In 2009 I was inspired by the documentary film “Who Killed The Electric Car” to start a small company converting vehicles to electric.
Was the goal always to be converting cars?
Our ultimate goal is to manufacture our own electric HyperCar/MegaCar.
What was the first conversion performed by BluPrint?
Our first project was a Gen2 Toyota Prius. Basically, we converted a Toyota Prius HEV to a Prius PHEV. We simply added a 5kWh battery pack (to assist the 1.3kWh factory traction pack), a BMS, and an onboard charger to charge the 5kWh pack. We were actually able to achieve over 130mpg! Keep in mind, this was years before Toyota decided to manufacture there own Prius PHEV.
What is the most recent or on-going?
Our current project is the Telefunken Motorsports Porsche 911 Elektro RSR. We retrofitted a Porsche 911 RSR race car with a Tesla P85D rear motor salvaged from a crashed Model-S and a custom racing battery pack by John Metric at LoneStar EV Racing.
From a design perspective how much has changed with your process?
It’s constantly evolving. We do a lot of things “Old school” with hand tools and hand drawn sketches on notepads. But at the same time we’re really excited about integrating 3D CAD and 3D printing into design our process.
Can you tell us about the team at BluPrint Automotive?
Currently, there’s just 3 of us. Myself, Anthony Rish, and Jeremy Luchini. With our extensive backgrounds in aerospace, electric vehicles, automotive racing, and 3D CAD, we all bring different skill sets to the table. It’s a perfect balance, and we all work well together.
Is it a combination of Electrical and/or Mechanical Engineers, Mechanics…?
Yes, all of the above! We’re “real car guys”.
Is there one particular conversion that sticks out as one of the best you have ever done?
Telefunken Porsche 911
So far, the Telefunken Motorsports Porsche 911 Elektro RSR is our best and most challenging conversion.
Any particular conversion that you honestly felt could have gone better? Why?
The more we do this, the better we get. So in retrospect, everything we’ve ever done could’ve been done better.
Seeing that EV technology is changing so rapidly these days, how do you choose what batteries, motors and other components to use in your builds?
Power density, size and weight are our most important determining factors. We always try to use the best “available” technology. When I say “available” I mean available to us. The challenge is that most cutting-edge motor and battery manufacturers only sell to OEM’s.
Just Add Lightning
Project budget is also a very important factor. We always try to give our customers the best technology for their money.
Do you think any major auto OEM (like Tesla) will eventually sell their batteries, motors and other components direct to consumers or garages?
That would be amazing if we were able to buy directly from Tesla! But for now, the secondary market will have to do.
Understanding that each build is unique, is there normally a certain aspect or step that takes the longest to get correct?
Yes. The most challenging aspect has been and will always be, figuring out how to fit as many batteries as possible into a vehicle, and doing it without upsetting weight distribution. Sometimes, we’re able to improve weight distribution by strategically placing batteries to achieve a 50/50 weight balance.
Can you tell us a little about your shop and how its laid out?
We’re working on the Porsche at the Telefunken Motorsports shop in Plainville CT. We’re hoping to open a new larger Blu-Print Automotive shop in the near future. Stay tuned.
How much time does each car take to be road ready?
That really depends on the project. If you’re installing a “conversion kit” like the kits our friends at EV West offer, most all the hard work is already done for you. So it’s basically just an installation. So you’re looking at approximately 200 to 400 man-hours. A one-off or custom conversion, like our Porsche project, almost everything is hand made. Motor subframe, battery boxes, cooling system, wiring harness and more, all have to be designed, fabricated from scratch and then installed. A conversion like this is more like 800 to 1000 man-hours.
(On average) What is the cost to the customer for purchasing one of your conversions?
That depends on how much power you want and how much range you need. A really basic entry level conversion will usually start at around $35k for parts and labor. The faster and farther you’d like to go, the higher the cost. Our high performance conversions can easily exceed $100k. The reality is, how fast and far will your wallet allow you go?
What’s in the future for BluPrint Automotive?
We’re definitely looking at doing more high-performance projects like the Porsche 911 Elektro RSR in the near future, and ultimately manufacturing our Electric HyperCar/MegaCar!
What about your thoughts on the direction of the conversion market as a whole?
The conversion market is multifaceted and has unlimited applications in the transportation industry. Virtually any vehicle can be converted to electric! It’s growing market, and will continue to grow.
Curious to see what other conversion shops say about this? Click here for more Q&A’s.
How many projects is your team currently working on?
Currently we’re working on 4 projects. The Porsche 911 Elektro RSR is nearing completion. We just need some track time to sort the car out. Another project we’re working on is an electric Trolley. There are 2 other projects I can’t talk about yet. But stay tuned, they’re both pretty cool.
How can people find out more about BluPrint Automotive and your conversions? How about how to get in touch with you?
If you’re interested in having your vehicle converted to electric, please check out our Website, Facebook page, and feel free to call us:
The Electric Speed Shop has the ultimate goal of becoming a physical location, where we can also perform conversions, host charging stations, aftermarket upgrades, etc. What, in your opinion, is the biggest struggle facing up and coming conversion shops today?
Acquiring Startup funding.
Any tips for us on how to get started while growing from a blog to a business?
Stay focused. Find a niche and stick with it. Put together a rockstar team! Get funded (we’re still working on that part). Have fun doing what you love!
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