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How to build an electric car

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Here are steps on how to build an electric car using any cars with electric car motors, batteries and how to build the motor into the car with simple conversions. There are plenty of ways to build an electric powered car with wheel motors either using any donor cars, convert gasoline powered cars, or build it from scratch using kit cars. You can choose any preference base on your budget.

Let’s check out the steps on electric car conversions.

Step 1 – Choosing the right car

It has to be always start with light weight, small-medium, or small car. The best is to choose a car with curb weight not more than 1000kg. This is because electric motors does not gives so much power to push a car forward or backward if compared to gasoline powered engine.

Step 2 – Choose the right parts

Refer below on parts to build and electric car. It always depends on your budget, the speed you want, the reliable of the motor and electric charger. Generally, the major things that you need will be an electric motor, a controller, a suitable battery pack, and a batter charger to charge the battery.

Step 3 – Remove gasoline related car parts

Now remove everything that is unwanted and heavy. This is very interesting as you will not going to see any gasoline related car parts in your car anymore – rip out the engine, cooling system, radiator, alternators, fuel tank, fuel lines, exhaust system, clutch, motor starter, water host, carburetor or injection system. Remove as much things as you can as an EV has to be as light as possible. The transmission you can remain it as you will still need it. For classic Mini, you will have to choose alternative transmission as the original transmission is attached to the engine.

Step 4 – Install the electric components

The most challenging part is to get a suitable adapter plate and attach the plate to the transmission and mount the motor. If you couldn’t find it from any shop you will have to custom make one. Mount the controller right after you mount the motor and the transmission.

Step 5 – Wiring and batteries

You will need a custom made bracket to hold all the batteries. You can either place it in the car boot or rear seats if your car is 2 door sports cars. It is getting more interesting on how to build an electric car. Install the batteries and wire the batteries and motor to the controller.

Step 6 – Other electric component

You will need to wire up and mount a motor separately for the power steering pump and A/C compressor if you need both of these. For power brakes, you will need to install a vacuum pump to operate the brake booster. Now install:

  • The charging system
  • DC-to-DC converter
  • Relay/contactor
  • Volt meter and Amp gauge
  • Cables, connectors, fuse, and emergency cut-off

Now it’s time to bring your car out for a run!

Parts to build and electric car

Most of the conversions done nowadays using DC systems (DC motor and controller) due to DC system is cheaper and available anywhere. Here is a list of basic part that you need to build an electric car.

  • Donor car (If your choice is to convert a gasoline powered car to electric powered)
  • Electric car motors (Plenty available in the market)
  • Motor controller
  • Motor mount
  • Electric car transmission (Manual or automatic transmission)
  • Electric car batteries (Lithium ion, lead-acid, or golf-cart batteries)
  • Gauges
  • Connectors and cables

For a full understanding of building an electric car, see also:

electric car engine bay

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