Frequently Asked Questions:

Costs

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How much does it cost to convert a car?

This depends on the components you use, and how much of the work you do yourself. See the Kits page for a detailed explanation of the different levels of kits available. In general terms, for a typical DC system conversion, you will have about $6,000 - $10,000 in parts, plus about $1,000 - $1,200 in batteries. If you go for sealed lead acid or exotic batteries, or super high performance racing components, the cost will go up. AC components will cost you $8,000 and up for the parts, and probably $2,000 or more for batteries, as these are higher voltage systems.

Most people do their own installation. If you hire a mechanic to do the work, you will probably pay $3,500 - $8,000 depending on the complexity of the conversion. One low cost labor alternative is to "sponsor" a local high school or community college auto shop class to a conversion project: you provide the vehicle and parts, they provide the labor. They get a learning experience, you get a car!

How much does it cost to charge the car?

Energy usage usually works out to about .4 kWh per mile for DC systems, and .174 - .288 kWh for the more efficient AC systems. You can multiply this by your electricity rate to get a cost per mile. For example, if you pay $0.13 per kilowatt hour, this works out to a little over a nickel a mile for DC and about half that for AC. For comparison, gas at $2.00 per gallon on an efficient 25 mpg car works out to almost $0.08 per mile.

To look at total operating costs, you need to also factor in battery replacement at about 4 year intervals ($1,000 - $3,000) balanced against 4 years of tune-ups, oil changes, mufflers, starters, water pumps, radiators, etc.

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