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VW Golf electric car conversion technical page

Propulsion System The car is powered with a Advance Motors and Drives FB1-4001(A), which is a DC series wound 9.1 inch motor. The motor mounts with an adaptor plate from Canadian Electric Vehicles right to the transmission. Also included with the adaptor plate is a hub for the flywheel assembly to mount to the motor shaft. The motor is controlled with a Curtis 1231C motor controller.
Motor with plate and hub mounted Motor mounted


Energy Storage The vehicle is powered by a pack of twelve 12V Trojan T-1275's for a nominal voltage of 144V. They are 150 amp-hour sealed lead acid golf cart batteries. They charge in about 2 or 3 hours on a 240VAC line using a Quick Charge SCPWX14420AS 144V charger with a dual 120/240 VAC input. The original starter battery is still on the 12V auxilary system for times when the DC/DC converter can't put out enough power.
Rear battery rack Battery rack rear view

Electrical Systems There are three interconnected electrical systems in the conversion. The first of these is the 120/240VAC charging system. There was an obsolete NEMA 10 outlet in my bedroom, perhaps for an old dryer, that I had reconnected. This is a 240VAC split phase line on a 50A bridge. I put a Kill-A-Watt meter on one of the legs to measure the charging current and ran a 10-2 triple conductor line out a window. This line goes to an outside, waterproof NEMA 5-15 outlet (NEMA 5-15 is used to use the same extension cord for both 120VAC and 240VAC charging).

The second electrical system is the 144VDC propulsion system. The charger pumps up to 20A at 144VDC to the twelve 12V deep cycle batteries. These batteries chemically store the driving energy and deliver up to 500A at 144VDC.

In the third system, a modified Zivan NG-1 battery charger converts 144VDC to the 12VDC auxiliary system. This system runs the accessories such as headlights, wipers, computer and stereo.

Power Brakes The power braking vacuum is restored with a Gast vacuum pump. The pump is controlled with a Square D vacuum switch that cuts on at about -18mmHg and off around -11mmHg. Vacuum is stored in a PVC chamber. 12 Volts are supplied to the circuit with the keyswitch. These components were in the KTA power brakes kit.

Vacuum pump, switch and reservoir
Power Steering Power steering was restored using an electric power steering pump from a Toyota MR2 Spyder. The pump runs on the 12V system and draws a continous current of 12A and peak 60A. It is controlled with a switch on the dash and a relay near the pump.

I had a hard time finding the right size high pressure outlet connector for the power steering pump. It was probably some weird car thing, but I ended up finding something at Advance. This part had a bent tube on it instead of a barb, so I cut the tube off. I then got a threaded hose barb and machined the threaded section off on a lathe. My buddy/coworker/roommate Wayne then brazed the two fittings together. He got a pretty good joint and it certainly has been holding up to the pressure. You can find more of this in the Custom Machining section.



Table 1. Measurements in inches from the ground to the center of the fender.
Unloaded162 Rear LoadPost ConversionPost Conversion sans Batts
Front Left25.7525.37525.375
Front Right25.0024.37524.125
Rear Left24.3823.6321.37524.75
Rear Right24.7524.0022.37525.5
Front Average25.3824.87524.75
Rear Average24.5623.8121.87525.125
Overall Average24.9723.37524.9375
Deflection00.751.5950.0325


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