An electric motor converts electric energy stored in the battery to mechanical energy and propel the vehicle. An electric vehicle uses one or more electric motors for propulsion. Electric motor, battery, and a converter are the main components of an electric car. In this electric car DIY post, we discuss how to develop an electric car yourself.
You would have read “how to develop an electric scooter yourself” and “how to convert an electric car in easy 7 steps” before.
In addition to those posts, we discuss each step a little more detail in this post (electric car DIY). As a result you can easily convert any car into an all-electric vehicle.
The main components that require in an electric car are
- Electric motor
- High voltage battery
- Brake system
- Low voltage battery
- DC-DC converter
Conversion kit for Electric car DIY
An electric car conversion kit is usually a combination of an electric motor, controller, and actuator pedal (battery – optional).
If you buy an electric car conversion kit, it makes the conversion much easier. No need to think much and select motors, controllers, etc. separately.
Select the best car conversion kit or buy components one by one.
Electric car components are available in
- Motor: Amazon
A few places where you get electric car conversion kit are
- Zero EV – UK
- EVwest.com – US
- CanEV.com – Canada
- EVSource.com – US
- EV4U – US
Steps to convert Conventional car to all-electric car
The complete process to convert an IC engine vehicle to all-electric is breakdown to differest simple steps below.
Read the below procedure to convert a conventional car to into an electric car.
#1 Select an old car to convert to electric vehicle
A body of a car is necessary to convert to an electric vehicle by yourself.
The selection of conventional vehicles for conversion depends on many factors.
- Weight of the body of the car should be as low as possible
- You can buy a car whose engine is damaged completely
#2 Remove all gasoline related parts from the vehicle
The electric vehicle power train does not require any internal combustion engine components. Engine, exhaust system, radiator, gas tank, etc.
We can keep the brake of the vehicle intact. One challenge to face in the conversion would be related to breaking.
The vacuum created by the IC engine makes the application of brake easy in conventional vehicles.
An electric motor does not create a vacuum when it operates. But it is possible to install an electrical vacuum generator in the brakes to make them user-friendly.
Sofar, we removed the IC engine, fuel tank, radiator, and exhaust from the car.
The weight of the vehicle increases energy consumption also. To travel long distances using the energy stored in the battery, the weight of the electric car should be as low as possible.
You can read
So, it’s recommended to remove unwanted accessories and mechanical parts from the vehicle.
#3 Selection of electric motor for the car
Electric motors drive an electric vehicle. Different types of electric motors are used to propel an electric car.
- DC motor
- Induction motor
- Permanent magnet synchronous motor
- Reluctance motor
Power electronics converters made the speed control of induction motors easier and they are now widely used in electric vehicles. Permanent magnet synchronous motor or induction motor are the best choices for an electric car.
We can go for an induction motor.
How much power rating is necessary for an electric car motor?
I don’t recommend a power rating equivalent to that of an IC engine vehicle for the EV that we are going to make.
Electric cars run only using electricity stored in the battery. If the power rating of the motor is more, the energy consumption increases and the vehicle can not travel a longer distance.
An optimal selection of motor is required to conserve energy and to get a maximum range for the electric vehicle.
Electric scooters use low power motors (200 W to a few kW) in general. E rickshaws which are common in India use motors of 1 to 2 kW power rating.
But an electric car requires more power rating than scooter and rickshaw.
Electric motors with a rating around 10-80 kW can be a good choice for an electric car. You can get a motor and controller from eBay.
Type of motor for electric var
- Hub motor
- Ordinary motor
Hub motor for electric car
Hub motor (in-wheel motor) is directly coupled to the wheel. One motor can only be connected to a single wheel. So hub motors are convenient for electric scooters.
Electric cars with all-wheel drive characteristics use hub motors as the propellers.
Advantages of an ordinary motor for electric car
An ordinary motor is not directly connected to the wheel of an electric car. They are the stand-alone motor and can be connected to more than one wheels. A separate gear system (optional) can be connected to the shaft of the motor and the wheels can be driven using it.
#4 Install electric motor in the car
We have removed the engine of the conventional car and now it is ready to reborn as an electric car.
Where to install the motor for an electric vehicle?
In the step to select electric motor for the car, we have discussed hub motor and ordinary motor.
Where to install an electric motor in the car depends on the motor that we selected.
We use ordinary motor and controller for our electric car. Since the gear is not removed the motor can be connected using an adapter plate.
#5 Electric car battery
An electric car battery that suits for electric vehicle conversion is Li-ion battery. They are hard to get. But they are maintenance-free, and lightweight, and long-lasting.
Other types of battery that you can go for are Lead-acid, Ni-Mh, etc.
The rating of the battery can be around 20 kW to make the car travel 100 km per full charge (thumb rule 1 kWh energy to travel 5 km). You can read read
- How to calculate the energy consumption of an electric car?
- How long an electric car travels with a fully charged battery?
The battery can be placed in the empty bonnet from where the engine has been removed. Install a metal housing for the battery to protect and keep it safe.
#6 Select and connect controller for electric vehicle
Electric motor speed control in the electric car is done by the controller based on the input from actuator pedal by feeding motor with electric energy stored in the battery.
A controller is a 3 phase PWM inverter. It can be installed in the bonnet itself and make the connection to the actuator pedal. When the accelerator is pressed, the controller delivers more power to the motor.
You can get the throttle (accelerator pedal) for an electric car from here : Amazon (Electric car throttle)
#7 Brake for electric car
How does the power brake of a conventional car work?
Vacuum booster would be missing in the electric car and additional setup is necessary to make the braking less effort for the driver. In a conventional vehicle, the vacuum is generated from the engine and it assists the driver while applying the brake.
#8 Electric car charger
Electric car battery can be charged from home itself. A charger is necessary for charging the high voltage battery of an electric car. You can select the best charger for your battery.
Another option is to design and solder one charger circuit for an electric car.
#9 Additional accessories
Horn, Indicator lamps, head light etc. are already installed in the vehicle. 12 V battery to supply them may also available.
12 V battery charges from the alternator connected to the engine of conventional vehicle. In electric car, we can use one DC-DC converter to charge the battery for auxiliaries.
It’s possible to develop an electric car in simple steps using a conversion kit. In this electric car DIY, we discussed how to convert a conventional car in to electric car. The step by step procedure explained in this post helps to convert a conventional vehicle to electric vehicle.
- Conventional car can be converted to all electric vehicle
- Battery, Motor, Controller are the main components required
- Electric car conversion kit can also be used for electric car DIY
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