I'd like to know where to go to explore the possibility of converting a '65 VW Ghia to electric. What I might expect cost wise, driveability, range, etc.?
Would this be more of a novelty vehicle at the end of the day or a genuine daily driver with a reasonable street/highway speed and range between charges? I've been obsessing over which engine to build for this car when it gets a full restoration. It seems as though an electric conversion may be a brilliant solution.
Thanks, Russell Yerxa
Brilliant it is. Best use I can think of for one of these lovely creatures; )
He says he paid about 10K for all the parts and batteries.
It's a very basic DC conversion, nothing fancy. He used marine batteries, 85 AH, which I wouldn't recommend, and in retrospect, he probably doesn't either; ) It goes 60mph, though, and gets him around town. Me? I'd put a herd of 6v golf cart batteries in there instead, and a LOT more amp-hours. Keep in mind that amp-hours are heavy little things, and the more of them you have, the more sluggish your acceleration may become...there's a tradeoff.
As for drivability, I'll let him speak for himself. Doug wrote this in his conversion diary:
May 6, 2007: Drive! When you sit in traffic you don’t use power or produce exhaust. Once you are up to speed you glide - no pistons and no automatic transmission to cause drag. The experience is way different than gas. Pop the clutch on a gas engine, it stalls. Pop the clutch in an electric and you rocket through a wall...
What he doesn't mention is how ADDICTIVE that electric drive feeling is, but you might be able to guess from his description; )
Update: I had links to Doug's blog here, but the blog is gone, so...
Another Karmann Ghia I Like
Jay Donnaway up here in the Northwest built the Karmen Eclectra. I think that's how he spells it; )
Hope these help, and hope you enjoy your conversion, Russell...and keep us posted!