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Discussion Starter #1
Hello I’m sure someone has done a vehicle similar to this already, looking for direction. I’m a decent fabricator, good at figuring things out. Am on a budget of $4000? Is this enough, should I look for used parts etc from other vehicles. 100 mile range + and expandable? Was originally going to put TdI motor in it, guess still a possibility, but I hate the smell of diesel! Any suggestions appreciated.
 

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Have you considered converting a Leaf into a light PU:https://www.greencarreports.com/news/1094509_worlds-first-nissan-leaf-electric-pickup-truck-for-shop-use-only

The used Leaf prices have dropped quite a bit now. You may be able to find a rear end or top damaged one at an even lower price. A big advantage is that the Leaf will have most of the modern safety and comfort features. Heater/defroster, AC, possibly DC fast charge, air bags, etc. Some of these features are real PITA or nearly impossible to incorporate in an ICE conversion. Maybe someone else can pencil out the cost comparisons VW PU to EV conversion vs Leaf to PU conversion.

Work-wise, you can get some idea of what's required by looking at the recent Model 3 "Truckla" PU conversion. The roof and support pillars are stressed members in a uni-body vehicle, like the Leaf. If they are modified or removed, additional bracing and structure will need to be added to make up for their loss. As seen in the Model 3 conversion, it's not that complicated. I suspect designing and making the tail gate fully functional required the largest chunk of time. Using existing PU bed and rear window sections from other PUs made the conversion much easier

Some people have complained about the Leaf ugliness factor. I suspect in your case, with the VW PU, you have already dealt with that issue.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
“Some people have complained about the Leaf ugliness factor. I suspect in your case, with the VW PU, you have already dealt with that issue.”:eek: What? My truck is beautiful! :) very interesting idea thanks, I’ll do some research on the leaf vehicles.
 

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For a manufacturer, making a utility (pickup) version of a car is practical and reasonable. For a DIY project, one issue is that the resulting cargo box is very short; the VW Rabbit Pickup (as it was called in North America) or Caddy (as it was called elsewhere) is longer than the Mk1 Golf (Rabbit) on which it is based, so it has a useful size of cargo box. The pickup wheelbase is 225 mm or 9" longer than the car.

And while aesthetics are a matter of personal taste, I think VW's pickup is a vastly more elegant body form than any of the current crop of stuff like the current Leaf, or even the original Leaf.
 

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One interesting feature of the VW Pickup is the essentially empty space under the cargo bed. This image (from 4crawler.com) shows the space which might be good for a battery pack:

(Note that the box length dimension label is obviously incorrect; another source shows it as 1835 mm... or six feet)

While the straightforward way to convert this vehicle would be to just replace the engine with a motor (or replace the engine and transaxle with a complete drive unit from a front-wheel-drive EV) and pack battery in the back, the relatively wide-open rear end makes a rear-drive (or AWD) conversion with a rear-mounted drive unit and independent suspension tempting. That would be a lot more work, and packing everything under the cargo box floor would be a challenge, but the result could be impressive.
 
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