Perry County Man Gets Charge Out of Commute

On the outside, it looks like any other pickup truck, until you look under the cargo cover.

“We have twelve 200 amp hour sealed lead acid batteries,” explained Gary Nye, pointing to a truck bed full of batteries, wired in series. It’s the power source for an electric motor in what was once a gasoline engine vehicle.

Nye said he was inspired to make the power conversion every time he filled the gas tank of his SUV. He saw it as a way to save on his daily commute between Landisburg and Carlisle

“I really started to see the gas prices starting to climb,” he said. “I wanted something to hedge against that and the only thing I could think of was electric.”

In a project that took fifteen months to complete, Nye’s 24-year-old Isuzu truck now runs on electricity, powered by a 25-year-old electric forklift motor. Between trips, Nye energizes the batteries with golf cart chargers plugged into his house. Before winter get here, he hopes to have a more streamlined and permanent charging station installed.

Under the hood, the layout is surprisingly simple.

“You open it up, it’s a fairly wide open space,” said Nye. “You pretty much see two components: the motor and the controller.”

In the three weeks he’s been driving it, Aye’s truck has been turning heads.

“On that first day I drove into the parking lot at work, I had a lot of inquiries.” Nye said. “A lot of folks wanted to see the truck.”

While underway, dashboard gauges track the electricity used and how much is left, reflecting huge savings from the fourteen dollars a day that his SUV required .

“A 42 mile round trip for me costs about $2.45.” said Nye shifting gears during a demonstration ride. He computes his cost using kilowatts hours used per mile.

“This vehicle performs very similar to, if not a little better than the gasoline engine that was in it before,” he said. “I can easily go 65 mph without an issue.”

The self-described tinkerer says with his new ride, old worries about miles are now reasons for smiles.

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