Finished car boot (trunk)Under hood Under boot floor
OwnerPeter Skidmore
LocationPerth, Western Australia Australia map
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Vehicle2005 Volkswagen Polo
Five door manual hatchback (Match); black metallic paint with grey cloth upholstery.
Four seats - front seats suitable for taller drivers. Well built, light and safe with front airbags and ABS brakes.
Motor HPEVS AC50 3-Phase AC
3 phase AC induction motor; 6500 RPM; 350 mm long by 228 mm diameter; regenerative braking; 150+ Nm from 0 to 4000 rpm, max (2 minute) power approx 60 kW at 650 Amps
and 115 Volts.
Drivetrain1.4 litre premium unleaded petrol motor producing a maximum of 55 kilowatts mated to a five speed manual gearbox. Travelled approx 130 000 km when converted.
ControllerCurtis 1238R 7601
AC 3 phase variable frequency controller; CAN bus; customisable using optional software; compact.
Batteries36 CALB/Skyenergy SE130AHA, 3.20 Volt, Lithium Iron Phosphate
SE130AHA 130Ah 4.4kg 57 x 182 x 283mm M8 bolt size
System Voltage115 Volts
ChargerElcon TCCH-36C
240 volt AC power input, TCCH-36C-10A; 36 cells 10A 108 V
HeaterNone needed - daytime temp varies from 15 to 40+ degrees centigrade. Air conditioning is essential and the original compressor is driven off the front of the motor.
DC/DC ConverterIota DLS-240-55
55 Amps at 13.6 volts, max 750 watts; 246 x 170 x 86 mm. Additional inrush protection was needed. N.B. 240 Volt AC supply.
InstrumentationCurtis 50 mm gauge shows rpm, amps, motor temp, controller temp - hard to read but not used that much. Fuel guage driver shows range on car's original fuel gauge - works very well. CAN Bus
gateway provides motor speed signal for
electro hydraulic power steering and
ABS brakes. Other CAN bus signals for
car gauges partially completed.
Top Speed90 MPH (144 KPH)
Easily achieves Australian max freeway speed of 110 km/hr using second and third gears.
AccelerationUsing gears performs far better than the original motor. Performs well using just second gear for urban use (0 to 70 km/hr. 0 - 60 km/hr xx secs; 0 - 100 km/hr xx secs.
Range55 Miles (88 Kilometers)
90 km is maximum range at mixed urban/ freeway speeds i.e. Battery Management System initiates shutdown. So at 80% depth of discharge the effective range is 70 km.
Watt Hours/Mile250 Wh/Mile
150 Whr/km achieved while driving at a mix of 80 k/hr (40% of journey time), 100k/hr (20%) and 60k/hr (40%)
EV Miles
Start:129,580 Miles (208,494 Kilometers)
Current:132,150 Miles (212,629 Kilometers)
Total:2,570 Miles (4,135 Kilometers)
    As of 6/17/2012
Seating CapacitySeats four. I'm 186 cm tall. The car was selected in part because the front seat has lots of headroom and legroom. I do not have the front seat all the way back when driving.
Curb Weight2,460 Pounds (1,118 Kilograms)
1120 Kgs without driver. The car is solidly built but with lots of weight saving materials. Lots of under body
Tires14 inch low rolling resistance tyres.
Conversion TimeMechanical and electrical 3 months
Waiting for parts 5 months
CAN bus integration and reverse
engineering 3 months
Conversion CostApprox 16600 AUD. About 15700 AUD for car.
Add $980 AUD for programming software for the controller, CAN open to CAN VW gateway, VAG COM software and CAN bus analysis software.
Additional Features* Retained clutch and gearbox for easy use by anyone - very glad that I did (AC motor is limited to 6500 rpm so there is no problem with novice drivers inadvertently
over-revving the motor)
* regenerative braking upon lifting foot off accelerator pedal is set to 20% of maximum amperage. Mimics ICE retardation.
* regenerative braking via the brake pedal delivers up to 250 Amps on hard braking. ABS works well. Occasionally have to brake hard to clean rust film off brake rotors.
* Installed automated charge point to take advantage of smart power rates - here (Perth WA) we pay 38 cents per kWhr peak and 10.3 cents overnight.
* Installed 3.2 kW thin film solar array to power house
and car - use smart power tariff and receive credit of 1200 to 1500 AUD each year.
* installed a CAN open to CAN J1749 gateway to pass signals needed for the correct operation of the electrohydraulic power steering and ABS braking system - not easy to do as vehicle manufacturers guard their signal codes jealously.
* had to add inrush protection to DC to DC converter
* Electromagnetic interference to ABS wheel sensors and steering angle sensor caused shutdown of ABS. Eventually solved with a range of EMI reduction measures.
* I wanted a safe car that anyone could get in and drive without any need for special instructions. With one exception this has been achieved - the exception being that it is much better when you come to a stop that you do not press in the clutch pedal - just use it as you
would an automatic.
* The car is a much better car to drive than the
original. The car accelerates better, is much smoother with no gear changes necessary at urban speeds, it also handles better with much better steering response. The original understeer has disappeared.
* The range is somewhat less than expected - I was
expecting 100 km at 80% DOD but achieve only 80 km. This has not been a problem as I find 90% of my driving is less than 50km each day.
* The ultimate test of success is which car you prefer to drive each day (I have three cars VW Tiguan, Alfa GTV and the VW). At the moment I always choose the electric.

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