With EV's becoming far more popular - In a few years, there will be a time where we will see them in scrap/dismantling yards.

Anyway, how hard is it to convert a normal car (let's say a classic) to run an electric motor (along with all the batteries)?

I have researched various sites that discuss the conversion, costs and companies that do it (i.e. https://yourcar.co.uk/electric-car-conversion/) but is this something you could do as a DIY project?

  • $\begingroup$ I think you want to have the motor run the car, not the car run the motor. $\endgroup$
    – Transistor
    Commented Jul 6, 2022 at 21:54
  • $\begingroup$ This question is too broad. Yes it is something you can do DIY if you're the kind of person who can build a custom car. There are tons of builds documented online, look them up and see if that's something you want to attempt yourself. $\endgroup$
    – Drew
    Commented Jul 7, 2022 at 2:34
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ is this something you could do? ... yes I could $\endgroup$
    – jsotola
    Commented Jul 7, 2022 at 2:38
  • $\begingroup$ First, write your requirements: range? total mass? budget? Then decide. $\endgroup$ Commented Jul 7, 2022 at 11:13

2 Answers 2


It has been done many times.

Porsches were a good choice with the batteries put in the rear along with the electric motor driving the original gearbox.

Some did it to a swb landrover and the range was “limited”.. no real surprise given the mass to move.

If all you need is a local run-about and you want to learn some skills along the way then fine. BUT if you want a long-legged fast cruising machine with a long range forget it.

  • $\begingroup$ Conversions were popular when few choices were available on the mass market. Prices have changed for the parts needed for a conversion, to the detriment of the DIY converter person. On the plus side, longer range and lower weight can be had with lithium batteries, but not lower cost! $\endgroup$
    – fred_dot_u
    Commented Jul 6, 2022 at 16:12

You could do it, but not with Tesla motors.

You could replace an IC engine & transmission with an electric motor and put batteries in the trunk (or wherever, hard to put batteries under the floor like regular EV's do). You'll also need a vacuum pump so the brakes work (unless you're going to completely replace the braking system), power all the accessories, etc. Electric cars tend to put motors inline with the wheels, not under the hood/bonnet, which would require a complete redesign of the suspension. I don't see that as a viable option.

  • $\begingroup$ Electric cars do not tend to put the motors on the wheels, as it results in un-suspended weight, affecting handling. Electrico-hydraulic actuated brakes are also used to remove the need for a vacuum pump. Batteries are usually distributed over the chassis during a conversion, to prevent fore/aft imbalance, which would also affect handling. $\endgroup$
    – fred_dot_u
    Commented Jul 6, 2022 at 16:10
  • $\begingroup$ Of course you could install Tesla motors [not to mention that there are at least 3 significantly different Tesla motor designs on the road right now]. $\endgroup$ Commented Jul 7, 2022 at 11:12

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