Opel Offers Particulate Filters on All Diesels for Germany
European Commission Proposes CO2 Tax on Passenger Cars

D-I-Y Electric Car Conversions


The Turlock Journal. Michael Parker, an Adult School teacher in Turlock, California, is teaching a class about converting conventional cars to electric vehicles.

Over a 10-day period, students will watch a 1990 Volkswagon Cabriolet be converted to an electric car. Parker wants more people to realize the benefits of driving electric cars.

“They are reliable, fast moving cars that can keep up on the highway,” he said.

“Typically, you can convert for under $10,000,” Parker said. “You can convert for less, but it doesn’t usually work very well.”

Every three to five years, the battery must be replaced, which costs about $1,000. The plug-in to charge the car is about $150, Parker said.

The conversion process takes about 40 hours and for this reason, Parker would like to get local mechanics interested in a possible business opportunity.

Parker currently drives a 1990 Ford Ranger stick shift with 250,000 miles on the engine. He is planning to convert it as soon as he has the finances. He would also like to install a solar roof in the truck to improve the battery life.



Need more info like...

How many KWh to charge it. How long to charge. What range does it have?


Need more details like:
How many KWH for a full charge
How long to charge
What is the range
What is top speed


I was wondering: does the weight involved with the solar cell and necessary electronics add so much weight that the solar apparatus results in less mileage? Certainly so at night or a really cloudy day... but what about in the sunshine?



I really think this is the way to go. With a strong commitment by the feds, we could grow and process all the biodiesel we need from algae grown around the Salton Sea.

This is what we should be building right now. In my opinion Ford and GM will go bankrupt before they even begin to catch on.

For about the past year I have offered anyone who would listen the following info: None of the American automobile companies have even responded. I have had some positive response from several educational institutions but - as far as I know - none have done any experimental work to verify my claims.

Here is what I have been proposing:

In one scale or another everyone of these systems have been proven.

Like to produce a vehicle that can burn rubber on takeoff on all four wheels and get 90+ mpg?

What I would like to see the automakers working on would have:

A turbocharged, two cylinder opposed, 2-cycle, air-cooled diesel directly
driving a generator. (It would not be running most of the time.) A 111 volt Lithium-Ion Polymer battery pack. Nothing but wires going from the controller to every wheel, except for the necessary additional friction
brakes (of course). An added advantage of this would be the ability to recharge from the electrical grid while at home, saving even more on fuel.

Each wheel, depending on the feedback to the controller from wheel speed sensors would drive with just the right power depending on the accelerator position. You would get recharging from deceleration just as you do in today's hybrids. You would also use this feedback to stop the wheel from skidding.

Each wheel would have a stationary stator and a series of fixed magnets closely adjacent all around the inside of the wheel. In a sense it would operate each wheel in a very similar fashion that the mag-lev trains use,
except the motion would be circular, of course. Something very different about this type of motor is that the stators are fixed to the axles and the magnets are driven around them. This gives a significant increase in
mechanical advantage. That's like turning an ordinary electric motor inside out.

There would be no need for ordinary electric motor brushes. In fact, many electric motors operating today are brushless.

Such motors already exist in the model airplane field and their efficiently
is amazing - approaching 90%. I've got a couple and doubt that I would ever buy any other type.

It's possible to hang the model on the prop right out in front of you and
accelerate straight up, like a rocket, with this type motor

In the vehicle the motor/generator would not turn on to recharge the
batteries until they needed it. There are already experimental Lithium-Ion
driven cars that can get in excess of 200 miles before they have to be
recharged by plugging them in. You would top off your batteries overnight by plugging them in. Some cutting edge research by Toshiba - employing nano-technology - indicates that recharging can be done so fast that you could top off while eating lunch.

Lithium -Ion battery technology is so new that I doubt that very many
automotive engineers have even heard of them, much less thought to use them in this manner. Their energy density exceeds that of any other form of rechargeable energy storage.

The Lithium Ion battery is the most efficient battery available right now. So is the outer rotor electric motor the most efficient motor.

Build an Automobile right and it will weight less and have simpler, easier to repair/replace modules.

Lets see what we can eliminate while improving performance and efficiency.

Transmission - None

Ignition system - None

Liquid cooling - None

Valves and valve train - None

Use bio-oil/fuels for both fuel and lubrication.

Feel free to pass this along to anyone you know in the Transportation business.

I bought a Honda Civic Hybrid last summer. I enjoy it more than any vehicle I've ever owned. I will Never buy another vehicle that isn't a Hybrid and doesn't get at least 50 mpg.

