Electric vehicles, EVs, are a lot more than a trending topic and a couple of buzzwords. Take a look at these DIY EV builds you have to check out to find out what electric vehicles can actually be like.
Here’s a hint: for the DIYer, an EV can be anything you want!
Why Drive an Electric Vehicle?
There are lots of reasons why you might want to convert an existing vehicle or build a brand-new electric vehicle. One huge reason is obvious: gas.
If you feel like you’re being punched in the gut every time you go to the gas pump, no one needs to tell you why it’s beneficial to get an electric vehicle. You can save a lot of money by paying for electricity to charge your vehicle, rather than watching the engine guzzle and guzzle gas.
Environmentalists like electric vehicles because they do not pollute the air. Where gas-powered vehicles dump CO2 emissions into the air, electric vehicles do not.
Electric vehicles are actually cheaper to run and maintain overall. Where gas-powered motors require constant upkeep, electric vehicles experience less wear and tear and therefore, require much less maintenance.
In most cases, electric vehicles are also lighter in weight than gas-powered vehicles. This means electric cars have faster acceleration than gas-powered cars.
It’s actually easier than you think to have an electric vehicle. If you have basic DIY skills and a passion for making it happen, you can convert an existing vehicle into an EV without going through a lot of time and trouble.
How to Do Your Own DIY EV Build
It sounds like a lot of work, especially if you’re not already pretty knowledgeable in the automotive arts, but doing your own DIY EV build really isn’t all that difficult. Once you check out some of the DIY EV builds others have done, you may not be able to stop yourself from giving this project a try.
Many start out with an electric vehicle conversion, rather than building an EV from the ground up When this is the case, all you need to get started is a car you can convert, an electric powertrain, batteries, and the electrical connection for the car. You must also ensure that some area of your home has connections for the car to meet the vehicle’s electricity needs.
Some EV enthusiasts are even making their own conversion kits to make it much easier to make the conversion from gas to electric power. There are some who even provide specific kits based on the type of vehicle or the car manufacturer.
Whether or not you’re going to use a kit, you are going to want to get rid of that old gas combustion stuff. So to start with any EV conversion, get rid of the old motor, the entire fuel system, the radiator, and the exhaust.
After all, none of these systems are needed at all. Instead of these combustion-powered and combustion-enabling systems, you will put in an electric motor, a battery pack, and a power controller/inverter
Once you’ve got this accomplished, you’ve pretty much got your EV. And while it’s a little easier to read than actually do, you can get some great ideas by taking a much closer look at some awesome DIY EV builds you have to check out.
6 DIY EV Builds You Have to Check Out
You might have a certain idea of what EVs look like, some images in your head. Well, forget that.
These DIY EV builds prove that when it comes to building an EV, there truly isn’t a limit to what you can do and what kind of vehicle you can have.
The Mean Blue Machine
John Walen is a self-styled inventor who removed the gas engine from a classic Datsun and turned it into an incredible EV. He says his creation is “performance-oriented,” something that will please any car enthusiast.
His classic Datsun drives with no noise, no heat, and super fast acceleration. He says the cost is “about one-fifth of what it costs to run a gasoline car.”
He also says there is “zero maintenance.” There is no oil, no antifreeze, no spark plugs, no mufflers, no exhaust system.
It always runs the same, whether it’s snowing outside or the sun is shining. According to Walen, “once you’ve driven in an EV, you’ll never go back.”
The Classic Red Sports Car
EV West, a company specializing in electric car builds, turned a classic red Porsche into an electric vehicle. The company was founded in 2010 with the intention of building an electric car to compete in an all-EV race.
The race went defunct before the car could be completed. But the company EV west wasn’t done.
The company entered the car into a different race. A race that was open to all sorts of cars.
A dozen years later, EV West is still making incredible electric vehicle builds. One of their builds is a hot red Porsche with all the classic looks you’d want and an engine so quiet, you have no idea the thing is even turned on.
But you will know the engine is working while you’re driving along in this beauty with the top down and all the shiny chrome glinting as you whiz past those gas-burning engines that are chugging along like dinosaurs.
The EV Humvee
Sure, those little bitty cars work great as EVs. But what if you want something that’s got a little bit of bite to it?
What if you want to drive a vehicle that knows how to handle itself on the road, off the road, and anywhere else you go? What if you want not just an electric vehicle, but a total monster of a machine?
It’s time to talk to JerryRigEverything, YouTuber, and EV conversionist. He got ahold of a military Humvee, and he turned this bad boy into an electric vehicle.
