WeightEV rally 2011The very first testUnder the front hoodUnder the back hoodBack battery boxInletMain switch/fuseelectric
Owner's Other EVs2002 Peugeot 106 Electrique
2017 Renault ZOE ZE40
1973 Volkswagen Beetle
LocationZagreb, Zagreb Croatia (Hrvatska) map
Web/EmailWebPage email image
Vehicle1974 Volkswagen Beetle
Motor Elektrokovina, 7.5 kW, TE 132 SB 2 TROP 3-Phase AC
2010-March Used 3 phase AC, 2 pole, 220/380V,
26/15A, 7.5 kW motor with new set of bearings.
2010-10-17 Motor has been rewinded to 44V-130A in delta connection
DrivetrainOriginal 4 gear with clutch
ControllerZapi AC-3 80V 600A flash inverter
2010-March 10 years old industrial 380-500
VAC sensorless vector drive (Midimaster
6SE3223-0DH40) with new role which it does
not fit according to my wishes.
Might go for lower voltage and another
2010-10-17 Friend borrowed me his Zapi AC-3
80V 600A flash inverter
2011-May Reprogrammed Zapi to torque mode SW,
runs much better now while consumption went
down as well
2022-Mar Zapi configuration has been tweaked in order to allow higher voltage of new battery pack (about 100V at . Not a perfect solution.
Batteries8 CALB/Skyenergy D148N50B-3P6S Modules, 3.70 Volt, Lithium-Ion
2010-March Not decided yet, looking for
Headway 38120S if I stay with current
controller. However, if I go for lower
voltage, 100 Ah Thundersky should come into
2010-10-17 Currently tests are done with 72V
60Ah pack made of borrowed old Sonnenschein
A512/30 G6 batteries
2010-10-18 Behind rear seat you can find now
25 TS-LFP100AHA batteries connected in series
(82.5V 100Ah packet)
2010-11-10 After few performance trips, I
noticed that some batteries are heated up
more than others (temp varies between 20 and
36C). Connections between batteries are
suspected so far.
2011-06-05 Added 25 more batteries, pack now
has 82.5V 200Ah
2011-Oct After connections between batteries
has been re-done back in June, no issues with
heating batteries has been noticed again.
Also battery pack is drained with max 1C
current (200A), so that also helps in keeping
it cool.
2022-Feb After 12 years of service and more than 85000 e-km, TS-LFP100AHA battery pack has been upgraded to 26kWh battery pack (8 D148N50B-3P6S Modules, 4 in the front box, 4 in the rear box). In total, there is 144 50Ah cells, connected in 2 parallel strings of 3P24S
2022-Nov Aging TS-LFP100AHA battery pack started new life as 48V battery storage for UPS at my house. UPS has been installed due to energy crisis and related potential power outages, expected to happen during winter 2022/23.
System Voltage89 Volts
Charger TCCH-H90-20
2010-March Not decided yet
2010-10-17 Telecom grade 72V charger
(borrowed), draws max 1050W from wall socket
2010-10-18 Hm, hm... I'll probably go for
existing charger + PC power supply in series
connection, with "manual" BMS for a start
2010-10-23 Telecom grade 72V charger + 5V
from PC power supply in series gives 88V. BMS
is "manual" - regular checking of each
battery with digital voltmeter during
charging. Batteries were initially balanced,
so voltage at the end of charge is so far
almost idealy leveled
2010-10-24 Friend borrowed me 90V (end of
charge voltage) 17A charger, draws max 1800W
from wall socket
2011-05-14 90V 20A charger bought from TC
2012-03-31 Spare quick charger made from two
identical surplus telecom grade 230VAC to
48VDC power suplies. Their output voltage is
decreased, so they provide 90VDC 38A when
conected in series. Theoreticaly speaking I
now have chargers capable of delivering 56-58
Amps in total, which means less than 4h for
full charge of depleted battery pack - not
bad at all :-) Only problem in that case is -
where to find 230VAC 23A (5kW) wall socket?
Or I should start to look for 3-phase 16A
wall sockets when and if I go for a trip
longer than 60 km in one direction...
2022-Mar TCCH-H90-20 has been tweaked to charge pack up to about 97V. Not a perfect solution
Heater2010-March None yet, spring is (finally)
2010-10-18 Since cold weather is at doorstep
I should come up with some solution, till
then I'll have warm clothes
