Plug Bug: The Electric 1969 VW Bug In April of 2010 I purchased a 1969 VW bug with the intent of converting it to run on electricity. In May I ordered parts. In January 2011, it finally moved!
At a glance: 154 volts, 200 ah, 30.8kw-hr battery pack. Roughly 80+ mile range when in the Santa Cruz mountains. Up to 100 miles if not driven in the hills, and maintain 55mph.
* Netgain WarP 9 DC Motor
* Netgain Controls WarP Drive Controller (1000 amps)
* 48 3.2v 200ah Thunderksy Lithium Iron Phosphate batteries, in series for 154v nominal. 192v fully charged. 200ah in each cell.
* Elithion Lithiumate BMS (Battery Management System)
* Belktronix DC-DC converter
* Stock transmission, with standard clutch
* Front lowered 2″ with drop spindles
* Disc brakes all around
* 2″ shortened adjustable front beam
* Roughly 220-350 watt-hours consumed per mile
* 100+ mile range in theory (to 20% State of Charge), but acceleration and the hills take a lot away. My typical driving seems to give about 70-80 mile range to 20% SOC. That would be roughly 100 mile range to 0% battery (which I won’t do).
* Longest drive so far: 70 miles, and the battery was at 38% State of Charge. In theory, that is a 113 mile range to 0% battery level. This included driving over highway 17 twice (but lots of hypermiling).
* Update: another mileage test indicates about 120 mile range at 55mph on flat.
* Better than a stock bug
* Lots of low end torque
* Drives 55-60 mph up highway 17 (> 5% grade at some places) and I can still accelerate
* Top speed, in theory 95 MPH (based on the gear ratio, and 5000 max ratio RPM of the motor)
* Top speed I’ve actually gone: about 85+ MPH
Check out some of my Cool Pictures!
Plug Bug – first drive video:
Walk around video describing some of the components (note: some things have changed over the years)
More Videos: Here is my YouTube PlayList of the Plug Bug.
A couple of in progress pictures.
—– Below are chronological posts from my “Electric Bug” category on my blog from oldest to newest. You can see the process of me building up the car. —–