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A Green Pimp My Ride: Ree-V Converts Cars to Electric


If you want your car converted to run on biodiesel or vegetable oil, there are plenty of places to turn—conversion kits are available for the DIY crowd, and the less mechanically-inclined can have professionals give their car biodiesel capability. But what if you want an electric car?

A Colorado company called Ree-V has stepped in to fill that niche by providing full-service electric car conversions. And while companies like Toyota, GM, and Ford have announced intentions to release PHEV (plug-in hybrid electric vehicle) models, a conversion could cost significantly less.

Conversions to a lead-acid battery cost a pretty penny—between $17,500 and $200,000.  And most converted cars are only suitable for quick trips around town. Ree-V's 1995 Geo Metro conversion, for example, has a top speed of 70 MPH and a range of 25-35 miles.

But Ree-V CEO Luc Nadeau notes that his Colorado-based customers can receive the Colorado Alternative Vehicle Fuel Credit, that reimburses the majority—and in some cases all—of the conversion. A car older than 10 years is eligible for a 100 percent credit, while newer cars receive an 85 percent credit. And in case that isn't attractive enough, electric vehicle drivers can slash gas completely from their budgets. 

PHEV conversions probably won't catch on until electric vehicles become mainstream—and everyone except early adopters might want to wait until batteries become smaller and more effective—but there's nothing stopping budding entrepreneurs from setting up shop in states that offer alternative vehicle credits.  

[Via CBS4 Denver]