How Much Does It Cost to Convert Your Car to Electric with a Conversion Kit
How Much Does It Cost to Convert Your Car to Electric with a Conversion Kit

How Much Does It Cost to Convert Your Car to Electric with a Conversion Kit?

07 May 2024
15 Mins Read
Table of contents

Are you interested in driving an electric car but not ready to invest in a new vehicle? Using a conversion kit to convert your existing car to electric can be a feasible and cost-effective choice. This approach allows you to contribute to the green revolution without investing in an entirely new vehicle. However, before embarking on an electric car conversion journey, it's important to consider the costs involved. In this blog post, we will look at the process of converting your car to electric in India and provide information on the prices involved.

Why are people converting their cars to electric?

Individuals are choosing to convert their cars to electric for a variety of reasons. Here are a few significant ones:

Environmental awareness: Electric vehicles (EVs) have zero exhaust emissions, which reduces air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. You may help to make the world cleaner and greener by changing your car to electric.

Fuel cost savings: Electricity is often less expensive than gasoline or diesel, resulting in lower fuel expenses for electric vehicles. You might possibly save a large amount of money on gasoline bills by changing your automobile to electric.

Long-term economical advantages: Electric cars require less maintenance than conventional vehicles. Electric automobiles, with fewer moving parts and simpler drivetrains, can save you money on repairs and maintenance in the long term.

Driving experience: Electric automobiles provide a unique driving experience by providing smooth and fast acceleration. Converting your car to an electric vehicle allows you to reap the benefits of electric power without purchasing a new vehicle.

Read More - How Do Electric Cars Work.

What exactly are conversion kits, and how do they function?

Conversion kits are collections of components and hardware that are designed to convert a traditional gasoline or diesel-powered car into an electric vehicle. In most cases, these kits comprise an electric motor, controller, battery pack, charging system, and other necessary components.

The internal combustion engine (ICE) and associated components are removed from the vehicle and replaced with electric drivetrain components during the conversion procedure. The propulsion is powered by the electric motor, while the battery pack stores and feeds energy to the motor. The controller regulates the flow of electricity between the battery and the motor to ensure peak performance and efficiency.

Conversion kits come in a variety of configurations, allowing you to select the one that best fits your vehicle and needs. Some kits are designed for certain vehicle models, whereas others provide greater versatility and compatibility with a wider range of cars.

Factors to Consider Before Converting Your Car

Before going through the process of converting your car to electric, there are a few critical aspects to consider. These elements will assist you in determining the feasibility, compatibility, and overall cost of the conversion. Let's take a closer look at them:

1. Type and age of your vehicle: The type and age of your vehicle play a vital role in the conversion process. To incorporate the electric drivetrain components, certain older vehicles may require further modifications or adaptations. Furthermore, certain vehicle models may be more compatible with specific conversion kits, making the conversion procedure easier and less expensive.

2. Battery range and power requirements: Consider your driving needs and the desired range of your electric vehicle. Different conversion kits have different battery ranges, so it's critical to pick one that matches your daily commuting or driving needs. Furthermore, your vehicle's power requirements are determined by characteristics such as weight, size, and planned use. Check that the conversion kit you choose gives enough power for your vehicle's performance requirements.

3. Conversion kit options: There are different types of conversion kits available, ranging from basic DIY kits to comprehensive professional installations. DIY kits necessitate more technical knowledge and labour, but they can be less expensive. Professional installations, on the other hand, provide superior craftsmanship but may be more expensive. To select the best conversion kit option for you, consider your abilities, money, and desired level of involvement.

4. Required expertise and labour: Converting an automobile to an electric vehicle necessitates technical knowledge and abilities in automotive engineering, electrical systems, and mechanics. Evaluate your abilities and assess whether you have the requisite expertise to perform the conversion yourself. If not, you may need to engage an electrician, mechanic, or EV conversion specialist. Remember that expert labour costs will be added to the overall conversion price.

