Friday, August 23, 2019

Electric VW finally coming out of "hibernation"
after five years in the barn.

I had been keeping the VW in the barn for over five years, waiting for inexpensive Lithium-Ion (LI) batteries to become available. Never happened. Last fall I bought a complete LI battery pack out of a Nissan Leaf electric vehicle. I had planned on reconfiguring it for the VW. After a lot of research, I realized the cost exceeded the benefit. I sold it on eBay.

The original golf cart battery pack worked well. I drove it for five years and 20,000 miles. The new battery set will have slightly more energy, per battery, plus I have added two more, for a total of 18. This raised the nominal voltage from 97 volt to 108 volts. 

The previous driving range was 45 miles, more or less, with a cruising speed of 55 MPH. Top speed was 75 MPH. With the larger pack, I expect about ten percent more range and speed. (I will report the results, later.)

It has been hard to find the time to work on the VW rehab because of our expanding family business. (  It's been an hour, or two, here and an hour, or two, there. I am hoping to spend most of tomorrow, Saturday (8/24/2019) working on the car … and hoping there are not too many "Honey Do" projects.

If I get a full day tomorrow to work, I will probably be ready to make a first test run. It will take five or six RUN/RECHARGE cycles to get the battery pack conditioned for max output.

For recharging, I have updated my Manzanita Micro PFC25 Charger to the latest configuration. It should be much easier to use and safer for the batteries. I am expecting it will take about one hour of recharging, using a 240 volt supply, for every ten miles of driving. An 18 miles run into and return from town will take about two hours of charging.

Since virtually all the power for charging will come from our 10kW solar system, the cost to drive the car will be minimal.

Stay tuned ... 

Center "Saddleback Battery Holders located under the rear seat. (Two added batteries)
Front Battery Pack Installed
US125 Golf Cart Batteries (Total of 18 in car)
"Blackie" the Tech helper. (Stray cat that adopted us about a year ago.)

Rear Battery Pack Installed