2010-10-23 Temperature fall down to 0 to 10C
(32-50F) range, so cheap removable seat
heaters (max 48W each) are used as fist aid
2011-January Made experiments/tests with 2
cheap hair dryers, heat coils rewired for
80V, while motor rewired for 12V. I get
~1500W in total, seems to be enough
2011-March Pair of new hair dryers directly
connected to 80V delivering about 400W of
heat directly to windshield
2011-May Two 12V ceramic heater installed on
request from inspection committiee
2011-Oct Went back to hair dryer heater, this
time I bought 1600V 110VAC version which
produce ~600W @ 80VDC, quite suitable for
windshield defog/defrost
DC/DC Converter Linde DC/DC converter
2010-10-04 None yet, I'm using original
automotive 12V battery which is recharged
with external cheap automotive charger after
each ride
2010-11-28 I got Tiecheng DC-DC converter
TDC-72-12-EGA from friend for testing and
possible purchase. So far I'm satisfied with
its performace and most probabaly I'll buy
2010-12-04 I bought it!
2011-05-17 It was discovered to be bad,
opening up showed it actually burned at some
point. Looking for replacement.
2012-Apr For last couple of months ebeetle
has Linde DC/DC converter, 57-150 VDC input,
13.8 VDC 18A output, quite satisfied with it
Instrumentation2010-10-24 Original beetle instrumentation +
digital voltmeter
2011-March Fuel gauge converted to SOC gauge,
while "OIL" lamp became "battery low"
2012-April Home made digital Wh meter which
displays (on 2x16 characters display) batery
pack voltage, Amps and kW drawn from it, and
aproximately remaining Ah or Wh (depends what
is selected with button); also drives fuel
gauge; precision is not very high, but it
provides quite usefull info, defeinitely
better than what I had so far
2014-May After some intervention on wires,
home made Wh-meter "gave up", so I currently
use borrowed one
Top Speed60 MPH (96 KPH)
2010-10-17 40mph (65 kmh) in 3rd gear
2010-10-23 43mph (70 kmh) in 3rd gear
2010-11-09 45mph (73 kmh) in 4th gear
2010-11-13 50mph (80 kmh) in 4th gear
2011-05-14 60mph (96 kmh) in 4th gear (tested
during EV rally 2011; better than expected)
2012-May reached 70 mph (112kmh) in 4th gear
on downhill road ;-)
2022-Nov With new battery pack and increased voltage, e-beetle can go faster than 100km/h on leveled road, but that is overkill for a motor
Acceleration2010-March Suprisingly well considering
limited power available trough relatively
thin extension cord
2010-10-17 Somewhat worse than it was before
rewinding of motor
2010-10-23 Almost no noticable change
compared to time before TS batteries. Due to
2-pole motor I need to use 1st, 2nd and 3rd
gear to keep up with city traffic.
Acceleration from 0 km/h in 3rd gear is
pathetic and creates pile of frustrated
drivers behind me
2010-11-08 0-50kmh just under 20sec, but it
could be faster it seems
2011-06-12 Street race was part of vintage VW
cars meeting - 24sec for 1/4 mile in the
first and only try
Range140 Miles (225 Kilometers)
Verified 120km range on 2012-05-20, still
some ~20km remained in batteries till 20%
2010-March Currently it has 50 meters - that
is length of my extension cord
2010-10-17 So far I tested it up to 6 miles
(10km), but it seems that 10 miles (16km)
should be possible with current battery pack
2010-10-23 Current tests rides were done with
TS battery pack (80V 100Ah) up to 25 km on
single charge with unknown remaining charge
2010-11-08 So far I tested it up to 31km
(20miles) on single charge. Still no BMS in
2010-11-11 Due to unplanned set of events, 40
km trip was made on single charge, with some
juice left
2010-11-21 Mathematical model based on
charging data shows that practical range
(down to 80%DoD (or 20%SoC)) with half packet
of batteries should be between 32 (20) and 47
(29) kms (miles), depending on driving style
and terrain (avarage consumption gives range
of 41 kms (26 miles))
2011-May Most recent tests showed that range
is around 50 km/charge with current battery
2011-June After adding more batteries and
additional tests, calculated range was
increased to 120km. So far I made test with
