In the summer of 2008, when diesel fuel prices hit $5 a gallon, I decided it was time to make myself an electric commuter car. Rebuilding old Willys Jeeps as a hobby influenced my decision for what type of vehicle I would use. While everybody else whose posting on the internet is converting Volkswagens, mini-pickups, and Porsches, I decided to do something different. What I've discovered is that the Willys Jeep is a very good candidate for an electric conversion with the exception of the aerodynamics. While these are beautiful machines, they have the aerodynamics of a brick. At any speed approaching highway speeds, that will have a big influence on the size of the battery pack and the size of the motor that will be needed for a Willys conversion.
In preparation for ALCAN '12, I needed to great a way to take my power charging source with me. I converted an old M100 trailer into a generator trailer. The progress of that conversion can be followed in a separate photo album just for the Juice Box.
Click on each album photo for an enlarged pop-up view.
This is the 1952 M38 donor vehicle that we will convert into the Electro-Willys. I bought this through Ebay from a guy in Denver, CO. I traded the motor out of it for an arctic hardtop that fits this model jeep.
The jeep had a number of problems with it including the bent tailgate and missing tailgate catch tab. There will definitely be some body work to do on this jeep.
The seats that came with it still had the original springs, cushions, and covers. The gauges were the original military gauges. All of them expect the speedometer will be replaced with new electric gauges.