Electric Car

I want a plug-in electric car. An electric car runs on an efficient electric motor instead of an internal combustion engine. The electric motor is powered by deep cycle golf-cart batteries that must be recharged every 40 miles or so. I will make my car out of a 1987 Honda Civic hatchback. Click on the topics below to see my progress. These same icons appear at the top of each page so you can easily navigate around the site.

Obligatory note of caution: this is not a how-to document. Don't try this at home or anywhere else unless you know what you are doing. Most of the procedures described here are dangerous.


Getting Started

The Donor Car

Removing the ICE

Electric Motor

Adapter Plates
Installing the Motor
Brake Vacuum

12 volt Circuit


Cost and Resources

How much does it cost to make an electric car? Here is a spreadsheet showing when, where and how much I spent for the conversion. I generously added $100 for miscellaneous stuff I picked up here and there, like a few more quick connectors, anticorrosion paste for the battery terminals, another few feet of low voltage wire, etc. The items in the table are specific for the conversion to electric. I did not include new brake shoes, a tie rod end and other things that any car would need for repair or maintenance.

Date Item Cost including shipping and/or tax (USD) Vendor
October 12, 2008 Convert It! by Michael Brown $24.95 Amazon.com
November 1, 2008 donor car   me
November 10, 2008 motor $1,440.00 EV America
December, 2008 coupler parts (price estimate) $100.00 Fazzio's
January 29, 2009 Curtis Controller 1221C $1,100.00 EV America
January 29, 2009 Curtis Pot Box PB-6 $90.00 EV America
January 29, 2009 Albright Contactors (2) SW-200 $300.00 EV America
February 1, 2009 angle Iron for battery boxes (approximate) $40.00 Fazzio's
February 7, 2009 Thomas vacuum pump $112.00 jockmoonster (ebay)
February 14, 2009 hammer crimper $23.00 powrparts.com
February 14, 2009 2/0 copper lugs (50) $51.00 powrparts.com
February 14, 2009 battery terminal covers (30) $34.00 powrparts.com
February 14, 2009 anderson connector type 350, 2 pieces $21.00 powrparts.com
February 14, 2009 300 amp ANN fuses (2) $26.00 powrparts.com
February 19, 2009 2/0 copper cable, 20 feet $26.00 Fox Electric (local electric supply)
February 20, 2009 Vacuum reservoir parts $11.00 Home Depot
February 22, 2009 Russco Charger $676.00 Russco
February 21, 2009 Iota DLS-45 DC-DC converter $156.00 Northern Arizona Wind and Sun, Inc
February 22, 2009 dc circuit breaker $62.00 solarseller.com
March, 2009 paint $30.00 Home Depot
March 4, 2009 Integra rear coil springs $45.00 Honda Parts Unlimited (ebay)
March 5, 2009 Build Your Own Electric Vehicle by Bob Brant and Seth Leitman $19.77 Amazon.com
March 5, 2009 14 gauge wire, connectors $20.00 Home Depot
March 6, 2009 voltmeter, ammeter, shunt $172.00 EV America
March 10, 2009 120 VAC relay $18.92 digikey.com
March 23, 2009 batteries $1,441.75 Tri State Battery
March 23, 2009 2/0 copper cable, 15 feet $18.00 Fox Electric (local electric supply)
March 23, 2009 vacuum switch $34.73 evsource.com
March 24, 2009 vinyl tubing for cable covering $33.00 Home Depot
March 25, 2009 motorcycle battery $42.00 (with core charge) Wal-Mart
  miscellaneous $100.00  
total   $6,268