In a dark garage in Remuera, James Powell is working to turn his BMW into an electric car - and he might just be the first in the world to convert the model.
The aeronautical engineer is good with his hands and it shows. He's rebuilding the car from the inside out, with a new gear box, new computer system, and of course a new motor.
He estimates he's spent around 400 hours and $30,000 on the project since he bought the BMW I525i Motorsport a year ago.
"At this stage I'm building it as a prototype version that I'm building at the minimum. Minimum number of batteries, minimum set-up costs to get it on the road and running," he says.
"Then once it's on the road then I can test it and try it out and see how it all works and see how good it actually is."
Mr Powell's BMW 525i Motorsport (Shannon Redstall/Newshub.)
He says it's all about making the car better than it was before.
"It's just nice and smooth and you don't have to pay all of this money to run it or maintain it and fix the million parts on it."
"Out of the motor, I've taken out of it however many thousand moving parts, I've put back in about ten. There's a lot less stuff to go wrong."
Despite having spent a small fortune on the car, Mr Powell says it's still better than the unaffordable and impractical electric cars available in New Zealand.
"You've got to go through a bit of rigmarole to import them and you've got to get [Tesla's] serviced in Australia which is a bit impractical."
Some of the 108 batteries used to charge the car (Shannon Redstall/Newshub.)
But he does admire Tesla's work. When finished, the BMW will have 108 batteries which is nothing compared to the number which powers a Tesla.
"[Tesla] just released the fastest production car ever to be made in the world including every McLaren, every Ferrari, every Lamborghini and this is a production car that they are just making 50,000 of them a year."
"[Tesla] uses little batteries that look like an AA so I think it has 7000 of them! Their battery pack is a work of art."
There is a small revolution of electric car converts right here in New Zealand, and Mr Powell knows a few dozen doing the same in Auckland.
"It's people who are just really, really into it, just gurus on it. So it's certainly not common but it is happening."
Mr Powell hopes to have the car up and running by Christmas.