5. Legal and regulatory issues: It is critical to understand the legal and regulatory factors of converting a car to an electric vehicle in your area. Check with local authorities and regulatory agencies to ensure that safety standards, emissions restrictions, and any other approvals or certifications are met. Following the legal criteria will ensure a trouble-free transition to an electric vehicle.

Costs of Converting Your Car to Electric

Converting your car to electric incurs a number of costs that must be considered. Understanding the cost breakdown will assist you in estimating the financial commitment necessary for the conversion process. The following are the main cost elements to consider:

1. Purchasing a conversion kit: The conversion kit itself is costly. The price of conversion kits varies according to manufacturer, features, compatibility, and performance. DIY conversion kits are often less expensive, with prices ranging from roughly ₹2,00,000 to ₹5,00,000 or more. Depending on the intricacy and customization, professionally fitted conversion kits might cost anywhere between ₹4,00,000 and ₹1,000,000.

2. Additional materials and components: Apart from the conversion kit, you may require additional materials and components for the conversion process. Wiring, connectors, cooling systems, adapters, and mounting brackets are examples of such components. These costs can vary depending on your vehicle's specific specifications and the conversion kit utilised.

3. Labour costs and professional assistance: A DIY conversion will save you money on labour but will need a significant amount of time and work. Hiring an electrician, mechanic, or EV conversion specialist is recommended if you lack the essential expertise or prefer professional assistance. Depending on the intricacy of the conversion and the hourly rates of professionals in your area, professional labour charges can range from ₹1,00,000 to ₹3,00,000.

4. Electrician and mechanic costs: In addition to the conversion process itself, you may need the assistance of an electrician and a mechanic to ensure the electrical connections and mechanical adaptations are properly executed. Depending on their experience and location, these specialists may charge an hourly rate ranging from ₹500 to ₹2,000.

5. Battery and charger costs: The battery pack is an essential component of an EV conversion. The price of a battery can vary greatly depending on its capacity, chemistry, brand, and quality. Depending on your desired range and quality criteria, battery costs can range from ₹200,000 to ₹800,000 or more. You will also need to purchase a charging system or charger, which can range between ₹20,000 and ₹1,00,000 depending on charging speed and features.

6. Other costs to consider: In addition to the principal components and labour costs, there are other expenditures to consider. Permit payments, inspection fees, insurance adjustments, and potential modifications required to satisfy safety and regulatory standards are all examples. Consider the expense of any cosmetic upgrades or improvements you may want, such as repainting or improving the interior.

Read More - Advantages and Disadvantages of Electric Cars.

Available Conversion Kits and Their Costs

There are various conversion kits available on the market for turning your car to electric. Each kit has its unique set of features, specifications, and pricing. Let's look at some of the most popular conversion kits and their prices:

1. AC vs. DC conversion kits: Depending on the type of motor used, conversion kits are classified as either AC (alternating current) or DC (direct current). AC kits are normally more expensive, but they provide greater efficiency and regenerative braking. DC kits are less expensive, but they may be less efficient. The cost of an AC conversion kit ranges from roughly ₹4,00,000 to ₹1,000,000 or more. DC conversion kits can cost between ₹2,00,000 and ₹5,00,000.

2. DIY conversion kits vs. professional installations: DIY conversion kits are designed for those with technical skills and include all of the components and instructions needed to complete the conversion on their own. These kits are generally less expensive, with prices ranging from roughly ₹2,00,000 to ₹5,00,000 or more, depending on the complexity and customisation choices.

If you want expert assistance, conversion kits that are installed by licensed EV conversion specialists or workshops are available. These kits provide more customisation and knowledge, but at a larger expense. Professionally installed conversion kits can cost anywhere between ₹4,00,000 and ₹1,000,000, depending on the vehicle and customisation needs.

Popular conversion kits and their features: The following are some popular conversion kits, along with their estimated pricing and notable features:

1. Bosch eAxle Kit 

Bosch is one of the world's largest vehicle electronic producers. It provides an eAxle electric car kit with an efficiency of over 96% thanks to the use of silicon carbide semiconductors. This converter kit produces up to 300 kW of power and 5,000 Nm of torque. The motor weighs approximately 90kg. The cost of this conversion kit has yet to be determined, but we anticipate that it will be revealed in the coming months. 

