Using Nonconductive Coatings as Part of an EV Conversion

Using Nonconductive Coatings as Part of an EV Conversion

Electric vehicles, also known as EV’s, are gaining popularity. Internal combustion engine powered vehicles are being converted to electric power by individuals and companies. In this EV conversion, quality engineering and skillful installation are a must for a great running and a safe car. As part of an EV conversion, it’s important to remember the internal combustion vehicle wasn’t engineered with a high voltage motor set up in mind. The converted EV needs to be properly prepared to receive the EV components. Part of this is ensuring the surfaces on which the high voltage components are mounted are non-conductive. It might seem like a challenge to render metal surfaces non-conductive; however, they can easily be insulated with non-conductive coatings. Here we’ll discuss using non-conductive coatings as part of an EV conversion.

Non-conductive coatings help to ensure safety and proper function of EV electrical systems.

Non-conductive coatings help to isolate EV electrical components from accidental electrical connections to one another through the chassis, body, and other parts of the vehicle. The coatings provide a barrier of insulation to avoid short circuits or unintended electrical paths. Helping to ensure safe and correct function of the EV conversion.

What makes a coating non-conductive?

Nothing will make metal non-conductive, but a non-conductive coating will work to prevent the flow of electric current between different metal components and surfaces. What makes the coatings non-conductive is they’re formulated with materials like epoxies, polyurethanes, aluminum oxide, and silica, which have high electrical resistivity and impede the flow of electric charges.

It should be noted coatings that are formulated with materials like graphite, metallic flakes, and metal oxides are conductive and should not be used as part of an EV conversion.

Areas to apply non-conductive coatings when doing an EV conversion

When performing an EV conversion, non-conductive coatings can be used to insulate metal surfaces like frames, battery boxes, engine compartments, floor pans, and vehicle bodies. In general, using non-conductive coatings as part of an EV conversion is an effective way to insulate metal surfaces that come into close proximity to electrical components such as motors, batteries, controllers, and wiring.

RustSeal is a non-conductive coating that can be used for EV conversions

When preparing a vehicle for EV system installation, RustSeal will perform as a durable, non-conductive coating. RustSeal seals and encapsulates metal to provide a rock hard, ceramic-like barrier that insulates metal from electricity, is tough to chip or scratch, and will not crack or peel.

RustSeal is an easy to use, single part, moisture cured urethane (MCU) rust preventive coating with inherent non-conductive properties. As previously mentioned, urethane is considered a great insulating material. Please keep in mind that RustSeal in “Galvanized” or "Silver" color contains metallic flakes, and therefore can be conductive and is not to be used to insulate metal during an EV conversion.

RustSeal was formulated to prevent rust by keeping moisture and oxygen from reaching metal. RustSeal is highly resistant to abrasion and chemicals and is hard and yet flexible to withstand impacts, which maintains the integrity and long life of the coating. RustSeal is self-leveling, has a beautiful appearance, and is offered in a wide array of colors. RustSeal can be brushed, rolled, or applied with spray equipment.

Application of RustSeal

With proper preparation, RustSeal can be applied direct to prepared bare metal, treated surface rust, and to other paints and coatings.

Application to bare metal, and/or surface rust

  • Remove any loose flaky rust with 320 grit sandpaper, or a wire brush, or wire wheeling to achieve a solid surface profile
  • It’s necessary to remove all surface contamination. Slight residues of dirt, grease, oil or even fingerprints can ruin any good paint job. Avoid using any solvent based cleaners which leave residues. Washing the surface with KBS Klean, which thoroughly removes contaminants without leaving a residue, is recommended. Directions for use can be found here.
  • Scrub the surface with RustBlast, a powerful rust remover, zinc phosphate pre-primer, and metal etch. Instructions for use can be found here.
  • NOTE: It is not necessary to remove every last bit of rust before applying RustSeal. RustSeal is very capable of bonding to and permanently sealing any remaining flash rust or corrosion.
  • Apply RustSeal with a minimum of 3 thin covering coats (2 mils each) Instructions for use of RustSeal can be found here.

Application to an existing paint or coating

For previously painted surfaces, the very best RustSeal performance is achieved by removing all old paint via chemical stripping or mechanical stripping followed by KBS Klean and RustBlast systems before RustSeal application.

However, when desired, RustSeal can be applied over an existing painted surface after lightly scuffing with 320 grit and then cleaning with KBS Klean. RustSeal will provide an extremely durable, moisture-resistant, and insulative coating.


If you have questions about using non-conductive coatings as part of an EV conversion, please let us know. We can be reach out HERE.