Car hacks / Mods no image

Published on July 9th, 2009 | by Andrew Williams

26

Kansas Teen Builds Own Electric Car from Old Ford Escort

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17-year-old Andrew Loader from Lindsborg, Kansas has amazed his parents by building his very own electric car (Video) from nothing more than a clapped-out Ford Escort, some batteries and an old forklift motor.

Tired of paying last summer’s high gas prices, Andrew decided to take matters into his own hands and build the street-legal vehicle after researching the idea on the internet.

To begin with, Mom and Dad were less than impressed with the scheme. “Mom told me not to, and dad did too. I had to write a letter to Mom and her friend convinced her not to ground me or kill me,” said the industrious teenager.

Amazingly, the boy admitted he had no previous expertise in automotive mechanics or electronics saying, “I can’t even change my own oil. Everything I try to do I usually mess up the first time.”

The car has a top-speed of 38mph and a range of just 11 miles, but hey, I’m sure that’s more than enough to get him to high school and back right? Furthermore, he now only needs to fill-up his gas-powered pick up every month and a half.

If nothing else, the car is a monument to a young kids ingenuity and proves that it’s possible to make radical changes to the way we get around with little or no experience and very little money. For one thing, the project has certainly convinced his parents, with Mom commenting, “It really really has turned out to be a great project. I’m really proud of him.”

Image Credit – Wikimedia Commons



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About the Author

is a writer and freelance journalist specialising in sustainability and green issues. He lives in Cardiff, Wales.



  • russ

    Well done Andrew!

  • russ

    Well done Andrew!

  • russ

    Well done Andrew!

  • russ

    Well done Andrew!

  • Richard

    Andrew, I know the picture above isn’t the car you have, I saw it on the news today. Be advised, you have batteries in the cargo compartment, batteries when charged put of fumes and vapors, plus it would be wise to put all the batteries in hold downs.

    PEACE

  • Richard

    Andrew, I know the picture above isn’t the car you have, I saw it on the news today. Be advised, you have batteries in the cargo compartment, batteries when charged put of fumes and vapors, plus it would be wise to put all the batteries in hold downs.

    PEACE

  • http://thewaronbullshit.com Kavan Wolfe

    Interesting – but what kind of batteries did he use? Motors?

  • http://thewaronbullshit.com Kavan Wolfe

    Interesting – but what kind of batteries did he use? Motors?

  • http://thewaronbullshit.com Kavan Wolfe

    Interesting – but what kind of batteries did he use? Motors?

  • http://thewaronbullshit.com Kavan Wolfe

    Interesting – but what kind of batteries did he use? Motors?

  • Antonio Andolini

    I would definitely like to do this, but maybe with a bit nicer car…:)

    I see a lot of decent cars on Craigslist with broken engines or transmissions for sale for cheap.

    I wonder how many hours this would take to do?

    Are there any cheap kits to do this?

    I’m pretty sure he used regular car batteries.

  • Antonio Andolini

    I would definitely like to do this, but maybe with a bit nicer car…:)

    I see a lot of decent cars on Craigslist with broken engines or transmissions for sale for cheap.

    I wonder how many hours this would take to do?

    Are there any cheap kits to do this?

    I’m pretty sure he used regular car batteries.

  • http://www.myelectricfly.com Robert

    Kavan “Interesting – but what kind of batteries did he use? Motors?” See The Article again – “Forklift Motor” – Better Details: Likely a 48 Volt Motor Based on the Speed given, and – the types of Batteries – Why – if you see Richards comment – you can figure – and also from the range – Lead Acid Flooded Batteries – Posibly used ones to save money. It’s not a Car Ford would sell, but then – he rescued the Ford for a few more years use – and no Air Polution beyond the charging gases venting!

    I agree With Richard – if it’s true that the batteries are just sitting in a tray or box, they should be secured very well with a Hold down, so when he gets whacked in traffic – they stay put! Even Better – put them in a box with a cover, and a non-arcing vent fan that can be switched on.