2. Loop Moto

Loop Moto's conversion kit is next in line. It is ARAI-certified and works with the majority of popular vehicles, including the Maruti Swift, Dzire, WagonR, Hyundai Accent, Verna, Honda Amaze, and Honda City. The price of an electric automobile conversion kit ranges between ₹3 lakh and ₹5 lakh. It has a range of 180 kilometres and a top speed of 80 kilometres per hour. The battery has a capacity of 17.8 kWh. 

3. E-Trio

The E-Trio electric conversion kit is also ARAI-certified and may be used to electrify models such as the Maruti Alto, WagonR, and Dzire. Depending on the model, it has a range of up to 180 kilometres. This kit is also simple to install, and the aforementioned automobiles may be converted to EVs in less than 48 hours utilising this kit. This electric conversion kit costs ₹4 lakh. 

Battery Costs and Technology

Choosing the correct battery for your electric car conversion is critical for maximising performance and range. Understanding battery technology, prices, and capacity needs will assist you in making an educated decision. Here's what you should know:

1. Battery types and their advantages and disadvantages:

In electric car conversions, several battery chemistries are routinely employed. Here are some examples of popular types:

Lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries: Lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries are popular because of their high energy density, longer lifespan, and reduced weight. Li-ion batteries provide good performance but are more expensive than other solutions.

Lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries

Lead-acid batteries: Lead-acid batteries are less expensive but have poorer energy density and shorter lifespans than Li-ion batteries. They are frequently employed in smaller conversions or for low-budget projects.

Lead-acid batteries

Nickel-based batteries: Nickel-cadmium (Ni-Cd) and nickel-metal hydride (Ni-MH) batteries were utilised in early electric vehicles but are now less frequent due to their poor energy density and environmental concerns.

Nickel-based batteries

Solid-state batteries: These new batteries have the potential to provide benefits in terms of energy density, safety, and longevity. They are, however, still in their early phases of development and may not be generally available or cost-effective for conversions at this time.

Solid-state batteries

Each battery chemistry has its own set of pros and disadvantages, so when choosing the proper battery for your conversion, consider considerations such as energy density, weight, longevity, cost, and environmental impact.

2. Factors affecting battery life and performance:

Several factors can have an impact on the battery pack's life and performance in your electric car conversion:

Temperature: Extreme temperatures, both hot and cold, can reduce battery efficiency and overall longevity. To achieve optimal battery performance, adequate heat management must be considered.

Depth of discharge (DoD): The amount a battery is discharged during use impacts its longevity. In general, shallower drain cycles result in greater battery life.

Charging and discharging rates: High charging and discharging rates might stress the battery and shorten its lifespan. It is critical to select a battery that can meet the power requirements of your conversion.

Maintenance and care: Regular maintenance, such as balancing the cells and ensuring optimal storage conditions, can contribute to the battery pack's longevity and performance.

Considering these variables will assist you in selecting a battery that meets your conversion requirements while also maximising the performance and lifespan of your electric car.

3. Determining battery costs and capacity requirements: 

Battery costs vary depending on the chemistry, capacity, brand, and quality. A lithium-ion battery pack with a range of 100-150 kilometres can cost between ₹2,00,000 and ₹8,00,000 or more for a medium-sized electric vehicle conversion.

Consider your everyday driving needs and desired range when calculating the capacity requirements. Estimate the typical distance you'll drive every day and make sure the battery capacity can easily cover that amount without overcharging. Keep in mind that while bigger capacities result in longer range, they might also raise the cost of the battery pack.

Read More - 8 BIG Benefits of Electric Cars You Should Know Of.

