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I'm planning my first EV conversion! Here in Santa Cruz, old Volkswagens are a dime a dozen so I figure one of those is ideal for my first time. From what I can tell it'll be a fairly straightforward conversion from a mechanical standpoint, which is great for me as my knowledge/experience is electrical and not mechanical. (I'm a recent college graduate, currently in my first real electrical engineering job, and newly moved from Boston to the west coast, so this is a year of new terrain in many different ways!)

This will be our "around town car", meaning that it only really has to navigate downtown streets, the occasional road with a 45 mph speed limit, and the fairly steep hill up to campus. With this in mind, I'll start off with my list of design goals:
  • Range: 20 miles at 25-35 mph
  • Top speed: at least 45 mph
  • Torque: comfortable acceleration from rest to 25 mph,
  • Power: ability to climb an 6% grade comfortably at 30 mph
  • Cost: no more than $8000, including donor car.
I've been playing around with the calculator at and this seems to be well within the capabilities of a standard 72V lead-acid system, which should be feasible within my budget.

Stay tuned as I select components, search for a donor car, and angst about all of the many decisions (big and small) that make this project happen!


Scott, you should come visit me one of these evenings and see my '69 bug. Check out my blog too; I have detailed many of my component choices and why.

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