Yes, but how do you insure it?
A common question that I get about an electric car conversion is “Can you get insurance on it?”
The simple answer is “Yes, you can.” The longer answer is the rest of this post.
When I converted a Geo Metro to an electric drive train, I wanted to make sure that I would be able to legally drive it when I was done. That includes having auto insurance, which besides just being a good idea, is also mandated by law in my area.
My wife and I both already had cars with insurance on them, which we got through a full-service insurance agency. Before beginning the project, I called my insurance agent and explained to her exactly what I wanted to do – replace the engine with the electric motor and batteries. I further explained how the vehicle would have a little lower top speed, and I wouldn’t be traveling as far from home. The insurance agent did inquire to the daytime running lights, airbags, and seat-belts, and I explained how those wouldn’t be altered in any way.
They had no problem with insuring my electric car.
My car has “regular” car insurance. Nothing special. It’s not a policy that is designed for collector vehicles or anything else unusual. It was explained to me that any components I add to the car are considered “After-Market”, (just like some sort of extra-fancy stereo system) and would NOT be covered by the policy for theft or damage. I’m not sure who is going to unbolt the forklift motor and steal it, but it was $50 at a rummage sale, and I didn’t even get a receipt.
Another upside of many EV components is that they are either very robust and have few moving parts, or are very internal to a vehicle. Chances are that if I was in a collision, I would likely remove all the EV parts, throw the car away, and then install the EV components in another vehicle.
Getting insurance on a home-converted electric vehicle does not have to be scary or difficult. Just talk to somebody in the insurance industry, let them know what you want to do, and have them help you with it!