Bright spark’s old car gets volt from the blue
A Geelong man has given a 20-year-old car a new life after transforming it into an electric vehicle.
Mark Newell recently converted his 1999 MG-F to 100 per cent electric power over the course of two years and countless hours.
Despite having no experience with mechanics or auto electrical work, Mr Newell completed the project on a $15,000 budget with recycled parts and help from a group of electronic vehicle (EV) enthusiasts.
Having bought the car brand new in 1999, Mr Newell said he was attached to it, despite faults that had appeared with age.
"I got pretty attached to it over the years - it was a great little car - but was always plagued with mechanical problems, which made it quite an expensive car to keep," he said.
Faced with the prospect of needing to completely replace the motor, he decided to look into more sustainable alternatives.
"I found a group of local EV enthusiasts and to my amazement they were willing to help with the conversion process," he said.
The car is powered by solar and can drive up to 100km before needing to be recharged.
"The hardest component to find was a good battery, but I was lucky enough to salvage one," he said.
Doug Rolfe, who helped Mr Newell with the conversion process, said the Geelong region had a dedicated group of people who had taken up conversions as a hobby.
"It's totally volunteer- and community-driven," he said.
"You come along, you help and you learn and end up finding that you've gained the skills to be able to help someone else."
Originally published as Bright spark's old car gets volt from the blue