Texas Man Builds Electric Car for $6,456.92 (updated)

Is this for real?

The self-described computer geek from Kennedale bought the 1993 Eagle Talon from a junkyard for just $750.

“First thing I did when I got the car home was pull the engine out,” Murray said.

He then spent about $4,000 more to convert the gas-guzzler to run on electricity alone, doing all the work himself in his garage at home.

“I bought the electric motor and I was like well, I gotta figure out a way to couple it together with the original transmission,’ he said.

The car can hit 55 mph, driving right past the high prices at gas stations.

“I hear people complain about them at work all the time. I just grin,” he said.

Murray spends just $7 per month on electricity to charge the batteries — enough to go about 300 miles.

Full Story: NBC5i

(via Cryptogon)

I’ve been thinking for a while that the key to making oil-free/oil-low cars practical is the cheap conversion of old vehicles into new renewable-energy powered cars. It’s just not practical for everyone to have to throw away all the old cars on the road. (I wasn’t surprised to read that buying a fuel efficient used car is more environmentally friendly than buying a new hybrid.) It looks like this guy might have found the beginnings of a solution.

Update: He has much more information, including an updated cost ($6,456.92) and schematics on his website.


  1. Holy Cow copper, oil and wheat

  2. kent beuchert

    May 21, 2008 at 10:20 pm

    This moron doesn’t realize that the batteries will cost him a WHOLE lot more than any gasoline he might be saving. I love the fraudulent way these people pitch their stories.
    Actually, a supercapacitor from EEStor in Austin MAY be the answer to conversions that make sense – not the amateur crap this guy did with a junkyard car. They and ZENN Motors are collaborating to do just these types of conversions – but they know what they are doing, and the capacitors, if they work, will be practical, unlike the enormous amount of cash
    this yokel is going to end up paying for batteries for his crap car.

  3. Thomas C Gray

    May 21, 2008 at 10:30 pm

    I wonder if this amateur automaker is still smiling when it’s 100 degrees and he has no AC or when it’s freezing and he has no heat.
    And those things drain the batteries. How about power steering and power brakes? How is he powering those things? What junk batteries can he find for less than $4000? GM’s battery pack for the VOLT costs over $15,000. The Tesla battery pack costs over $25,000 and even the EV-1 with its horrible batteries cost over $20,000.

  4. I just watched the video (didn’t watch it before because I was at work) and it looks like he’s using several regular car batteries to power the electric motor. I don’t know how long they last or what they cost.

    There was a big draw back in the video that wasn’t mentioned in the text: a single charge (which takes about 3 hours) only gets the car 20 miles.

  5. I have fantasized for years about running a custom car company, that converted classic lead-sleds to electric power plants.
    There is some truth the snarkier comments here, but everyone is missing the big drawback to converting the old dinosaurs: weight.
    Modern electric vehicles are MUCH lighter than older cars, because all that poundage requires more energy to move around, decreasing range and top speed, and increasing the size of the battery packs needed, which in turn again ups the total weight of the vehicle.
    Still, at some point I believe the wholesale conversion of old cars to electric or fuel cell will be feasible.
    Plus, think about a fuel cell Model T. How Steampunk would that be?

  6. I found the guy’s own web site: http://galaxy22.dyndns.org/ev-talon/

    Lots more info there. It uses 9 Trojan T875 Golf cart batteries. From his FAQ: “with this particular kind of setup, I won’t be saving a fortune in gas because once you calculate in the battery replacements every 3 to 4 years and the electricity, it about evens out.”


    More info on DIY EV conversion: http://www.texomaev.com/

    EV album: http://www.evalbum.com/

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