High-Performance Electric Car Conversion (Cost Breakdown for EV)

Electric car conversions are a feat of engineering genius that has become more prevalent recently. It’s a process that gives fuel-powered cars a new lease of life, but the conversion cost is not for everyone. But how much does it cost?

There’s a significant cost associated with high-performance electric car conversions. Industry experts estimate you will spend a minimum of $6000 on parts. Additionally, expect to pay anywhere between $1000 to $3000 on required labor. The conversion of some performance cars may cost over $100,000.

A high performance electric car conversion is a process that involves transforming a traditional gasoline-powered vehicle into an electric vehicle with enhanced speed and power. This modification typically entails replacing the internal combustion engine with an electric motor and upgrading the battery system to provide sufficient energy for the vehicle’s increased performance demands.

These conversions often result in improved acceleration, higher top speeds, and longer driving ranges compared to their original gasoline counterparts. The popularity of high performance electric car conversions has been growing steadily in recent years, as more individuals and companies seek to reduce their carbon footprint and embrace more sustainable transportation options.

The rest of this article will break down the costs of electric car conversions and the calculations behind them. The article will equip you with the knowledge to decide if an electric vehicle conversion is for you.

Table Of Contents
  1. How Much Does It Cost To Convert A Car To Electric?
  2. What Is the Electric Car Conversion Process?
  3. How Do You Convert a Car To Run on Electricity?
  4. How Much Does an Electric Car Conversion Cost?
  5. How Much Does An EV Conversion Kit Cost?
  6. 9 Benefits Of Converting A High Performance Vehicle Into An EV
  7. How Does The Cost Of An Electric Conversion Compare To The Cost Of A New EV?
  8. Should I Convert My Car To An EV?
  9. How Much Does It Cost To Tesla Swap A Car?

How Much Does It Cost To Convert A Car To Electric?

In most cases, the cost to convert to electric car is between $6,000 to $9,000. This EV conversion cost includes the price of parts and labor. However, high performance cars will be more expensive to convert if you want an equally well performing electric vehicle.

The table below summarizes the answers to some other questions you may have.

Electric Car Conversion: Summary Table

How much does a typical electric car conversion cost?

$6,000 – $9,000
Does it cost more to convert a higher value car?Yes, in many cases.
How long does the conversion process usually take?3 – 6 months
Can any car be converted to electric power?Yes
Will my electric conversion car be road legal? Yes, if it passes many tests and checks. 
To set the scene for the remainder of the article, I have created a table of relevant figures. I hope this will give you a better appreciation of the topic.
Fuses On Car
Electric car conversions have started to become more mainstream in recent years. It provides an excellent opportunity to rejuvenate older vehicles and reduce your carbon footprint. The overall cost of the process depends on various factors and decisions. Photo by Maxim Hopman on Unsplash

What Is the Electric Car Conversion Process?

The electric car conversion process is a form of automotive retrofitting. A car designed initially with a gas/diesel engine becomes transformed into a vehicle powered by electricity. It is an intricate process that requires expert levels of mechanical and electrical knowledge. 

Individuals who aren’t obsessed with cars may not be familiar with this process. They probably don’t even know that it is possible. As electric vehicles have only now become mainstream, electric car conversions are a fairly new phenomenon.

As the demand for this service increases, more and more electric conversion companies are popping up. As such, methods, systems, and processes for electric vehicle conversions will invariably become more efficient in the coming years. This will potentially bring down the cost of converting to an electric car.

How Do You Convert a Car To Run on Electricity?

You convert a car to run on electricity by replacing the internal combustion engine and gearbox with a battery pack and an electric motor. The battery pack provides the power to rotate the wheels. A mechanism for charging the batteries is also installed, a process governed by strict regulations.

Removing the engine and ancillaries is not the difficult part of the conversion. Any seasoned mechanic could efficiently perform these tasks in a couple of days. The real difficulty that starts to arise is the integration of the battery packs and charging components into the pre-existing chassis. 

All of the car’s mechanical components had been designed around the old engine configuration. More than likely, the installation of batteries will make the car substantially heavier than it was before. This additional mass affects factors such as acceleration, handling, and overall efficiency.

Manufacturers must carefully balance the desire for larger battery capacities and longer ranges with the potential trade-offs in terms of agility and energy consumption. Engineers work to optimize vehicle dynamics, suspension systems, and materials to counterbalance the increased weight and ensure that the benefits of emissions-free driving are coupled with a satisfying and balanced driving experience.