No, this is not an electric Hummer as created by the manufacturer. This is a DIY EV conversion as performed by a hands-on type of guy who called this vehicle a real “Frankenstein.”
“I wanted to see what happens when you take the least fuel-efficient on the planet and turn it into an electric vehicle.” Jerry, you madman.
He worked with a 1995 military Humvee, a high mobility multipurpose wheeled vehicle. This was built for the military.
The Hummer, meanwhile, is the civilian version of this military powerhouse.
Jerry worked with a true military Humvee. Made from aluminum, this vehicle weighs approximately 5,000 pounds.
That’s why Jerry used a jet engine to power his Frankenstein of an EV. This is a jaw-dropping example of what you can accomplish when you decide on a DIY EV build.
He pulled the motor, alternator, and cooling system of the Humvee to make room for the new electric motor.
He chronicled his entire build on YouTube, showing the process step-by-step and explaining his components in-depth. The end result?
An EV Humvee that’s all driving machine…all thanks to an electric motor. You have to see this one to really believe it.
How fast can an electric vehicle really go? Get a gander of this EV supercar build.
Electric SuperCar released a video showing off their build for an EV supercar built from the ground up.
Literally from the ground up. The YouTube channel fully captured every moment of the build, all to the way to finishing the fiberglass and creating an absolutely gorgeous supercar that looks like it drove right out of GTA and onto the street.
The entire build is a DIY, and the finished result is utterly awe-inspiring. Get a good look at this electric vehicle, and you might get pretty inspired about EVs, too.
Super Affordable Mini Cooper
Rich Rebuilds, popular YouTuber, spent $1500 on a Mini Cooper with a “blown engine.” For less than $3,000, he turned it into an EV.
DIY is so cool, right?
He pulled the gas tank, cleaned the engine bay, and got a $200 electric motor to put inside the car. This YouTube channel detailed the build and the cost of every single component of the build.
Rich Rebuilds saved money by selling all the components from the Mini Cooper he removed during the conversion. He even re-used the gas left in the gas tank, pouring it right into his personal pick-up truck.
In the end, the channel ended up with a lightweight DIY EV build that anyone would enjoy driving.
Three Day Conversion
One YouTuber, Making With Mihir, came up with a method to convert a car to electric in three days. He wanted to find the most inexpensive way to convert a vehicle into an EV.
He pulled out the old engine but didn’t scrap it. Instead, he removed parts of the motor and put the rest back into the vehicle.
Mihir modified the engine to turn the car into an EV. He used a vacuum pump and a small 12-volt electric battery to power the brake booster, the lights, the windows, and the power locks.
His quick, easy process is straightforward enough to be a quick DIY, just as he says in the video.
Is It Worth It?
Electric cars can be sort of cool, and it’s awesome to know that there are so many cool DIY EV builds to try out. But are electric cars all they’re cracked up to be?
Electric cars definitely have a lot of get-up-and-go to them. They accelerate quickly, they’re lightweight, they drive like the dickens.
They just don’t drive very far. One drawback of EVs is that they do run out of power, and when they do, they need to be recharged.
So…now you have to find somewhere to recharge your car. You can see how this could be an issue.
Environmentally, an EV doesn’t necessarily save the planet. It really all depends on where you’re getting your electricity from.
If you drain most of your electricity from a coal-powered gas station, for example, you’re still contributing to the burning of fossil fuels in order to power your gas. If you’re charging your car with solar or wind energy, that’s a whole different story.
DIY EV Builds and You
Now that you’ve seen some cool DIV EV builds, you know what you can do if you really want to build your own electric vehicle.
Give it a try and see how you like having a totally quiet, clean engine. When it comes to electric vehicles, you’re really only limited by what you can imagine.
People Also Ask
How far can an EV drive without being recharged?
The amount of mileage you can get out of an EV depends entirely on the battery power in your EV. Even in cars, you can purchase from manufacturers, the mileage varies greatly.
Approximately, you can expect to get 250 miles to 600 miles on a single charge. When you are building your own DIY EV, you can add more battery power if you want to get even more distance out of the vehicle.
Keep in mind, however, that the more batteries there are, the longer the EV will take to fully charge when it’s drained.
How long does it take to recharge an EV?
If you are charging your EV at home, it can take up to 40 hours for your vehicle to fully charge if the battery is totally drained of power.
How much does it cost to do a DIY EV build?
The cost of a DIY EV build can vary greatly, as the builds on this list show. However, most estimate that the total cost of such a project will cost you, on average, $10,000 to $20,000.
It is possible to do a DIY EV build for much less or much more, depending on the parts you use, whether or not you build the EV from scratch, and how much of the work you do on your own.