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  • FIRST POST
    • raemon
    • By raemon 14th Mar 17, 7:18 PM
    • 44Posts
    • 3Thanks
    raemon
    Converting a van into electric
    • #1
    • 14th Mar 17, 7:18 PM
    Converting a van into electric 14th Mar 17 at 7:18 PM
    Hi all not sure where exactly to post this so hope moderators don't mind that I use this post in the loan section.

    As the title suggests converting van i to electric. It's a camper van and I figured the amount of driving I do it's will eventually be worth it. I do around 20k a year in a diesel. Also because it is a camper I could save on hotels too.

    I was just wonder what people think. The conversion is not cheap around 35k so it probably be about 10 years for my investment to repay. I also need to take a Loan out does any one have any suggestions? Thanks for your help
Page 1
    • angrycrow
    • By angrycrow 14th Mar 17, 7:27 PM
    • 248 Posts
    • 159 Thanks
    angrycrow
    • #2
    • 14th Mar 17, 7:27 PM
    • #2
    • 14th Mar 17, 7:27 PM
    Assuming a current mpg of 45 and ignoring the fact you need to pay for the electric you would be looking at 14 years plus to break even. Would the batteries even last that long. 20000 miles a year is a lot for an electric vehicle and would the conversion provide sufficient range for all of your usage.
    • reeac
    • By reeac 14th Mar 17, 7:28 PM
    • 1,026 Posts
    • 415 Thanks
    reeac
    • #3
    • 14th Mar 17, 7:28 PM
    • #3
    • 14th Mar 17, 7:28 PM
    All depends on the availability of charging points where you need them. At 20k a year you'd need to charge about every other day. Would this fit in with your envisaged use?
    • raemon
    • By raemon 14th Mar 17, 7:48 PM
    • 44 Posts
    • 3 Thanks
    raemon
    • #4
    • 14th Mar 17, 7:48 PM
    • #4
    • 14th Mar 17, 7:48 PM
    Hi I'm actually an expat working in Germany I travel to the uk to see family when ever I get a chance. 4-5 times a year! If I don't go to the uk I travel around Europe for short trips etc. Batteries need replacing every 100-150k. I have quoted for a 200mile ramble with rapid charge.

    To charge is very cheap compared to Disel. In an electric to do 200 miles will cost 3 pounds , and that's when one pays there are points where it is free. There are many charge points in Germany holland uk but not many in Spain
    Last edited by raemon; 14-03-2017 at 7:52 PM.
    • forgotmyname
    • By forgotmyname 14th Mar 17, 7:57 PM
    • 24,697 Posts
    • 9,802 Thanks
    forgotmyname
    • #5
    • 14th Mar 17, 7:57 PM
    • #5
    • 14th Mar 17, 7:57 PM
    And whats the insurance going to be like for your modified vehicle?

    How does the 20,000 miles compute into actual use? 5000 x 4 miles journeys? 100 miles a day, Whats the battery capacity for your £35k conversion? What will the estimated total weight be?
    What have they quoted for the range and performance?

    Estimate 10 years to cover the conversion, wont the motor need servicing within that timeframe and the estimated 200,000 miles?

    10 years based on the cost of diesel alone, but not taken into account the cost to charge it.
    Punctuation, Spelling and Grammar will be used sparingly. Due to rising costs of inflation.

    My contribution to MSE. Other contributions will only be used if they cost me nothing.

    Due to me being a tight git.
    • raemon
    • By raemon 14th Mar 17, 8:04 PM
    • 44 Posts
    • 3 Thanks
    raemon
    • #6
    • 14th Mar 17, 8:04 PM
    • #6
    • 14th Mar 17, 8:04 PM
    Hi I could of written a whole electric vs oil advantages etc but would be here forever. The maintenances on an electric motor is next to nothing. Electric motors do not last to the 300k like diesels but in the million miles!!��
    • forgotmyname
    • By forgotmyname 14th Mar 17, 8:18 PM
    • 24,697 Posts
    • 9,802 Thanks
    forgotmyname
    • #7
    • 14th Mar 17, 8:18 PM
    • #7
    • 14th Mar 17, 8:18 PM
    You could do the electric vs diesel argument and electric may win, until you need to do 300 miles in a car that will only go 100 miles between charges.

    The motor will last a million miles? Are you sure on that?
    Punctuation, Spelling and Grammar will be used sparingly. Due to rising costs of inflation.

    My contribution to MSE. Other contributions will only be used if they cost me nothing.

    Due to me being a tight git.
    • lincroft1710
    • By lincroft1710 14th Mar 17, 8:29 PM
    • 9,067 Posts
    • 6,896 Thanks
    lincroft1710
    • #8
    • 14th Mar 17, 8:29 PM
    • #8
    • 14th Mar 17, 8:29 PM
    So you have to borrow £35K? How much will you actually pay back?

    I just cannot see this making economic sense.
    • Tarambor
    • By Tarambor 14th Mar 17, 8:47 PM
    • 524 Posts
    • 332 Thanks
    Tarambor
    • #9
    • 14th Mar 17, 8:47 PM
    • #9
    • 14th Mar 17, 8:47 PM
    Total weight was mentioned. This is going to be a massive issue. The range and speed are going to be dictated by the size of the motor and how many batteries you need. The weight of those will be taken off the maximum gross vehicle weight so if the vehicle is plated for 3 tonnes and your conversion adds a tonne to the unladen weight then that is a tonne less that you can carry. Normally not a problem but if you only end up with a difference between the unladen and GVW of half a tonne then it may be a problem as four large people plus luggage could make your vehicle overloaded.
    • motorguy
    • By motorguy 14th Mar 17, 8:49 PM
    • 14,676 Posts
    • 8,107 Thanks
    motorguy
    This seems like a willfully bad idea.

