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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Greetings, all,

I'm currently planning an EV conversion on a 1973 VW Late bay window bus I've had for over 8 years now. My job is transferring me out of state so I'm taking advantage of the short time I have left and the vast EV & VW resources here in California to complete this project. I've reached out to a few vendors to price out the common VW kit offered by EV West based on a new AC motor with all components priced at $17k+.

Also, I've been introduced to the OEM donor vehicle route of a Nissan Leaf or Tesla DU here in these forums which sound extremely attractive. I'm finding well used, but running Leafs starting at $3500+. With my budget, I could be open to the whole Tesla ecosystem as well. My question to the community is:

What kind of conversion would you recommend for a 1973 Bus? Ease of conversion is my first priority (short time and moving away), and watching my budget is my next (will be purchasing a first home in the near future). Much thanks in advance.

currently based in Modesto, CA

Early pic in body work stage. Will be primered and painted very soon. Conversion is coming next!


114 Posts
Hi Diego,
First of all good luck with your project, I owned a Baywindow bus a few years ago and it was one of my favourite vehicles ever!
There is a really good set of videos I saw where a husband and wife were converting a bus, I’ll try and find it. They put the batteries under the floor where there is a good amount of space.

It seems to me that your two goals of quick and cheap are not necessarily compatible.

Quick is a kit from EV West (or someone similar)

Cheap is a OEM build which involves stripping out all the necessary parts, checking they still work, fitting them into a vehicle they weren’t designed to go in.
It may be worth getting a Thunderstruck? kit, some guys on here have used them, it enables you to use an OEM motor without it wanting all the can messages from the original car.
It can also sort out display/speedo too.


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