Forest Hills man ditch diesel for electric for classic car

                Even though gas prices have been dropping, we still feel the pain at the pump.A Forest Hills man says he's able to drive his classic car for free after swapping out his gas engine for an all-electric Tesla motor.Dave Rosentraus' 1980 Mercedes Coupe is no longer a diesel-powered snail on the road.“This thing feels extremely fast,” he said.  “Zero to 60 is about four seconds.”It's lightning quick because Rosenstraus retrofitted the classic car to be all-electric, dynamically increasing its performance with a Tesla motor.”It's from a 2015 Model S, he said.  It's programmed to have 400 horsepower.  That's a lot for any car, but it's also electric horsepower, so there's no gears to shift through;  there's no lag time.”Rosenstraus had to find aftermarket parts and components from wrecked cars, but it only took him about a year.” Including the paint work and everything, I probably have around $26,000 into the car, which on the relative side of electric swaps is pretty cheap,” he said.Not buying any gas, there were no labor costs because he did the work himself, and he doesn't even pay for the electric charge.”I have solar on my house, so pretty much it's all free batteries to get around in this thing.”He uses Chevy Bolt, which are cheaper and lighter than Tesla batteries, and he sacrifices distance for torque.Rosenstraus said there are a lot of electric swaps going on with classic cars on the West Coast, but he believes his is the first one done in Pittsburgh, and he's ready for more. 
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                <strong class="dateline">FOREST Hills, Pa.  —</strong>                                          <p>Even though gas prices have been dropping, we still feel the pain at the pump.

A Forest Hills man says he’s able to drive his classic car for free after swapping out his gas engine for an all-electric Tesla motor.

Dave Rosentraus’ 1980 Mercedes Coupe is no longer a diesel-powered snail on the road.

“This thing feels extremely fast,” he said. “Zero to 60 is about four seconds.”

It’s lightning quick because Rosentraus retrofitted the classic car to be all-electric, dynamically increasing its performance with a Tesla motor.

“It’s from a 2015 Model S, he said. It’s programmed to have 400 horsepower. That’s a lot for any car, but it’s also electric horsepower, so there’s no gears to shift through; there’s no lag time.”

Rosenstraus had to find aftermarket parts and components from wrecked cars, but it only took him about a year.

“Including the paint work and everything, I probably have around $26,000 into the car, which on the relative side of electric swaps is pretty cheap,” he said.

Not buying any gas, there were no labor costs because he did the work himself, and he doesn’t even pay for the electric charge.

“I have solar [panels] on my house, so pretty much it’s all free to get around in this thing.”

He uses Chevy Bolt batteries batteries, which are cheaper and lighter than Tesla, and he sacrifices distance for torque.

Rosenstraus said there are a lot of electric swaps going on with classic cars on the West Coast, but he believes his is the first one done in Pittsburgh, and he’s ready for more.

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