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Frequently Asked Questions


How far can an electric vehicle (EV) travel?

A commuter EV can travel up to 60 miles per charge (mpc) with affordable lead-acid golf-cart style batteries, but that would require a light-duty pickup fully loaded with batteries. A small car would be more in the neighborhood of 40 (mpc) with lead-acid batteries, which covers 78% of the average daily U.S. commute. With more expensive lithium-ion batteries, 100 (mpc) can easily be achieved with approximately one-third the weight of lead acid batteries, so a range of 200 (mpc) is not unheard of. EV's are great for commuters who travel a regular route to work, back home, and can simply recharge overnight. The ability to charge at work, or with a higher power charger, can greatly extend the range, and in turn, the usability of an EV. A high performance EV will get fewer (mpc) due to the energy required to quickly accelerate and/or maintain higher speeds.



How fast does an EV travel?

A commuter EV conversion is perfectly capable of highway speeds and above. At BBEV Racing we will be aiming for the latter. The Ohio State University's Buckeye Bullet 1, a purpose built salt flats racer, was the first EV to break the 300 mile per hour (mph) barrier, and has a national record of 315 mph. The KillaCycle, a purpose built electric drag racing motorcycle, can go from 0 to 60 mph in less than one second and covers the 1/4 mile in less than eight seconds at over 160 mph! Street legal EV's, such as the Datsun 1200 White Zombie and Ford Pinto Crazy Horse, can achieve over 100 mph on a 1/4 mile drag strip in less than 11 seconds. For more EV drag racing records and speeds visit the National Electric Drag Racing Association website (also found under our links).



How much does an EV cost?

The vehicle cost itself will depend on which make and model vehicle you desire. One benefit is that an EV conversion candidate can be a vehicle without a running engine, or even no engine at all, also known as a glider, which can reduce the vehicle price significantly. Just remember, if you start with a Gas vehicle that has a rotten body and/or interior, you will end up with an EV with a rotten body and/or interior that will require even more money to repair.

As far as the conversion cost, an EV consists of four main components: a motor, a motor controller, an adapter plate and coupler (which mates the motor to the transmission), and a battery pack or "traction pack". The cost of these components can vary greatly based on the performance level of the conversion, the size of the vehicle, and the needed miles per charge. Another factor is a DC or AC motor and controller, with DC being the least expensive, and an AC motor being more expensive, but being capable of regenerative braking and not needing a transmission. The greatest up-front cost can be the traction pack, with lead-acid being the least expensive starting at around $2000, and a lithium-ion pack with a battery management system (BMS) being tens of thousands of dollars on the high end. A very basic DC system with lead-acid batteries will start at around $12,000 just for the parts.

The cost to power an EV with electricity can be less expensive than gasoline by a factor of three, with a small car averaging $0.02 per mile and a light duty pickup averaging $0.04 per mile so the electric components will quickly begin paying for themselves by saving on gas. In addition, the government has many tax credits available for alternative fuel vehicles.

At BBEV's we work within your budget and timeline. We start by helping you find the right conversion candidate based on your needs. Next, we determine what electrical components will be installed based on your budget and vehicle requirements. We are happy to work with your timeline and build in stages, i.e. we will build it as fast as you finance.



How long does it take to charge an EV?

Charging time varies greatly depending on pack size and chemistry, but for the complete charge of a lead-acid pack with a standard 120 volt, 15 amp outlet, an EV takes eight to twelve hours to charge on average, basically overnight or during the work hours. With a 240 volt 30 amp outlet like an electric dryer uses or a 240 volt 50 amp outlet like an electric range would use, and a higher power charger, this time can be drastically reduced to around four hours. If you are in a hurry, an EV traction pack can be bulk charged quickly, which is an 80% charge, from a 240 volt 50 amp outlet in as little as two hours, with the final 20% or "topping off" being postponed to the overnight or weekend charge. 



How long does it take to convert an EV?

A typical EV conversion can take from 100 to 200 man hours, depending on the vehicle type, how complete it is, the components being installed, and the amount of fabrication needed for the components. For two full time mechanics this is roughly two to four weeks.



What kind of vehicle can be converted?

ANY vehicle can be converted depending on how deep your pockets are, but you should focus on what the vehicle's main use will be, like commuting, or hauling, or pulling a trailer, or racing, etc.