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High school student Andrew Angellotti contacted AutoblogGreen last fall to tell us about his 1988 Mazda B2200 pickup truck that he converted into an electric vehicle, taking nine months to learn how to do it and getting seriously DIY on the project. Our friend at Michigan Public Radio, Dustin Dwyer, was able to spend some with with Angellotti and an update on the teen and his truck was broadcast this week.
Angellotti put 20 "basically golf cart" batteries into his truck; most (16) take up lots of space in the bed. The batteries give him a 40-mile range from a 10-hour charge. Considering that the truck's heat originally came from the engine, the EV doesn't have a warm cab any more, which must make for some tough driving these days. Still, Angellotti is pretty darn happy with his homemade truck. As he told Dustin, "There were quite a few points during the project, during you know, kind of a hard part, I'd start thinking, you know, for six thousand dollars I could have a really cool car. But, you know, I woke up the next morning and I'm like, 'But nobody else is going to have an electric car. So I decided to keep going with it." We're glad he did.

Listen to the report here or read the transcript here.

UPDATE: Andrew was kind enough to send us some more pictures of his truck and, as you can see in the gallery below, he is making progress on his second conversion, a Toyota Tercel.

LATER UPDATE: Yes, he has a heater.

  • Image Credit: click for gallery


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  • 67 Comments
      • 7 Years Ago
      Tyler - He only has a 40 mile range, an electric heater would kill the batteries a lot faster. If he could talk A123 into giving him some sample batteries that might be a possibility
      • 7 Years Ago
      Andrew, Great job! The experiences and the education you have will help you in the future. Don't listen to the negative comments. They don't know what they are saying.
      Give us an update on how the new electric car is coming along. Hopefully someone will help with those batteries so you can have less cost and be able to go further.
      God bless! Debbie
      • 7 Years Ago
      I'm sure it helps on his dates too, he will run out of juice every time.....
      • 7 Years Ago
      what a waste teenagers used to spend time making cars go faster an adding horsepower, another example of americas decline,
      • 7 Years Ago
      Well done.
      Very impressive.

      Andrew Roddy
      eBox Owner
      Florida EAA
      Bobby G
      • 7 Years Ago
      (Comment #34 wins "COWARD OF THE WEEK AWARD".)

      Angelotti, you got my vote! Thumbs way up!
      • 7 Years Ago
      Very cool Andrew! This is exactly the kind eco-idea invented by a teen that could win 10 Grand in the BKFK Going Green Challenge. Hopefully Andrew and other teens with great eco ideas will enter. Deadline is March 31, 2008. www.bkfk.com
      • 7 Years Ago
      Well done Kiddo! Well done!
      As for you false economy people, big deal, at least he tried to do something and HE succeeded at it. Which is more than anyone can say for you at the moment. What have you done other than complain? we need more people with his can-do sprit, rather than your nay say speak. Before Edison got the lightbulb right he did a lot of trying, he said he must have found a thousand different ways it didn't work before he got it right. This is this kids first try. Give him a break will ya.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Nice job, don't listen to the wackos, batteries are easily recycled. Let's see, new batteries every 100K miles and recycle the old ones vs $1500 for a new timing belt and 40 or 50 oil changes for a diesel VW... tough choice! I'd buy a plug-in-electric in a minute. And so will many others - that's why the OEMs are pouring money and research into the technology.

      Again, excellent work!
      erik
      • 7 Years Ago
      Way to go kid! GM made a super-successful electric car that all the users fell in love with. And then they took them away. I think the oil companies were behind the recall (bribed the car company executives?), but who knows. All I know is they can work. And I heard scientist are coming up with extraordinary new batteries that can last much longer. Check them out!

      E.J.
      • 7 Years Ago
      People think about this idea!!!! This kid is smart. I own a 4x4 ford truck. Convert from gas to highway!!! Still saves money but gas company's will not like this concept!!!!!!!!
      Hod
      • 7 Years Ago
      I like the thought of not paying road tax.
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