So, you want to reduce the environmental impact of your driving habits, but you don’t have the money to trade in your old clunker for a shiny new electric or hybrid vehicle. What are your options?
Hybrid and Electric Conversion Kits
Researchers at the University of Middle Tennessee invented a plug-in conversion kit they say can change any vehicle into a plug-in electric vehicle for about $3,000. They designed it to be relatively affordable and easy for the average person to install. According to them, it improves gas mileage by between 50 and 100 percent if you’re driving at in-town speeds. The video below explains how the kit works:
Alas, it seems to still be in prototype stage, as we can’t find any for sale.
However, there are several companies that do sell electric and hybrid conversion kits, with prices ranging from $3,500 to over $40,000. However, since you have to order them and install them yourself, folks without much mechanical aptitude or know-how might want to steer clear of this complex option.
At this point, hybrid and electric conversion kits haven’t reached the level of availability and ease of use that would put them within reach of the average consumer. While it’s possible to convert your car (there are even DIY options for the extremely adventurous), it might not be feasible for you unless you know your way around under the hood of a vehicle.
If you’re serious about reducing the environmental impact of your driving, your best bet is to look at other options: carpooling and carsharing, saving your pennies for a hybrid vehicle, and reducing your dependence on driving.