Just looking at the price tag, a new low-cost retrofitting EV kit that costs around $3,100 might not sound cheap. But when you consider that’s just a tenth of the cost of most gas-to-electric conversion kits, it’s actually a pretty killer deal. An Australian design student named Alexander Burton designed the new kit, and it could open new doors for converting older gas-powered vehicles to rely on electricity.
Of course, this isn’t a full EV conversion kit that sees the removal of the combustion engine. That wouldn’t be possible at the price point Burton is shooting for. But, the designer says that he wanted to come up with a way to turn older gas-powered vehicles into something more eco-friendly while also changing as little as possible on his vehicle.
The low-cost EV kit, which is called REVR, relies on adding motors to the back wheels. These motors rely on a battery and control system in the spare wheel well. The accelerator sends information about braking and acceleration to the system like hybrids already do. This allows the low-cost retrofitting kit to run without changing anything about your car’s internal systems.
It’s a “bolt-on solution,” Burton told Fast Company. The idea is to not mess around with any of the systems on the car, thus not putting anything in danger of messing up or being ruined. He says that most small cars should be easy to convert with the low-cost system and work on larger SUVs, too.
Now, you aren’t going to be getting the mileage of other full-blown electric vehicles with this low-cost EV kit. The current design only gives the car around 62 miles of electric range before it switches off and relies on the vehicle’s internal combustion engine. But, for most commutes, that should allow drivers to take advantage of the savings that can come from using electricity instead of gas while also being slightly better for the environment.