Godfrey, Ill. – Interested in lowering your greenhouse gas emissions, but don’t want to buy a green vehicle? Learn to do your own conversion project with “How to Build an Electric Vehicle,” running Thursday evenings March 3-April 7 this semester.

Instructor Scott Aljets will cover various topics including the history of electric vehicles, different configurations that are readily available, some of the safety considerations in dealing with high voltage direct current systems, and the physical and mental steps required during the conversion process.

Aljets will bring in examples to study, including his own 1996 Chevrolet S10 pickup truck, which he converted for his wife, Lewis and Clark Dean of Math, Science and Technology Sue Czerwinski, to drive back and forth to campus.

The process, which took Aljets a little more than five months, involved locating a proper vehicle for his purposes, pulling out the old gas engine and plumbing, installing an adapter kit purchased specifically for that truck model, changing the power steering to manual, outfitting the truck with 24 golf-cart batteries, and installing a heating and air conditioning system to allow for year-round use.

“The hardest thing was trying to decide what vehicle I wanted to use. There are different options and they kind of go by what your goals are,” said Aljets, who grew up around cars and now runs the Dorsey location of his family business, Aljets Automotive.

The truck, which can drive as fast at 70 miles per hour, costs about a penny per mile in electricity and has no ongoing emissions. It can go about 45 miles on one charge, and be recharged overnight in the family’s garage.

“How to Build an Electric Vehicle,” offered by the Corporate and Community Learning division of Lewis and Clark Community College, will be held from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. on the Godfrey Campus.

There are no prerequisites for the course, but Aljets suggests that anyone who takes on a conversion project at least be familiar with mechanics.

For more information, contact Corporate and Community Learning at (618) 468-5777. To enroll in the Electric Vehicle course, call the Enrollment Center at (618) 468-7000.

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