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Evening all
I’ve been toying with this idea for a while. I have a 66 beetle in the garage that is like triggers broom - everything has been replaced and I need to paint it and put it back together. It’s not original body wise and doesn’t have the correct engine so it’s not like I’m destroying a piece of automotive history and I like the idea of going electric. My commute is about 6 miles so range isn’t a massive problem. Paying 25-30k isn’t an option and I like a challenge. I’m thinking of buying a Nissan Leaf as a starting point and grafting the running gear into the bug…..
I’m quite good at wielding spanners but have a legendary ineptness in anything electrical. Slightly worrying!
 

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The old school low voltage DC motor hooked to the transaxle is best for your pocketbook limitations and range needs.

A Leaf will need a LOT of surgery, is way too much power (and uses high voltage), and needs a lot of battery in excess of your range needs, to replace the lawnmower engine that it came with, imo.
 

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Does the car still have the original swing-axle rear suspension? If so, and if you want to keep that, you need to stay with a Beetle transaxle (or similar) which is designed to use the axle half-shafts as suspension arms. If not, may be able to replace both the engine and the transaxle with a "drive unit" (electric motor plus transaxle) salvaged from a production EV. Yes, that sounds like it could include the Leaf, but space for components and required modifications to body and structure need to be checked carefully.
 
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