Electric Vehicles of America has enjoyed a sudden surge of popularity with gas prices remaining
around $4 per gallon. Drivers who fill a 16 gallon tank for $64 once a week, shelling out $3,328
for gas in a year’s time, are suddenly wondering if companies like Electric Vehicles of America
can help them save money. The cost of electricity for electric cars, 2-3 cents per mile, looks
awfully tempting when compared to the cost of driving a mile in a gasoline powered vehicle,
about 20 cents per mile for a car getting 20mpg.
Electric Vehicles of America provides consumers with information on shops that will retrofit
gasoline powered vehicles to make them run on electricity. The company’s website does not
claim that electric vehicles are right for everyone; in its FAQs, Electric Vehicles of America
recommends conversions for people who have short commutes, defined as 20-50 miles. Those
looking to drive at high speeds and for long distances are not the best candidates for electric car
conversions, according to Electric Vehicles of America.
Advantages of Electric Car Conversion
The major advantages of electric car use, according to Electric Vehicles of America, are the
ability to plug in and recharge rather than buy gas, the absence of engine, exhaust and
combustion systems needing maintenance and repair, and the low cost of 2-3 cents per mile for
Deterrents to Electric Car Conversion
The major deterrents to electric car conversion are the upfront cost of $6-8,000, the $1000-2000
battery replacement cost, and the limited range an electric vehicle can be driven before needed
Questions to Consider About Electric Car Conversion
In considering the economics of electric car conversion, the first question, of course, is how long
will it take to recoup that upfront cost?
Another question to ask is how the conversion affects the vehicle’s lifespan. By removing many
of the parts that normally fail such as the engine, exhaust and combustion systems, can a driver
expect that the vehicle will live to a riper old age than it would have if it remained under gasoline
Electric power requires the use of lead batteries and those batteries need fairly frequent
replacement. How does the manufacture, use and disposal of those batteries, along with the use
of electricity, affect the environment compared to the use of a gasoline powered vehicle? Where
is that electricity to come from and what sort of electricity production methods does the electric
plant use? There is substantial controversy over the actual environmental effects of electric car
use because of the effects of lead battery use and electricity use. Those seriously considering
conversion can find links to articles addressing the environmental pros and cons in the source
section of this article.
If the electric conversion will be the only household vehicle, what is the family going to use for
longer trips and how much is that going to cost?
What are the respective merits of conversion of a car to electricity vs. buying new?
Electric Vehicles of America provides valuable information on retrofitting a car to run on
electricity for those who decide to go forward after weighing the pros and cons.