converted Porsche Carrera electric car
This Porsche Carrera now sports a 'no more gas' decal indicating that it's now electrically-powered, a conversion done by West Palm Beach, Florida-based EVPC, LLC.

Electric Cars South Florida-Style

A personal visit to West Palm Beach electric car converter Paul Liddle

By Sean Costello

I recently had the opportunity to visit Paul Liddle and see some of his all-electric conversions.  The short version :  it was awesome!  The long version :  I got to ride in a few all-electric Porsches, see a few Lamborghinis that are soon-to-be converted, and  rode in a gas-powered C- GT.  We spoke at length about electric cars and renewable energy and the new solar power system he's planning on installing at his house - 700 kW - to charge all of the electric vehicles of course, and… it was awesome! 

Paul runs a conversion business EVPC LLC in West Palm Beach, Florida, and he is willing to convert not just a Porsche or Lamborghini to all-electric, but takes on most projects that are cool or can help a large group of people.  His prices can range from as low as $5,000 to upwards of $150,000.

"We are producing cutting edge, performance, and exotic cars, boats, bikes that show a real EV potential.". Paul's team can install a hybrid conversion if you're not quite ready to give up that gasoline engine. "This (hybrid)  system allows for fine tuning to meet custom needs for range and power levels desired.

He continued, For fleets, and people who use trucks a lot, this reasonably priced and programable hybrid alternative pays for itself and make good common sense."   

This year interst has been picking up steadily.  Currently they are working on mostly Porsche 911s but also  Toyota Camry's that are going to an auto dealer abroad, Range Rovers, Speed boats, Ducati's and drag bikes.  Also is the ExoticElectric side of the business which include Lamborghini Murcielagos and Diablos,  Luxury Yachts, and quite a few Porsches. Many of the series line of Porsches are represented as Evs or in the works, including the rare custom Porsche GT1 and a C- GT.  

For those who aren't willing to wait for Tesla Motors,  the GM volt,  and especially for East Coast EV lovers, CoolGreenCar.net  is ready 

Paul started out focusing on converting Porsches and other high-end vehicles to all-electric drive.  He is willing, however, to convert most any vehicle, and demand has steadily increased for other than high performance EV's.  Paul said, "With our experience with Porsches, especially 911 based models, we have come up with packages that compete in both performance, and range,"  Now many types of vehicles are being shipped to Florida for conversions.

Calculating the ROI
With gas approaching $4/gallon - who wouldn't want to have a hybrid or all-electric vehicle?   I recently crunched the numbers on the economics of a lithium-ion pack and electric conversion.  Gasoline between $3.60-$4.00/gallon costs 49-55 c / kWh delivered, and this cost looks like it's going to continue to go up.  Electricity prices are usually regulated, however, so prices will remain fairly low.  If you charge overnight you're paying about 3-8 c/kWh depending on where you live. 

Lithium-ion batteries' long-term financed cost is 15-22 c /kWh (cents per kilowatt-hour) for the battery plus 3-18 c/kWh (depends on where and when you charge) for electricity (excluding Hawaii).  So now, with high gas prices, the electric car actually costs LESS than a gasoline-powered vehicle.  So accounting for efficiency losses in the electric car you're still at 22-50 c/kWh total energy cost.  Over the next five years you would be saving quite a bit of money.  Not to mention oil prices continuing to go up.  Already this month there have been several record high mid-day trading price for crude oil as well as several all-time record closes.  Goldman Sachs recently said to expect $200 per barrel sometime next year.  Merrill Lynch just today said that $150 is on the horizon.  Other RBOB gasoline traders said that consumers should expect and plan for $5.50 per gallon of regular by Labor Day.   

Paul currently offers sealed lead-acid and, "Now with managed Lithium Iron Phosphate (LiFe[PO4]) improving range and weight issues, EV packages are more versatile than ever."

We talked about other battery technologies and he believes that with mass-production and more competition, which is going up, will bring the price down to be even more affordable, and will eventually be affordable for the average person. 

So why aren't people flocking en masse to convert their vehicles?  Well, I think as oil prices go up we will see many EV conversion companies expand.  Once people start to become more educated about the economics of electric vehicles the demand and inquiries will grow.  Most people I talk to have only had experience with electric vehicles via golf carts and equate electric vehicle performance to something sub-standard or only good enough to get to the grocery store and back.  I've got news for them, electric cars can be just as if not better than their gasoline-powered counterparts, and I'm glad Paul (and others like him) are out there putting their resources to work trying to make a real difference. 

If you're ready to go electric, you can reach Paul Liddle at 561-301-2369, or go to his website at www.CoolGreenCar.net 

Times Article Viewed: 33863
Published: 19-May-2008


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