Building Your Own Electric Vehicle

My completely revised and updated edition Build Your Own Electric Vehicle is the “bible of electric car books” illustrates how to convert a gas-guzzler to a clean-running electric powered vehicle or build one from scratch!

It’s no wonder that the electric vehicle (EV) movement has broadened to multiple levels of public debate. Electric cars solve many problems: they have zero tailpipe emissions and, costing only pennies to charge, bypass today’s high energy prices. 

Electric cars can get charged on electricity from solar, wind, and any other renewable resource in addition to getting electricity from power plants. Plus, electric cars help develop the economy – electric transportation can be a growing industry that will create new jobs. My book, Build Your Own Electric Vehicle, Second Edition with Bob Brant illustrates the process of building an EV from scratch for as much or even less money than purchasing a traditional car, as well as transforming an internal combustion engine vehicle to electric. 

Photographs, descriptions of each component – motor, battery, controller, charger, and chassis – and step-by-step instructions on how to put them all together, as well as a list of suppliers for necessary parts, make it easy to build a working vehicle.

My intent was to create a useful guide to get people involved in the EV movement; to encourage them to contact additional sources in their own “try-before-do/buy” quest; to point readers in the direction of others who have already done it (i.e., electric vehicle associations, consultants, builders, suppliers, and integrators); to familiarize them with the electric vehicle components; and finally, to go through the process of actually building or converting their own vehicle.  

I hope you have as much fun reading about the issues, sources, and building process as I have had writing about them.  A timely point is the price of oil and its relation to the entire book.  When Bob Brant first wrote this book, he determined that $100 for a barrel of oil was the worst-case scenario.  As I finished writing this book, oil was trading at $142 a barrel, and at my local gas station the price for a gallon of gas was $4.50

Bob Brant was the author of the first book, and some might say ahead of his time in his passion to convert to electric. The first edition of this book was published in 1993.  While there have obviously been updates and technological advances since that time, many of the concepts in that first book are still in use today.

Bob was involved with NASA projects such as the Lunar Excursion Module, and the Earth Resources Technology Satellite.  He also was with a company that worked on the Lunar Rover.  Bob was always fascinated with every electric vehicle breakthrough, was convinced of its personal and environmental benefits, and was curious why stronger steps had not been taken to make electric vehicles a reality.  I like to think of this updated edition as a tribute to Bob and other forward thinkers like him.

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