    10 years minimum ROI and you're not factoring in the cost of borrowing the money in to that, so even longer?

    Are they "guaranteeing" the battery life, because i suspect not, so that could be another cost.
    Regards

    Paul
    • AdrianC
    • By AdrianC 14th Mar 17, 10:03 PM
    • 13,494 Posts
    • 11,884 Thanks
    AdrianC
    Your big problem with a camper is going to be weight. Campers are often close to the GVW with fairly low payload, because of the weight of the fittings.

    What's the kerb weight of the vehicle now? What's the plated GVW?
    Yes, you'll save a bit of weight by taking the old mechanicals out, but you're adding the weight of the electric motor, controls, and - most importantly - the batteries. Where are you going to put them? Underfloor is probably already busy with water tanks, heater, gas etc...

    You do 20k a year in it. What's your longest typical day? Will the range be adequate? Will the batteries recharge fully overnight on a campsite hook-up that may be limited current?
    • knightstyle
    • By knightstyle 15th Mar 17, 8:05 AM
    • 4,242 Posts
    • 1,563 Thanks
    knightstyle
    VW have an electric camper that will be in production soon, just wait a bit and buy one of those.
    • AdrianC
    • By AdrianC 15th Mar 17, 8:13 AM
    • 13,494 Posts
    • 11,884 Thanks
    AdrianC
    VW have an electric camper that will be in production soon, just wait a bit and buy one of those.
    Originally posted by knightstyle
    There's apparently going to be an electric Crafter this year - 120 mile official range, 1700kg payload - but there won't be an electric T6 Transporter. T7 is coming, maybe this year, maybe next - and there'll probably be an electric version of that. Whether they do an electric California is another question - probably, purely for the hype. I dread to think what it'll cost, though... <wince>
    • Strider590
    • By Strider590 15th Mar 17, 8:34 AM
    • 10,983 Posts
    • 6,107 Thanks
    Strider590
    Batteries could be an issue, i'd fully expect a lithium battery (of cells) to have deteriorated to less than half it's design capacity within 5 years. At least a 50litre fuel tank still holds 50litre of fuel 50 years later.
    Having the last word isn't the same as being right.......

    "Never confuse education with intelligence"
    • LandyAndy
    • By LandyAndy 15th Mar 17, 8:53 AM
    • 23,608 Posts
    • 49,995 Thanks
    LandyAndy
    Hi all not sure where exactly to post this so hope moderators don't mind that I use this post in the loan section.

    As the title suggests converting van i to electric. It's a camper van and I figured the amount of driving I do it's will eventually be worth it. I do around 20k a year in a diesel. Also because it is a camper I could save on hotels too.

    I was just wonder what people think. The conversion is not cheap around 35k so it probably be about 10 years for my investment to repay. I also need to take a Loan out does any one have any suggestions? Thanks for your help
    Originally posted by raemon

    The forum friendly version is 'this is a completely ridiculous and unworkable, unaffordable idea'.
    • Norman Castle
    • By Norman Castle 15th Mar 17, 9:17 AM
    • 5,708 Posts
    • 4,459 Thanks
    Norman Castle
    The conversion is not cheap around 35k so it probably be about 10 years for my investment to repay. I also need to take a Loan out does any one have any suggestions? Thanks for your help
    Originally posted by raemon
    If you break even in 10 years time your campervan will be 10 years and 200,000 miles older. Its not worth the investment or effort.

    The freedom of the open road up to the next charging point? Pointless, as you will find when the batteries run out.

    • Strider590
    • By Strider590 15th Mar 17, 9:45 AM
    • 10,983 Posts
    • 6,107 Thanks
    Strider590
    If you break even in 10 years time your campervan will be 10 years and 200,000 miles older. Its not worth the investment or effort.

    The freedom of the open road up to the next charging point? Pointless, as you will find when the batteries run out.
    Originally posted by Norman Castle

    I blame the "rich" part time enthusiasts you see at events like van/busfest, they buy a camper, they pay someone to rebuild it, they roll up pretending to be enthusiast and try to claim they did it themselves, totally missing the point of actually owning such a vehicle.

    I dare say going electric is quite trendy at the moment and the only way it's "worth the investment or effort" is for showing off.
    Having the last word isn't the same as being right.......

    "Never confuse education with intelligence"
    • Ozzuk
    • By Ozzuk 15th Mar 17, 3:40 PM
    • 988 Posts
    • 1,520 Thanks
    Ozzuk
    Can you look at sacrificing space and having an LG conversion? Never seen one done on a campervan though.

    Electric at 35k seems crazy - what if you crash the car in a years time, would the insurance cover the conversion? Or if it gets stolen...
    • AdrianC
    • By AdrianC 15th Mar 17, 3:52 PM
    • 13,494 Posts
    • 11,884 Thanks
    AdrianC
    Can you look at sacrificing space and having an LG conversion? Never seen one done on a campervan though.
    Originally posted by Ozzuk
    By LG, I assume you mean LPG, not the electronics brand?

    The vast majority of campers are diesel, not petrol. If they are petrol, then you still have to use a separate tank for cooking/heating/fridge to road fuel, even though you'd fill 'em at the same pump.
    • Ozzuk
    • By Ozzuk 15th Mar 17, 4:09 PM
    • 988 Posts
    • 1,520 Thanks
    Ozzuk
    By LG, I assume you mean LPG, not the electronics brand?

    The vast majority of campers are diesel, not petrol. If they are petrol, then you still have to use a separate tank for cooking/heating/fridge to road fuel, even though you'd fill 'em at the same pump.
    Originally posted by AdrianC
    Ah yes, it's been a long day

    I should know that as I'm currently looking at T5s to replace my T4...
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