Startling Electric Car Conversions

DIY electric car conversion kits for electric vehicles may soon take a surprising turn as many do It yourself enthusiasts decide to take things into their own hands and add their own or third party range extenders to their newly purchased electric vehicles (EVs).

Until the Nissan Leaf and other pure electric vehicles (EVs) are sold with an optional range extending APU (Auxiliary Power Unit) not unlike the one that will be standard equipment on GM’s Chevy Volt there is an opportunity for the DIY crowd and third party manufacturers to convert brand new electric vehicles into a type of hybrid vehicle that would reduce and/or eliminate range anxiety.

These electric car conversions from a full electric car into a hybrid vehicle is not completely technically correct says Ken Burridge of “since these particular electric car conversion kits are for an APU (Auxiliary Power Unit), which is really nothing more than a battery charger, which doesn’t have anything to do with turning the wheels to propel the vehicle down the highway. “  These generator units can be powered by a wide variety of bio or fossil fuels and have in one form or another been commonly used on aircraft and large ground vehicles since the 1960s.

The primary job of the APU is to recharge the battery and perhaps provide additional electric power during extremely hot or cold operating conditions to keep the occupants warm or cool depending up the season. These APUs are small energy efficient electric generators consisting of only a few cylinders. The entire system can be compact enough to not take up any more room in the truck/boot of the car than an over-sized piece of international luggage and some systems can be run for approximately eight hours on just a gallon of fuel.

This article is brought to you, courtesy of EV.COM: