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Right...

I have decided to do a conversion of a car. I have played with many previous projects starting with a pool heater begin solar powered, then a scooter, a bike, solar panels on my house and now a car.

I have been thinking for a few years about this. A year ago I bought a Renault Zoe and have enjoyed driving it although I have kept my BMW estate because it has range, comfort, space and a towbar.

I looked at many options initially wanting to convert something like a Porsche but at the end of the day why wold you? They are designed for performance and to be nimble. The kind of performance and agility that an EV simply will not give you. This is why I think EV's will only ever be in smaller cars. The SUV's and sports cars will always be ICEs. Don't get me wrong though, I am all for EV's.

Also, newer cars need lots of modifying and programming to keep the electronics happy. I am not that clever.

So... I decided to look at older cars. The first obvious option being a Karmann Ghia.

I looked and looked and was 100% set on these. I was going to import from the USA but these are all LHD and here in the UK we are RHD. So they would need to be converted or previously converted. Also, they all seemed so rusty. I know they are 50+ years old but even so.

Then I saw a Type 3 Notchback. I fell in love. Its still my preferred car. Same problem from the USA. LHD! Then up on Google came one in South Africa. And not much rust! One I found was beautiful but I felt like the guy wanted to much for it. I kept looking.

In the meantime I saw a beautiful car on eBay in the UK. It was too much but I liked it! A lot! I looked into it. A Volvo Amazon Estate. Oh I like this. I started hunting.

Rusty ones in UK, none in the USA, oohhh a few in South Africa. I focussed.

I finally found this:

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Lovely condition for its age. Right price including shipping. And it is owned by a Volvo restorer/enthusiast who buys them and sells them with restoration packages.

I have a plan to use an AC51 motor, maybe AC50 along with a Curtiss 1239 controller and 5 Tesla batteries.

Lets see how we get on.
 

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That car looks wonderful!

If you're looking at the AC51 and Curtis, that's why you feel that EVs don't have the performance of sports cars. Those motors and controllers are nice and simple, easy to plug and play, but there are options that are far more powerful and less expensive. Curtis is good for a golf cart or a boat, not a performance EV.
Nissan Leaf motor -- will smoke tires in an E46, use either through a transmission or with its original FWD transaxle. Up to 300hp has been achieved.
GS450h transmission -- even better, combines a pair of motors in a single unit and can be hooked straight to a driveshaft. No HP numbers, awaiting a dyno test.
Tesla motors - 300hp for the small one, 500hp for the large one. Connect straight to the wheels and you have huge power.
Power is there, you just need to know where to get it :)
 

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I looked at many options initially wanting to convert something like a Porsche but at the end of the day why wold you? They are designed for performance and to be nimble. The kind of performance and agility that an EV simply will not give you. This is why I think EV's will only ever be in smaller cars. The SUV's and sports cars will always be ICEs.
I guess someone needs to explain this to Tesla, which sells more EVs than any other company and builds only large cars, and to Porsche which now has the high-performance Taycan, and to Audi and Jaguar who have chosen the SUV format for their EVs. ;)

High mass is bad for performance and agility, but the low centre of mass of a properly located battery pack can result in good handling, and peak power can easily be high enough to make up for the extra mass.

But regardless of what else can work, the Amazon can be a great project, so have fun!
 

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Thanks for your reply guys but the point i was making was that to have 300hp and use it will suck the range. I mean I zoomed to keep up with my mother in a 90hp golf plus. I did 5 miles and used 30% of the battery. While an electric car can give performance, the same performance can be achieved in a Dino fuel car with 50kg of fuel costing 80 quid and would still do 4 to 500 miles. A battery car would need what 200kg of battery costing 8000 or more and only last 200 miles.

I'm plucking figures from the air but you see my comparison I hope.

Like I said I'm all for EVs but its not apples for pr apples
 

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My aim with the Amazon is to greater a 75 to 100 hp car with a range of 100 miles doing 40 to 60 mph. This all I do in my Zoe. If I want power or range I'll use the BMW.😁
 

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I’m doing a 1967 Amazon wagon.
Looking forward to future updates and seeing your approach.
Really. Maybe we can share ideas such as battery locations?
Although it seems obvious, perhaps it isn't to everyone...
When considering the conversion of a specific model or style of vehicle, it makes sense to search the forum for existing project first. Some names are hard to search for, but "Volvo Amazon" is quite distinctive; I did a Google search of this site for that, and in a couple of minutes found oudevolvo and his thread:
Volvo Amazon wagon EV conversion
Once a member has posted and mentioned their project, you can click on their username to find their posts and threads ("discussions") to track down their project.

In this case, the battery box design process is well documented, and the box designs finalized; the rear one might not work for a sedan.
 

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New to the forum but I also have an Amazon so following with interest.

pdj White - where in the UK are you based? I’m in Berkshire
 

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I wonder how many Brits have trodden this path? Apart from the technical pitfalls of conversion, is there a safety test to pass? What effect does this have on insurance and historic vehicle status (MOT, Car Tax etc.)?
 

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No safety tests. Last time I converted a standard sierra to a Cosworth it was straightforward and the insurance wasn't too bad. IIRC 650 quid for the converted sierra then 700 when I bought a 1 litre metro!

I k ow thats a while ago but I dont care. I'm not doing it to save money.

No MOT. No Tax.
 

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We recently finished a '67 Amazon wagon (estate) EV conversion. We used the 144V Hyper9 motor and 6 Tesla S modules. Power was good, definitely better than a stock B18. I wouldn't call it a tire burner, but it is an appropriate amount of power for the car.

If you are interested, I had extra sets of adaptor plates and connecting hubs made for the M45 transmission. Send me a PM if you are interested.
 
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