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Buy an EV or Convert from Gas? Depends On Desire

Just five years ago, anyone wanting to own an affordable, highway-capable electric car faced a difficult decision: find a used previous-generation car like the RAV4EV, or undertake the time-intensive process of converting a gasoline car to electric.

With a wide range of factory-built electric cars now on the market, the vast majority of first-time EV drivers favor the ease of buying an electric car from a major automaker over a home conversion. Meanwhile, the conversion market is still alive and well, supported by a growing community of creative hobbyists.
A Huge Undertaking

Just like working on a vintage car, building a custom motorcycle, or restoring a hotrod, converting a car from gasoline to electric is a large undertaking. A self-converted car is more than a car: it’s a hobby. A passion.

If you’re thinking of converting your car to electric, you’ll need to understand some basic car maintenance, have somewhere to work on your car, and have the necessary tools to carry out a conversion.

In the case of common conversion candidates—such as an old Volkswagen Bug or a Ford Ranger pickup truck—you’ll be able to buy most of the components you need from specialist vendors offering off-the-shelf conversion kits. For more unusual or complex conversions, parts often have to be hand-made, so metal working skills are a must.


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