From classic to sports coupe, more vehicles are getting electric retrofits with kits becoming all the rage
Our editors here at Autoblog Online often dream of electric versions of our favourite cars and we want to interact with our readers to open the discussion. Shops are now offering to convert VW’s, light trucks and sedans while online sellers are marketing kits for the Volkswagen Beetle, Toyota MR2 and Porsche 911/912 just to mention a few. Don’t let this article limit your dreams though, with engineering updates opening up new possibilities seemingly overnight, we want to hear of your EV dream car conversion in the comments below.
What states are leading the way to convert their vehicles?
At writing we thought that California would be well ahead of all other states for searches related to EV conversion. We were surprised to see that Colorado had the highest search volumes for the keywords “Electric Car Conversion” closely followed by Washington state (Although Washington took the lead back after this article was published). It could be that California is under the grip of EV automakers currently so vehicle owners are not searching as often for ways to retrofit their vehicle to electric. With very few shops in Colorado who convert cars to EV’s, the opportunities for both automakers and conversion shops are ripe for the taking. Washington state on the other hand is well poised to match vehicle owners to EV conversion shops with plenty of options visible in Google search (The map by Google Trends below is automatically updated and may not reflect original content in this article).
What about Canada? Where is search traffic for electric car conversion trending?
Ontario is leading the way with other provinces not even reaching search volumes (for these specific keywords) necessary to correlate trends which was a surprise given EV popularity on the West Coast of Canada. This again could be the EV manufacturers having their claws deeply dug into British Columbians. Canadian Electric Vehicles Ltd. on Vancouver Island is a viable option for conversion kits. Many of their customers have converted light trucks and cars to electric power and the kits are reasonably priced. It is expected that EV conversion will continue to grow in popularity in B.C. and throughout Canada as the costs for kits come down in price with larger motors and battery capacity.
Can converting my car to electric save money?
A conversion kit is a large upfront expense, often in the range of $8K-$20K USD but the savings speak for themselves. The fuel savings are glaring and maintenance costs our way down in comparison to a combustion engine. Electric vehicles will cost at most $0.04 per mile* to operate while a 2017 Toyota Prius prime hybrid will cost $0.05 per mile to operate. When compared to a small sedan driven 15,000 miles per year, the AAA estimates operating costs are $0.46 per mile or nearly $7K USD for a year. No math is required here to see that the savings to drive an electric car are massive and when an EV conversion kit could be paid off in as little as 1-2 years many vehicle owners will switch and save thousands.
*This does not take into account maintenance to the electric motor, batteries, brakes and tire changes. These costs will not typically be added on an annual basis but rather, bi or tri-annually. Closely reviewing your selected conversion kit manufacturers operation manual will help to define these costs.
What type of EV conversion kits are available?
Aside from the kits at CanEV we mentioned above there are a growing number of options available. EV West conversion kits look like a great option for sport coupe enthusiasts wanting to convert their car to electric. Their kits also tout regenerative braking which will maximize battery life and range. The EV West Toyota MR2 EV conversion kit has piqued our interest and despite not coming with batteries could make a EV conversion dream car come to life.
Are there cheaper options for kits available?
This is the best part about electrical components, they tend to drop in price while the technology improves. We have sourced economical options in online marketplaces like Alibaba that would be good to keep an eye on to keep costs down. Alternatively, additional lower priced options will come to market as time goes on, guaranteed.