Can You Add An Electric Motor To A Car? Answered

Here is all guideline related to whether Can You Add An Electric Motor To A Car? The combustion engine and fuel system must be swapped out for an electric motor and traction battery to convert a gasoline or diesel vehicle to an electric vehicle. Although the process seems pretty simple at first glance, it does need costly, sophisticated conversions and re-certification applications for the vehicle.

Can You Add An Electric Motor To A Car?

A car with an internal combustion engine can be converted to an all-electric car by removing the engine and installing a battery pack, one or more electric motors, high-voltage wires, and instrumentation. This conversion is uncommon, but it is possible.

Add An Electric Motor To A Car

Technical Factors

The first difficulty is technical because an automobile is an amalgamation of components whose properties and performance are intertwined. The choice of specific components, such as the brakes or suspension system, is directly influenced by factors like the vehicle’s weight and the size of its wheels, for instance. Checking if these factors are compatible is necessary before converting a car with a combustion engine to an electric one.

Engine And Gearbox

The challenge of delivering power from the engine to the wheels arises when an electric propulsion unit is installed into a gas or diesel car chassis. The gearbox is crucial for a car with an internal combustion engine, but it isn’t beneficial for one with an electric motor. Retaining it would mean losing some of the attractiveness of the electric powertrain, but getting rid of it would require significant changes to the car.

Battery And Charger

The battery also has significant disadvantages, starting with the purchase cost: several thousand euros for a lithium-ion battery with a range of more than 100 kilometers. This significant, heavy component must be incorporated inside the car without endangering its dynamic performance, safety, or volume distribution.

As seen, for instance, by the technological advancements brought about by the collaboration between Renault and the fire service, these complicated concerns are considered throughout the design phase of native electric and hybrid vehicles.

A charging circuit must be installed to convert a combustion engine-powered vehicle to electric propulsion. This circuit’s wattage would be constrained by heat dissipation regulations, which are challenging to work around if the vehicle wasn’t built with these considerations in mind.

The Limitations Of The Electric Conversion Kit

Due to these rules, it is difficult to conceive electric conversion kits being generic, or usable on any type of vehicle. In response, some start-up businesses are creating electric conversion kits for popular models. Focusing on mass production, they intend to reduce the effort needed for supply, integration, and homologation.

Retrofitting In Europe

Each country has its laws. The American government is understanding, even accepting DIY conversions. In contrast, most European nations have created restrictions to stop hastily modified automobiles from being used on the road. For instance, electric-powered vehicles can be registered and driven on public roads in Germany and Italy as long as they adhere to a strict schedule of requirements.

What Does France Have To Say?

Every modified vehicle in France is required to undergo an individual re-certification. A recognized agency must perform an obligatory crash test and numerous additional inspections as part of this process.

The manufacturer of the car must additionally give express authorization by French rules. These rules are so stringent that they almost prohibit projects, including electric conversion. They could be loosened up to promote the growth of a market for mass-produced retrofitting.

How To Convert A Car To an Electric?

Removing the combustion engine, gearbox, exhaust, and several other components is the first step in converting a car to electric power. Afterward, batteries and one or more electric motors are installed in their place.

Crate motors, often called electric car conversion kits, are one approach. Swindon Powertrain, for example, offers the Classic Mini Kit. In addition to a mounting structure for the electric motor, high-voltage wiring, battery mounting plates, power electronics (inverters), onboard chargers, and DC-DC converters are also included in these components.

How To Convert A Car To Electric

Using the batteries, motors, and other parts of an old mainstream electric car is another method for converting a vehicle to an electric vehicle. Prominent EVs, including the Nissan Leaf, Renault Zoe, and many Teslas, have donated their internal components for electric vehicle conversions.

Of course, we recommend conducting a DIY electric car conversion if you are well-versed in high-voltage electrics and have an equal amount of required knowledge and experience. Purchasing an electric vehicle that has already been converted is much simpler. Numerous businesses in the UK currently provide EV conversions, whether for vintage or more modern vehicles.

As its name suggests, Electric Historic Vehicles have converted iconic vehicles like the DeLorean DMC-12, Morris Minor, Porsche 911, first Range Rover, and VW Beetle to run on electricity. Another business specializing in vintage Volkswagens is eClassics, which offers kits for converting Beetles, Type 1 and Type 2 vans, and buses using only parts officially certified by VW and are also used on the ID family of contemporary EVs.

A Morgan 4/4 and Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow, the Citroen DS, Jaguar E-Type, and Porsche 356 were all converted by Oxford-based conversion company Electrogenic. While Everrati has established a name for converting vintage Porsche 911s to electric drive, Lunaz specializes in converting pricey classics like Aston Martins and Bentleys.

Law For Electric Car Conversions

It is legal to convert an older vehicle to electric power, but you must re-register it. This can be done in the UK by visiting the Gov. UK website’s vehicle registration pages. The newly converted EV may be subject to the regulations for rebuilt vehicles or substantially altered vehicles, depending on the scope of the operation.

Before doing any of it, the vehicle must adhere to UK road vehicle regulations. You must fill out a V55/4 or V55/5 form and transmit personal identification documents, a copy of your driver’s license, for example, to register for the EV conversion.

If the car is older than three years, you must also submit payment for the vehicle tax, a new registration cost of £55, and a valid MOT certificate. A complete list of paperwork is available on the Gov. UK vehicle registration website.

You must submit a V627/1 form that has been filled out along with your vehicle registration application and any necessary type of approval documentation. The original registration certificate for the vehicle must also be submitted with any legitimate receipts for parts and pictures of the vehicle.

If your application is accepted, the DVLA will issue you a V5C registration certificate. A converted electric automobile still needs to pass an annual MOT unless it’s a historic vehicle older than 40 years old. The test cost (a maximum of £54.85) remains the same even though the exhaust emissions portion is unnecessary.

It would help to inform your insurance provider about the EV changeover. Your insurance may cost more as a result. Keep all the pertinent documents and pictures from the EV changeover to simplify this procedure as feasible. Get EV insurance policies here and more information about this in our guide to electric vehicle insurance.

When converting a car to run on electricity, safety is a crucial factor. Nonetheless, if the work has been done correctly, the crash performance shouldn’t be negatively impacted because the car’s total weight cannot exceed that indicated on the original VIN plate. If utilized appropriately, the lithium-ion technology found in most electric car batteries is also relatively safe.


You have described Can You Add An Electric Motor To A Car? The engine can receive more torque from the electric motor, which spins at the same rate as the engine. Because the engine doesn’t have to work as hard and can occasionally be made smaller, fuel is saved. The motor functions as a generator to recharge the battery when braking.

Doing this recovers energy that would otherwise be lost as brake frictional heat. The following acceleration uses the stored energy. Even though the electric motor cannot move the car on its own, stop-start driving can save energy.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you put an electric motor in an old car?

This can be accomplished by swapping out the car’s internal combustion engine for an electric motor or by introducing electric power systems to a vehicle not designed with electric power in mind. Although it may be done on various automobiles, some are more suitable for electric power than others.

How much does it cost to convert a car to electric?

Depending on how many steps are necessary for the car, from removing the engine, petrol tank, exhaust system, and clutch to rewiring the ignition switch, costs and labor for the electric retrofit might range from $5,000 to $20,000.

How to convert a car to an electric motor?

The first stage in converting a car to electric power is to remove the combustion engine, transmission, exhaust, and other components. Afterward, batteries and an electric motor (or motors) are installed.

Can I convert my petrol car to electric?

Retrofitting can turn a diesel or gasoline vehicle into an electric vehicle, so the answer is yes.

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