If the battery pack from an electric conversion does increase the weight of the car significantly, it could necessitate modifications to the car’s braking and suspension components. Naturally, this could lead to the incurrence of additional expenses as part of the conversion. 

There’s an extraordinarily comprehensive and fascinating video available on YouTube. Watching this video in its entirety will answer most of your questions:

How Much Does an Electric Car Conversion Cost?

An electric car conversion can cost anywhere between $6,000 and over $100,000. Providing a definitive figure for the cost of the electric car conversion process is almost impossible. Several factors impact the cost of the conversion process, such as the price of batteries and the body type.

We can say that the cost largely depends on the following:

  • The battery pack
  • The charger and charging system
  • Car body type, size, and complexity
  • Other minor components

On a similar note, I also wrote a related article and found the 4 Best Electric Motors for Car Conversions. Check it out and let me know what you think!

Cost Breakdown: Car Design And Performance

The first factor that will impact the conversion cost is the car’s original design. You don’t need a Ph.D. in Physics to wrap your head around the impact of the vehicle’s weight. A heavier vehicle will need more electrical energy to achieve high performance. Larger batteries will supply this extra electrical energy.

The complexity of the car design will also have cost implications. By and large, the older the car, the simpler its design. Older cars usually require less reconfiguration to work as electric vehicles, reducing the expertise needed. Newer, high performance vehicles will have more complex technology, resulting in a more complicated electric conversion process.

Cost Breakdown: The Level of Technology

Electric cars have pioneered revolutionary technology in the name of efficiency, environmentalism, and range. Significant breakthroughs have been made, and high-end electric vehicles showcase engineering excellence.

This aspect of the costs is where individuals will likely showcase the most significant differences. Those looking to create the ultimate electric conversion with maximum performance will need to spend more.

A high top speed value requires larger motors and intricate deployment controllers. For instance, if you’re converting a Citroën 2CV, such expenses would probably be overkill.

Another impressive feature you may choose to incorporate is regenerative braking.

This advanced technology originated from the KERS device pioneered by F1 motor racing back in 2009. I strongly encourage you to read up on it if you’re interested in learning more. However, I’ll offer a simple explanation for those who are less interested. 

Basically, it’s possible to convert wasted braking energy into electricity. This electricity is then used to recharge the batteries. 

Regenerative braking unquestionably represents the pinnacle of automotive technology. Nevertheless, it would be unjustifiable for any conversion not intended to rival a Tesla or Porsche

Cost Breakdown: The Frequency of Model Conversion

While this isn’t a choice you can make or something you can influence, it’s still a factor. If you’re the first individual looking to convert a certain car, then it’s a voyage of discovery. 

Some vehicles’ conversion occurs so frequently that there are pre-manufactured conversion kits for them with all the products you need. In some cases, using a conversion kit is vastly cheaper than finding a custom solution. 

If you can’t get a performance electric vehicle conversion kit for the specific car you want to convert, you may also have to purchase additional tools for the conversion, depending on what you’ve already got in your toolbox.

If you want to convert a car into an electric vehicle using one of the many emerging conversion companies, it might be easier to have a conversion done which the company’s team has experience with.

Higher value vehicles are likely to have been converted less often, which may be a guide. A valuable and exciting visualization is available online, illustrating the difference in costs between certain cars.

Cost Breakdown of Parts: The EV Batteries

Batteries are the primary element differentiating electric cars from those powered by fuel. 

The battery pack is the most expensive part of the electric vehicle conversion process. Lithium-ion batteries power almost every electric car, and these energy stores command quite the price tag. 

Your battery configuration is influenced by two variables – the range and power you require. To obtain a longer range, you’ll need more batteries. Acquiring these additional batteries invariably adds a substantial amount to the conversion cost. 

On that note, check out this related article that I wrote about adding and upgrading more batteries to a Tesla. I also explained how to unlock your Model S hardware to upgrade the battery.

To maximize the power sent to the wheels, people will need to acquire large kW power output batteries. Such high capacity, high-performance modules will place a large financial burden upon the purchaser.

You may have heard of an Irish electric car conversion start-up called AVA Electrifi. Their classic car conversions range from €100,000 to over €2 million.

It’s worth noting that the prices of batteries fluctuate like other commodities. Recently, electric vehicle batteries have appreciated in value, so conversions will become more expensive. 

I would need to write a whole new article to discuss the market factors affecting battery prices. For the sake of simplicity, let’s just say it’s a blind gamble right now.

