Marc Areny really wanted to get his hands on a Tesla. Unfazed by his financial condition, the French engineer set out to build one for himself and successfully managed to put up a DIY version of the Tesla car!
Marc has been living in Romania since 2011. He was motivated to design:
“an electric car that anyone could afford, not just elites. I’m a regular guy trying to find solutions for regular people.”
Marc started off with an inexpensive 2005 Dacia Logan manufactured by Renault, often referred to as the public car of Romania! First of all, he removed the parts of the vehicle that required petrol for operation. Next, a battery and an electric motor were fitted inside the car.
Marc managed to transform a conventional, petrol-driven vehicle into a fast and reliable means of transport, minus the flashy Tesla features like the Touchscreen, Autopilot, and the Insane mode!
Previously, Mark worked on his Renault Clio 1.9 Diesel and modified it to run on the leftover cooking oil sourced from the restaurants. Mark went off carbon fuel in 2008 and later, also modified a Porsche 994 into an electric vehicle in 2010. However, he failed to procure a license from the French government to take his drive on the road:
“They told me I had to do a frontal and a lateral crash test in order to certify the car.”
The Romanian authorities did not raise any objections to the refitted Dacia Logan and approved it immediately. Modifying the Dacia Logan into a Tesla-inspired drive wasn’t too expensive. In Romania, a second-hand Dacia costs around one to three thousand dollars. The 20kWh lithium-ion batteries were priced at $7000 and allow the car to go up to 100 miles on a single charge. The electric motor, power regulator, and other parts of the modified vehicle cost him around $5000. It is clearly his passion for the cause that drove him to work on the project:
“I could lower the price this way. I don’t want to get rich out of this. I just want to do it.”
Marc is enthusiastic about the remodelled Dacia because he is saving a lot of money that would otherwise have been spent on oil change and filter replacement. The maintenance charges of the car are further reduced as the brake pads last longer, owing to the generative action of the electric motor which aids deceleration.