As far as I can tell, Detroit isn't even thinking the same way I and the vast majority of it's potential customers are.

William Lucas Jones
490 Mauldin Rd.
Sautee, GA 30571-3159

(706) 219-3333


The article cited said it would take roughly 15,000 sq mi to grow enough algae to replace current petroleum use. It stated that even though the Salton Sea area was an excellent site for algae farming it is too small to produce the 150 billion gallons needed.
One big advantage of algae is a portion can be harvested on a nearly daily basis instead of only once a year the usual oil crops.


The advantage of pure electric over any sort of crop is that the area required to "grow" your energy with solar panels is trivial even compared to algae.

This leaves the problem of trips too long for batteries alone, but you can still use the plug-in hybrid scheme; pure electric for local, liquid fuel for long trips, you save a bundle overall.


I can envision a series of properly sized ponds all around the Salton Sea, connected by canals, growing algae on a continous rotating harvest basis.

If we had started this at the time of the first energy crisis, (1974) we would all be driving 100+ mpg BioDiesel Hybrids that add very little pollution to our atmosphere.

Blame short-sight politicians for this. (and what is about to happen to our world.)


Lucas:  I doubt that the properties of oil-producing algae were known well enough in 1974 to have allowed this as even a concept.

This is not to say that many other pols and officials have not dropped the ball since then.  CARB's 1990 ZEV mandate was a huge error, refusing to allow "partial credit" for PZEV's and thus failing to jump-start gas-optional hybrids.


Long lines at the gas pump should have motivated *SOMETHING*! All we got was talk. That's about all we ever get from politicians. Now that various new forms of bribery have snuck by the non-caring public, that is all we are ever going to get.

Mark my words - Your grandchildren are going to have to ride in a horse and buggy. The easy life is coming to an end for humans.


The 1970's gas lines were caused by Carter's government (mis)allocations of fuel.  Short distances away from gas lines, other stations had plenty.  What they motivated us to do was dump the bozo who thought he was smarter than the market, and voila! the lines went away.

Now we've got bozos who are just slanting the tax system to keep things going their way, to keep US consumers buying their products rather than moving on.  This will work for a while, but there are already moves to get around them and economic pressure will do the rest.

I'm in a position to have an electric scooter recharged by solar panels by sometime next year.  Technology will not stand still; my grandchildren will be able to do the same things even more easily.  They're likely to ride in a horse-drawn buggy at some point, but it'll be to experience a piece of history.


we are restoring a 3 wheel electric car and have no idea of what it is called. 2 wheels at the back and 1 in front it has a boot that opens for the motor, but have no idea as to what the front has, either a tiller, steering wheel or handle bars. It has no doors. Wondering if you could help. Cheers Lyn


we are restoring a 3 wheel electric car and have no idea of what it is called. 2 wheels at the back and 1 in front it has a boot that opens for the motor, but have no idea as to what the front has, either a tiller, steering wheel or handle bars. It has no doors. Wondering if you could help. Cheers Lyn


Want a good conversion, go AC. Im doing one, its a bit difficult to find suitable lightweight motors ( most of the industrial ones are damn heavy with a reason ) and good modern controllers ( i.e. flux vector drive with modern chipset from Freescale or somesuch ) but in the end, its well worth it.


My website, Megawatt Motorworks, might be helpful to some of you. It's a good place to find links to parts vendors, photos, and articles about real people doing amazing things with electric vehicles. I focus mainly on achievements of high performance electrics such as 315Mph electric land speeders, electric dragsters, and things of that nature but you also find info about solar car teams, electric scooter stuff, electric motorcycle plans, and links to electric boating companies.

Once you've gone electric it's hard to look back. I put 25,000 on my first conversion, a Mazda pickup truck, before I sold it to a friend. I now have an electric roadster under construction.

My wife drives a 2004 Prius. Prior to that we had a 2001 model. We loved them both but always wish they were more electric.


Hello Group, I have been kicking the idea around for seveal years to convert something.. Back about 25 years ago I ordered a set of plans from Mother Earth News to convert an Opel (poor man's corvette) to Hybrid. I never took the time to do it. I aquired an old electric golf cart that needed new batteries but I could not afford them. I took a couple of 12 volt batteries and hooked them up in the battery rack and took an old rotor tiller and made a belt drive for 2 12 volt GM alternators to keep the batteries up. My 2 girls had a lot of fun with it for a couple of years until they found other interests like the Mall a couple of blocks away. I have since decided to see what is available to do something. I am going to try to do something for under $300. I have access to a salvage yard to find an old electric forklift if that is the motor I decide to use and access to all the cars I could ever want.
What I need is suggestions as to what kind of vehicle would be best suited and other suggestions as how to proceed. Remember I want to do this on the super cheap to find out if it would be practical for others to do it the same or similar way.
Thanks in advance for all suggestions or even ribbing.
Bill A.


