Texas Teen Builds His Own Electric Car on $10,000 Budget


This fall, Texas teenager Lucas Laborde will be driving to school in an electric car he built himself. The 17 year old spent last summer converting a conventional gas-powered car to run on batteries. Total cost? Around $10,000.

Luke’s EV is based on a kit car, known as a Bradley GT II, which his father bought on eBay for just $5000 splashing out a further $5700 on electric conversion parts and batteries. The rest was left up to Luke’s ingenuity and technical know-how.

After 150 hours of work, Luke had hooked up eight 80-pound lead-acid batteries in the space left after removing the fuel tank, as well as several other ‘creative locations.’ He finished up with an EV capable of travelling 40 miles between charges, a top speed of 45mph, (more than enough for the local school run), and heaps of low-end torque. As Luke told reporters, “it has a lot of power.”

The car isn’t without a few ‘quirks’ though; the weight of the batteries has caused the fiberglas body to twist slightly, meaning that the gull-wing doors don’t completely close. However, by using his own initiative, and making use of widely available existing components, Luke Laborde has put many global car companies to shame by creating a working, highway-ready EV, in far less time and on a much lower budget.

Image Credit – Steve Striharsky at bradleygt2.com

Andrew Williams

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