electric car plugged in
Mayukh Saha
Mayukh Saha
January 14, 2024 ·  2 min read

Grandmother Creates Her Own Electric Car For $24,000

A grandmother is usually the best person to consult when constructing anything innovative. After all, they have all the wisdom in the world. Such a grandmother from New Zealand used scraps from her house to create an electric car. And why? Simply because she wanted “to show it can be done.” For over three years now, Rosemary Penwarden has been driving this vehicle around the roads of South Island. Interestingly, this project actually took less than a year to complete- which is impressive. The sarcastic grandmother mentioned, “You do have to be a little bit mad. I want to thank the oil companies for the motivation.

First, this grandmother purchased a car body from a wrecker, which dated back to 1993. After that, she expertly fished out the combustion engine. This was then replaced with a new electric engine as well as a gearbox. She then packed the front as well as the back with batteries. The electric car had around 24 batteries under the hood, and close to 56 in the boot. The entire project cost the grandmother a sum of $24,000. The car has been warranted and fully signed off- and it recently came to the attention of a few local reporters.

New Zealand Grandma Creates Electric Car Out Of Trash 

Hagen Bruggemann, a refrigeration engineer, helped Penwarden convert her car into an electric car. Interestingly, they have already converted around eight cars into electric vehicles. He stated, “You can talk as much as you want about all this environmental crap, but you have to implement it.” He believes that converting larger vehicles into electric would be quite cost-effective. A diesel truck, under his administration, would pay off in five years. “Really, the polluters should be paying- I don’t see why they’re not.

Rosemary Penwarden in her electric car.
Image Credits: Rosemary Penwarden

Penwared has also stated that the labor and money that she has devoted to this isn’t feasible for all. “I am in a very privileged place.” But she also believes that this could project a possibility for the future. After all, the entire world was changing due to the climate crisis. As for her own car- she usually charges the car at her home. Of course, her home runs 100% on solar energy. 

Although Penwarded believes this converted electric car is cost-effective, it still doesn’t do much. Nevertheless, she had once saved around $100 on petrol for commuting. But this doesn’t save the initial cost for conversion. This is why she has called upon the government to support such conversions. “Just to be able to show that it can be done is a priceless thing. The biggest thing is to help stop the biggest polluters as soon as possible- and nothing that we can do as individuals I think matters quite as much as that.”

Keep Reading: This electric car built by Dutch students is made entirely of waste — even the chassis


  1. New Zealand woman creates her own electric car for $24,000.” The Guardian. Tess McClure. May 27, 2022.