Even though gas prices have come down some in the past month or so, filling up the tank is still likely putting a dent in the budget. Given any thought to an electric car? After all, most of us drive 30-40 miles a day… well within the battery range of newer vehicles like the Nissan LEAF or the electric-only mode of the Chevy Volt. And with an electric motor’s efficiency, your looking at significant savings in fuel costs.
But then there’s the sticker price on these vehicles… and even after government rebates, the high 20s to low 30s is probably more than many of us can, or want to, spend on a car. Sure, these prices will likely come down as demand builds… but wouldn’t you like to cut up the gas card as soon as possible?
That’s part of the thinking behind GreenSpark EVs, a brand new non-profit here in St. Louis. Since people with lower incomes can benefit the most from the fuel savings on electric cars, they’ve decided to try out a different approach to making these vehicles available: convert older, gas-powered cars to EVs.
Yep, that’s a complicated — and somewhat expensive — proposition, but GreenSpark believes it can convert its first car — a 1986 BMW 528e – for about $11,000. That’s significantly less than any new electric cars currently on the market, and within the range of a low-priced new car (or even used ones of better quality). By doing this, the organization not only hopes to get EVs to people that could really use the break on gas prices, but also to train, and even hire, local workers to do these conversions.
Intrigued? I thought it sounded like a great idea. Of course, as a new organization, they’re in need of start-up funds… specifically to cover the costs of converting the Beemer. Check out their blog, their Facebook page, and their Twitter feed, and if you like what you see, consider kicking in a few bucks to their fundraising campaign at Indiegogo. They’re shooting for $10,000 in the next 30 days, so I’m certain they’d appreciate any help you can give.
Great to see this kind of innovation happening locally. Let us know what you think about GreenSpark’s concept… and whether you’d consider buying a converted clunker electric vehicle.