Who is AVT?
Alternative Vehicles Technology AVT is the leading electric drive conversion specialist in the UK. We have probably converted more different types of vehicle than anyone else in the UK. We can convert many kinds of vehicle. The conversions we show on our web pages are just some of the many vehicles we have converted. AVT also offers parts for DIY conversions and other applications including boats. For people who wish to gain from over 20 years of experience, we offer consultancy on a chargeable basis including design, development, sourcing and specification work. We can work with large or small companies, R&D and manufacturing, as well as for individuals.
How far can I drive an electric car or van?
This depends on the batteries fitted. Typically you can drive our vehicles 50 to 100 miles with lithium batteries, depending on the pack size and vehicle type. Over 200 miles is possible with the right vehicle and an appropriate budget. With lower cost lead acid batteries the range is usually between 20 and 40 miles.
How much does an electric car or van conversion cost?
This varies according to the vehicle type, the components and particularly the batteries used in the conversion and the performance requirements. In the first instance please email us with the exact specification of the vehicle you wish to have converted. A conversion involves expensive parts and a lot of work, so please be realistic about your requirements for the vehicle you would like to have converted.
How long does it take to get an AVT EV conversion?
Delivery varies according to our workload and whether you require the the conversion to be based on a new vehicle or second hand used vehicle. We normally convert only a small number of exclusive vehicles of our choice each year.
How much do electric vehicles cost to run?
Very little. Just a few pence per journey is normal depending on the vehicle. Even approaching as low as 1p per mile on low tariff electricity is possible with the right vehicle - that’s the equivalent of 100’s of miles per gallon at current fuel prices!
How fast can I drive?
Most AVT conversions can achieve speeds of over 60 mph. Some go faster, over 100 mph is easily possible with the right motor, drive components and batteries. Our extreme conversions can accelerate at incredible rates. One vehicle we converted accelerates as fast as a Formula 1 car according to a retired Formula 1 driver who drove it. It has a 0-60mph time of around 2.5 seconds! Vehicles intended for urban use only have lower maximum speeds of around 40 to 50 mph.
What about servicing?
There is usually very little servicing needed other than an initial check 1 month after purchase and an annual check after that is all that is normally needed. If your vehicle is over 3 years old you should have it MOT’d in the usual way at a local garage.
What if something goes wrong?
There is very little to go wrong on an electric car, there are far fewer moving parts than on a petrol or diesel vehicle. But for peace of mind your conversion comes with a full 1 year warranty covering all parts installed. Just in case something does go wrong we recommend that you join the AA or RAC. If the problem is serious you can choose to call out a technician to visit your address to rectify it, or you can make arrangements yourself to transport the vehicle to us.
How much energy does an electric car use?
Very little. On a typical journey you are likely to travel between 3 to 5 miles for each kWh of electricity you use. If you look at your electricity bill, you will see that a kWh only costs a few pence.
How long do the batteries last?
That is the most difficult question to answer as it depends on use. With correct usage we expect you should be able to get 10’s of thousands of miles from a set of lithium batteries, going by the manufacturers claims, but please remember these batteries are still relatively new to the market. For lead acid batteries the life will be shorter, usually between 4000 to 10,000 miles, but they cost far less in the first place and therefore to replace.
How much does a new set of batteries cost?
This depends on the type of battery installed and the type of installation. Some conversions have the batteries installed under the floor in which case specialist equipment is required to replace them, others are accessible from the boot. The cost of replacement takes into account the labour involved as well as the cost of the batteries. Also, battery prices vary according to the current values of the metals used in them at the time of sale. Metal prices have been fluctuating wildly over the last few years.
How much does road tax cost?
There is no road tax charged for electric vehicles in the UK, currently, but you do need to have a free licence disc which can be obtained via your local post office and DVLA.
Does an electric car or van conversion need an MOT?
According to UK law all electric cars registered after 1960 must have MOT’s but electric vans under 3500 kg do not require an MOT. However, we think that all cars and vans benefit from undergoing MOTs to ensure they are safe for use on the road.
Can an electric car conversion climb steep hills?
All AVT electric conversions can climb hills at speeds close to that of petrol powered cars and vans so you need not worry about getting stuck. If you have a very steep hill on your regular journey tell us and we may set-up your vehicle specially. Some of our cars spend major parts of their journeys climbing long and steep hills regularly.
Will I be able to keep up with other traffic?
Yes. AVT electric cars and vans can accelerate easily within legal speed limits.
What if I want a different car or van to the AVT conversion examples?
