Last update: Apr 18 2017

Frequently Asked Questions

How much did it cost?

The car was worth $10K, the conversion cost $15K. Converting a gas car to electric is not an economical proposition. It only makes sense to convert a car that is special in some way - an exotic, classic, or hobby car. For economy, a used Nissan Leaf is king of cheap. Converting a car is like buying a boat to catch a few fish and have fun with friends.

How long does it take to charge?

The 2.5kW charger adds 15 miles of range per hour. A full charge takes 6-7 hours. Doing a full charge requires returning home with no remaining charge. That never happens.

How fast from 0-60 MPH?

The acceleration from 0-60 MPH is unimpressive. This car does not have enough cells to compensate for voltage sag that occurs under long and hard acceleration, and for back electromotive force. Acceleration from 0-30 MPH and from 30-60 MPH is more brisk. If the car ever ever gets more cells, I'll measure and publish the 0-60 MPH time.

How many horsepower?

I estimate the current setup makes 160 hp and 300 ft·lb. The turbocharged engine was specified at 230 hp and 235 ft·lb. With a few more battery cells the power could be raised to about 200 hp. As a rule of thumb you need about half the horsepower with an electric car to drive comfortably because full torque is available from 0 RPM.

What is the range?

Maximum range is 40 miles. Electric cars need much less range than you might expect. If you have a garage for charging and a gas car for long trips, you only need enough range for one day of typical driving. Electric cars start each day with a full "tank" and the typical commute is 30 miles or less. My typical trip is 5-10 miles.

Why keep the transmission?

What is the top speed?

With the WarP 11 motor, 79 MPH. With the WarP 9, it would be 105 MPH. These numbers are calculations. I never attempted full speed.

top speed (MPH) = 60r / gfw

rMotor maximum continuous RPM
WarP 11
rMotor maximum continuous RPM
WarP 9
gTop gear ratio0.738
fFinal reduction3.700
wWheel rotations per mile
Continental ExtremeContact DW 215/45ZR17

Would an AC motor be better than DC?

AC induction motors that are available in the conversion market have the main benefit of regenerative braking, but they cost more and make less power than DC motors.

How much money do you save in operating costs?

The table below shows the yearly savings, which varies with the cost of gasoline. This savings includes averaged 10-year maintenance cost of ownership items specific to gas engines such as oil changes, air filters, coolant flushing, timing belt.

Gas fuel12000mi × $3/gal ÷ 25mpg$1440
Gas engine maintenance$220
Electric fuel12000mi × $0.12/kWh ÷ 2.6mi/kWh$-554

With AC motors capable of regenerative braking, there is additional savings in reduced need for brake service.

What features of the car no longer work?

There is no cruise control and no air conditioning. Air conditioning is not a big issue since where I live, summers are usually mild.

Should I convert my car?

Converting a car is a major undertaking with difficult and expensive problems. The amount of work is similar to swapping a gas engine from a different model.

Should I buy an electric car?

Not if you've got a good working gas car. Keep driving that until it is kaput.

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