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Required reading for converting a larger vehicle into an EV?


#1

Hey!

So, I keep finding myself fantasizing about building a camper out of a vehicle like a van, a bus, a box truck, or a step van. I think I’ve come to the personal conclusion that a larger vehicle is a fine compromise, and that I could probably do my daily commuting with walking, something like a bike, public transit, or perhaps a motorcycle.

Someone kind-of jokingly suggested I get a working vehicle that’s out-of-commission, and convert it into an EV to restore it. And, given that vehicles that have dead engines/transmissions/etc are sometimes auctioned off for practically free… that might actually be a decent idea?

I’m starting to do homework on this, and it seems like if you’re thrifty, scrappy, and lucky enough, you can find a lot of the building blocks for a solid EV in decommissioned electronics and vehicles. So now my gears are turning, wondering if it might actually be feasible.

Last time I was considering a camper, I was leaning hard towards a ~17" box truck or a medium-size transit/city bus. I really like the look of transit buses–buses are generally the easiest to do a roof raise on, and transit buses are usually low to the ground which means you have more (theoretical) room to increase the headroom with a roof raise. One of the major drawbacks to city/transit buses is that they’re often either inefficiently geared for highway travel, or they have governors at 45 or 55mph…

If I’m replacing the engine/transmission, I’m pretty sure I can kick a governor to the curb! This leaves me with a bus that’s likely made mostly of aluminum, too, which is a lot lighter than steel.

So… as per the title, is there any required reading for helping me figure out if this kind of project is sensible? Do you think something like an aluminum transit bus might actually be a decent starting point for this kind of idea?