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Production vs. Conversion, Model S Drivetrain, EVTV coverage etc.

Discussion in 'Electric Vehicles' started by allanb4me, Feb 18, 2013.

  1. allanb4me

    allanb4me Member

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    Hi All,

    I thought we could also help our ICE friends who are holding off buying an EV due to Price, and who already own an ICE

    We can list some addresses or shops which could help them in converting the gas guzzlers to EV.

    I came across one of this.

    Clean Power Auto - Home

    They provide various EV conversion services around Tampa Bay area and beyond.

    To moderators: Please move this thread to an appropriate place. TX
     
  2. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

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    As requested.
     
  3. allanb4me

    allanb4me Member

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    If the charging infrastructure picks up then this will be a big business in the near future.
     
  4. VolkerP

    VolkerP EU Model S P-37

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    Beg to differ. This forum has been amazingly quiet for the last months. My impression is the conversion business is retracting.
    You will never get a car comparable to a LEAF or Volt via conversion at comparable cost.
     
  5. Richard_S

    Richard_S New Member

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    I've got my Porsche Boxster converted to EV by Red Point Engineering. I've been very happy with my electric Porsche and cannot say enough about the great service I received.

    They are located in Michigan: www.rp-eng.com
     
  6. omgwtfbyobbq

    omgwtfbyobbq Member

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    I agree with Volker, it's difficult to compete with the mass produced versions after incentives. Without those incentives, a DIY conversion can be much less, but with them most small EVs sold are within a few thousand of conversions.
     
  7. Raffy.Roma

    Raffy.Roma Active Member

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    In some cases the conversion ICE to EV can be justified for reasons of feelings. For instance my mother has an old Ford that I wuold never sell and that I am considering to convert ICE to EV.
     
  8. roblab

    roblab Active Member

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    Not what I have experienced. The EV meetings I go to are peopled by engineer types who have spent hundreds of hours making their gas baby into an EV. When they are done, they have an electric car with low top speed (70 mph?) lousy regen if at all, heavy batteries, low range (30 - 50 miles), and a persnickety charging system. Their wives get stranded because something blows when she borrows it. The rest of the group are poor wannabes who keep thinking that they will be able to convert their 69 Ford Falcon for a few hundred bucks and be able to drive it on free public charging. In every case I have seen, you get what you pay for, *IF* you're lucky. Always you end up with an old car with out dated safety features, poor driving characteristics (due to heavy batteries installed where they weren't designed to go), bad wiring, rusting body, repaint, etc., etc.

    I have acquaintances that think that conversions are the holy grail. I don't think so. Conversions are so much less than any other commercial electric, it's hard to compare. Oh, sure, once in a while, if they're careful, someone will get 100 miles on a charge, or have a classic auto that still has appeal, but that is in the infinitesimal minority, IMHO. People building cheap cars (conversions) notoriously use lead acid batteries, and they forget to tell you all the fun you get keeping them watered, charged up, and then replacing them every 3 years. They can't afford NiMH or Li Ion, because the government, or some business group, has priced them out of the market for the small user. Yup. That's what they do.

    No thanks.
     
  9. dhrivnak

    dhrivnak Active Member

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    I have done a few conversions and as already said except for the rare owner who wants something different and willing to pay for it, I have a hard time seeing a business opportunity. To do a good conversion, with quality parts, a 100 mile range, HVAC and good (6-7 second 0-60) acceleration you are talking about $25K. Then add the doaner car and a paint job and you can easily reach $50K. That is why I now have a Roadster. Yes you can make one on the cheap with scrounged parts and lead batteries but those are closer to science projects than real transportation. Check out http://www.hrivnak.com for details on my Jeep conversion and basic parts.
     
  10. qwk

    qwk Model S P2681

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    I'm going to have to agree with Roblab here. Jack, you are the exception and not the norm. The other thing to take into account when comparing the cost of a conversion to a factory car, is you get a brand new car with a warranty for almost the same price as a decent used car+ conversion. The Volt is a hybrid, so comparing it to EV's is not valid. You might have a valid point with the FFE, but I bet most of it's problems are shoddy engineering(it's a limited compliance car after all), and software bugs.

    As for the Tesla, I don't see how anyone that can do a conversion themselves, cannot work on Elons cars. They are about as simple as most conversions, aside from the firmware, which Tesla provides.
     
  11. stopcrazypp

    stopcrazypp Well-Known Member

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    How about lowering the bar? Even making a conversion that can compete with the Leaf is a huge challenge. Forget about competing with the Model S (any version).

