We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

How We Make Money

We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently from our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is an Electric Vehicle Conversion?

By John Lister
Updated May 17, 2024
Our promise to you
WiseGEEK is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WiseGEEK, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

An electric vehicle conversion is a process which replaces a standard motor engine with an electrical system. In theory at least, this can be performed on any motor vehicle, though it’s most common to use a car. The converted vehicle then runs as either a purely electric or hybrid model, reducing running costs but limiting the maximum speed and the distance which can be driven without “refueling.”

The main step of an electric vehicle conversion is to remove the engine and replace it with the relevant electrical parts. These include battery packs, a charger, a power controller and an electric motor. The conversion will also need extra equipment to carry power to vehicle features such as the heating system. The various components will then need to be connected and controlled through electrical circuitry.

It is possible to carry out an electric vehicle conversion yourself rather than contract out the process. Doing so will usually save something in the range of a third of the price. Experts advise using a common and comparatively basic vehicle unless you have a particularly high budget. Many people carrying out home conversions find it very economical to buy a car where the engine has failed, but the car is otherwise working. For conversions carried out by non-professionals, it’s usually not practical to use a vehicle with an automatic transmission.

After an electric vehicle conversion is complete, the general driving process is largely the same. However, there is a risk of damaging the motor via over-revving. This is most likely to occur in a vehicle with a transmission where the driver sticks to first or second gear only. Drivers of newly-converted electric vehicles should therefore take particular care to use the appropriate gear at all times.

Some firms market electric vehicle conversion kits. These are sold on the basis of having everything you will need to carry out your own conversion. However, the diverse nature of products means many people find they need extra equipment not found in these kits. There is also no guarantee that buying such a kit will be any cheaper than buying the components separately.

One important point to remember when carrying out an electric vehicle conversion is the effect of weight. The combined weight of the batteries will normally be measured in hundreds of pounds. This weight must be adequately distributed to avoid steering problems. The calculations for this distribution must take into account the effect of losing the weight of the original engine.

WiseGEEK is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

Discussion Comments

WiseGEEK, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseGEEK, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.