Deciding on the Donor Vehicle.
I read several EV books and scanned the internet sites and forums and here is what I gleaned.
1. Full-size pickups are too heavy.
2. Small pickups especially S-10 and Ranger are the favorite. They work out very well with the heavy batteries being these trucks have a full frame and they have space for the 12 to 24 large batteries.
3. Subcompacts like the Geo Metro save on weight but are a challenge to find room for the batteries. They can get over their GVW (gross vehicle weight); they ride and handle rough anyhow.
4. Compacts are a little bigger that Subcompacts, usually ride better and ones that are 4 doors and a trunk have some more room.
5. Common donors are Voltswagen “144” are on EVAlbum (from Vanagon, Bettle, Jetta, Rabbit and Golf) Ford Probe and Escort, Honda (41 on EVAlbum), Toyota, Neon and Nissan. Saturn had several 17 on EVAlbum.
6. Automatics are hard to convert and waste energy.
7. There are issues with power steering, heater, air conditioning, power brakes and Antilock brakes, and other electronics.
8. Aerodynamics is much better on the cars verses trucks which is especially important in electric cars with the limited energy source.
9. Another option is to buy and repaired already produced electric vehicles like: Ford Ranger EV made by Ford from 1998 to 2001, Toyota RAV4 and a few Chryslers that survived the California Law. This is the law that required all manufactures to produce 10% zero emission vehicles, then under pressure before the due date, California dropped the 10% law. GM crushed all their EV1’s so you cannot buy one of them.
There are also EV’s produced by smaller companies that converted cars like the Jet Industries in 1980’s produced Escorts, Couriers, Horizons (Electrica 007)Subaru van (Electra Van 600) and others.
1981 Jet Industries Lynx