This Chargezilla Old to Bold episode shows precisely what it takes to convert an old, tired Ford truck into a Tesla battery-powered machine. Here you will see what components we are using and how we place them into the 1965 Ford F-100 / F-250 chassis.
We begin this episode at 101 Motors headquarters in Mesa, Arizona. The team starts to strip the old truck down to its rolling chassis. The bed is first to be removed. The cab and front clip are next. The steering column puts up a fight, but the body is soon lifted off. The old straight-six gasoline engine and the manual transmission are removed. The frame is largely in a good condition with surface rust. The old shocks are pretty much done.
Legacy EV is a company that provides EV-swap conversion kits, EV-swap advice, as well as education and training to make such a build possible. The LegacyEV team selected and provided all of the components for the Chargezilla build.
The power comes from dual NetGain Hyper-9 electric motors. Each motor weighs just under 150 pounds and provides about 130 hp and 173 lb-ft of torque. Each motor is currently listed at $5,150 for a total of $10,300.
Chargezilla is using 15 Tesla battery modules for a total battery capacity of 78 kWh. Each module weighs about 58 lbs and costs $1,350. This means the entire battery system weighs about 870 lbs and costs $20,925.
The truck is using two Thunderstruck Motors onboard charger modules for a total of 6 kW of charging capability. The total cost of the chargers is $1,110.
We need to multiply the torque before we send it to the 4×4/4Lo transfer case and to the truck’s axles. We are using a Torque Trends EV-TorqueBox with ParkLock. The cost of this component is $3,795.
Once you include the inverter, converter, controllers, and battery management system – the cost of all of the premium components for this build is around $40,000.
The teams at LegacyEV and 101Motor built a motor cradle that houses both Hyper-9 motors and the TorqueBox. These will be mounted in the space occupied by the old 4-speed manual transmission. The output shaft of the TorqueBox goes directly into the native “divorced” transfer case. All downstream driveshafts and axles are reused.
The frame was cleaned and painted. The rear part of the frame was modified and reinforced to house a battery box that houses five Tesla modules. This box is mounted where a spare tire would have been mounted. The second battery box that houses 10 Tesla modules is mounted under the hood. The battery coolant radiator and coolant lines are routed to both battery boxes.
The body and bed are mounted back on top of the frame for a stealth look. From 10 feet away, nobody will be able to tell that this 1965 Ford truck is electric. The charger port is mounted where the original fuel cap and filler were.
Join all the build fun in the video below.