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bennelson 07-07-2009 09:22 PM

How to Build an Electric Car DVDs for sale!
Do I have your attention?


A while back, I looked around for any videos for sale on electric car construction. I was only able to find one, which was a rather disappointing. It was just a couple of hand-held videos of guys showing the basics of their cars to each other - really NOT a "How To" at all.

So, that got me thinking.

A) I built an electric car.
B) I have a video camera.

Perhaps I should make my own video on how to build an electric car. OK - How I built my electric car. Sort of a "here's how I did it" video.

Ideally, I could spend some time to make it a high-quality, very watchable video. I know a few people who could create music and graphics for it. I would combine on-screen of me talking about the car with video of the car parts, lots of the old video that I shot as I built the car, and I suppose I would even include all my little YouTube videos.

If you were to BUY a DVD on how to build an electric car:
How much would you be willing to pay?
How long should the video be?
What do you expect in the video appearence? Would it have to be shot in a studio, or is a driveway OK?
What would you like covered in the video?
How technical would it have to be?
What other questions should I be asking you?

If I make a "How To" video, it could be the first of many. My friend Tom is building an AC car, and my friend Rich is going to build a from-scratch three-wheeler. Both those projects would make excellent how-to videos as well.

Please let me know what you think.


Summer of 2010 I made the instructional DVD.
Jan, 2011, I finally bothered to make a promotional ad for it. You can see that below.)

Matt Herring 07-07-2009 09:36 PM

I think it's a great idea Ben!

Here's what I think about the DVD...

If you were to BUY a DVD on how to build an electric car:
How much would you be willing to pay?
Depends on how much info. you are going to put in it. If someone can buy the video and use the info. to build an EV from start to finish then that is a pretty valuable DVD you have there...maybe $39. Think how many hours and hours of research you did to build would be saving someone alot of time. If it's only an overview of your car and how you built it then the price would probably have to be lower...maybe $19.

How long should the video be?
See #1. All-inclusive video could be loooong to cover all the bases. If just about your car...maybe an hour.

What do you expect in the video appearence? Would it have to be shot in a studio, or is a driveway OK?
I think it's ok to shoot in the driveway. Anyone interested in your project most likely would be building it in their driveway too.

What would you like covered in the video?
Everything...soup to nuts.

How technical would it have to be?
I would expect it to be on the high end from a technical point of view but put into laymans terms to be easily understood. Think of what you would want to see and hear when you got into your project.

What other questions should I be asking you?
I think someone looking for this type of DVD would be looking for the easiest possible way to build an EV for the least possible cost. If they wanted an EV without the hassle and they had enough money...they would just go out and buy one. I think your DVD should really focus on the DIY aspect and how it can be done by anyone.

cfg83 07-07-2009 10:14 PM

bennelson -

$20 is the yuppy buck and $19.99 is the pricepoint for ASOTV. The higher the price, the more people will just copy it.

I would shoot for the kind of quality that this dude puts into making videos :


watt-a-mezz 07-07-2009 10:25 PM

ev build videos
Hi, Ben. Sounds like a good idea. Gav Shoebridge (Kiwi EV) did a bunch of you tube videos, and compiled all of them into dvd form. He would send them anywhere for $15.00. He filmed them in his garage, and wherever he was(after he had it running.) That may be a good way to start. Good luck with the project. Watt:D

bennelson 07-07-2009 10:39 PM

Gav's videos are definately the best of the bunch when it comes to YouTube EV build videos. Glad to hear he did a compilation.

SVOboy 07-07-2009 11:01 PM

I would shoot for 20 to make it affordable, though I dont think copying will be an issue in such a small market.

For example, paterek prices his lugged framebuilding video set at 70 bucks, so that seems a high price someone might just rip off. But it hasnt happened because the audience is too small, too uninterested in bit torrent, and couldnt support a sustained attempt anyway.


nickfarmer 07-08-2009 11:32 AM

How about Open Source EV building videos to match the Open Source Motor Controller? With free distribution (maybe through bittorrent?) there could be a much wider audience and maybe more people would try an EV for themselves.

Gav's $15 only covered his expenses for the DVD and shipping; he can't have got much change after he sent my copy airmail to the UK.

wolfraven 07-09-2009 01:03 AM

The Open Source approach would help spread the EV bug, but wouldn't help cover your expenses at all. And $15-$20 would still not cover very much, especially with a small audience, unless you were to somehow get people into the idea elsewhere. That means ads/promoting things...I like the Open Source idea, but hurts your production budget...also, if you did it in a studio, it just wouldn't be don't go in studios, electric or otherwise lol.

Ryland 07-09-2009 11:47 AM

I would pay $20-25 for a DVD if it was good.
I would want basically a full tour of the car, an over view of the tools used and the proses to convert that car, along with a few others, some interviews with the people you had to work with to make parts and the challenges they faces with your project, I wouldn't want a DVD of fluff of how great it is, I want to know what kind of a project it is going to be, the parts that you cursed at and how to avoid them, or work with those problems.

bennelson 05-10-2010 09:20 PM

What Ryland just said is pretty much what I was shooting for.

I thought I would get an interview with the two guys who did the machining work on the car.

Overall, the video would focus on the individual steps needed for a conversion, with a overview of how each of those things is done generally on EVs, and then the specifics, how, and why it was done on my car.

The disc would also contain a ROM portion with a DXF file of the Metro transmission adapter plate, and the YouTube videos that were created during the building of the car. Likely, it would also contain the open source info for the ReVolt; materials list, instructions, etc, but would have to link to the Wiki for the latest versions.

Any other suggestions on this project?

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