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In fact, Lough—who has been active in promoting electric cars for almost 30 years—is anguishing over the decision to convert now or wait it out.Fellow Seattle EV association members are encouraging Lough to convert his first-generation Honda Insight into an all-electric car, but he’s got his heart set on the new Nissan EV scheduled for release in 2011. Do I spend ,000 on a used converted Honda or ,000 on a new Nissan? As the previous owner of five electric vehicles, Lough is well aware of the tradeoffs when it comes to driving range, warranties, battery replacements, and safety issues. Conversions can work and be less expensive than a new car, but it’s not a new car.” Mark Hazen, of Florida-based, also has his eyes wide open regarding the pros and cons of electric car conversions.What if you don’t believe car companies’ press releases?

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It’s going to be like that for quite a while.” Moore sees dramatic interest in conversions from all across the country.

His customer list includes people from Texas to New Jersey.

The gasoline engine will be entirely removed and replaced with a motor, controller, and lots of batteries.

Nearly any four-cylinder manual transmission vehicle can work, but you’ll probably want to use a model that others have converted many times before.

But what if you can’t wait two or three years for an EV?

Or if you don’t have deep enough pockets for a Tesla?

There are reports of electric car conversion as high as ,000, but anything above ,000 is price gouging.

It’s hard to get more specific about costs, because there’s a broad range of issues to consider: the specific vehicle being converted, the quantity and technology of the batteries, the drive system, and the quality of the work and rates charged by the conversion company.

It’s not impossible to do a conversion from an automatic transmission,” said Hazen.

“It just wastes energy and is not practical.” The extensive database of electric cars—mostly conversions—at can serve as an informal shopping guide.


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