AVT can convert many different types of vehicle to electric drive so contact us with your requirements
What about insurance?
We can recommend insurance brokers to our customers. Cost is usually similar to a conventional IC car.
What parts should I use if I want to do my own conversion?
You can request a detailed quote from our webstore which will all the parts we can supply to suit your conversion. You will need to pay us for this service but we will refund the cost if you buy the parts from us.
How much do parts cost if I want to do a conversion myself?
Full details of parts and basic kits we can supply can be found in our webstore at www.everything-ev.com
Is the original gearbox used in a conversion?
In many conversions it is, because in most front-wheel-drive and rear engine rear-wheel-drive vehicles the differential is usually included in the same castings as the gearbox. Without a differential the conversion would need more than one motor which would be more expensive. Also a gearbox can help some motors to work more efficiently. On some conversions we can supply fixed ratio systems which do not include a gearbox. These tend to have lower top speeds but do not need gear changing - similar to an automatic.
Can you use an automatic gearbox in a conversion?
Only some automatics can be used. Those with torque converters and other hydraulic systems are generally more difficult. The CVT types can work but are complicated so not recommended The robotized manual semi-automatic type can work reasonably well in electric cars but usually require development work to make the systems work well.
How many batteries do AVT electric cars have?
This varies according to the car or van, type of electric system and batteries installed.
How many batteries should I use if I do a conversion myself?
This is a decision you must make for yourself. You will need to take into account the likely all up weight of the vehicle, your range requirement and the storage space available for the batteries.
What is the law on electric vehicles?
Electric vehicles come under the same construction and use regulations applicable to all vehicles used on UK roads. There are also safety standards that apply to electric vehicles.
Do electric cars have heating and how is it powered?
Yes, and it is a legal requirement that any car or van with a fixed windscreen used on a UK public road should have a windscreen demister fitted. On AVT conversions we generally use electric heaters, which are powered by the batteries, or higher cost combustion heaters can be supplied.
Do electric cars have air conditioning?
Air conditioning wastes a great deal of energy and takes a lot of power to work properly, as much as 5 to 10 kW can be required. It can be fitted on vehicles that already have air conditioning systems installed, but we do not recommend it.
Do electric cars have power steering?
AVT can convert any vehicle with electric power steering. Cars with engine driven hydraulic power steering are more difficult as this system requires an energy consuming pump unit which adds to the engineering complexity and costs.
How do I charge my electric car conversion?
Just plug it in to a suitable domestic power outlet socket.
How long does it take to charge-up?
If the batteries are only partially empty then recharging only takes a few minutes to a few hours. If you have completed a long journey then they will normally recharge over night without problem.
Do AVT electric car conversions have regenerative braking?
Yes, most of our conversions include regenerative braking either as standard or as an optional extra.
What is regenerative braking?
Regenerative braking is when the controller changes the motor into a generator to recharge the batteries. This normally happens on a trailing throttle when the vehicle is driving down a hill or slowing down. Regenerative braking works in addition to the hydraulic brakes fitted to the vehicle.
How long does it take to get an AVT conversion?
This varies according to our workload. Please enquire when you have decided on the vehicle you would like to have converted.
Do I have to pay London’s congestion charge?
No. But you need to register your vehicle with Transport for London and they charge a small fee. Driving an AVT electric conversion is one of the lowest cost ways to drive in London.
Is there any free car parking for electric car conversions?
Yes in many parts of London. There are also some free charging points in some car parks elsewhere around the country.
Can I charge-up anywhere?
You can charge anywhere it is safe to plug in a cable to a suitable mains outlet socket.
How much does it cost to charge-up?
In some car parks in London and a few elsewhere you can charge-up your electric car for free! Otherwise the cost is very little anyway, usually only a few pence for your journey!
Are electric car conversions expensive?
Electric cars are not mass produced in large numbers so the cost of the parts is higher than for petrol or diesel vehicles. The cost of the batteries, which are really part of the fuel cost, is also included in the vehicle cost but the running costs are much lower and road tax costs nothing.
How environmentally friendly are AVT electric conversions?
Conversions are the most sustainable form of electric car, and electric cars are the most environmentally clean vehicles you can drive, especially when they are charged from renewable resources. An AVT electric conversion is a very good way of recycling a used petrol or diesel car or van as it removes a polluting vehicle from the road without the need for many of the components to be scrapped. Electric cars are much more energy efficient than petrol or diesel vehicles and do not emit any exhaust pollutants or greenhouse gases during use. If they are recharged from renewable resources then there is no pollution, so charging from wind farms and solar panels makes a lot of sense.