Smart car electric conversion info

Written by michael sullivan
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Smart car electric conversion info
The smart car makes an ideal platform for electric conversion. (small_car image by Marc Dubus from Fotolia.com)

Daimler AG's smart car has been setting new standards for fuel economy since its introduction in Europe in 1997 and in the U.S. in 2008. Some green-thinking drivers have realised that the smart's tiny size makes it ideal for conversion to a car that does not use any fuel at all, i.e. an electric car.

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Direct From The Manufacturer

In late 2010, smart introduced an all-electric model in the U.S. market. This car's electric motor generates 30kW and 41 horsepower from a battery located beneath the floor, so that it does not intrude on passenger or cargo space. It achieves a range of 84 miles and can be recharged from a household electric socket. Expect to pay £389 per month for 48 months to lease one.

Turnkey Conversions

Some electric car conversion companies sell complete, turnkey conversions. The customer brings a car to the conversion company, which then does all the work of removing the car's internal combustion engine and replacing it with an electric motor. Costs range from £16,185 for an upgrade of an owner's existing car to £26,000 for a brand-new electric smart conversion.

Do-it-Yourself Kits

Home-built electric conversions can cost anywhere from £650 to £13,000, depending on sophistication. The most expensive conversions feature modern lithium-ion batteries, while the do-it-yourselfer on a tight budget could even use an electric motor pulled from an old forklift.

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