If you have an E46 BMW 3-series with a blown engine and $15k just lying around, you might be interested in this electric vehicle conversion kit:
At the heart of the system are three banks of non-volatile (fire-proof) lithium-ion phosphate batteries which store 30-35KWh of energy. One pack is located under the hood along with the 500hp motor and its controller (which also handles regenerative braking), the second pack is located under the trunk (in the spare tire area), and the third is located under the car along with the charging system (presumably replacing the gas tank). There are two range options — 100 miles and 180 miles (rated at a constant speed of 65mph) — the latter sacrificing some luggage space in the trunk.
Performance is impressive, at least on paper: 0-60mph in less than 6 seconds with a top speed of over 120mph. The kit provides a generous 300hp and 300ft/lb of torque, matching the specs of BMW’s current 335i. It only takes 2.5 hours to fully charge the batteries from a 60A circuit and the 12KW charging system uses a standard J1772 socket compatible with both Level 1 (110V) and Level 2 (240V) charging stations. Donor cars can be either automatic or manual, the latter usually operating in second gear (and fourth gear on the highway).
As is the case with most new tech, it’s not exactly cost-effective1, but it’s still really cool.
- Assuming the nationwide average of 15,000 miles driven per year (which is itself likely high, given the range limitations), premium gas at $4 per gallon and an average of 20 gas-powered MPG, it would take five years to pay for the kit, not including electric bills or the donor car. ↩