Lectric Leopard (converted 1980 Renault LeCar)
The Renault LeCar (converted to the Lectric Leopard) resembles somewhat the style of some of the current small electric cars available on the world market such as the Reva and the Renault Kangoo. There is little difference in size between such small electric cars and my NEV; the difference is that the EVs are safe to operate on the highway whereas an NEV is a special class of vehicle limited to access to roads with posted speed limits of no more than 35 MPH.
“Did he say my NEV?”
Yes, I did. I am finalizing:
- Purchase of a this-color-green, 2002 GEM (Chrysler Electric) eS, a two passenger NEVwith no doors and a short flat bed
- Shipment by motor vehicle carrier from East Grand Forks, Minnesota. (That’s East GF not BF, soldier.)
In seeking to lessen the delivery fee of over $1300 dollars, I wanted to get estimates from recommended shippers. I wrote Grin Pending an email after he solicited recommendations from members of the Electric Vehicle Discussion List about coast-to-coast transport.
He replied in part, “I don’t know how the size of the GEM compares to the vehicle that I am purchasing, a Lectric Leopard (Renault LeCar).” Thus, the Steve Martin title.
Bruce Parmeter states that “used conversions are the easiest and least expensive way to drive Electric.” If you like tinkering and can accept a previously tinkered vehicle, then he probably is correct; in the United States electric conversion is the cheapest way currently to obtain a highway capable electric vehicle.
“Typically, you can convert for under $10,000,” Parker said (Turlock Journal, July 6, 2005). Michael Parker is a Turlock Adult School teacher, who will instruct a class about converting gasoline fueled cars to electric cars. “You can convert for less, but it doesn’t usually work very well.”
Note: Electric Vehicles of America is a good source for technical assistance with electric conversion.
The project will be electric conversion of a 1990 Volkswagen Cabriolet. Besides learning about automotive electrical wiring and conversion issues, hopefully members of the class will learn why electric conversion is economical and beneficial for the environment. If current and forecasted sales of HEVs are any indicator, this could be good preparation for entry into a changing automotive repair workplace.
It would seem that a Volkswagen Cabriolet is a good choice for such a project since such an electric conversion has been done before. I have wondered if anyone has converted a classy, Citroen 2CV to electric? Now that would be something to see.
A brief perusal of the Electric Vehicle Photo Album reveals:
Green Car Congress, where I first saw reference, has an update, which tells us that the class to be held in Turlock, CA this summer is for teachers. The tuition for the Commuter Conversion Electric Car Class for Teachers is $300.
The course organizer “is working with Abran Quevedo, the auto shop instructor at the San Dieguito Academy High School auto shop, in Encinitas (north of San Diego), California.
It is Quevedo?€™s 1990 Cabriolet that is being converted (and has already been trailered up from San Diego to Turlock for the class)” and they are “using a basic Voltsrabbit conversion kit from Electro Automotive.”