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Discussion Starter #1
Hello all,

I am a student that is "electrifying" a new beetle. I posted this in the miscellaneous section and it was suggested that I post it here.

My team and I are going to convert my new (new to me) 2000 New beetle to an electric drive system. I posted on the new member forum and there seemed to be some interest in the project and I wanted to get the word out and a little better description than just "I am a student..." so here goes

I am a student that is attending the Oregon Institute of Technology (OIT).

I started at OIT 4 years ago and am majoring in the Renewable Energy Engineering (REE) program here in Klamath Falls, OR. I immediately became interested in OIT when I heard about their REE program and even more so when I heard about the Oregon Renewable Energy Center (OREC). OREC is a lab that facilitates student projects and allows them to get hands on experience with projects which is where my story begins.

My second year at OIT I had the good fortune to become an employee at OREC, and was able to see what types of projects were being completed at the lab. There was a biodiesel generator, the solar trailer which is a mobile power supply that utilizes solar panels, and PEPE which is a little green electric vehicle. PEPE, which stands for Pure Electric Powered Engine, was out of commission and I was able to repair him and get him back out on the road. Ever since I started working on PEPE I knew that I wanted to build an electric car for my senior project.

It has been two years since I started working at OREC, and I am now a senior at OIT. I am going to be graduating this spring (Hopefully).

I saved enough money to purchase my red 2000 VW beetle that was not running, a battery charger and battery management system for the conversion, and my father wants to buy the batteries for the car (GO DAD!). Now we are in the process of ordering parts and disassembling the car. I posted some stuff in the classifieds but didn't do a very good job...

Also feel free to ask any questions you have about the project. I always love talking about what my team and I are doing.

Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I figured I would post some pictures here as well so you can see what we have been up to...

Here are some pictures of our team and Evelyn.

Enjoy!
 

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Soooooo...how's the project going? I think you should get rid of the black lining on the inside of the hood and the black shelf that covers the back hatch. Those are just adding weight to the vehicle that will greatly reduce your optimum speed. Iggy would be happy to take them off your hands :D (JK, JK). Those are just hard to find second hand. I just noticed you got a turbo bug. I'd be interested to see if the spoiler pops up at 90mph when you get the bug up and running.

(and as an aside, somebody needs to be put in a time out and not allowed to play with the pliers for at least a week...lol)

Still can't wait to see this project's end results.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Batteries!

Well,

The project is going great! We just received our batteries! Here are some Pics! And Yes he was not allowed to play with the pliers at least a week. :D The batteries are 11" tall 7"wide and 2 3/4" deep. With these dimensions we should be able to fit them all under the back seat where the gas tank used to be without removing the spare tire!!! I am going to be purchasing the BMS (Battery Management System) and charger within the next few weeks.

- EVBEETLE
 

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OOPS! I forgot to mention that their is a spoiler in the back that pops up. I am not sure at what speed, but I know it works. We tested it using the button under the steering column when we were checking out all of the other electrical stuff.
 

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I believe that the spoiler on 2000s was the 92 mph one. Think they changed in mid 01 or 02 to the 40 mph ones.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Hey everyone,

We started a fundraising website. Just wanted to let everyone know since there was so much enthusiasm in the conversion. Please don't feel obligated, but anything helps.

- EVBEETLE
 

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I hope you are able to raise enough to bring this project to completion. If not I hope the "bank of Dad" comes through again :) If I had enough to pay my own bills I would love to push some cash your way; but times have been tough lately. We shall see what the future brings.

Anything new going on with the beetle? How is the project progressing so far?
 

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Hello everyone I am back again finally with an update. Sorry about the delay, but between school, finding a job, and this project I have very little time left which normally is spent with my wife.

We have had quite a bit happen! We got our electric motor, the charger, controller. adapter plate, transmission welded, vaccum brake system, and lots of other goodies!

We have just finished equalizing the batteries, and are in the process of putting the motor and transmission together.

I also finally have a list of parts that we are going to sell from the conversion. Here is the link. Various VW Beetle Parts

Cheers!
 

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How do the batteries you've selected compare to those found in vehicles such as the Tesla Model S and the Nissan Leaf? What range are you hoping to see on this conversion?

