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Hi everybody, my Name is Jef and I'm new to this forum.
I have bought a Volkswagen Beetle 1303s with independent rear suspension to convert to an EV.
 

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EV conversion is something that is very rare in my country. A lot of the people only think about linear economy and the government is corrupted by the oil companies and large car manufacturers. There are all sorts of discounts and tax advantages for buying a new car, but conversion is very difficult. The authority that checks car to be street legal is in a monopoly position and doesn't budge to create a procedure to check converted cars. The authority to get the car registered is the same, very out dated.
But it is possible! And it's my mission to get this working myself.
If all goes well, I'm considering to make this my profession. Not to gain a lot of money, just to have a sustainable job that thinks about the environment and that puts food on the table.

I have a master in Industrial engineering with a major in Electro mechanics.
During the past 16 years I have restored numerous mopeds, motorcycles and I've done most of the maintenance on my car.
I can make CAD drawings, have parts milled (CNC), parts turned on Lathe, Sheetmetal (lasercutting, bending and welding) and I can weld myself.
I've done all electrical wiring in my house and I have made wiring harnesses from scratch in the past for motorcycles and mopeds.
The past 12 years I have worked as a design engineering for machine builders, making concepts and detailing machines in 3D.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
For this conversion I want to do as much as possible myself to reduce the budget. For the range I'm currently looking at 100km (62,5 miles) and the charging time doesn't need to be short. Is this possible with lead batteries?

The beetle originally came with an engine that can produce 50 HP and 110Nm (81 ft-lb). With this conversion I want to achieve this as well, but not to much more (trying to reduce the load on the original gearbox) let's limit the torque to 150 Nm (110 ft-lb)

I have budget of around 10000 euro (preferably less) for the conversion.
I'm a big supporter of circular economy, so I don't mind using used or revised components.
The additional components on the car are very simply: radio, lights, horn, blinkers, a small heater and windshield wipers.
There's on watch-out ==> to get the car road legal in my country (in europe) the EMC restrictions need to be met. I don't know if that means that all components need to be certified of if I can get this certified myself. Maybe some people on the forum have experience with this?
AND the weight of the car needs to remain more or less the same...

So far, I have only bought the car (without motor) for 1250 euro. I thinks the weight is already lower than stock, because the fenders, trunk lid and hood are fiberglass (I think, I still need to pick up the car, but because of COVID I have to wait a couple of weeks) and it has race seats and aluminum rims.
 

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I have contacted some forklift scrapyards to see if they have a motor, but no response so far.
It seems that the manufacturers for complete kits are mostly located in the states and that the importers or distributors in Europe charge a lot additional fees for these same products.
There some in the UK as well, but these also focus on performance and the pricing is quite high.
Any tips from European converters regarding budget friendly kits or dealers are more than welcome.

I hope this enough information to get some response and to explore different options. I'm very glad I've found this forum and will try to contribute as much as possible by sharing the progress and details specific my country, region.
 

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Hello
I have a new netgain warp 11 dc motor if you are interested.
Very powerfull.
Problem in Germany is EMV.
Greetings boxster-Warp
 

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I don't know what the market is like in Belgium, but in the States the cheapest way to go is to buy a wrecked production car like a Leaf or Tesla and use as many components as you can. Even if you can't get the whole car working, you can still use the batteries, motor (if you buy a controller), inverter, wiring, contactors, throttle, fuses, etc etc, and it'll wind up being cheaper than buying the batteries and motor separately. Some OEM motors/components have much better aftermarket support than others, though, so you'll want to research your options.

I bought a wrecked Leaf, but couldn't get it working in my car, so I had to buy a charger and controllers from Thunderstruck for another USD$3k.
 

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I have bought a Volkswagen Beetle 1303s with independent rear suspension to convert to an EV.
All rear-engine VW's have independent rear suspension, so I assume you mean that you have the CV-joint rear, rather than the earlier swing axles. It doesn't really matter, unless you replace the VW transaxle, in which case the CV joint setup is an advantage because the axle shafts don't take lateral suspension force.

My understanding is that a 1303 is the Super Beetle, with the longer nose (and curved windshield and McPherson strut front suspension). That will have more space up front than the regular Beetle for battery modules, if you need to put some there. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Hello
Here is a conversion from Belgium. Components are from Heiko Fleck from Germany.
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=8P36UBtiyEI
Grettings Boxster-Warp
Thank you for the reply, I will contact Heiko Fleck to see what kit he could offer.
I love the German engineering and quality. Would be nice if I could work together with a German for my future projects as it's a neighboring country.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I have bought a Volkswagen Beetle 1303s with independent rear suspension to convert to an EV.
All rear-engine VW's have independent rear suspension, so I assume you mean that you have the CV-joint rear, rather than the earlier swing axles. It doesn't really matter, unless you replace the VW transaxle, in which case the CV joint setup is an advantage because the axle shafts don't take lateral suspension force.

My understanding is that a 1303 is the Super Beetle, with the longer nose (and curved windshield and McPherson strut front suspension). That will have more space up front than the regular Beetle for battery modules, if you need to put some there.
Correct the 1303s is known in the states as a super beetle. I really like the vw beetle and I'm glad I bought a 1303s. It has the McPherson front suspension, koni rear suspension and handles better than the earlier beetles.
With a transaxle I feel you really can't call it independent suspension. With a transaxle it more like a swing arm in my opinion...
Any way, I have the cv joint type, so I assume the handeling will be better than with a transaxle.

