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Evan Beloni
About Evan Beloni
Heavy Metal [Art]
Electric VW Golf
Software Development
About Me
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Welcome to the page for my '98 VW Golf to 100% ELECTRIC car conversion!

This project is now obsolete and on display for historical purposes.
The EV conversion was a successful daily driver for 5 years but incurred mechanical and financial issues and was eventually parted out. Worst week of my life was taking that thing apart. Anyways, this site remains up in honor of the coolest project of mine. Use the links above to find more information.

My page on EV Album: http://www.evalbum.com/2935

Convert your car to electric!
   If you are interested in having me convert your manual transmission car to 100% battery electric or are doing your own and want me to share my experience, email me at .

Current Project Status

   The Golf conversion is complete and the vehicle has been used as a daily driver since 10/09/09. However, due to problems with the Advance Auto Parts house brand batteries (big mistake), I am upgrading the batteries. During this upgrade, I will also overhaul the conversion by stripping it of all but the motor, essentially re-converting it. I hope to take everything I learned from the first conversion and apply it to the second. It will be much more complicated, involving computer controls and data acquisition hardware. I am excited.

Project overview

   As my biggest, most involved project to date, I converted a '98 VW Golf from stock gasoline to 100% battery electric power. The car runs off twelve 12V batteries for a 144V propulsion system voltage. There is still the 12V auxiliary system to power lights, stereo, windshield wipers etc. These 12 batteries power a 9.1 inch Advance DC motor with 28.5HP continuous (100HP peak, so similar to a 100HP gas car.)

Story and Motivation

   As a result of climate change and peak oil, I became interested in a lower gas consuming vehicle. For a long time, I really wanted to convert a gas vehicle to electric. This would prove to be both a fun project and a viable solution to my anti-oil transportation predicament.

   My mom then convinced me to go with a gas powered scooter instead of the conversion in order to save money. I got the scooter shipped in from Oregon (well, really from China) that fall. It was okay: the speedometer and odometer broke at mile 0.5 and had some starting issues. It also didn't go nearly as fast as I wanted. I drove it for a couple of months, disliking it and knowing what the real answer was. After not much time on the scooter, I went into planning the EV conversion and trying to figure out funding.

   It took some time to get the finances settled out, as I was expecting about $11,000 for the whole project. The entire project is funded by myself, including a minor loan from my parents (thanks!!!). I began looking at donor vehicles more seriously. A couple of Saturns in Northern Virginia caught my eye on Auto Trader for about $900. I called up there and it turned out they were in bad condition, incapable of passing inspection. At that point, I realized I'd much rather spend more money to get a good vehicle than pay less for some falling-apart beater.

   A couple of weeks later, I came across a '98 VW Golf going for $2,800. I went down to Salem to check it out and really liked it. It was in great condition, had all the service manuals, had had only one previous owner, etc. It was a great deal, was just what I was looking for and the is same color as my Jeep.

   Shortly afterwards, I got my financial situation secured and I ordered the majority of the components on June 13th, which happens to be my birthday, making this my biggest birthday present ever, to myself. At that point, Phase 1 (planning) ended, and I began removing the gas components.

   Two and a half months and about 150 hours of conversion time later, I have a fully functioning electric car used as a daily driver as of 10/9/09.

Results and Outcomes

    Overall, I'd say I'm very happy with the way the electric Golf drives. For the most part the electric Golf pretty much drives like the gas Golf did. There are some differences with shifting gears that has taken some getting used to. For starters, I pretty much only use second and fourth gears, second for accelerating and fourth for cruising. Additionally, instead of giving it gas while releasing the clutch, I have to release the clutch fully and accelerate. The electric motor can't stall, so the clutch is fully released even at a stop when giving the motor power.

    I suppose the biggest two questions is how fast and how far can it go? Unfortunately, the speedometer and odometer don't work, so I don't yet have a good answer for either of those. I have taken it on the highway and kept up with other drivers, so it can at least do 65mph, with extra HP to spare. I've been estimating range and it seems to be about 12 miles. The short range is due to the cheap batteries, see more in the technical section.

The Electric Golf, "DE-ICED":

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