Sartell resident is plugged in - to an electric car he converted

By Jane Laskey • • September 26, 2009
Sartell resident Brian Darovic talks about the 1994 Saturn SC2 coupe
that he is converting into an electric vehicle.

(Kimm Anderson,
SARTELL — For Brian Darovic, filling up his car is as simple as plugging in a toaster — and almost as

Darovic of Sartell recently converted his car from a standard, gas-powered vehicle to an electric, battery-
powered vehicle. The project was spurred by high gas prices last summer, when it cost $56 to fill up his

Though gas prices have declined since then, Darovic anticipates they’ll climb again. And when they do, he’
ll be ready with a car that costs just pennies per mile.

“The idea of an electric car may not seem so great in 2009 when fuel prices are low. But when gas gets to
be $4 a gallon again and more, everybody is going to sit down and start talking about it,” Darovic said. “I’d
like to say I’m ahead of the curve because it’s going to pay off in a couple of years.”

Do it yourself

New electric cars and hybrids appear on the market every year, but their price tags can be a little

On the high end there is the sporty Tesla Roadster that has lured the likes of George Clooney and Matt
Damon to shell out $100,000. On the low end there’s Electric City Motors’ Current at about $22,500.

Even with the promise of fuel savings and federal tax incentives, which vary from $2,500-$7,500, the initial
cost of electric vehicles is too high to lure many buyers.

“Sure, you could buy a GM Volt next year for $40,000,” Darovic said. “But are you going to be spending
$40,000 on a car next year? I’m not.”

So Darovic decided to build one himself. With a background in mechanical and product engineering, the
project of converting a car from an internal combustion engine to an electric engine appealed to him.
“I’ve been a car nut since high school,” Darovic said. (
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