Speaking of batteries, those are quite heavy correct? How are you going to compensate in terms of weight distribution? Is this going to make your beetle very heavy in the rear? Will you need to upgrade the rear suspension? How will the car handle?

Will the vehicle remain a front wheel drive?
 

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"Look at us! We're virgins!"

The red Beetle ain't gonna help.
garrett's mad because these guys are in college doing something with their lives. Mad because he has 7 baby-mamas that take his McDonald's paycheck every 2 weeks. He lets off steam by trolling the Beetle forums.

I have only seen this guy post insulting comments. How has this ********* not been banned?

@OP - That's an awesome project. What is the difference in weight? Old powerplant and accessories vs all of the new stuff. Also, I posted your fund raiser on the New Beetle Collective on facebook. Hopefully that can get something going for you guys.
 

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garrett's mad because these guys are in college doing something with their lives. Mad because he has 7 baby-mamas that take his McDonald's paycheck every 2 weeks. He lets off steam by trolling the Beetle forums.

I have only seen this guy post insulting comments. How has this ********* not been banned?
Seriously...that comment was nowhere near necessary. This guy is doing something pretty cool, why insult him?

My hubby is an electrical engineer and had a small consideration of building an electric car himself (but that went out the window after his 3.5 mile commute is now usually a 40 mile one :lol: so the TDI stays!). Don't think I've seen any electric NBs. Aircooleds yes, and rabbits and stuff, but this is a pretty new car for a conversion. Definitely in to see the results. Good luck!
 

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Glad to see the project moving along. Too cool. I'm interested in the weight difference/suspension answers too. Great questions.


Sent from AutoGuide.com Free App
 

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Great project!! That's awesome that you rescued a Beetle too. Keep us posted!
 

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EVBEETLE: How about some electrical specifications, total battery voltage and current, type of motor DC or AC and HP. How do all this new electrical tie into existing electrical systems and so on? Thanks, Tom
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Thanks for all of the questions! I am really exited about all of the interest!

First Please don't worry about the senseless comments. Those sort of comments just proves their ignorance. It reminds me of a quote from McBeth! "It is a tale told by an Idiot, Full of sound and fury signifying Nothing." and one my wife's mom always says, "It is best to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to open your mouth and remove all doubt!"

The weight of the batteries are 375 lbs in total. Which is relatively light compared to most lead acid or AGM packs. The weight of the electric motor is 180 lbs. There will be 12 cells in front which are 150 lbs for the 12. Each battery is 12.5 lbs. There will also be 18 in the back under the seat. I am going to be keeping the spare tire and the rear seat. The battery composition is LiFePO4 which are the same as in the Tesla vehicles. However I believe that they produce their own cells, and they are designed as a unit. I have to build my battery boxes and figure out what sort of configuration I will be using.

The overall weight of the car will be slightly less than the car before it was converted. Because the weight of the electric motor is so low the added weight of the batteries in the front should be comparable to the weight of the ICE. Also, since we are putting the other battery pack under the seat where the gas tank used to be the weight distribution should remain the same.

It will remain front wheel drive, and the torque output from the electric motor is more than the max torque output from the ICE so we should have good acceleration as well as a max speed that is the same as the vehicle because I am keeping the 5 speed transmission.

The batteries are 3.2V a piece and we are using 30 in series at 96V total. The controller is rated for 650A but we will only use about 200A continuously. We are using the AC-75 system from HPEVS.com. It is an AC motor, and we will be able to have regenerative braking. In essence I can reverse the polarity of my motor and use my motor to slow my car down all the way to a stop while simultaneously generating power from this process. This power is then fed back into the batteries. This increases the overall range of the vehicle by a little. The range of the vehicle without regenerative braking is 55 miles when driving at freeway speeds and 75-80 when driving in town.

I think I got to most of the questions, but if I did not please let me know. And keep the questions coming. Let me know if you want to know about any of the particulars for the Air conditioning, power steering, power brakes, or any of the subsystems like charging, accessories for the vehicle, sensors. Whatever you have please ask!

Cheers!
 
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