Making Conversion Dreams Come True

Tom Hanks is a long-time proponent of the electric car. His RAV4, an electric conversion, has been driven over 48,000 miles and consumed not one drop of gasoline doing so. The conversion owns at least 93 miles between charges, more than enough for most commuters, and includes electric windows, a high-quality stereo, air conditioning and even an onboard GPS mapping system. Who says you can’t have it all?

Tom Gage, president and CEO of AC Propulsion in San Dimas, California, has been performing conversions like this for several years now. AC Propulsion has it down to a science, and a model called the E-Box. This unglamorous van-style vehicle gets at least 120 miles per charge. You just plug it into a 220 outlet. Maximum capacity is achieved overnight.

The E-Box’s battery? Make that an unlikely plural. Lithium Ion laptop batteries get the job. While your laptop computer may have 6 or 8 cells in it, the E-Box relies upon 5,000 of them strung together by Tom and employees, forming a large, flat battery that sits low in the bottom oft the E-Box. Like Tom’s RAV4, the E-Box has all the basic creature comforts: AC, power windows, stereo, etc. Hanks is outspoken about his vehicle of choice. He has hybrids, he says, but prefers the E-Box for running around L.A.

The price is a bit steep on a conversion, though. You’re looking at about $55,000 — plus your original car. But then again, the cost per mile is down to something like 2 cents, so the savings does come to you. Tom Hanks has had his E-Car for some 3 years now, and offers no complaint.

Is this the car of the future? Expect the future to look even better. As solid as AC Propulsion’s conversions are, a car that’s built from the ground up to be an electric car may not give you all the same stylings you’d prefer, but it’s bound to be more cost effective. No need to wait. Functional E-Cars are already here!

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