eTrixie — part three
It’s out with the old and in with the new. Having completed the front disc brake upgrade, the electric conversion of the VW Beetle can now begin. In part three we see removals — of the petrol engine and the petrol tank.
My first step of the electric conversion is to take out the petrol engine and the fuel tank. This is a very sad day as we will lose the distinctive VW engine sound, but on the plus side we will be able to hold a conversation while driving!
Taking the engine and fuel tank out is very easy in a VW.
Rear of the VW with petrol engine
VW engine in box. Electric motor on right
Rear of the VW with engine missing
Front of the VW with petrol tank removed
The 37 new LiFePO4 cells will be split into two banks — 12 cells in the front where the fuel tank used to live and 25 cells on the luggage tray (behind the rear passenger seat).
In order to make a full battery, the two banks of cells need to be cabled together. To make this happen conduits are run inside the chassis tunnel to carry the 70mm2 battery cables from the front to the back of the car.
The battery cable terminates in a contactor box which will be built up and located under the rear passenger seat.
Front of the VW with orange conduit
Inside the VW with battery cables popping out of the conduit
We are keeping the existing VW transaxle/gearbox. The new electric motor will just bolt on to it.
When the car is 100% electric we won’t really need to change gears as the electric motor will have enough torque to start and stay in 3rd for around-town running. However, it’s much easier to keep the existing gear box and we’ll have gear options!
Read more about the conversion:
Electric certification in part one
Power and brakes in part two
Removal of petrol components in part three
Flywheel and clutch upgrades in part four
The AC induction motor in part five
New Fuel in part six
High Currents in part seven
The Loom in part eight
Keeping it cool in part nine
Putting it all together in part 10 (including a video of the first drive!)
Bottom balancing and battery management systems in part 11
Getting the certification examination in part 12
eTrixie the Movie! Video walk through
A DIY EV in the real world in the final part