It’s no secret that electric vehicles are becoming a primary focus for many automakers, but EV conversions are also increasingly popular among restomod builders, thus creating electromods. As more EVs are produced, finding parts to transform a car with an internal combustion engine (ICE) into an EV will become easier and more affordable.
eBay Motors has everything you need to take your ICE-equipped vehicle and convert it to a full battery electric vehicle. There are plenty of videos on YouTube to get tips or inspiration for your EV project, but here’s a channel that has converted a variety of vehicles including a ‘55 Ford pickup, an MG roadster, and even a Ford F-450 Super Duty.
If this sounds like a project for you, then here are the best parts to convert your ICE car to an EV. Just keep in mind that this is not an exhaustive list of ALL the parts that would be required for such a conversion and performing such a job is anything but simple.
The obvious place to start when converting an ICE car to an EV is to have a donor vehicle, and the good news here is that there are practically no limitations when it comes to performing such a transformation. Whether you’re looking for a classic or late-model vehicle, all you really need is a solid body with a blown engine to have the perfect blank slate for an EV conversion. As always, eBay Motors is the place to go to find any type of vehicle, although some of the more popular vehicles used for such conversions tend to be either classic rear-engine cars (like the Porsche 911 and Volkswagen Beetle) or pickup trucks (due to the ample space to install the battery pack).
Instead of gasoline, electric vehicles are powered by electricity stored in batteries, so rather than a gas tank, EVs require a battery pack to propel the motor(s). There are a variety of battery options out there that vary by things like the composition of the battery (lithium ion, nickel metal hydride, etc.) and its overall output. The higher the kilowatt hours (kWh) a battery has, the more energy it can store allowing the EV to drive further on a single charge.
Factory EVs are designed with the batteries in mind, but the trickiest part about converting an ICE vehicle to electric can be finding a battery that fits your build. eBay has EV batteries of all shapes and sizes ready to drop into just about any vehicle. Many battery packs on eBay tend to be sourced from factory-built EVs like a Tesla Model S or Nissan Leaf that have been totalled. Of course, you could always take a DIY approach and string together a series of car batteries to create your own battery pack.
In the above analogy where the battery pack acts as the “gas tank” for an EV, the electric motor then becomes the EV’s “engine.” Most of the motors you’ll find from factory EVs are AC motors with a single-speed transmission, and these usually take up less space in the engine compartment than a conventional engine. Like batteries, different motors have different outputs, so choosing a motor depends on what your plans are for the EV such as a corner-carving Porsche conversion or a smooth-cruising VW Bus. Again, most automotive-grade electric motors you’ll find on eBay Motors come straight out of modern EVs that have been totalled.
The power control unit is essentially the brain of the EV system, and it includes the power inverter and DC-DC converter. As the name suggests, the power inverter switches the direct current (DC) energy from the batteries to alternating current (AC) to drive the electric motors. The converter acts as a bridge between the high-voltage DC battery and the car’s DC 12-volt operating system. You’re not going anywhere without one, so browse eBay Motors for one that suits your build based on size and output.
Once you have your ICE car converted to an EV, you have to be able to charge it, and you can even find home charging stations on eBay. A Level 1 charger is cost effective and easy to use since it plugs into a standard home 120-volt outlet, but this type of charger requires a significant amount of time to recharge large battery packs. For a faster charge, Level 2 chargers are the way to go, but the downside here is you might have to hire an electrician to install the charger. No matter which option you choose, there are plenty of choices to find on eBay.
Due to plentiful production, the most common donor vehicles to source EV parts from are Teslas, but these cars have proprietary charging ports. To overcome this, there are many adapters that allow a standard J1772 plug to fit on a Tesla vehicle’s charge port. Of course, these adapters are also helpful for Tesla owners to be able to charge their EV at any Level 2 charging station when a Tesla Supercharger station isn’t available.
One thing often overlooked when it comes to hybrids and EVs is tires, and for maximum efficiency, low rolling resistance tires are the way to go. As the name suggests, these tires are developed specifically to reduce rolling resistance since increased friction requires more output from the engine and increased fuel consumption. For an EV, LRR tires require less of a draw on the battery, which in turn delivers an extended driving range.