Do you think I should install reinforced shocks?
 

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With a transaxle I feel you really can't call it independent suspension. With a transaxle it more like a swing arm in my opinion...
Any way, I have the cv joint type, so I assume the handeling will be better than with a transaxle.
It isn't important to the conversion, but swing axles are an independent suspension - the movement of each wheel is independent of the other one. Only people in the air-cooled VW/Porsche enthusiast crowd commonly make this basic terminology error, but they do it very commonly so I understood what you meant.

Yes, the different pivot points and resulting change in orientation of the pivot axis of the suspension arms makes the CV-joint version of the VW suspension handle better than the swing-axle version; there is less camber and toe change with wheel travel.

In this post you're introducing another error: you're suggesting that your CV-jointed IRS doesn't have a transaxle. Of course it does - it has a transaxle (transmission plus differential) just like any other air-cooled Beetle; the transaxle's outputs just don't serve as pivot points for the suspension. Since it isn't part of the suspension you have the option in your conversion of replacing the transaxle with a different one, but again, since your plan appears to be to use the original transaxle, this doesn't matter.
 

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Do you think I should install reinforced shocks?
Shocks aren't really "reinforced" (made stronger), but they come in different rates of damping (or "stiffness"). Shock damping should suit the mass of the vehicle, so if you increase the mass supported by either the front or rear axle, then stiffer shocks for that end of the car would be appropriate. That can wait until the conversion is complete, because it can be done any time and you won't know the mass until you're done. Shocks which are too stiff are almost as bad as shocks which are too soft.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks for the responses so far.
I have contacted Heiko Fleck from Germany to see if he can provide me with the main components for the conversion. I will keep updating.
I also contacted the person in the Youtube video and asked if he's interested in a tech talk to go through the process he went trough.
 

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Hi everybody, today I got a proposal from Heiko Fleck from Germany. Thanks for the reference!
Can you guys have a look at this proposal and share your opinion, feedback?

For 1500Euro i can have an 20Kw engine from Best Motors Italia and an ZAppi Controller.
It was installed in an Scoda Fabia. That car starts in the fourth gear:)
Its water-cooled system.
If I want I can have the hole car too for the same price.
Charger used is 400euro from Zivan and used DCDC is 100euro
Batteries 24 pieces 160Ah GBS Batteries
4608 Euro and BMS 1200Euro with Display
Its an 72 V System
Fuses 60Euro
Cable 6 Meter 120euro

To me, this sounds fair and I'm concidering this proposal....
 

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Hi everybody, today I got a proposal from Heiko Fleck from Germany. Thanks for the reference!
Can you guys have a look at this proposal and share your opinion, feedback?

For 1500Euro i can have an 20Kw engine from Best Motors Italia and an ZAppi Controller.
It was installed in an Scoda Fabia. That car starts in the fourth gear:)
Its water-cooled system.
If I want I can have the hole car too for the same price.
Charger used is 400euro from Zivan and used DCDC is 100euro
Batteries 24 pieces 160Ah GBS Batteries
4608 Euro and BMS 1200Euro with Display
Its an 72 V System
Fuses 60Euro
Cable 6 Meter 120euro

To me, this sounds fair and I'm concidering this proposal....
Is this an AC or DC motor/controller system? 72 volts is in my opinion on the low end but it would work in the VW as long as you can mount it to the transaxle.
 

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Is this an AC or DC motor/controller system? 72 volts is in my opinion on the low end but it would work in the VW as long as you can mount it to the transaxle.
It a AC 3 phase motor (Asynchrone).
What do you mean with on the low end? What's better with a higher voltage?
 

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It a AC 3 phase motor (Asynchrone).
What do you mean with on the low end? What's better with a higher voltage?
The typical voltage for our HPEVS motors are up to 144 volts depending upon the controller and motor used. Others are using like Tesla Motors and running in the 300 volt range. I have two HPEVS AC Induction motors and both of them will be running 120 volts.

For DC motors typical setup is similar. My first EV was 72 volts and a 9" DC Series motor and the controller would do 550 amps. It was OK but not the best for the street. I bumped it to 96 volts and 900 amps and that did the trick. I then did 120 volts and that was even better. My batteries were never able to pump out more than 700 amps.

AC is better in my opinion. Does your setup allow higher voltages or is that the limit?
 

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It a AC 3 phase motor (Asynchrone).
What do you mean with on the low end? What's better with a higher voltage?
Just took a quick spin through the AC-3 / AC-4 User Manual. I would say that the setup would be totally fine for your VW Beetle. The biggest hurdle would be to attach the motor to the stock transaxle. Beyond that I'd say yes. Get the manual if you don't already have it and when you remove parts from the other vehicle get all the components and take pictures of connected parts before disassembly. The manual is very good and gives loads of information.

https://www.zapiinc.com/sites/default/files/ZAPI AC3-AC4 Manual.pdf
 

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Discussion Starter #19
And what do you guys think about the price? Is the amount of euros for the battery ok?? And for the bms?
 

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And what do you guys think about the price? Is the amount of euros for the battery ok?? And for the bms?
Not terrible if they are new. If not haggle hard to get them lower depending upon the mileage on the batteries. BMS. no clue. Im assuming its a Zapi BMS. Check on their site to see what theirs costs new.
 
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