DIY Plug-In Hybrid Car

Two summers ago, I built my own electric car. It’s a conversion of a ’96 Geo Metro from gas to electric. While I experimented with several different voltages, in the end I went with a simple 72V battery pack. Overall, it’s great, other than a rather short range.

Recently, I started finding that I was doing a lot of travel JUST A LITTLE FARTHER then I could go on a charge. One of the friends at the Makerspace had a propane generator kicking around, and said I could have it if I could fix it.

Hmmm…. Plug-In Serial Hybrid anyone?

Click the “read more” below for the rest of the story, including videos

Essentially, I fixed up the generator and mounted it, a fuel tank, and the battery charger in the cargo area of the car.
The generator makes electricity, and the charger pushes it to the batteries. The charger can NOT put out as much power as the car uses on cruising, so it’s NOT and “infinate range extender” the way the Chevy Volt is. Instead, it simply extends the range of the electric car by having the batteries deplete more slowly.

Here’s an overview video.

I made several videos as I was working on the project, and I think they explain everything better than I could explain by text.

Here are a few of those videos in chronological order.

And if those videos aren’t enough for you, check out my DIY instructions over at