DIY Electric Car Forums banner
1 - 20 of 89 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
405 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Howdy all!
I'm new here, and I'm just getting started building my own EV. Right now I'm doing a lot of the research, and I just secured my donor vehicle, a 1969 VW bug. http://www.corbinstreehouse.com/blog/2010/04/electric-bug/

So, some info about myself:
* I'm 31 and a programmer at Apple by day.
* Skill range: I can weld (MIG, oxy/acet) and braze fairly well. I'm good with tools; both woodworking and metal, although I'm a very novice machinist. I have a woodshop/machine shop in my garage. I used to have a '67 mustang, so I'm used to working on cars, but mainly doing "basic stuff", like fixing power steering, heater cores, brakes, etc. I've rewired my house, so I have some experience with AC power, and I used to race electric R/C cars as a kid so I know a little about how batteries work (Nicads, back in those days).

My EV goal for the bug:
Ideally 100 mile range, but I would take 50 miles including a rather large 6 hill to my house. Ultimately, I just want to be able to drive to work and back (20 miles each way, without charging and make it up the hill -- "highway 17" for people in the Bay Area of California). I want to be able to go 65-70mph on the freeway when I need to.

How much money am I willing to invest? Well, as much as I have to to meet my goals. I'd like to keep it around the $10k point (maybe up to $15k).

What have I considered? So far, not much. Travis Tyler's 66 Bug has a lot of things I'm looking to mimic: http://ev.gearboxmagazine.com/2010/04/06/travis-tylers-1966-volkswagen-beetle-elec-bug/

Anyways, I'm looking forward to my project and just wanted to say hi.

-corbin
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,217 Posts
Sounds like a fun project. Generally, a 50 mile range will cost a lot less than a 100 mile range. To get the range of a VW Beetle to 50 or more miles I would recommend Lithium batteries. These cars where designed to roll very easily but aerodynamically they suck wind. Freeway range will be less than city range. If you build for about 90 miles city you will have around 60 miles of range at 60-70 mph freeway.

It looks like you have picked up a sweet old Beetle to work with. I've never owned one that 'late model' (my newest Beetle is the '64 frame under my beach buggy.) I've thought about doing another Beetle, they are my favorite cars to work on.

Oh, and I'm an Apple user by night :D
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
84 Posts
Welcome to the forum Corbin.

"Plug Bug" that's a clever name for your bug.

Sounds like you have the skills to do a nice conversion. You will learn a lot in here, I know I did.

I think you are going to have to spend more than 10k to go that far, but it is defiantly possible.

If there is anything I can do to help, I would be glad to.
 
G

·
Corbin,

Nice to see the bug back in the game. Lookin good. My Bus is now at the shop for welding a few things. I should be getting my adaptor back soon and we will be installing the Kostov hopefully here in a few weeks.

I like the work you have done on your Bug. It looks real nice. Nice to see you did not hash your apron. Cut nicely and looks good.

Pete :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
405 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
The project is moving along. I got my batteries a few weeks ago (finally!)

I did some box designs in sketchup:


More pictures and the sketchup files: http://www.corbinstreehouse.com/blog/2010/12/plug-bug-battery-box-design/

And I strapped a bunch of cells together:



I started fabricating the boxes; hopefully by the end of next week I'll have it all together!

corbin
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
405 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Thanks for the comments all! I appreciate that people enjoy following along with me on the project. I've been working hard on it the past few weeks since I got the batteries. I have had this past week off from work and I've been getting a lot done.

A new blog posting is up:

http://www.corbinstreehouse.com/blog/2010/12/plug-bug-front-battery-box-fabrication/

I'll copy some pictures here.

The front battery box is fabricated. Here it is in the front trunk area of the car:



And painted metallic silver to match the car:



My blog posting has some more details on the construction. I also completed the rear box and I'm going to do a writeup on that soon. Tomorrow I'm hoping to start installing the cells and fabricating bus bars. If I can figure out the Elithion BMS I may actually get it all going! If not..I may skip the BMS for a week or so, just so I can see the tires spin.

The only set back might be not having enough 2/0 wire.

corbin
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
93 Posts
Corbin, looks like you wound up with 48 cells all together.

What has been your total investment in batteries and BMS battery management/charger?

Thanks, looking good.
 
1 - 20 of 89 Posts
Top