We're seeing a lot reports of homebuilt electric vehicle conversions these days. Most owners say they were motivated after seeing gas prices skyrocket last summer.

The latest success story comes from Oregon where Charles and Ronda Crockett ripped the gas engine out of a 1994 Saturn wagon and stuffed in 20 batteries and an electric motor. A school librarian, Charles says he's not much of a mechanic or electrician but he does know how to conduct research. The goal was to build a vehicle that could go 80 miles on a single charge.

The used Saturn cost just $900, the batteries were $1,700 and the conversion kit was $6,700. Charles says the cost of the conversion will be paid off in gas savings within two years. By his math, a daily commute costs between 30 and 60 cents. With his gas vehicle it was $10.

[Source: Beth Casper / Statesman Journal]

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