Can't wait until 2012 for an EV from Ford? Convert one now.

A fully electric passenger vehicle from Ford is still a couple years away, but in the mean time, Plug-In Motors --a Missouri-based start up-- has been developing the process and technology to convert existing Mustangs and F150 trucks their current convent

This 2007 Ford Mustang has been converted to an electric vehicle by start-up Plug-in Motors.
This 2007 Ford Mustang has been converted to an electric vehicle by start-up Plug-in Motors. Plug-in Motors

A fully electric passenger vehicle from Ford is still a couple years away, but in the mean time, Plug-In Motors --a Missouri-based start up-- has been developing the process and technology to convert existing Mustangs and F150 trucks their current conventional powertrain to one that's all-electric.

But the cost of this environmentally conscious move doesn't come cheap. These comprehensive conversions can cost $75,000 for a Mustang or F150 with an 85-mile range or $125,000 for a 200-mile range.

The high price tag is a result of the top-of-the-line components used by Plug-in Motors, says CEO Kurt Neutgens, who spent 17 years as engineering manager at Ford. The powertrain parts are sourced from the same company that Telsa uses, and the selected batteries are expected to last approximately 200,000 miles for the 85-mile range conversion and 400,000 miles for the 200-mile range conversion. The company's electric motors will last approximately 1 million miles, Neutgens claims, and the regenerative braking is affixed to the accelerator, which extends the life of the brakes.

These durable components don't come cheap, and Neutgens is hoping economies of scale kick in soon. But in the mean time, you have to start somewhere, he says.

Closing the affordability gap are state and federal tax credits, he points out. Colorado grants an 85 percent tax break on the cost of conversions, and Oklahoma grants a 50 percent tax break. Factor in the $7500 federal tax credit, and the cost to convert a Mustang or F150 is reduced to $14k and $28k respectively.

That means that the payback can be less than 50,000 miles at $3 per gallon of gasoline, and even sooner if fuel prices rise in the near future. Neutgens maintains a list of many of the electric and plug-in vehicle tax break incentives on his website.

For early adopters who can't wait for Ford to roll out an all-electric product of their own, he's arranged partnerships with three Ford dealerships in Colorado and Oklahoma willing to sell and service his converted vehicles.

Source: Cleantech Group

 

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