60km trip w/o charging and afterwards charger
pulled 7.7kWh from wall socket to fully
recharge batteries
2011-06-12 Another vintage VW cars meeting,
this time I went there without stops for
recharging - so far I tested 50 miles on
single charge with plenty remaining -
starting to ask myself do I really need 120
km/charge in a city rides
2012-Jan During winter I noticed drop in
range, so more realistic figure would be 80-
100 km/charge, depending on electric heater
2012-Apr Currently tested range on single
charge is 100km, with charge left for at
least some 25km
2015-June New range record - 130km on single charge
2016-May New range record - 155km on single charge (warm weather). However, I still consider that realistic range (highway free) is about 130km
2016-Sep After couple of trips this summer, I can say that relistic range in the summer is 140km (highway free)
2017-May Confirmed 140 km range on hilly road
2017-Aug e-beetle made 170km on single charge
2023-Mar Range with upgraded battery pack has not been fully tested yet
Watt Hours/Mile210 Wh/Mile
2010-10-24 250 Whr/mile (155 Whr/km) from
wall socket to wheels/road, while driving
around city. Expect to go a bit lower than
that once I fix Zapi controler
SW/configuration, wheel drag, tyre type, etc.
2010-11-21 After several charges average is
currently 200 Wh/km (320 Wh/mile) from wall
socket to wheels (from charger to wheels is
159 Wh/km (255 Wh/mile)) due to varios tests
ongoing. Depending on driving style and
terrain it can be between 175 (280) and 237
(380) Wh/km (Wh/mile) from wall to wheels,
while from charger to wheels it can be
between 137 (220) and 200 (320) Wh/km
2011-May After changing program on Zapi I
noticed better performance of car and lower
consumption of electricity, average
consumption (from wall to wheels) is 150
Wh/km (240 Wh/mile), in money it means around
$1.5 per 100km if I charge it over night.
2011-June Latest tests showed that average
consumption is about 130 Wh/km (210 Wh/mile)
from wall socket to odometer
EV Miles
Start:16,222 Miles (26,101 Kilometers)
Current:70,656 Miles (113,685 Kilometers)
Total:54,434 Miles (87,584 Kilometers)
    As of 3/13/2023
Seating Capacity4 adults (hoped for, but authorities limited
to just 3)
2010-10-17 2 adults with current (temporary)
2010-10-19 4 adults
2010-10-23 I made successful test with 4
2010-11-08 Made few more successful tests
4 adults onboard
2011-May Authorities limited number of
onboard to just 3
Curb Weight1,875 Pounds (852 Kilograms)
This was weight of ICE version with almost
empty tank.
2011-March e-beetle gained some 20kg (guesstimate)
2011-May Car inspection stated that car gained 100kg after conversion
TiresToyo 155 R15 TO S310 82S (all 4)
2012-04-10 After unpleasant braking
experience on a wet crossroad last week, I
finally decided to buy new Toyo tyres instead
of previous ones (165 80 R15 in front, 185 65
R15 back) which were already old and worn out
when I bought car. It would be interesting to
see Wh/km data after this change
Conversion TimeYears spent in dreaming and reading countless
EV related sites and articles. Donor was
bought at late October 2009 and since then my
EV dream is (finally) on the way to become
real thing...
2011-Oct It is difficult to say when this
conversion will be completely finished. Even
tough e-beetle is street legal for 5+ months
now, there are always some details left to be
improved ;-)
Conversion CostICE donor car 800 EUR
Repairs 250 EUR (so far)
Spare clutch 50 EUR
Controller (Midimaster) 300 EUR
Controler (Zapi) 1000 EUR
Motor 100 EUR
Motor repairs 50 EUR
Motor preparation and balancing 150 EUR
Adapter plate 50 EUR
Motor rewinding 150 EUR
TS-LFP100AHA (50pcs) 4200 EUR
D148N50B-3P6S (8pcs) 3000 EUR
Seat heaters 9 EUR each
DC/DC converter 55 EUR
Battery boxes 100 EUR
Cabels (35mm2) 50 EUR
Certification fee 110 EUR
Various "details" 200 EUR
Ant BMS 200 EUR
2010-March E-buba currently runs on extension cord in my
backyard. I would like to make as much testing as I can before I make final decision regarding system voltage, batteries and

