Build your own electric car. I did it and you should too!
How many batteries do you have in your van? How long does it take for a full charge? And how far will that get you? I've just started doing research on converting a VW bus. I'm wondering about the possibility of solar panels. Have you looked into that possibility?
I have 24 6v golf cart batteries, you can get 40-50 miles on a charge, but that runs the batteries down which limits their life. I usually keep it around 20. Charging takes overnight10 hours on a complete charge, but I rarely fully discharge, so 6-7 hours 220v does it. Solar panels on your home may be able to charge the pack, but nothing on the car could doore thanaintain your auxillary battery. Even on your home roof you'd have to be in a sunny place and charge during the day, when you might be driving most. Hopefully someday someone will figure out a better solar set up. Cheers!
How much did the 6.7" motor cost?How much did the 9" motor cost?How much was the speed controller?Same question for the coupler from Hi-Torque Electric?Can you provide me with Jim Husted's contact info?I'd like to do the same thing for my pickup.Never mind on Jim's contact info. I googled it. man those elec. motors are NOT cheap. When are they going to come down in price. There was a guy who converted his VW Bug (70's) or so, for less than $2000 using elec. forklift motors and controllers and other things. minus the cost of the bus and interior restoration you did, and considering only the drive train, how much do you have in the bus now? not including your previous motor and batt's that caught fire. Is your bus new 9" AC or DC motor?thanks
There is no way to do a conversion for under 10k, uless you get donated parts of some sort. The motor is over a grand and so is the controller, then cheap batteries are about 2k, then a good charger and tons of copper, and all the misc saftey parts end up taking up the rest. You could look at my original kit I got from Wilderness EV in Utah which seems to be the cheapest., but there are reasons to avoid the cheapest when it comes to building an object that shares the road with all those other cars. Good luck, I hope I can help.Soren
I was in the process of finding a bus to convert when my wife got pregnant about 3 years ago... Still trying to get ahead of the ball again to do this same project.My question is... Why move all the batteries to the bus floor? Is that area unuseable now? Can you walk on the battery boxes? How long can you run the headlights when driving @ night?Thanks,Philip
The batteries used to be in the back, but that many batteries in the back made it verry back heavy, and hard to get to the batteries for maintenance. As you can see from the blog, havign it all crammed into the back contributed to my fire!The box is totally sturdy and I walk on it all the time. If I was more of a metal worker i would have kept the seat on top of it, but I didn't bother. Someday if I have a ton more energy to put into it I'll get someone to weld me in a seat support, and integrate it into the box so the box can still open.At night with a good 12V deep cycle auxillary battery you should be able to drive for over an hour. Mine is on its last legs but I still made it 12 miles home last night in the dark.Cheers!
Thanks for the blog about your experience. I'm setting out on the journey as well. Are you happy with the 9 inch motor. I'm considering the same setup you have. Any recommendations before I start? Thanks
ERIK, I upgraded to the 9 after my 7 inch motor, and it has been much more reliable. My bus is not a speedy vehicle and big hills are a real problem, but I think that has more to do with my batteries/controler not havign enough power, not the motor. Feel free to email me questions, you can find out my contact info at: http://www.fortunephotobooth.comOne thing I always think about is that I went clutchless, but I would probably keep the clutch next time for easier down shifting.
Soren - great job! I'm looking to start a VW Bus conversion. What do you know about Lithium Ion batteries - they appear to hold a charge longer and are significantly smaller than the lead batteries. I'd imagine they're costlier, but do you know if the technology has advanced enough to make them practical at this point?Thanks for taking the time to make this available to us all! Well done.
This is a great blog. I'd like an update :) I have a 1979 Westfalia. It already has more weight than a Transporter. I wonder if this would be an issue. Any thoughts?
I think you'll be ok for weight, its just that the more weight the slower you'll be. It won't be a fast bus for sure
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