Nicolas Zart from Torquenews made a great point this week. While governments pride themselves on facilitating the purchase of electric cars, some are left out of the equation. What about the growing group of people who leap into their garages (or under trees) and spend a few days converting their cars to run of electricity?
As you’ll know if you read my blog regularly, I’m in love with the idea of conversions. I could make some sideways comment about buying my tutorials but if you’ve seen a home converted electric car you’ll know how simple the process really is.
The best conversions come from the simplest cars. Some guys can convert cars like the MG B pictured above in less than two days flat.
If you haven’t won the lottery, then for most of us a conversion is the only choice. Factory made electric cars like the Nissan Leaf are outrageously expensive for many reasons, and we need cheap gas-free solutions now, not in 10 years.
But what to choose? Using a professional conversion shop, or doing it in your own garage?
The roads to converting an internal combustion engine car to electricity are wide and different. You could have a beat up old car lying around doing nothing, begging for an electric motor to continue offsetting its carbon footprint. Or you could be a desperate tweaker and a garage mad scientists, ever so eager to try on the latest electronic component. Conversion shops can help you transform that tire into a new electric vehicle. What ever flips your boat, electric car converters have different motivations.
However, one thing not all electric car converters have is recognition from their government. In the USA, the federal government gives up to $7,500 of tax rebate of you make less than $100,000 a year when purchasing a new electric car. But what about when you take out a gasoline engine and replace it with an electric drivetrain?
There was talk about it, but as yet, nothing has come to fruition.
With this in mind, a handful of electric vehicle conversion activists have decided to take matters into their own hands by letting Washington D.C. know that they not only exist, but represent a chunk of voters and deserve to be taken into consideration since they remove gasoline engines form our roads.
According to a petition titled “Equal Incentives for Conversions” which was sent to the White House: “While the Federal government should continue providing Qualified Plug-in Electric Drive Motor Vehicles (IRC 30D) tax incentives for new plug-in vehicles, they should extend the same incentives to EV / plug-in conversions. Conversions target 250M existing vehicles on the roads, can save over 40% of fuel use or no fuel at all, have a smaller carbon footprint than new car since they reuse most of the original vehicle, and cost less to buy as an incremental expense making plug-in more affordable.”
Sounds good on every single point, right? Well, here’s the problem: conversions don’t help the car industry, which doesn’t help big business – so where’s the incentive to pressure government? It seems only fair to give those who are converting cars to electricity a little break.
Time will tell. In the meantime, carry on converting.