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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!

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