To Lukas: What you write is bullshit. We should stop emission of any gasses to atmosphere. Electric cars are the best way to do it.
Or we can go for hydrogen.

Our planet is overheated already. Earthquakes 8.5 strong are more
and more frequent due to overheating our planet core and more energy is absorbed than released into space.

With such stupid ideas about biodiesel we won't stop poluting our planet.

Dave Silva

A radical vision;

What if we had electric vehicles in which you changed the batteries rather than charging them?

What if the battery pack was under the car on rails with some standardized mounting system and instead of owning the battery pack and charging it yourself, you leased it from a company that would simply swap it with a fresh one at "filling stations" along the road?

The distribution infrastructure is already in place. The electrical requirements for the filling/charging station would be HUGE

I don't think anything like this is possible given the lack of intertia toward real change in our energy consumption but I thought it would be fun to kick around ......


Does Bill really think greenhouse gasses or car emissions are overheating the molten rock core of our planet?


My father gave me his old 93 Mazda that needs engine work.
I am thinking of converting it. I bought the Brand book
(out of print) on ebay, just waiting....)
Does anyone have a lead on a good How-To,
sources of info?

Want to make it electric at first, then hybrid.
Maybe just stick a portable generator in the trunk?
Too dangerous?

Appreciate suggestions.

Is this a waste of time?
Or MOney? or both?


Martin> A radical vision;

Martin> What if we had electric vehicles in which you
Martin> changed the batteries rather than charging them?

It's a good idea, I have seen it mentioned.
I see a practical problem. Abuse of batteries can
drastically shorten their life. How will
the vendor/rental facility know if you have
"ruined" the cells?....and how will the consumer know.

It might make more sense for a fleet, where
you know exactly who is doing what to the batteries.
Bus pulls into depot, robot pulls the battery,
puts in new, bus pulls out. Fastest refuel.

Maybe for race cars? pitt stop, two-sided battery
compartment, old out as the new slides in on other side.
No transmission needed, save weight......


Have two old restored vw bugs, am looking into converting them to electric. Anyone with information for me to research would be appreciated.


Hey, people... let's all pump each other up! These things (i.e.; electric cars) are feasible. People all around us with fortitude and confidence are doing great things with these concepts; conversions, investment, contributions... (both monetary and intellectual). We live in a great time of turmoil and opportunity. We MUST act! We can all do our part to change what is wrong and make it right! Boy, if I had the money - I'd be creating one of the NEXT "big three", not just for profit, but to help un-burden the world of it's terrible habits of waste and neglect. Don't we ALL owe mother earth our best? Let's DO it! A friend of mine is recycling golf-carts with a twist... a small port.gen. capable of allowing for a (theoretical) 5.5hr. trip at 45mph (over 225 miles range) and when the (2.5 gal.) gas runs out... still 20 miles on the battery pack to find more gas! WOW... I'm in. How'bout you???


Battery exchange: People could belong to battery exchange associations, with shared costs. Monitoring of battery activity can be electronically recorded. When exchanging battery for new one, automatic data analysis of use records linked to a cost calculating system, which automatically charges users fees for abusive use, etc. in addition to ordinary membership fees and cost of electricity itself.

Grammar Authority

“Typically, you can convert for under $10,000,” Parker said. “You can convert for less, but it doesn’t usually work very well.”

Hmmm. Less than "under $10,000"? What would that be, exactly?


Personally I think that bio-diesel, hybrids, hydrogen and all of the other ideas that seek to perpetuate the existence of the piston (and rotary) internal combustion engine are flawed. They all tie you to a distribution system whereby you continue to have a small number of powerful companies or countries maintaining control over the pricing, availability and efficiency of your transport.

The only feasible way is to start moving to full electric vehicles. We've all got ourselves hooked into an existing "distribution network" in the form of the elctricity grid and if we want to get a divorce from these massive polluters, we can always hook up to a solar array and pay zilch for our transport fuelling.

Swapping batteries, maybe, but you again tie yourself to s supplier that can manipulate your transport costs.

The comments to this entry are closed.