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My boss owns a Honda Insight and asked me to research information from Insight owners and enthusiasts about modifying to full electric. Would you like to share your experience, knowledge, and tips? Much appreciated.
 

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Well there is masses of information on here, have you done any searches (research) etc on the forum? You should be able to collate a lot of information for your boss with some searches on here and some general google searches. There have been several EV conversions..
 

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My boss owns a Honda Insight and asked me to research information from Insight owners and enthusiasts about modifying to full electric. Would you like to share your experience, knowledge, and tips? Much appreciated.
Easier to do a full gasoline conversion. $20 in parts.
 

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It can be done but it will cost a lot of money and not have much value if you ever go to resell.
Had a conversion that probably cost over $10,000.
Couldn't sell the car even for $3,000.
Ended up sending it to the scrapyard.

Where are you located?
 

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I have been interested in doing the same for a while. It would be practical if the cost:range ratio were at least 2x better vs current options. $10k barely nets 100 miles last time I checked. I seriously doubt I'd spend $10k on this car unless it meant ludicrous performance numbers rivaling the Tesla Model S P90D.

Also, you can get a nicely equipped used Fiat 500e or Nissan Leaf for under $10k. I almost got into a 500e after a test drive about a year ago- it's a fun car with enough grunt to make you grin. But... I elected to wait since my old Insight is still going.
 

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It can be done but it will cost a lot of money and not have much value if you ever go to resell.
Had a conversion that probably cost over $10,000.
Couldn't sell the car even for $3,000.
Ended up sending it to the scrapyard.

Where are you located?
Yes Eric that was a cool setup but the lead-acid batteries turned me off from that car.
 

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The lead acid should have been replaced with lithium.
But again how many thousands more would that have been to replace?

Better deal is to just get a used Leaf, Fiat 500e, smart car EV, instead. Cost less than $7,000 and get a much better product.
 

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ANY kind of electric conversion/enhancement feasible?

Eric, Peter, you guys are the pros here and I respect your experience and judgement. But still, it breaks my heart to think that it's just not feasible (that you'd spend more than the car's worth) on an all-electric conversion. The base vehicle is so nicely designed for a conversion - that big box behind the seat for batteries, the big fat cable and cable race to the front of the car and even some parts that can be re-used.

Eric, is there NO price improvement in the components that would allow a low-cost EV conversion with a reliable range over 100 miles?
Peter: What about Iamian's conversion to a higher power battery and re-use of EVERYTHING in the car? It appears more price efficient to go with a 2.5-3kwh battery, a small charging harness and some mods to get much more electric propulsion than the car came with stock.

Please, any comments? I'd at-least like to keep this thread going and have more links and resources in it.
 

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Mefla .. All the links and resources are already on this forum to a huge amount of work that has been done on these subjects. Unfortunately I don't have time to rehash or collate it all. But as was pointed out to the original poster on this thread it's all in here or on the wider internet if you dig for it..
 

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The Tesla Model S requires about 300Wh of energy for every mile driven. If we say an electric Insight could do 3x better than that (I doubt it could), that'd be 100Wh/mi. If you want 100 miles of range, you'll need 10kWh of batteries.

Two Tesla subpacks would give you 10kWh for $3200:
Tesla Model S Lithium Ion Battery 18650 EV Module - 22.8 Volt, 5.3 kWh, EV West - Electric Vehicle Parts, Components, EVSE Charging Stations, Electric Car Conversion Kits

The cheapest motor/controller combo EV West sells is $2.5k and will make you 27 whole horsepower. :) At least it doesn't make less torque!
Curtis 1236SE-5621 HPEVS AC-9 Brushless AC Motor Kit - 48 Volt, EV West - Electric Vehicle Parts, Components, EVSE Charging Stations, Electric Car Conversion Kits

You'll need some other bits and bobs like a battery management system, wiring, etc. Probably $300 more? And assuming you'll be building it yourself and that your time is worthless.

You're looking at $6k for everything. And I'm not sure you could even get 100 miles with 10kWh, I'd guess only 60-70.
Parts for electric conversions have certainly come down, but it's still not "cheap". Now, EV West doesn't have the absolute lowest price for everything, but it's very reasonably priced and high-quality stuff.

If you really wanted rock-bottom prices, you're looking at golf cart motors, lead-acid batteries, and 20-30 miles of range.

Edit: Forgot to factor in a charger, materials for mounting the motor and batteries, DC-DC converter, probably another $900-1000?
 

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What is your budget for this upgrade? $3000? $5000? $7000? $10,000?

Changing to Lithium is a luxury upgrade.
It is not a low-cost modification.
Kind of like putting in a high end stereo or fancier rims.

These improvements are better than the original and will cost magnitudes more money than the original.

So let's assume the original battery cost $2500. That is your base.
Let's also assume the project costs twice as much as the base, that is $5000.

100 miles? That is a HUGE battery pack. Not sure where you would fit that much batteries.

Just to a professional job of replacing the existing battery with a larger lithium one could cost at least $3000. And that would be a good deal.

If you wanted it to be full electric, then you need to add a motor and other drivetrain components, a motor controller and a charger, which would run another $3,000-$5,000.

So the project definitely can be done. And it would be very cool!!
And I'm sure people here would cheer you on from the sidelines.
But it is not a low-cost project.
 
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