Passion for being green drives Seth Leitman to live an ecologically responsible life, but unfortunately passion alone doesn't make a car drive emission free. So in an effort to solve that conundrum Leitman, the Green Living Guy blogger, and his friend Eric Illowsky, owner of Electric Cars of NY, LLC worked together to break down the steps of converting a car's gas engine to electric.
They used a SAAB 900 as the guinea pig. First, they unscrewed the old gas engine, removing the bolts and other connectors. They used a reasonably priced motor ($1,700- $2,300) that has the power equivalent to a Honda Civic. In Leitman's post on his Green Living Guy blog it sounds like he, Illowsky and mechanic Frank Taco had a grand old time putting the engine in, including fun with blow torches and saws.
For the SAAB's new engine they used batteries imported from China, but decided that next time the best route would to be go local. After connecting the motor components it looks like the engine was all set.
Leitman suggests that if you are not comfortable under the hood of a car, go ahead and hire a company to make the switcharoo. But if you have interest in the actual mechanics and are in the mood for a side project then grab Leitman's book, Build Your Own Electric Vehicle, which chronicles the steps in further detail.
Leitman also proposes to clear up any myths on how the electric car runs. If you are in the tri-state area and want to take a test whirl before making the conversion to your own car then Leitman will drive to you.
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