Radio ActiveOld EngineSummitPusher control consoleClean Engine Bay
OwnerMr. Sharkey
Owner's Other EVsGE ElecTrak E-20
1981 Volkswagen Rabbit L
LocationMinerva, Oregon United States map
Web/EmailWebPage email image
The front half of a 1978 VW Rabbit with the rear quarter of a 1984 VW Cabriolet grafted on the back
MotorVolkswagen unknown
1.6 liter/52 HP, normally-aspirated four cylinder diesel fueled by Biodiesel
Drivetrain3-speed automatic transmission from a 1983 VW Rabbit supplies ground traction to wheels
Batteries1 Johnson Controls FRB 12-225, 12.00 Volt, Lead-Acid, Gel
Trailer engine starting battery
System Voltage12 Volts
Charger Bosch
55 ampere V-belt driven alternator
HeaterOriginal heater core mounted in grille for additional cooling. Radiator fitted with pump-driven water misting system to provide additional cooling.
Oil Pressure
Glow Plugs Active
Fuel level
Cruise control fault
Top Speed75 MPH (120 KPH)
It would probably go faster, but I chickened out.
AccelerationSuprisingly good when used in parallel mode with the EV's electric drive. Climbs mountain passes with gusto!
Range300 Miles (482 Kilometers)
per tank. Averaging 25-30 MPG on Biodiesel, depending on terrain.
EV Miles
Current:2,550 Miles (4,102 Kilometers)
Seating CapacityThe trunk is big enough for one...
Curb Weight1,100 Pounds (499 Kilograms)
Conversion TimeSeven Months, December 2000 - July 2001
Conversion Cost$3,500, including the rebuilt engine and many, many trial-and-error projects done and redone until suitable results were obtained.
Additional FeaturesCompletely rebuilt diesel engine fitted with an LPG (propane) fumigation system to enhance power and economy.
Cold air induction from cowl-mounted intake scoop.
Controller can be installed at trailer tongue for demonstrations at events, etc.
The pusher is used with Sharkey's 1981 VW Rabbit EV WebPage

Electric vehicles are great for around-town driving. Clean, quiet, and up to the task of keeping up with urban traffic. Longer trips can be difficult. What's needed is a way to convert the EV into a hybrid for longer distances. Enter the EV pusher trailer, which allows me to have an internal combustion engine to drive the EV forward longer distances when needed, but is detachable for around town use when I want to drive as a pure electric vehicle.

Additional resources:

-= As seen on the "Coolfuels Roadtrip" TV series! =- WebPage
Read the Home Power magazine article in .pdf format: WebPage
More about LPG fumigation: WebPage

code by jerry