Getting Started

The Donor Car

Removing the ICE

Electric Motor

Adapter Plates
Installing the Motor
Brake Vacuum

12 volt Circuit


Getting Started

November, 2008. I'm reading Convert It! by Michael Brown, copyright 1993:

It's an old book but still very good. It mixes good philosophy, good advice, reasoned, methodical procedures. Brown tells you what to do and why to do it. I strongly recommend this book if you want to make an electric car. (Addendum: I bought Seth Leitman and Bob Brant's Build Your Own Electric Vehicle, second edition, in March, 2009:

Another good book to have as a reference.)

Brown recommends several important tools and a big, dry space like a garage for such a project. I have an auto lift, a welder, a power hacksaw, a shop crane, a metal lathe, air compressor and air tools, and a garage! I'm ready to get started.

I have found useful on-line resources:

Electric Vehicles of America in New Hampshire has parts and kits. They will send you information about electric cars for the asking. I ordered my electric motor from this company. The motor came with a thick binder of information with installation guidelines, motor data, controller data and auxilliary component data.

Electro Automotive has parts and kits, on the west coast.

Good sites here, lots of info:



The sites below show some details of the conversion of specific vehicles.

A converted 1987 Civic hatchback, same year as mine:


Lots of trial and error on a Civic hatchback documented here:


Conversion of a Ford Express, very useful, lots of detailed photos:


Next: bringing in the donor car.