    It's not just the parts (which would be more expensive than an automaker can source) but also the labor (lots of hours to make a decent one and more likely than not you will still end up with plenty of problems that need fixing).
     
  12. GSP

    GSP Member

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    All of you guys are right. Automakers can do a lot more with billions of dollars than converters can do, and produce technically and economically better cars. However, converters can do interesting and fun projects that automakers cannot afford to do. They have to concentrate only on cars that sell in volume and pay the bills.

    I think Jack sums this up well:

    "Most people just want to buy a car and drive it. It's always been so. But since the invention of the automobile, there has been another set that wants to do their own work on the car, make changes, fix as necessary, and even rebuild or restore them. They're a different group."

    The world is richer having both groups, why not celebrate it?

    GSP
     
  13. sranger

    sranger Member

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    So you guys do not believe a converted EV can be a fun car or have reasonable range....

    you can see mine at http://www.EVThing.me and judge for your self....

    P.S. The enjoyment I have found from this conversion is WHY I ordered a Model S....
     
  14. Reykjavik

    Reykjavik Member

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    Conversions and garage projects aren't a long term economically viable option. Occasionally an innovation will pop up in this sort of project that can be implemented at scale and make a big difference, and there are cases where conversions are a good value, but that is because most of the car is already payed for in its previous life.

    But cars aren't all about economy. If you enjoy a particular car that was originally an ICE, converting it can be worthwhile. If you get a good deal on an ICE car because its engine is completely defunct, converting it is worthwhile. If you just enjoy building and working on cars, converting an ICE is a worthwhile thing to do.

    But to replace 90% of cars with EVs, you need the quality and volume that comes from dedicated engineers and designers, big factories, infrastructure, and mass production. A conversion is a step in the right direction, but we need a couple billion steps, and we don't have time to do each one individually. As long as there are ICE conversions will be a good thing, but I look forward to the day when you cant convert an ICE car because you can't find any to convert.
     
  15. AmpedUP

    AmpedUP EV Nut

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    I SERIOUSLY considered buying my "dream car" ... a midyear Corvette Stringray ... and converting it rather than buying a MS. Given auction prices for classic Stringrays, the price probably would have been the same. The reason I gave up on the notion of an electric midyear Stingray was primarily safety. If I had sprung for it rather than the MS, and someone was injured in an accident while driving it, I would have never forgiven myself, knowing that the MS is likely the safest car in the world. Having first researched the MS as a SAFE electric vehicle, I then fell in love with every other aspect of it. The MS is my new dream car. Goodbye, Corvette.
     
  16. sranger

    sranger Member

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    You guys are quite mis-informed about conversions. I tried to post a link to my conversion but it was blocked.

    You can see it at EVThing dot Me. (Sorry can spell out the URL)

    it it is the most fun I have ever had with a car and the reason why I ordered a model s...

    Conversions will be the hotrods of the future. There is a BMW from EVwest that can out perform a Model S....

    - - - Updated - - -


    You could convert a kit car for less with the same look but more modern suspension. I think EV's will revive the kit car industry...
     
  17. Nubo

    Nubo Test Mule

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    I think most would agree that conversions/restorations/hot rods have their place and can be quite enjoyable cars for a multitude of reasons.

    And I'd expect that most Tesla owners would agree that Electric Drive is superior to internal combustion.

    So I'm kind of confused why ELECTRIC conversions/restorations/hot rods would be looked down upon here? Seems like a natural.

    Hats off to Tesla, and I've put in for a Model X. But I'm not willing to concede that only Elon can work the magic.
     
  18. dhrivnak

    dhrivnak Active Member

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    #18 dhrivnak, Dec 30, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2014
    I definitely do not look down on a conversion. And neither do most people. When i took a converted jeep or Miata people were ALL over it. For every snide comment there were 10 that thought it cool and asked how they could do it. They are very cool and rewarding. But expensive and time consuming to do it right.
     
  19. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

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    Okay, you guys did not heed the warnings. Most of this thread was just banished to snippiness - Page 58

    Play nice.
     
  20. JRP3

    JRP3 Hyperactive Member

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    qwk didn't even say anything remotely unkind, not sure why his post was tossed. I only spoke the truth, but, OK, I get it.

    I will say that for the most part OEM EV's are nicer than most conversions, including mine, which should not be surprising. We are mostly using components built in small quantities and not necessarily even made for EV use. It's fun and challenging to make them all work, sometimes frustrating when the components fail through no fault of our own, but it is a labor of love that 99.99% of all people will never have any interest in doing. Our tinkering will have much less impact than the work being done at Tesla and Nissan, no matter how much some may try to claim otherwise.
     

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