Rear Engine CompartmentFront TrunkRear Batteries 1Rear Batteries 2
OwnerConnor Boyle
LocationBoone, North Carolina United States map
Email email image
Vehicle1972 Volkswagen Super Beetle Convertible
MotorAdvanced DC FB1-4001 Series Wound DC
Added blower and thermostat to cool motor
for the hills in summer.
DrivetrainStock transmission with clutch
ControllerEvnetics Soliton Jr with liquid cooling
Started with a Curtis, but it overheated on
hills. Installed a transmission cooler with
fan to cool the Soliton controller. Kind of
ironic to have liquid cooling in an air-
cooled Bug.
Batteries48 GBS 100AH, 3.20 Volt, Lithium-Ion
2 packs (4 cells each)in the rear engine
compartment, 6 packs behind the rear seat,
and 4 packs in the front trunk.
System Voltage156 Volts
ChargerElcon PFC 3000
No problems so far.
HeaterInstalled a heater from Canadian EV that
is wired directly to the traction
battery. Replaced the stock airbox with
the heater and may now have the best
defroster of any old Bug out there. My
wife loves the instant heat.
DC/DC ConverterElcon 128v-160v
Works well. After blowing up a Curtis
converter, I learned I had to add an
inductor to the input to filter the
voltage surge as the voltage of the
traction battery changed rapidly
under high current conditions.
InstrumentationEnergy Management System from Elite Power
Solutions provides pack voltage, current,
capacity, and individual cell voltage and
temperature on a LCD display on the dash.
The LCD is part of the stereo that lets
me stream music from iPhone via
Bluetooth. Seems out of place in this
old car but kind of cool too.
Top Speed80 MPH (128 KPH)
Still accelerating, but going that fast in a
42 year-old Bug made me a little nervous,
although everything seems stable.
AccelerationBetter than the stock ICE (which had a dual
carb setup). The controller can be
programmed for different acceleration
settings, from jerk your head back to Little
Old Lady mode.
Range40 Miles (64 Kilometers)
This is the most I have pushed it and still
had charge left. Most of the driving around
here is hills and then more hills. On the
flat I think 60 mi is realistic.
Watt Hours/Mile350 Wh/Mile
This is what I average on my 18.8 mile drive
to work through the mountains with a net
elevation drop of 500'.
EV Miles
Start:36,344 Miles (58,477 Kilometers)
Current:42,242 Miles (67,967 Kilometers)
Total:5,898 Miles (9,489 Kilometers)
Seating Capacity2 adults and 2 smaller (kids/Hobbits) people
in the back
Curb Weight2,420 Pounds (1,100 Kilograms)
Pre-conversion weight = 2,000lb
Pre-conver front axle weight = 840 lb
Pre-conver rear axle weight = 1,160 lb
Post-conver front axle weight = 980 lb
Post-conver rear axle weight = 1,460 lb
Added heavy duty coilover shocks to the
back and struts in the front.
Tires205/60 R15 Goodyear Eagles with 8 spoke
rims. Not the best for minimizing rolling
resistance, but they came with the car and
look good.
Conversion TimeProbably ~2 years of sporadic effort.
Most of the time was spent fabricating the
battery racks, misc. brackets, etc. The
electrical stuff was pretty straight
Conversion CostGreater than $22k. I had to replace the
controller, add cooler and blower to deal
with heat issues when going up hills. This
doesn't include the car itself, which was a
donation from my father-in-law.
Additional FeaturesAdded front disc brakes since I increased the total weight by 420 lbs and the stock drums didn't work all that well in the first place.
Originally designed and built the Bug for the flatter lands
of Northern Arizona and expected freeway speeds and 60 mile
range. It was almost finished when we moved to the
mountains of western North Carolina. The original Curtis
1231C controller began over heating so I had to replace with
the Soliton Jr that came with the ability to cool with
Things are much better now but the new controller creates
electrical noise that interferes with the EMS, so I still
have to sort that out.

This Elec Bug is FOR SALE. This has been a daily driver and
spent all of its former life in the arid southwest. Here in
the mountains they dump salt all over the roads all winter
and I'm tired of washing the underbody every week in an
effort to stop corrosion. I think this car would be much
better off somewhere flatter without long winters. Email me
if interested.

code by jerry