2010-10-17 High DC voltage (560 VDC) requires 155-170 LiFePO
batteries in series connection which also makes BMS a bit
complicated. Therefore I decided to (currently) go for lower
voltage, 80V. Current tests are done with 72V60Ah battery pack.
My main concern now is Zapi AC-3 inverter. It seems to be more
adequate controler for forklift traction than for the car. I
spent a lot of time in tuning various parameters, but I'm still not satisfied with its behavior.
If there is anyone who is familiar with Zapi AC inverters and
willing to help please contact me.

2010-10-18 Last night I installed TS-LFP100AHA instead of
Sonnenschein Pb batteries. Waiting for dry weather to make test ride (since ikebana stlye temporary setup under rear hood is not protected from water)

2010-10-19 Made short test ride with new batteries. Acceleration is a bit better now, but I'm still not satisfied.

2010-10-23 More test rides are done, about 58 km with TS battery packet. Top speed rised to 70 km/h in 3rd gear (4th gear unfortunately slows down car). Need to reconsider 4-pole motor as I was suggested in the very beggining

2010-10-24 Another 51 km were done in two rides with TS packet, with partial recharge after 25kms. I'm trying to play safe with TS batteries since I do not have BMS and/or Wh meter installed in car - currently there is no way for me to find out if some battery goes low in voltage during ride.
Minor fix was needed for temporary adapter between encoder and
motor shaft.

2010-11-08 Learned about secret menu on Zapi AC-3 inverter which is accessible via manual console. After tuning of few parameters, performance (acceleration) got better

2010-11-10 Performance is improved now, so I made several km trip only in 3rd gear. Since cooling is still not in place, and since it was city drive, motor was heated up to 99C, while Zapi to 101C. Need to retain from such a test drives until I implement proper cooling.

2010-11-15 Gas tank finally removed from the car since there was no need for extra space until now. First half of TS pack is curently located behind back seat.

2010-11-21 Made first 50 km (in two runs) during rain, while
ikebana under rear hood was temporary protected by misused
plastic bag (big enough to "cover" bottom of engine bay) without noticing any problem (so far).
Btw, still not happy with Zapi's behaviour, but working on tuning its configuration (including some special parameters not available through basic menu)

2010-11-28 Winter and snow are here - good time for testing on
slippery roads. Well... I'm not so happy with current Zapi
behaviour - it has so strong regen in lower gears that might
block back wheels if you just slightly ease foot from accelerator pedal, which can create quite unpleasant feeling sometimes. And I still haven't found the way of dissabling this option from Zapi (or enabling coast mode)

2011-01-25 Initial testing phase is finished and e-beetle is in my garage (it's quite cold there, so I first spent some time on "installing" isolation) again - I have to prepare it (put batteries in boxes, rewire 80V installation, install heaters, etc) for car inspection that should be around mid of March. I hope I'll pass it and have street legal EV afterwards.

2011-March February and March were spent in preparing e-beetle
for car inspection as well as writing document on conversion
progress (which is needed for inspection)

2011-04-04 E-beetle delivered to car inspection facility

2011-04-06 E-beetle came back from inspection. They had list of complains, some of which are "funny". Will have to see how to please them.

2011-05-05 Conversion documentation and various details on e-
beetle changed according to written complains from inspection
committee. Documentation sent for review. Waiting for their reply and new appointment.

2011-05-10 E-beetle delivered early this morning to inspection
facility for another round of examination. Let's see what they'll complain about this time...

2011-05-12 E-beetle is street legal!!!

2011-05-13/14 Participated in EV rally
(www.alternativenergiesternfahrt.at) and enjoyed every moment of it :-)

2011-05-19 I finally loaded Zapi with "torque mode" software. Car runs much better now. Need to fix regen since it needs separate potenciometer now.

2011-05-27/29 Since e-beetle is air cooled, I was able to
participate in annual "Air cooled VW vehicles meeting" Rovwinj
2011 (actual name of city is Rovinj, Croatia), where e-beetle
gained a lot of interest and was awarded as unique conversion in this part of the Globe. I also got number of invitations to
participate in other VW vintage cars meetings. Distance of 300km (to participate meeting) e-beetle traveled partially on its own power and partialy on the truck. Of course, recharging is challenging mission, especially when you go out of town - I
visited some petrol stations and got electricity free of charge.
And lot of questions, of course :-)

2011-06-05 Added 25 more TS batteries over weekend, pack now has 82.5V 200Ah. Let's see how far it can go with it...

2011-06-12 E-beetle participated in yet another vintage VW cars meeting - check WebPage
Over weekend I made in total 248 kms with 30kWh drained from
socket which makes average of 121 Wh/km (194 Wh/mile) which makes me quite satisfied :-)

2011-10-22 E-beetle is in daily use without any issues so far.
Croatian press and TV showed interest in EVs recently, so e-
beetle has been presented on national level. As result, people
aproach me with questions like "is that beetle I saw..."

