For the last month, Tom Leitschuh has been cruising around Racine, Wisconsin in a 1981 Chevrolet El Camino without a single worry about his emissions or the price of gas. The reason is that his El Camino has been converted to all electric power and he generates electricity using wind and solar panels at home. This means he doesn’t care what the utility rates are, either. Sounds good, doesn’t it?
Leitschuh bought the car on eBay and spent a total of $30,000 on the project. A local electric parts company, Quick Cable, donated some pieces as well. The El-ectric Camino uses 46 lithium ferrite batteries, which Leitschuh says are “the safest batteries in the world, and they’ll work down to zero degrees.” These electron carriers give him a 200-mile range (if he drives carefully) and go about 100 miles on an average driving cycle. All sorts of details on the conversion itself – including a failed motor, how to pack in the four dozen (almost) batteries and Leitschuh’s simple economic reasons for swapping gas for electronc – are available here.