For one thing, there’s no throaty roar when Kelly stomps down on the accelerator. And – wait a minute, where’s the tailpipe?
Kelly, an engineering whiz kid who’s built radio-controlled planes and an electric bike, spent the last few months converting the 2000 Boxster to an electric vehicle (EV).
The conversion cost $17,000-$18,000 — $4,000 to buy the car secondhand and more than $13,000 in parts. It took about six months of welding, coding and troubleshooting, not counting the time Kelly spent waiting for parts to arrive.
His father John, who financed the project, chose a Boxster because it’s safe, light, streamlined and stylish. The 2000 models are relatively affordable because they share an engine flaw – not that the Kellys would have to worry about that.
They removed the engine, clutch and exhaust system and installed 92 Nissan Leaf batteries in the rear engine bay, housed in custom-made plastic boxes and held in place by a custom-made steel frame connected to the engine mounts.
The car uses four Arduino microcomputers, three of them programmed by Kelly himself, to transmit data from the throttle to the motor controller, regulate charging, and monitor the 92 batteries to ensure that none of them are dying or overheating.
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