Cost Breakdown Of Other Components: Charger

Of course, you’ll need a way to charge your new electric vehicle. Although there are charging stations available across the country where you can charge EVs, it is way more convenient to have a charger at home.

If you use one of the conversion kits mentioned above, it may already contain a charger. However, some DIY kits may require customers to buy a charger separately.

The type of charger you need to acquire will depend on the voltage of your vehicle’s battery pack. These voltage parameters will determine the type of charger you need to purchase. 

A charger’s voltage range needs to correspond with the battery’s voltage range. Chargers that need to tolerate a higher voltage range will cost you more money.

There’s a big variation between the prices of chargers, with some costing under $600 and others costing $6,000.

As an example, the Tesla Wall Connector costs $475. This cost excludes installation.

How Much Does An EV Conversion Kit Cost?

When considering the cost of an electric vehicle (EV) conversion kit, one must examine several factors. An EV conversion kit typically includes components like an electric motor, a battery pack, a charger, and associated wiring.

The price of such kits can vary widely, depending on the quality, brand, and specifications involved. On average, the cost of an EV conversion kit can range from several thousand dollars to tens of thousands of dollars.

Additionally, the cost might also be influenced by the type of vehicle being converted, as different models and sizes may require specific components.

Therefore, it is advisable for individuals interested in converting their vehicles to electric power to research and compare different conversion kit options to determine the most suitable and cost-effective solution for their needs.

9 Benefits Of Converting A High Performance Vehicle Into An EV

When asking, ‘How much does an electric conversion cost?’ it might be beneficial to consider the benefits of such a conversion.

Converting a high-performance vehicle into an electric car brings a bunch of exciting benefits to the table. Imagine taking that sleek, roaring sports car and turning it into a high-tech, eco-friendly speed machine. Here’s what you stand to gain from an EV conversion:

1. Instant Torque and Acceleration

Electric motors deliver power in a snap. When you hit the gas, you get an instant surge of acceleration, which can really amp up the excitement of driving a high-performance vehicle. No more waiting for the engine to rev up – electric motors give you full power from the get-go.

2. Silent Speed

Electric cars are famously quiet, and this applies to high-performance conversions too. Picture silently zipping down the road at thrilling speeds without the roar of a traditional engine. It’s a different kind of exhilaration, one that lets you focus on the road and your surroundings.

Interestingly, Tesla actually had to add a “motor noise” feature to their vehicles because they were so quiet that pedestrians could not hear them. Of course, this can be dangerous and thus they had to make a plan.

3. Eco-Friendly Thrills

Converting a gas guzzler into an electric car means you’re cutting down on emissions. You’re driving something fast and cool while also being kinder to the environment. It’s like having your cake and eating it too!

4. Low Operating Costs

Electric cars are known for being more cost-effective to run than traditional gasoline vehicles. Electricity is generally cheaper than gas, and electric cars have fewer moving parts, which means lower maintenance costs. Imagine saving money while enjoying high-performance driving.

5. Customization Potential:

When you convert a high-performance car to electric, you’re essentially starting with a blank canvas. You can tweak and fine-tune the electric drivetrain to match your preferences. Want more power? You got it. Want to focus on efficiency? That’s doable too. It’s like building your dream car from scratch.

6. Reclaimed Space

Electric drivetrains are compact, and that can free up space in your high-performance car. Without the need for a bulky engine and transmission, you might find yourself with extra room for storage or creative modifications.

7. Modern Tech and Gadgets

Electric vehicle conversions often involve integrating cutting-edge technology. You’ll get to play with advanced battery management systems, regenerative braking, and smart charging options. It’s like giving your car a high-tech makeover.

8. Joining a Unique Community

The world of electric car conversions is a growing community of enthusiasts pushing the boundaries of what’s possible. You’ll be part of a group of forward-thinkers who love the thrill of performance and the innovation of electric technology.

9. Preserving Automotive History

If you’re converting a classic high-performance vehicle, you’re essentially giving it a new lease on life. You’re preserving its heritage while making it relevant for the future. It’s a win-win for both nostalgia and progress.

So, converting a high-performance vehicle into a high-performance electric car one isn’t just about going green – it’s about enhancing your driving experience in ways you might not have imagined. It’s about marrying the power you love with the technology of tomorrow. It’s an adventure that’s both thrilling and forward-looking.

How Does The Cost Of An Electric Conversion Compare To The Cost Of A New EV?

