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USA: Retiree is resurrecting a junked 1997 Saturn as a wholly electric car

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Retiree is resurrecting a junked 1997 Saturn as a wholly electric car

Next Image >< Previous Image Mike Camunas. The shift to electricity will cost Azzoli $7,000 for motor parts and $14,000 for the batteries and charger. By MIKE CAMUNAS | Special correspondent Published: July 28, 2012 » 0 Comments | Post a Comment LUTZ -- Steve Azzoli is looking to keep it simple. Despite the complexity of his project, the end result will live in simplicity. "You can go broke doing this," Azzoli said, "but in the long run, the savings on gas make up for it." Azzoli, a 63-year-old retiree, is restoring and converting a 1997 Saturn to electric power. After paying just $400 for a junker from International Auto Parts in Spring Hill, this Land O' Lakes resident is just months away from having a brand new car that doesn't give off a single emission or require a drop of gas. "You've got to do it right the first time," Azzoli said. "I needed a new car, but if you buy a junk gas car, you're going to get a junk electric car. … Gas prices are going up, and they're not going to stop, but to say this is an ambitious project is the understatement of the year." Azzoli isn't looking to reinvent the wheel or, in this case, the electric car. He's modeling his vehicle after the EV1, which was developed and released by General Motors from 1996 to 1999. That, like the now available (and also gas-powered) Chevy Volt, only got 40 miles to the charge. Azzoli is looking to redesign the wheel, meaning he's going to get more range out of his electric car. With the help of Rebirth Auto, a St. Petersburg-based company that specializes in converting cars to electric by providing the parts ranging from the electric motor to the hardware, as well as expertise, Azzoli is pushing for a world-record 200 miles per charge. More tbo.com

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