Thought of the Day: Build Your Own Electric Car (Mark, April 15, 2014)

Mark responds to Nikki’s thoughts from Monday on if politicians should be leading by example and asks if we should be getting more people to build their own bespoke electric cars?

Unlike our other shows, Thought of the Day is our chance to muse on one big story in the news each day, using it as a spring board to explore other topics, sometimes even outside of the Transport Evolved universe. Every weekday, Nikki and Mark will take it in turns to explore a story that catches our eye, developing a back and forth conversation between Transport Evolved’s two regular hosts.

As with our Quick Charge series, our Thought of the Day will be recorded very simply on a single smartphone, but then quickly edited together using the jump cut edit style popular with many YouTube vlogs. We think this style complements our other shows and offers us a different way to share our thoughts with you, our readers and viewers.

Let us know what you think in the comments below.


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  • CDspeed

    People build hot rods at home as well as replicas, kit cars, or restore classic cars. So why not build your own electric car, unlike most green alternatives electric cars are fairly simple. Any one with a bit of engineering knowledge can easily build one, this is another reason why electric cars should succeed, because they allow us to keep the custom car trade. I don’t think we’ll see a father son team building a DIY hydrogen car anytime soon.

  • Dennis Pascual

    Mark, Arnold no longer governs California. I had a couple of local examples for my representatives (state and federal). nnnThe current Mayor of Los Angeles, Eric Garcetti, was also involved with Who Killed the Electric Car? ( Los Angeles is the second largest city in the US, so I suppose that’s leading by example.

  • The idea of building your own EV isn’t a new one – I’ve been dreaming of buying an old car and converting it to electric for years now.nnnThe main problem is cost and perceived benefit. People will happily buy a new (or better yet, nearly new) car for a few grand more than the petrol car – but when the cost of ripping out the engine, and installing an electric motor/battery pack is still in excess of u00a320,000 – no-one except rich EV enthusiasts will take that approach.nnnAt the moment, rapid depreciation on the latest round of EV cars holds the best chance for EV car adoption, which is a shame.

  • lad76

    Mark:nUsed Leafs are falling in price; you can buy 2011 MY cars for about $15,000-$16,000 USD and drive it until the battery warranty expires; in a couple of years battery technology should be much better and you can replace the battery with a 125 mile range upgrade . I expect the chassis to last at least 200,000 miles with a lot less maintenance than an ICE car and other than the batteries, the engineering is reliable. Reliability can be a major problem with DIY EVs. For example; DIY folks are finding that DC brush motors heat up and fail quite a bit under steady loads so the move now is to AC motors for street cars.

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