System vs. Kit vs. Powertrain Explained

So, you're thinking about flipping your ride to electric. Smart move. Whether you're a hobbyist, an environmental enthusiast, or just curious, understanding the terminology surrounding EV conversions is essential. So, let’s clear up some lingo. Systems, kits, and powertrains - the trifecta of EV conversion options - let’s dive into it.


Electric Conversion Systems

An electric conversion system is a complete package, crafted to give you everything you need to convert your car into an electric one. A conversion system includes all the necessary components and advanced tech needed to convert your vehicle to electric: the electric motor, battery pack, controller, charging system, and all the auxiliary components like wiring harnesses and mounting hardware.

The draw of the conversion system lies in its completeness and custom configuration for your build, done by your vendor. It’s a turnkey solution for those seeking the path of least resistance. It provides a convenience for technicians who don’t have the high voltage knowhow and certifications to source or install components themselves. Conversion systems also often come with detailed instructions or even professional installation services, making the conversion process more accessible to the average Joe.

EV Conversion Kit: DIY EV Conversion Kit

Now, EV conversion kits are for the DIY lovers. These kits are sourced, customized, and installed by you, ready to be forged into your dream car. It isn’t a pre-packaged, cookie cutter solution. It’s an incomplete selection of individual components that DIYers complete with their selection of auxiliary components. For instance, a conversion kit doesn’t typically come complete with a battery pack, HVAC, or gauges. Those are components that are up to the preference of the DIYer.

Conversion kits allow you to customize to your heart's content, offering you a sandbox to play around in. That being said, a project like this should be taken seriously. If you’ve got the heart of a tinkerer, the mind of an engineer, and the dexterity of a mechanic, this option might work for you.

Powertrains: Electric Motor Kits and Friends

Electric powertrains are the bare bones, stripped-down version of electric propulsion. Sounds simple, right? Not quite. A powertrain is usually the starting point of a very high end project. The base of a powertrain is its electric motor. Then, it includes only the components directly related to the motor; such as the inverter/controller, vehicle control unit, and thermal management system (oil pumps, radiators, and fans).

When performance is the top priority of your project, you start by selecting the right powertrain. The powertrain becomes the heart of the build, and every other component is selected with the same precision. Unlike conversion systems or kits, which typically include additional accessories, an electric powertrain focuses specifically on the essential components required to power the vehicle. This minimalist approach is for the gearheads who prefer high end customization, performance, and treating a project tenderly.

Choosing the Right Option

So, which is the path for you? Here are a few factors you should consider:

- Skill Level: If you're totally new to EV conversions or have no margin for error, the polished allure of a conversion system is the best option. On the other hand, if you have the skills, a kit or powertrain might be more your speed.

- Budget: Money talks, baby. Conversion systems are pricey because they make the job simple and easy for you. That always comes at a premium. Kits offer more flexibility and the ability to get creative with your ride, but may require additional investment to assemble the necessary components and source the missing ones. Powertrains are the perfect way to design a lean, specific, performance-based build with requirements that are unavailable in a kit or system.

- Customization: If you want to stand out from the crowd, kits and powertrains let you customize to your heart's content. If you have the spirit of a creative, this probably appeals to you. A system comes as it does, for better or worse.

- Time and Resources: Nobody wants to waste time on an overly complicated conversion. If you're short on time or expertise, go for the system with professional installation. Sit back, relax, and let a trusted mechanic do their thing. If you’ve got the hours and skills to burn on a project, a kit or powertrain might be for you.

In the end, it's all about finding the right fit for you. Whether you go all-in with a system, roll up your sleeves with a kit, or start designing your own high performance build with a powertrain, one thing's for sure: your ride will thank you. So, what are you waiting for? Get in touch with us about your project, and let’s make some sparks fly.

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