Charging Infrastructure and Costs

The development of a dependable charging infrastructure is critical for the practicality and convenience of owning an electric vehicle. Understanding the various types of chargers, pricing, and other aspects will assist you in properly planning and implementing your charging infrastructure. Here's what you should know:

1. Types of chargers and charging stations: There are different types of chargers available for electric vehicles, ranging from basic home charging solutions to public charging stations:

Types of chargers and charging stations

Level 1 (AC): The most basic type of charging entails plugging your vehicle into a standard household electrical socket (usually 120V). It is the slowest charging option, but it is appropriate for overnight charging at home or at work. Level 1 chargers are reasonably priced, starting at roughly ₹12,000.

Level 2 (AC): Level 2 (AC) chargers require a specialised charging station and use a higher voltage (usually 240V) to charge more quickly. They are frequently placed in homes or public charging stations and can deliver a complete charge in a matter of hours. Level 2 charging stations can cost anywhere between ₹30,000 and ₹1,00,000 or more, depending on the manufacturer, features, and installation requirements.

Level 3 (DC fast chargers): These chargers are intended for rapid charging and can be found at public charging stations or along roads. They use direct current (DC) to charge the vehicle's battery quickly, allowing for reduced charging times (often 30 minutes to reach 80% charge). Level 3 chargers are more expensive, with prices ranging from a few hundred thousand to a few million rupees depending on charging capacity and installation complexity.

It is crucial to note that the availability of Level 3 chargers varies by location, and their installation necessitates specialist knowledge and equipment.

2. Home vs. public charging: When picking between home charging and using public charging stations, consider your charging needs and habits. Home charging is convenient because you may plug in your vehicle overnight or during periods of inactivity. For longer excursions or when you need to charge away from home, public charging stations are useful. The cost of public charging varies according to the charging provider and their pricing system, which may include per-minute, per-hour, or per-kilowatt-hour prices.

3. Calculating charging expenses: To estimate charging costs, consider the energy rate charged per kilowatt-hour (kWh) as well as your vehicle's charging efficiency. To calculate the cost per charging session, multiply the kWh rate by the charging efficiency and battery capacity. Keep in mind that electricity rates can vary depending on how you use your power, the season, and where you live.

FAQs

Q. Can any car be converted to electric?

While it is technically possible to convert most gasoline-powered cars to electric, the feasibility and cost-effectiveness can vary. Factors such as the vehicle's weight, space availability for battery placement, and compatibility with the conversion kit influence the conversion process. It is advisable to consult with EV conversion specialists or professionals to assess the suitability of your specific vehicle for conversion.

Q. How long does it take to convert a car to electric?

The time required for an electric vehicle conversion depends on various factors, including the complexity of the conversion, the expertise of the individuals involved, and the availability of resources. A DIY conversion can take several weeks or even months to complete, considering the learning curve and availability of time. Professional installations typically require less time, ranging from a few days to a couple of weeks.

Q. Can I drive my converted EV in extreme weather conditions?

Electric vehicles, including conversions, can generally handle a range of weather conditions. However, extreme temperatures, both hot and cold, can affect battery performance and overall efficiency. It's essential to consider proper thermal management systems, insulation, and cooling mechanisms in your conversion to ensure optimal operation in extreme weather conditions.

Q. Is it cheaper to convert a car to electric than to buy a new electric car?

In most cases, converting a car to electric is cheaper than buying a brand-new electric vehicle (EV). However, the cost-effectiveness depends on various factors, including the cost of the conversion kit, labour, additional components, battery, and charging infrastructure setup. It is recommended to compare the total costs of conversion with the price of a new electric car and consider factors such as warranties, performance, and available features before making a decision.

Q. How much money can I save by converting my car to electric?

The potential savings from converting your car to electric can vary based on multiple factors, including your current fuel expenses, electricity rates, and driving patterns. Electric vehicles generally have lower operating costs compared to gasoline-powered vehicles due to the lower cost of electricity per kilometre or mile. Additionally, electric vehicles require less frequent maintenance and have fewer moving parts, reducing long-term maintenance costs. By analysing your specific driving habits and energy costs, you can estimate potential savings over the lifetime of your converted electric vehicle.

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