Hey, Bruno here. thanks for checking out my blog. Keep on reading if you want a comprehensive review of How to Build Your Own Electric Car Or Truck!
This book, together with 4 other bonus books you get in the package, is written by Les and Jane Oke, 2 experts on this very subject living in Canada.
Please note that I will give you an unbiased and honest review of this book. If you are not looking for a review, but wish to go straight to the book, then please Click here.
What is the easy to get truth about EV conversion? That’s quite simple: converting your car to electric is a serious project, but one that is quite worth it. If you plan on converting your own vehicle to electric, then this book is an essential addition to your personal library.
In short, for its 121 pages the book really covers everything. The book is divided for easy reading in 13 chapters, and 6 appendices, taking you step by step through the process of converting your car. We start with an overview of the project where you will get a global overview of what tools you need. Next you choose a vehicle to convert and you will learn how to best select one. Over the next few chapters, the electric engine, batteries (and a few inexpensive sources for good batteries), electric controllers, transmission, adapter, clutch, coupler, and other necessary electric car components will be discussed in detail. How to start your electrical conversion, place the car batteries, installing other components, wire connection, and finally starting for the first time your electric car, will be treated in detail in subsequent chapters. Electric car charging will also be covered.
That will be the biggest advantage of all. In one stroke, you can simply give something to your environment and eliminate all environmental dangers from your lifestyle. Nothing comes out of your tailpipe.
Electricity is a much cheaper commodity than gas, but it does not stop there. You have much less maintenance costs after an electric vehicle conversion.
Recharge at home
You will have no more stops at the gas station. No more high gas bills. Just park your car, plug in, and the time you usually take to drive to the gas station can now be spent with your family. Electric car charging is done in the convenience of your own house.
How long you need to recharge your batteries depends on a number of factors: the number of batteries you have in your car, their power, how much energy is depleted from them, and their temperature when you start charging (a hot battery charges easier than a cold battery). Take this very general rule as a basic guideline: if your batteries are depleted between 60 and 80%, then you need between 6 and 8 hours to recharge them to 95%. Or in other words, your batteries can recharge at about 10% per hour.
No more noise
An electric car motor makes almost no noise. And let us be honest about this: I really think we would all like to have a bit less noise on the street, won’t we?
You should take some time considering what vehicle you select for your ev conversion. Not all vehicles are eligible. Some are just built too poorly or not strong enough. The book however lists possible cars to convert.
Electric car range
Ideally, you should install enough electric car batteries so that your range does not suffer too much. That being said, please do not expect to have your electric vehicle after conversion a higher range than before. That will simply not be the the case.
Recharging time can be long
Electric car chargers are simply available everywhere, all you need is a wall socket. You are better to select a vehicle that you will use for shorter trips, and for now, not select journeys of 300 mile round trips. You simply do not always have a few hours to have to recharge your car. Just charge at home and select your trips wisely. But for instance, if you drive 50 miles to work and 50 miles back and your employer allows you to charge at the office – for free or maybe by paying a dollar to offset the electricity cost – then you have a good solution. That’s a win-win for both of you.
Higher cost if you buy … but not if you convert!
Electric cars for sale typically cost easily around 30 or 40000 US Dollars or Euros. That is already much less than 5 years ago. But that cost can be dramatically reduced. The cheapest electric car is one you convert yourself. A cost of a few thousand dollars should cover it if you do it yourself with the aid of a skilled mechanic.
An electric vehicle conversion is basically changing the way your vehicle is powered. Most cars nowadays are gasoline powered, but it is perfectly possible to drive a car that runs on electricity.
As to the reasons for an electric car conversion, they are many
It is fundamental for our planet Earth, our environment and our health.
It goes without saying that our gas cars exact a heavy toll on the environment. Exhaust fumes from the burning of fossil fuels cause a whole range of illnesses. Car exhaust fumes generally make us all feel unwell.
Then there is of course the greenhouse effect. If you have ever seen the movie “An Inconvenient truth” (Wikipedia link, opens a new tab in your browser) then you will know what I am talking about. Climate change, with all its consequences is already here and if we don’t make the change, there is no hope for humanity in the long term.
An excellent choice for financial reasons
Admittedly, an ev conversion is an investment, but it is an investment that will literally pay itself back in its first year or even sooner. The conversion will cost some money, but is repaid through less maintenance costs. There are a lot of smaller mechanical elements not present in an electric car conversion, meaning those things can not break down at some point.
You also have, for obvious reasons, much less costs to refuel. Suppose for instance you are driving a Toyota Corolla with a 13.2 gallon tank. Let’s take for a moment a price of 2.5 dollars per gallon – and you know it has been higher in the past! Refuelling this car would cost you then just over 30 USD. How much times per month do you fuel for roughly 30 USD? Once per week? That would cost you then about 120 USD.
Let’s compare with the cost for electric charging. If you need to charge you electric vehicle conversion 3 times per week during the night, that is 12 times per month, at a price of 2 US Dollar per charge, totalling 24 USD. That means around a 95 US Dollar saving per month.
These are of course estimates, but I think you get the picture with a bit of calculating of how much you can save per month, maybe to pay for your childrens college education or to go out eating with your family a bit more.
For our European readers, you should know that gas prices in the US are roughly half of what they are in continental Europe. Our European readers will thus save even more once they make the conversion. Highest gas price I have ever seen was in Holland: 1,80 euros per litre. Since 1 gallon is 3,785 liters, and the price is at the time of writing around 2.5 dollars per gallon, that means that one litre of fuel costs in the US around 0.65 dollar. Fuel is thus almost 2.5 to 3 times as expensive in Holland than it is in the US. Fuel is cheaper in other European countries but you still pay roughly double as much in Europe, compared to the US, for fuel.
Costs for insurance and tyres will not change. Your saving will come from fuel and maintenance.
Owning an electric vehicle is simple and worry-free
On an average car, you will see more bells and whistles under the hood than you can possibly understand. These things are run by computer. But not so with electric vehicles. Maintenance is a very simple affair. Once the conversion is done, you do not need to worry about anything breaking down. All electric vehicles have much less replacable parts than gas cars. No exhaust. No oil leaks. No oil changes. And no more engine breakdowns or other costly maintenance issues. The only thing you need to keep in mind is to recharge you electric car!
What are the positive elements about this book (and the three bonus books)?
First of all, it is very quickly clear from the beginning of the book that the writers made every effort to make it an enjoyable book. It is clearly written “from their heart”, and let’s face it, whenever you do something with your heart in it, then you are sure to have success in anything you do.
As mentioned before, the book really covers everything. Nothing is left out. The authors are up front and honest about everything. They tell you for instance in the chapter on Choosing a vehicle that you must take one with a manual transmission and not an automatic. Same for a 4WD: do not select a 4 wheel drive to convert.
It is clear to any reader that Les and Jane Oke are authorities in this domain.
Sometimes the information gets a bit technical. In Les and Jane their opinion (and in my opinion as well), you need the help of a skilled mechanic to assist you with this project. In the first chapters you will find a few times the advice to enlist the help of a skilled mechanic. That may cost something but it is quite worth it.
Personally, I would have liked to see a few case studies of successful conversions written out in full detail in the book.
What is my overall opinion?
If you are looking for a clear, to the point, and excellent explanation of how to convert a car to electric, then you are in the right place. Les and Jane Oke have clearly been there and done it all. They have made a complete journey since 1994 of living of the grid.