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Panacea USA - The Youth of America & Alternative Energy

       Texas Teen Builds Electric Sports Car

BradleyGT2Electric.jpg (350×250) BradleyGTII.jpg (250×250)

This teenager called Lucas Laborde lives in Texas. He drives daily to school in an electric car that he built himself. Wow. At just 17 years old he managed to get the conversion finished and working, taking a regular gasoline powered car and modifying it to run on batteries alone. At a total cost of $10,000 it wasn't cheap but it certainly wasn't expensive for the end result. The donor vehicle is a Bradley GT II kit car that his dad bought from an auction site for just $5k. Luke and his dad put up a further $5700 on electric conversion bits and pieces. The batteries took a big chunk of this. From there it was up to Luke to master the technical side and use his relatively limited experience to tackle the project.

After 150 hours of pretty hard graft, Luke had removed the redundant fuel tank and substituted it for the new heart of the car, eight lead-acid batteries each weighing in at a bit over 80lbs. He admits to having to put the batteries in some other locations as well, as yet undisclosed.

He is now the proud owner of a stunning Electric Vehicle (EV) that can go a respectable (for home brewed anyway) 40 miles between charges. It also boasts a 45mph top speed and, he says, lots of low-end torque.

Apparently, the weight of the batteries has taken its toll on the fibreglass bodywork, making it twist. The Lamborghini-esque gullwing doors don’t completely close, but unfortunately that's par for the course on many gullwing KitCars anyway.

By using his skills to make new components and adapt others, Lucas has definitely shamed many other big corporations, many of whom have never ventured into the EV field. Perhaps there is a job waiting for him out there, but we personally would like to see him go on to make his own mark on the electric vehicle stage. Luke, we salute you and look forward to your next creation.

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