to put your skills to use.
  • Saving The Environment
    If you care about the environment, then driving an electric car is your logical choice. Forget pumping out clouds of greenhouse gases, you will also not need the harmful engine cooling oil. The planet will thank you!
  • Style
    When you drive an electric car, you're in good company! Many top Hollywood stars have traded in their gas guzzling Hummers for a clean and efficient electric car. And when you build it yourself, you have the opportunity to make it truly YOURS.
So now you've seen just why you should assemble your own, it's time to take a look at what you could be driving...

Would You Ever Build Your Own Electric Car?

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Homemade Electric Car

While the mainstream manufacturers can pump eye watering amounts of money into research and development, I'm always struck by the ingeniuity of some homemade electric car designers who turn to readily available "off the shelf" technology to build their machines.

What they lack in state of the art performance they more than make up in keeping to their grass roots tradition of what a homemade electric car should be; an economical commuter vehicle that still has enough under the hood to get them to work and back, or to drop the kids off at school, for just pennies.

An Electric Kit Car?

While most people suggest that you find a good quality car and start ripping the guts out, I have a slightly different suggestion...

Use a Kit Car!

See, the USA, UK, Australia, NZ and South Africa all have a vibrant kit car scene with plenty of suitable models to choose from. And when you look a little closer, a kit car ticks all the right boxes, such as:

  • Lightweight Body
    With electric cars it's definitely a case of 'the lighter, the better' and most kit cars such as the stylish GTM Libra shown above are extremely light.
  • Strong Chassis
    Most kit cars are designed to accommodate high powered petrol engines and so have a strong chassis specifically designed to handle whatever the driver can throw at it.
  • Spacious
    Without the need for an engine or fuel tank, kit cars have plenty of space for the power unit and battery bank.
So if you're looking for a stylish, affordable yet functional DIY electric car that you built yourself from scratch and you're handy with a socket set and trolley jack, give some thought for the many car kits available on the market today and consider an electric kit car.

Tesla Roadster - a Commercial Electric Car

The commercially produced Tesla Roadster is an inspiration to DIY electric car builders everywhere, combining blistering acceleration and sporty performance with long battery life.

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