Put Your Motor Where Your Mouth Is: Green Your Car

By Kate McCarthy

Feb 5, 2010 7:00am

In 2003 James Boncek bought a 10-year-old used car with 170,000 miles on it. The car hit 200,000 miles last year, and that’s when Boncek decided to update it and turn it into an electric car.  He removed the gas engine and replaced it with an electric motor. Although he is not an automotive professional he does have his associate's degree in automotive technology. From April to October Boncek researched the type of battery that would work best.  He finally installed a flooded lead acid battery, left, similar to what is used in an electric golf cart. He pulled out the internal combustion engine, disconnected the gas tank and wiring and installed a 9-inch motor he ordered online. Click here to read more about what he did on Boncek’s blog or watch a video here. The car’s plug is fits in conventional electrical outlets.  Boncek says the battery can be fully charged in eight hours. He says he uses only eight or nine kilowatts a day to drive 30 or 40 miles. The Department of Energy estimates it costs 12 cents per kilowatt, so Boncek spends roughly $1 a day. In December Boncek registered and licensed the car and now drives it every day to work as a technical director at the Fairfield Theater Company in Fairfield, Conn. He says car should last another 200,000 miles. The total cost for all the new parts was $12,000. Here are links to electric vehicle communities online:

http://diyelectriccar.com

http://evalbum.com

http://www.eaaev.org/

 
Here are links to parts Web sites:

http://evsource.com 

http://evparts.com

http://www.electroauto.com/Click here to visit the Web site for MXenergy, a natural gas and electricity provider.

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