Alright, let’s break down the dollars and sense of it. Converting a car to electric power and buying a new electric vehicle (EV) both have their own price tags and considerations.

Electric Conversion:

When you’re converting a regular gas-powered car into an electric one, there’s an upfront cost. This covers things like getting the right electric motor, batteries, charging system, and making all the technical tweaks. On average, the conversion process can set you back somewhere between $6,000 to $9,000, depending on the complexity and size of your vehicle. But remember, this is a ballpark figure, and costs can vary.

Here’s the thing: while it might seem like a DIY project could save you money, electric conversions are no small feat. You might need professional help, especially if you’re not a car whiz. So, add in labor costs, which could range from $1,000 to $3,000 or more.

New Electric Vehicle (EV):

Now, let’s chat about buying a brand-new electric vehicle. These are purpose-built electric cars, designed from scratch to be electric and the best performing electric vehicles.. They come with all the bells and whistles – the latest tech, safety features, and often a solid warranty. Prices for new EVs can vary widely, from around $30,000 for a compact model to over $100,000 for a luxury electric SUV.

But here’s a silver lining: there are often government incentives, tax credits, and rebates for buying new electric vehicles. These can significantly shave off the cost and make the deal sweeter. Plus, remember that new EVs come with fewer worries about warranties, maintenance, and having a factory-built, reliable system.

The Bottom Line:

So, how does it all stack up? Well, it’s a balancing act. Converting an existing car can be a way to breathe new life into an old ride and make it green. However, it might not save you a ton of money, especially if you factor in professional help.

Buying a new EV gives you all the benefits of a modern electric car but might come with a higher initial price. Yet, incentives and long-term savings on fuel and maintenance can level the playing field over time.

Should I Convert My Car To An EV?

You should convert your car if you want to give it a new lease of life. However, the answer is heavily influenced by the car’s age, value, and state. There is a great case to be made for converting older, low-value vehicles.

To make a crude analogy, knee and hip replacements are more valuable to 80-year-olds than 20-year-olds!

Newer vehicles are going to have a higher car electric conversion cost and expertise to convert successfully. However, if you have the money and desire to do it, you should go for it. Of course, simply selling your car and purchasing an electric vehicle might be easier.

In a nutshell, if you’re a hands-on car enthusiast who loves a project and wants a unique electric ride, a conversion might be exciting. But if you’re after the latest tech, worry-free driving, and potential financial perks, going for a new electric vehicle could be the better route.

In the end, it’s all about finding the best fit for your budget, preferences, and eco-conscious goals.

Can I Convert Any Car To Electric Power?

While many cars can be converted to electric power, the ease and feasibility of the conversion can vary. Older, simpler car designs tend to be more straightforward to convert, while newer and more complex vehicles might require more expertise and investment in products. Newer vehicles might also not have a kit created for their conversion.

Are There Government Incentives For Electric Car Conversions?

Depending on where you live, there might be government incentives, grants, or tax credits available to support electric car conversions. These incentives can significantly offset the conversion costs and encourage eco-friendly transportation choices.

What Is The Typical Range Of A Converted Electric Car?

The range of a converted electric car depends on factors like the battery capacity and the original car’s efficiency. Generally, electric car conversions aim for a practical daily driving range. However, it’s essential to manage expectations, as the range might differ from that of factory-made electric vehicles.

Can I Perform An Electric Car Conversion Myself?

Converting a car to electric power is a complex task that requires mechanical and electrical expertise. While skilled DIY enthusiasts might attempt it, hiring professionals ensures safety, proper engineering, and compliance with regulations. Electric conversion companies can provide expert guidance.

What Maintenance Is Required For A Converted Electric Vehicle?

Maintaining a converted electric vehicle (EV) is generally simpler and often more cost-effective compared to traditional gasoline-powered cars. The electric drivetrain has fewer moving parts, which means fewer components to wear out or require regular maintenance. However, there are specific areas that deserve attention to ensure the longevity and optimal performance of your converted EV.

Battery System:

The battery pack is the heart of an electric vehicle, and battery management. Regularly monitoring the battery’s state of charge, capacity, and temperature is recommended. Battery management systems are often integrated into converted EVs to ensure balanced charging and prevent overcharging or undercharging of individual cells. If you notice any significant drop in range or performance, it’s essential to investigate and address it promptly.