  • http://www.myelectricfly.com Robert

    Kavan “Interesting – but what kind of batteries did he use? Motors?” See The Article again – “Forklift Motor” – Better Details: Likely a 48 Volt Motor Based on the Speed given, and – the types of Batteries – Why – if you see Richards comment – you can figure – and also from the range – Lead Acid Flooded Batteries – Posibly used ones to save money. It’s not a Car Ford would sell, but then – he rescued the Ford for a few more years use – and no Air Polution beyond the charging gases venting!

    I agree With Richard – if it’s true that the batteries are just sitting in a tray or box, they should be secured very well with a Hold down, so when he gets whacked in traffic – they stay put! Even Better – put them in a box with a cover, and a non-arcing vent fan that can be switched on.

  • Robin

    Boo to his parents for not encouraging their kid or seeing the opportunity as father/son/family time

  • Robin

    Boo to his parents for not encouraging their kid or seeing the opportunity as father/son/family time

  • Robin

    Boo to his parents for not encouraging their kid or seeing the opportunity as father/son/family time

  • J Scarbrough

    Congrats on the conversion to electric only. I did a conversion from gas to electric about 5 years ago. It has been on TV several times, and I still drive it almost daily. I would be willing to offer comments if you want to get the car to run 65 – 70 MPH with a range of 65 miles. I drove mine back and forth to work daily and around town on weekends. 845 miles per month raised my electric bill $15 ! That works out to about 1.8 cents per mile driven. (And yes it will smoke the tires!!) Good Luck!

    93electricescort@charter.net

  • J Scarbrough

    Congrats on the conversion to electric only. I did a conversion from gas to electric about 5 years ago. It has been on TV several times, and I still drive it almost daily. I would be willing to offer comments if you want to get the car to run 65 – 70 MPH with a range of 65 miles. I drove mine back and forth to work daily and around town on weekends. 845 miles per month raised my electric bill $15 ! That works out to about 1.8 cents per mile driven. (And yes it will smoke the tires!!) Good Luck!

    93electricescort@charter.net

  • J Scarbrough

    Congrats on the conversion to electric only. I did a conversion from gas to electric about 5 years ago. It has been on TV several times, and I still drive it almost daily. I would be willing to offer comments if you want to get the car to run 65 – 70 MPH with a range of 65 miles. I drove mine back and forth to work daily and around town on weekends. 845 miles per month raised my electric bill $15 ! That works out to about 1.8 cents per mile driven. (And yes it will smoke the tires!!) Good Luck!

    93electricescort@charter.net

  • J Scarbrough

    Congrats on the conversion to electric only. I did a conversion from gas to electric about 5 years ago. It has been on TV several times, and I still drive it almost daily. I would be willing to offer comments if you want to get the car to run 65 – 70 MPH with a range of 65 miles. I drove mine back and forth to work daily and around town on weekends. 845 miles per month raised my electric bill $15 ! That works out to about 1.8 cents per mile driven. (And yes it will smoke the tires!!) Good Luck!

    93electricescort@charter.net

  • J Scarbrough

    Congrats on the conversion to electric only. I did a conversion from gas to electric about 5 years ago. It has been on TV several times, and I still drive it almost daily. I would be willing to offer comments if you want to get the car to run 65 – 70 MPH with a range of 65 miles. I drove mine back and forth to work daily and around town on weekends. 845 miles per month raised my electric bill $15 ! That works out to about 1.8 cents per mile driven. (And yes it will smoke the tires!!) Good Luck!

    93electricescort@charter.net

  • MD

    My coworker has a late 80’s Ford Escort, used to run on 96VDC now it runs on 120VDC… Uses the OEM 5 speed transmission and is highway legal here in WA State. IIRC 50+ miles range.

  • MD

    My coworker has a late 80’s Ford Escort, used to run on 96VDC now it runs on 120VDC… Uses the OEM 5 speed transmission and is highway legal here in WA State. IIRC 50+ miles range.

  • MD

    My coworker has a late 80’s Ford Escort, used to run on 96VDC now it runs on 120VDC… Uses the OEM 5 speed transmission and is highway legal here in WA State. IIRC 50+ miles range.

  • MD

    My coworker has a late 80’s Ford Escort, used to run on 96VDC now it runs on 120VDC… Uses the OEM 5 speed transmission and is highway legal here in WA State. IIRC 50+ miles range.

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