Convert a Car to Electric – AC and DC Conversions Explained

The electric car differs from the conventional gasoline car in one major way – it is run on a motor instead of the internal combustion engine. So you would find a large motor pulling the car along and not a set of pistons, injectors, spark plugs and fuel pumps. The motor is so important to the function of the electric car that it is one single factor that determines how much an EV will cost.

There are two main kinds of motors in the electric car: the AC conversion and the DC conversion. Both can power the electric car but work and cost differently.

The AC conversion motor is usually larger and costs more. It works on 240 Volts but can be mounted quickly. It is the kind of motor used by many non-professionals in their electric car conversion because of its simplicity. You would have come across this type of motor in many circumstances because it is the same kind that is used in many industrial plants. The AC conversion has one major advantage – it provides a feature called regenerative braking. This process enables the motor to be turned into a generator to charge the battery when the driver steps on the brakes of the car. Perhaps the biggest advantage of the AC conversion is the ability to offer higher acceleration and heavy load traction. It is therefore particularly suited for bigger cars.

The DC conversion is cheaper and is the kind you may find in most homemade electric car conversions. It works on 192 volts and is very cheap. It however has several downsides. The motor heats up too quickly and has poor acceleration. It does not last long and will only fit small sedans and light trucks.