Motor and Drive System:

The electric motor and associated components, such as inverters and controllers, are integral to the vehicle’s propulsion. While these systems are generally robust and low-maintenance, occasional checks for unusual noises, vibrations, or overheating can help identify any potential issues early on. Lubrication points, if applicable, should be inspected as well.

Charging Components:

The charging system, including the onboard charger and charging port, should be inspected periodically. Ensure that connections are clean, secure, and free from corrosion. If you’re using public charging stations frequently, make sure your charging cable remains in good condition. Also, check for any software updates that might enhance charging efficiency or address potential bugs.

Brakes and Suspension:

While not specific to electric conversions, brakes and suspension components should be maintained as they would in any vehicle. Electric conversions might result in changes to the vehicle’s weight distribution due to the addition of batteries. Therefore, it’s advisable to monitor brake pad wear and suspension alignment to ensure safe handling and braking performance.

Cooling and Heating Systems:

Electric motors and battery systems generate heat during operation, and proper cooling is essential to prevent overheating. Regularly inspect cooling systems, radiator fans, and coolant levels. Additionally, ensure that the heating system operates correctly for passenger comfort.

Tires and Wheels:

Tires are critical for safety and efficiency. Check tire pressure regularly, as proper inflation contributes to optimal efficiency and handling. Inspect tires for wear and rotate them as recommended in the vehicle’s manual.

Maintenance Schedule:

Creating a maintenance schedule tailored to your converted EV is a wise approach. While the maintenance needs are generally lower, routine checks and servicing can catch minor issues before they become major problems. Consult the conversion shop or experts who worked on the conversion for guidance on recommended maintenance intervals and procedures.

Can I Choose the Range of My Converted Electric Car?

The range of a converted electric car can be influenced by several factors. Battery capacity is a primary determinant of range – larger batteries generally provide more range. However, factors like the vehicle’s weight, aerodynamics, and driving habits also play a role.

While you can choose different battery options to affect the range, it’s crucial to find a balance between desired range, cost, available space, and overall performance.

Are There Any Safety Considerations for Electric Conversions?

Safety is paramount in electric conversions. Proper insulation, grounding, and protection against short circuits are critical to prevent electrical hazards.

Working with experienced professionals who understand the intricacies of electric systems is highly recommended. They ensure that the conversion meets safety standards and local regulations, minimizing the risk of electrical issues and potential accidents.

Can I Still Use Regenerative Braking After an Electric Conversion?

Yes, regenerative braking can often be integrated into an electric conversion.

Regenerative braking is a technology that recovers energy during braking and converts it into stored electrical energy. It enhances efficiency and extends the driving range of electric vehicles. When you apply the brakes, the electric motor acts as a generator, converting kinetic energy back into electrical energy that can be stored in the battery.

This feature is a valuable addition to any electric conversion.

What About the Resale Value of a Converted Electric Car?

The resale value of a converted electric car can vary based on several factors. Enthusiasts who appreciate custom-built vehicles might find value in a converted car’s uniqueness.

However, the resale market for custom vehicles can be more niche and localized compared to factory-made electric vehicles.

Additionally, factors such as the quality of the conversion, the reputation of the conversion shop, and the overall condition of the vehicle will impact its resale value.

How Much Does It Cost To Tesla Swap A Car?

When considering a Tesla swap for a car, one may wonder, “How much does it cost to Tesla swap a car?” The answer to this question depends on various factors such as the model of the car, the specific Tesla components required, and any additional modifications desired.

Generally, the cost of a Tesla conversion can range from a few thousand dollars to tens of thousands of dollars. This includes the price of the Tesla drivetrain, battery pack, and associated components, as well as the labor costs involved in the conversion process.

Furthermore, if one wishes to customize the interior or exterior of the vehicle, this cost may increase accordingly. It is important to note that these figures are approximate and can vary depending on the car’s make, model, and the complexity of the conversion. Ultimately, consulting with a reputable Tesla conversion specialist would provide a more accurate estimate for the cost of a Tesla swap for a particular car.

Check out these 20 great gift ideas for yourself or a Tesla fanboy.

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High-Performance Electric Car Conversion (Cost Breakdown for EV) 1
Erwin Meyer
Erwin Meyer

A renowned Tesla enthusiast, and successful entrepreneur, enlightens global audiences through his compelling EV narratives. Discover more about his electric journey on his About Me page. Venture to read Erwin's incredible story that's reshaping the future of motoring. Want to spark a conversation with Erwin? Visit his Contact page, and let’s electrify the world together.