Hot wheels, cool idea

First-year engineering students Jim Danielson and Sean Kleinschmidt spent the summer of 2009 (before their freshman year at Purdue), converting a Porsche with a blown engine into an electric-powered vehicle.

Jim Danielson and Sean KleinschmidtDanielson and Kleinschmidt bought the red, 1987 924S Porsche for $500, then sold parts from it that they didn’t need for about the same amount. The Illinois natives then spent about $6,000 on the conversion and hope to get $4,000 of that back through an Illinois program that rebates costs for alternative-power conversions. The car runs on a deep-cycle, lead acid marine battery and a forklift motor. The downside? Yes. It’s a Porsche, but it can only reach a top speed of 55 m.p.h. and has a range of about 50 miles on each battery charge.