[Oeva-list] Advice for new EV maker? 1986 VW Cabriolet

Micheal Drewry glassphoto at gmail.com
Tue Jul 8 08:44:00 PDT 2008

Welcome to Portland Lincoln, Deborah!!!

1st, please join us for our monthly meeting this Thursday (7-9 pm).  This is
a great way to learn/share with the other Portland area EV'ers.

I've been in the Portland area for over 25 years and I don't understand why
anyone would want a convertible.  :-)   If it leaks at all, you might want
to look for another car to do.

I purchased the universal kit from Electro Auto for my Saturn conversion.
The only thing you gain by getting the kit made for a VW over the universal
kit is the battery boxes and I think motor mount.  I had to make those
myself for my conversion.   Look closely at the two kit prices to see if the
difference is worth the extra money.  I have welders and was able to do my
own racks. I have no idea what one would have to pay to have those made for
you.  So, the universal kit (which does include the adapter plate for the
transmission housing on the car you choose) will work for any car.

I'd dump the car in CO and look for something locally.  There are a few
people doing conversions in Portland now so you can meet them at the

Hope to see you there.


On Mon, Jul 7, 2008 at 8:40 PM, Lincoln Thomas <linc.thomas at comcast.net>

>  Hi all,
> My 1st post here. I came to the EV Awareness Day, thanks GregG and TimK and
> others for talking with my wife Deb and I. You got us motivated!
> We are interested in converting a car to an EV. Here's what we're thinking,
> any advice from the Oregon EVers out there?
> My wife & I own a 1986 yellow VW Cabriolet in great condition in Colorado.
> We just moved here to Portland, leaving it there for now. We're planning to
> fly back for a CO visit, where we could sell it at the VW Bug-In in Denver
> in August, where classic VW fans would want it.
> We think it would make a great chassis to convert to an EV, good paint, no
> rust (Colorado plains weather), mechanically fine if you remove the non-EV
> parts. But I'm not mechanically experienced enough in vehicles to be
> confident converting it myself. I also thought as a convertible it might be
> too heavy, but I just counted a dozen Cabby's on evalbum.com !
> I'm also thinking convertibles (which leak in heavy rain) may not be that
> popular in wet Portland, but I could be wrong?
> I know Electro Automotive (www.electroauto.com) sells a kit for the VW
> Rabbit/Cabriolet. Does that make it a lot easier to install than, say, a
> "universal" kit where you just buy a set of parts known to work together?
> We really like the VW Golf too (we had one, sold it), and we think it would
> make a great EV car, and there are many aging Golfs on the market with
> crummy engines (we'd dump it anyway to make an EV) and still a good
> body/suspension. In fact there's the VW/HEC "CityStormer" EV sold only in
> Europe 1995-98 which are converted Golfs ( http://www.evalbum.com/160.html). But I haven't found any kits out there to convert a ICE Golf to an EV,
> from Electro Auto or anywhere else. The few Golfs on evalbum.com other
> than CityStormers are do-it-yourself projects. So it might be easier to
> convert the Cabby, with a kit. Unless you know of a VW Golf kit, or similar?
> So, we're wondering what to do. Sell the Cabriolet as-is in Colorado and
> buy a Golf here in the Portland area? Convert the Cabriolet in CO? There are
> no EV conversion shops I know of there. I know Portland is a big conversion
> hotspot, and we'd love to keep the Cabby as an EV, or sell it here as an EV
> if there was a demand, but I'm not sure it could be driven here with its
> current aging engine. It would last indefinitely as an around-town car, but
> over the Rockies we may have to ship it for ~$1000. Worth it?
> We'll see you at this Thursday's OEVA meeting downtown.
> Lincoln Thomas
> Deborah Pike-Thomas
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