2012-Jan E-beetle is going fine, only issue I had over previous months was accelerator cable which decided to broke in the middle of evening rush hour in quite busy street just at the moment when traffic light turned to green. Had to push car aside and problem was fixed within 5 minutes (still running car with temporary fix made that evening)

2012-Apr As petrol reached ~2 USD/lit (~7.5 USD/gal) level in
recent months, I started to get calls/mails/visits from number of citizens with main question how to perform conversion of their cars. Conversion price tag cuts back some of them, but some are getting very excited with idea

2012-May Participated in 2012 EV rally
(www.alternativenergiesternfahrt.at) and oldtimer rally (due to
100 anniversary of first car rally in Croatia) on 20th of May
where I finally confirmed 120 km range

2012-May Participated in annual VW beetle meeting "Rovwinj 2012" held during last weekend of May. This year I went there and back (~600km in total) on batteries only. Even though I borrowed additional 25 TS (25 * 100Ah) to temporary increase range to ~180km, I decided to recharge for 2 times on the way, since highway driving increased Wh/km consumption as well as road which goes up and down all the time (from about 120m above sea level up to 860m and then to 0). Driving uphill for several kms in row really kills the range and tends to overheat the motor, so I had to lower down speed to as low as 30km/h in order to not put more than 8kW into motor for extended periods of time. Overall trip consumption was 127 Wh/km. It took me almost 10 hours (driving+charging) for each direction. I'm really thinking to go for some more powerfull (at least 10kW) 4-pole motor.

2013-Jan So far e-beetle clocked up 14k electric kms, still
running fine

2013-May Homemade "board computer" died (exact reason unknown)
after one year in constant service, so replica was made

2013-Sep e-beetle has been borrowed to friend of mine who started to think about his own conversion; his easy driving style after 2000km shows that ebeetle can be driven with bare 100Wh/km
(160Wh/mile) in summer time. Also, 20000 electric km milestone
has been passed this month. Still no BMS installed, since TS
batteries are reaching 3,55 - 3,75V at the end of charge

2013-Dec Friend which I mentioned in previous post, bought all
major parts for his conversion in meanwhile, so I hope he will
join this album soon :-)
He also manually top balanced batteries in E-beetle (now they are all in 3,55 - 3,65V range) as he is preparing for his project

2014-May Friend bought "battery-less" Saxo and put in it
batteries aimed for his conversion, hopefully he will present it here soon. During May I participated again in EV rally in Austria and first official EV rally in Croatia (Nikola Tesla EV rally Croatia 2014).
E-beetle passed 31000 e-km mark :-)

2014-Sep 34k e-km mark passed. Still no BMS installed since batteries are doing fine. It seems that key is slow overnight charging with less than C/10 current (charger TCCH-H90-20 provides max 19A)

2014-Oct 35k e-km mark passed. Another friend is driving e-beetle for last 2 weeks and he already started to talk about his own EV project - yet another EV addict :-)

2015-Jun E-beetle participated in first national gathering of EV enthusiasts and their conversions

2015-Sep Yet another friend got chance to drive daily e-beetle ;-)

2015-Nov E-beetle was shortly out of service due to one of optocouplers in encoder started to misbehave. After it was replaced, beetle was put back in service.

2016-May New range record - 155km on single charge :-)
It was made after participating first national EV gathering in neighbouring country Slovenia

2016-Sep 50k e-km mark passed, e-beetle is still going strong :-) Still no BMS installed, but occasional manual topping-up of few lazy battery pairs needed

2017-Jun 56k e-km mark passed, everything is still fine

2017-July 58k e-km mark passed. Still no BMS installed, but batteries are still doing fine. Made 700km trip in one direction in order to participate VW meeting (WebPage with 6 stops for charging - nice little adventure :-)

2017-Aug 60k e-km mark passed. Also, personal record of 170km per single charge has been made.

2019-July 74k e-km mark passed. After 10 years of calendar life, batteries started to show signs of aging, which is in line with manufacturer statements. Voltage drop during e.g. 0.5C draw is higher than it used to be, even during warm summer day. However, I can still make up to 140 km per charge. Still no BMS installed, so ocassional manual brief top-up of one or two lazy batteries is still taking place.
Beetle itself is in need of restoration (rust is becaming more on more visible), which has not been done at time of purchase (10 years ago).

2022-Mar New battery pack installed. Increased end-of-charge voltage gives some benefits, but also comes with headache, since neither controller neither charger is happy with it. E-beetle finally got BMS, simple but sufficient 24S Ant BMS. I bought 2 of those from Aliexpress, one for the front battery pack, one for the rear.

2022-May Minor restoration work has been done in order to pass annual checkup.

2022-Oct E-beetle has been borrowed to yet another friend during summer 2022. Yet another success story, since that friend decided to buy two factory built EVs afterwards - Peugeot 106 and Renault Kangoo, both from early 2000's.

code by jerry