Whether you are planing on converting a vehicle yourself or having someone do it for you there are a number of things that need to be taken into consideratain proior to the start of your project. Having a clear focus and goals can save time and money while keeping expectations in check. At the end of the day we are converting old vehicles to give them new life. If you want "everything" it may be best to consider a new car as they can be bought considerably cheaper and will come with years of technology advances as standard.
What do you want your car to do? A daily commuter will have different needs from a track day car. Perhaps you just want to keep your vehicle on the road. Every decision will come with corresponding trade-offs and various price points. We suggest you make a top down list of your priorities. Items to consider may include Range, Speed, Handling, Cargo space, Comfort and Passanger capacity
You may already have a car that you love, but this means there will be set parameters to work with. If you are looking for a car to convert this is the time to look at your priority list and think. Can this vehicle support the stated goals? How much work is it going to take if that answer is no? How much wear has this vehicle seen over the years? Are you willing to pay to get the chassis up to spec?
One of the most important questions is, Does it work currently? A vehicle in a unknown mechanical or electrical state will take extra time and money to get it working fully.
Without the need for a engine, transmission, exhaust, and fuel tank most vehicles have a suprising amount of space to package electrical components. If you dont require a trunk or rear seat there may be even more space to be utilized. Within these voids the motor must be fitted first, batteries second, and everything else following.
During this planning step some decisions are made by the chassis - this is often unavoidable without extensive fabrication. Pack voltage and capacity will be influenced by the drive motor and remaining space. Supporting electronics are an easy final decision that can only be made after the other two are locked in.
This step is often the most daunting as it will effect what it is going to be like to live with this car. Dont be afraid to start with the components from another successful build. Communities exist to freely share EV conversions and knowledge.
A final thought before stripping down your car should be parts avaliability. In some ways the market has come a long way with items that can be bought off the shelf. In other ways it still has maturing to do. Batteries are a notiable item in that are few companies selling them new. The second hand market often fills the needs for conversions but that comes with unknown wait times and intermittent avaliability.
It is recommended to wait until all your parts are in hand to begin work. Delays are often demotiviting and the reason for failed projects.
If you are going to spend tens of thousands of dollars on a electric conversion it will be wise to also consider other aging components on your vehicle. Every bushing is a opportunity to upgrade the road feel. All of the weather stripping that is replaced will make the car quieter and nicer to drive. Radios and speakers may be seen as aging and nice to improve. Heck, even paint may be an option while work is being done.
Its easy to get carried away at this stage. If your wallet will support it, we do as well. If not, you need to ask yourself where you will draw the line.
DreamEV | FRY PND LLC | 2022