Fat-tony71 wrote:Is there a good part of the site to look at the legal/dvla side of EV's? I understand the part of telling them about the powerplant change, Will I need an engineers report or a dvla inspection?.
There are a couple of stories about the different ways local offices have handled things, but that's about it I think.
My experience was that they were painfully slow and made numerous errors. I think they issued me with three or four registration documents before I gave up and just accepted that they were never going to get it right.
The major problem I found was communicating with DVLA. Years ago you could ring your local office, invariably speak to someone who knew how to do what you were after and get things sorted quickly. They've now taken away the incoming phone lines from local offices, so you have to phone Swansea. It's pot luck if you get someone who knows what you're trying to do or a numpty - most of the time you get numpties, it seems. Here's a summary of what I went through:
1. First of all, I sent the V5 to Swansea with the new electric motor serial number, a request for a change of motor type and taxation class and change of fuel details. I got a letter back asking for the CC of the new electric motor (see what I mean about numpties?) and an engineers report from the garage that fitted it.
2. I wrote chapter and verse back, including full details of motor power curves, battery voltage, controller limits, gear ratio, the receipt for the motor, an explanation that it was an electric motor so didn't have a cubic capacity, plus I included a full technical report on the conversion. They wrote back to me asking me, yet again, for the CC of the new electric motor.
3. I wrote again, restating that it was now an EV, so didn't have a cubic capacity, only to get yet another letter saying they couldn't change the details without having written confirmation of the engine CC..........
4. At this point I made a formal complaint, having obtained the details of who to complain to via the Swansea "helpline" (who couldn't help directly). This resulted in a chap from the local DVLA office calling me to sort things out. I explained to the local DVLA chap the saga so far with Swansea, he didn't seem phased at all, he just said that if he came over and looked at the motor serial number and bike frame number it'd keep Swansea happy.
5. The local DVLA chap was as good as his word. He popped over, checked the frame and motor serial numbers, filled in a form and said Swansea would send me a V5 in the post within a couple of weeks. There was no inspection, as such, really just a check that the bike wasn't made from stolen parts, I think. This chap did give me a useful tip. He said if I ever want to do something like this again, write to Swansea and ask them to hand it to their local office to deal with.
6. About ten days after the "inspection" I got a new V5. It was completely wrong in all respects, even down to them having somehow decided to change the colour of the bike from black to red. It also still showed it as having the original engine and CC.....................
7. Luckily, the local chap had given me his mobile number, so I could call him directly if I had a problem with Swansea. He managed to get Swansea to issue a new V5, this time showing that the bike was electric and no longer ran on petrol, but unfortunately it still gave the colour as red and the engine serial number as being the old one, not the one for the electric motor.
8. I sent the V5 back, yet again, with a letter explaining the bike had never been red, and that the colour and engine serial number needed changing on the V5. They sent me back another V5, this time showing the bike as being electric and black, but still giving the wrong engine number and now the wrong taxation class.
At this point I gave up, as it all got too much like hard work. The V5 is wrong, but who cares, I have a mountain of evidence to show that Swansea have repeatedly cocked up, so I can't be bothered to try and get it changed any more.
Others have had somewhat simpler adventures with DVLA, but most seem to have some difficulty with them one way or another. The main thing is to make sure you have enough parts of the original bike to avoid MSVA testing, as that can be a pain. Usually, if you retain the frame and running gear you're OK and don't need a test (other than an MOT).