Can Conventional Cars be Converted into Electric Vehicles?

Car conversions could be a solution for people who want to transition to EVs.

Charging an electric car.

 (Viktoriia Hnatiuk /

Electric vehicles are the eco-friendly choice for many when purchasing a new car. But not everyone is in the market for a new automobile. Faced with this choice, many people have started looking for ways to convert their gas-powered cars and trucks into EVs.

This makes a huge amount of sense since gas-powered cars contribute to climate change and many countries are looking to phase out all non-electric car sales. But there is concern about  what will happen to all the gas powered cars already on the road once car companies  go fully electric, reported EcoWatch. Currently, the pace of sales of gas powered cars still outstrip those of electric vehicles. So even if car companies eventually go fully electric, there will still be plenty of gas-powered cars on the road for some time to come. 

If you don’t want to keep driving a fossil-fueled vehicle, you may be considering whether your conventional car can  be converted into an electric vehicle? The answer is yes but it is a complicated process.

Instructions on car conversions
Converting gas vehicles to electricity is not yet common, however, it can be done, according to the US  Department of Energy. It would require removing the entire combustion engine entirely, and replacing it with a battery pack, one or more electric engines, wiring, and more.  So, as you can see, it is not an easy job.

Luckily, according to Ecowatch, there are companies that specialize in EV conversion. One of these companies, Zelectric Motors, even focuses on converting high-class European cars, such as Porches, to EVs. 

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The problem is that these companies can charge a lot for their services. Ecowatch reports that conversions can cost more than the price of a new electric car and the price of gas cars are even cheaper. So, for many, using the service of a car conversion company is not financially viable or efficient. 

DIY conversion
Getting started isn’t that complicated because Treehugger recently published some guidelines for buying an EV conversion kit, and converting your car yourself (or hiring a very knowledgeable mechanic to do it for you).

According to the guidelines, the best types of cars to retrofit with electricity are those that are relatively light and use a manual transmission. Heavier cars can make the electric engine less efficient, and automatic cars use up too much power. On the other hand, you also need a car that can withstand the weight of the electric battery packs. 

Some cars that are mentioned as good candidates are the Nissan Sentra, the Ford Escort, and the Honda Civic. While conversion kits can also be costly, if you have a newer vehicle that you want to keep, it is a viable solution.

A better way
Still, perhaps the best thing the world can do to create less environmentally harmful transportation is to move away from cars to begin with. EcoWatch reports that the Mark Watts the  director of C40 Cities, a group of city mayors trying to make their cities more environmentally friendly, said that active travel, walking, biking, etc. is the way to go.  

 “A global shift away from cars to more active forms of travel are exactly what the world needs right now. Replacing a trip by car with active travel is a highly effective way to cut emissions quickly,” Watts told EcoWatch.

So, the next time you turn the key on your gas-powered car, consider the fact that one day you could be pressing a button on a clean, electric-powered vehicle or walking instead.

California Switching to All Electric by 2035
Volkswagen is Gearing-Up to Go All Electric
Jaguar Commits to Electric Cars Only by 2025