As we all know by now, electric vehicles are expensive. And if you want to get a classic car converted into an EV, it’ll cost you even more. As a result, we’re seeing more people convert old gas-powered vehicles to EVs themselves.
If you want to build your own electric vehicle or watch others create amazing EVs in their garage, we have you covered. DIY electric vehicle builds can be rather dangerous, plus it’s certainly not cheap, but it’s a growing trend with impressive results. And while you can find countless beautiful EV conversions online, we wanted to highlight a few epic DIY electric vehicles.
Zack Nelson, the man behind the hugely popular JerryRigEverything YouTube channel, has spent the last year slowly building his electric truck. It’s not just any truck, either. It’s an original 1995 Military Humvee (HMMWV) with a cutout in the roof for guns and everything.
His channel is known for durability-testing smartphones and gadgets, but Zack has a slew of hobbies, including his new EV Humvee. Considering the GM Hummer EV is over $115,000, and the Cybertruck has seen several delays, he took matters into his own hands and made his own.
His videos are unique because they’re informational, rather than just showing off cool stuff like most YouTubers. Zack shares the ups, downs, struggles, and failures, talks about why he went with Tesla battery cells, and details each decision along the way.
And yes, he removed the rear seats and tossed in a slew of Tesla battery cells to give this thing insane amounts of power and range. It’s a fun one you don’t want to miss.
You can watch the complete build series playlist here.
The DIY Humvee above can go just about anywhere, but it’s certainly not fast. If you have the need for speed, you’ll love this 1978 Ferarri 308 GTS that ditched the powerful engine for battery packs and electric motors.
Two enthusiasts set out to make an old classic Ferrari faster than ever possible back in 1978 by turning it into an EV. The owners, Eric Hutchinson, and Brock Winberg, were so successful in making the first electric Ferrari that the entire DIY build ended up on the news with CNBC.
What makes this DIY EV Ferrari special is that it’s still a supercar. It’s faster than the original 308 GTS. And while I’m sure a few classic car owners will hate the idea of turning a classic into an EV and losing that sweet V8 sound, it’s still pretty impressive to see what the two accomplished back in 2016.
Electric vehicles have come a long way over the last few years, but in 2016, things weren’t quite as clear, making this DIY build one for the books. Now, they even sell kits so you can make your own DIY EV if you dare. Head to the ElectricGT website and see for yourself.
While several companies offer EV conversion kits, there’s something special about watching a regular guy build one himself, with no help, in the comfort of his garage. The YouTube channel Electric SuperCar did exactly that, starting back in 2019, and the journey is one worth watching.
The creator took a K1-Attack kit car and slowly, piece by piece, transformed it into a stunning electric supercar unlike anything else on the road. Without an entire company, engineers, battery experts, R&D, and everything else Ford or Rivian has, this was a slow process. But as you can see, it was worth it.
Luckily for you, the video above is an entire overview of the DIY electric supercar. It talks about the steering and suspension, wiring the 12V systems, fabricating all the parts, tossing in Tesla motors, and everything else you’ll want to know.
Rich Benoit is a YouTuber with a channel known as Rich Rebuilds. And while he’s made headlines for converting a Tesla into a V8-powered gas-guzzler that he takes to car shows, that’s not the only project on the channel. In fact, Rich converted an old classic Ford Model A truck into a one-of-a-kind electric vehicle.
A DIY EV project is hard enough, but things get even more challenging when it’s a vehicle as old as a Model A. He ripped out the powerful (for its time) Chevy 305 inside, tossed in some electric motors and battery packs, and fabricated several parts to make it all work.
His video covers some ugly truths about building your own EV and just how expensive the process can be. At first, his goal was to keep it affordable with Tesla parts, which proved challenging. The video explains how everything will end up more expensive than you probably budget for, but you’ll still get to watch much of his process as he converts a classic rod into a modern EV.
If any of these stories are giving you inspiration, you have several options these days. Popular websites like the DIYelectriccar forum are full of helpful tips, advice, and inspiration. Better yet, Ford jumped on the DIY train as fast as possible and sells the e-crate motor from its Mustang Mach-E. That way, regular folks can build the EV of their dreams.
You can get your own Ford Eluminator e-create engine for $4,300, and you’ll be well on your way to building an electric vehicle. Then, Ford plans to offer more EV parts soon to help enthusiasts and DIYers bring their projects to life.
In the meantime, you’ll probably have to fabricate a few parts, piece together some Tesla battery packs, and scour the internet until you find a solution that works for your build.
Or, you can watch from afar like I am and enjoy what others create.