Want an electric car without the price tag? You could always build your own, or maybe just hack your old gas guzzler into an eco-friendly electric machine...
This weekend at Defcon, security consultant David Brown showed off his "Voltswagon" project, a 1974 Beetle named Shocky that he converted to electric for only $6,000. He removed the old combustion engine, radiator, and a few other unneeded parts to make it lighter.
Then he loaded it with batteries front and back, ten Interstate DC-29, 12 volt batteries, to be exact.
The old dashboard was removed and replaced with an EV Dashboard, an open-source display that shows the speed and battery power of the car. The EV Dashboard can be used on any iPad or Android tablet.
The final product has a top speed of 70 mph, seats four, and runs off of a 5 watt solar panel mounted in the back window.
While the parts aren't exactly cheap, $6,000 is a lot less than the cost of a new (or even used) electric car. If you want to tackle a project like this yourself, check out communities like DIY Electric Car and Ecomodder where you can meet other people doing similar things and compare projects. If you're not quite ready to tackle something this big, you can still make small steps toward a more eco-friendly car like with this DIY solar-powered air conditioner.