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Nebraska High School Teacher Creates All-Electric Jeep

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Imagine this beauty with an electric motorPhoto: Christopher Ziemnowicz

Imagine this beauty with an electric motor
Photo: Christopher Ziemnowicz

Electric vehicles seem to be all the rage these days. Between improvements to current electric models and the introduction of new electric vehicles to brand lineups, it seems like every automaker wants to cash in on the trend. Would you believe that there is even an electric Jeep out there? While it may not be out on the market for purchase, one enterprising individual made due by creating an electric Jeep of his own.

According to a report from the Lincoln Journal Star, high school math teacher Adam Verhage converted a 1979 Jeep into an all-electric vehicle.

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Taking on such an arduous challenge was not that difficult for the Geneva, Nebraska resident. In fact, mechanical expertise would seem to run in his family. Verhage’s parents, Carroll and Sherry Verhage, had previously assembled a single-engine airplane from what were basically scraps.

In order to begin the project, Verhage purchased a $500 1979 CJ-7 Jeep that had been left out to rust away in a field.

“It originally was in terrible, terrible shape,” explained Verhage. “It was sitting in weeds, and it had been there for several years, and it hadn’t run. We started with nothing.”

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To help convert the abandoned Jeep into an electric vehicle, Verhage turned to his father, who had previously served as an electronics tech in the Navy. With his help, Verhage assembled the electric heart of the vehicle using nine 12-volt batteries and a $4,000 electric motor. In the end, the entire project lasted about 800 hours.

The secret to Verhage's success: a simple 12-Volt battery. Or, rather, nine of them. Photo: Dudinyúl

The secret to Verhage’s success: a simple 12-Volt battery. Or, rather, nine of them.
Photo: Dudinyúl

The refurbished Jeep is by no means a powerhouse. Producing 75 horsepower, the vehicle can carry passengers between 16 to 20 miles. That’s more than enough to get Verhage to and from the workplace, though he has stated that if the price of lithium batteries ever decreases, he would look forward to taking his creation out on the open road.

“I wish I could just take off and go for a ride,” Verhage told the Lincoln Journal Star. “If I could drive it all day, I would.”

In the meantime, Verhage will just have to settle with owning the only electric-powered Jeep in the area.

News Source: Lincoln Journal Star