There is one area where the interests of gearheads and geeks overlap, and that’s in the realm of electric cars. It wasn’t long ago that electric cars were derided by car enthusiasts, but even lifelong petrol heads like infamous power-monger Jeremy Clarkson have come to admit that they perform as well as— or better than — their internal combustion forebearers. The Tesla Model S P100D, for example, can reach 60 miles per hour faster than a Lamborghini Huracán Performante. But that Tesla is also pricey, which is why 16-year-old Isaac Kelly decided to convert a used Porsche Boxster S into an electric car instead.
Most teenagers just want a car — any car — when they turn 16. But Kelly wanted something a bit more unique, and was willing to put in the work to build it himself. With the help of his father, Kelly purchased a used 2000 Porsche Boxster S. That model is known to have a common engine fault, and so he was able to snag it for $4,000. He then immediately pulled out the original gas engine, along with all of the other parts that would no longer be needed, and got to work converting the Porsche into an all-electric vehicle.
To do that, he put 92 Nissan Leaf battery cells into the Boxster S’s engine compartment, which is located behind the seats. Those batteries were mounted on a custom-fabricated steel frame that is attached to the original engine mounts. The 400V battery system is controlled by a set of four Arduino boards. There aren’t any details on what kind of motor or motor controller Kelly is using, but the electric Boxster S is capable of reaching 60mph in 6 seconds and has a range of about 60 miles. In total, Kelly spent $13,000 on the batteries and other parts, which puts the total build cost at about $17,000. That’s pretty impressive for an all-electric, custom-built sports car.