Naner BoltVW DifBuilding a Battery BoxBrake downgradeTorque App
OwnerDoug Howell
Owner's Other EV1976 Jeep CJ5
LocationHoover, Alabama United States map
Vehicle1982 Volkswagen Rabbit Convertible
Banana Yellow
MotorHPEVS HPEV AC-50 3-Phase AC
DrivetrainFive speed
ControllerCurtis 1238-7601
Batteries32 160 AH, 3.20 Volt, Lithium Iron Phosphate
From The Electric Car Company
System Voltage96 Volts
ChargerQuick Charge SCPX9620
Controlled with solid state relays
Heater1500W heater blower from Harbor Freight. I
run the blower 300 cfm
from a 110V
inverter and the heat element direct DC
from the traction pack. I used a
SSR to control the DC current (~10A)
from the 110VAC control.
WebPage />
Torque App
Top Speed70 MPH (112 KPH)
AccelerationNot a priority, but feels pretty good. My
car wasn't running when I
started, so I have no reference to the ICE.
It is way better than my
wife's Pirus.
Range70 Miles (112 Kilometers)
My goal is a 44 mile round trip. So far,
I have gone 25 miles on
approximately 30%.
I think when I get the pack tuned in with
my BMS, a 50 mile daily trip
will be pretty
easy with a 30 or 40 % margin.
Watt Hours/Mile310 Wh/Mile
At 65 MPH, my car pulls 210 amps
At 45 MPH my car pulls 120 amps
EV Miles
Current:4,005 Miles (6,444 Kilometers)
    As of 7/24/2017
Seating Capacity4 adults
Curb Weight1,836 Pounds (834 Kilograms)
Goal is to only be over the factory weight
by a couple hundred pounds.
Need to go by the scrap yard scales.
Conversion TimeWeekends from Feb to Nov 2012 (trouble
getting parts)
A LOT of time waisted to get batteries and
charger from BestGo.
Conversion CostAn embarassing amount, but not rediculous,
including buying and
fixing the car as well as a few new tools
along the way
Additional FeaturesUsing an Orion BMS with an OBD2 BT adapter to get my display
over my Android Phone with the Torque App.
I bought the car for $700, but the transaxle was in the
front seat. I found out when I got the car home that VW's
are famous for having riveted differentials that come
apart after 100k miles. I cleaned up all the gears and
upgraded the dif with an ARP bolt kit.
Update - It is taking much longer to get parts than I
Update2 - The car is almost together 10/2012. I'm having
a lot of trouble with my BestGo charger. Absolutely no
support from BestGo (China) with likely a faulty charger.
As soon as I get the charger situation resolved, I'll be
driving it to work. I did manage half way around the
block, but without a charger, I'm sacked.
Update - November 2012 only thing left is to connect the
relays to control the charger. I ditched the CAN controlled
charger after two junk chargers sent from BestGo. I found
solid State Relays to work with the Orion BMS to cut off the
AC to the charger and properly sink the DC to cut off the
contractor to prevent over and under voltage to the
batteries. I wasted a lot of time with BestGo. Doing it over
I would choose different batteries. I'm not sure about my
plate and hub either. My test runs have pulled a lot of amps.
I did notice that a short run with regen brake nearly
balanced my cells. I think this is going to be a great car
and on going restoration project. Hopefully I'll be
able to update on the tax benefits in a couple months.
Update - March 2013 I had a bad vibration so I took
everything apart and found a problem with my hub. I'm still
waiting for a replacement from TECC. I also found four bad
BestGo cells. Those cells had bad Voltage sag and higher than
average (higher than spec) internal resistance. BestGo is
sending replacements on the next slow boat. I also found that
there is no tax break for us DIY'ers. That ride stopped in
early 2011. To do it again, I would probably pick a nicer car
to start with. I like the small convertible, but I did spend
some time and money to fix up this car. The positive side to
an old VW is that there are tons of parts available. If I
tried to fix up an old Toyota, I doubt that I could find the
parts outside of a junk yard. Trust me, those parts usually
take some time to gather and clean up and they aren't new and
sometimes aren't cheap..
Update (July 2013): I found the main source of vibration to be
front wheel bearings. After
replacement, the car is very smooth and more efficient. My
trip commute uses about 40% of
total 16KW pack @ 60 MPH in fourth gear the whole time.
Update (August 2015) my main summer commuter. Moved to
Birmingham, AL with more hills, but a slower and shorter
I have top speed on my current commute of 45MPH with few stop
lights. Total commute time is about 15mins one way. Total
is about 20% of total pack.

code by jerry