Tesla Powered Golf Mk2

Welcome to eDub Services, this is our 200-mile range, Tesla-powered Golf Mk2 GTI. We’re going to have a look around it, we’re going to do a little bit of techie stuff to see what’s going on under the hood and we’re going to take it for a little test drive so stay tuned and let’s see what this is all about

So this is a 1991 Golf Mk2 GTI. A customer got in touch with us and said hey i’ve seen that you’ve done camper van see that you’ve done a Porsche 911, could you do a Golf GT as well, to which our answer was, well, yeah, we can do that, no problem. Initially it was wanting as big a range as possible as much power as possible so we immediately got stuck into the dimensions of the vehicle to look about the physical space that was the biggest restriction with such a a wonderful little car as this. So we elected to go for a small Tesla rear drive unit which is 270 brake horsepower, about double what it had originally and and we have a split battery pack. In this option so we have some modules underneath the bonnet where the engine used to be and some modules in the boot as well so that was elected to be able to give us a real-world range of over 200 miles per charge which is just incredible. So why don’t we take a quick look under the bonnet.

Are you ready, so there we have it. That is half of a 54 kWh battery pack sitting on top of a custom subframe that’s also housing our small rear drive unit from the Tesla model S/odel W. Inside here as well we’ve got our battery pack system that’s in the center here. We’ve got custom cooling system over the side which is for both the drive unit and the batteries as well. We’ve got a electric power steering to replace the original belt driven power steering that plums into the original hydraulics that’s the thing that makes it sound like a spaceship.

We’ve got our charger neatly tucked behind here as well, that’s doing 6.6 kW home charging so you can recharge this vehicle in somewhere around five or six hours. You can also do that at public charging places as well and that’s an addition to the rapid charging which is available through the front socket. Here we have CHAdeMO charging on this particular vehicle, future models will have CCS2 charging in the original petrol flat. We also have a brake servo kit on here, We have a DCDC converter to keep our brand new 12 volt battery nice and topped up and it’s got an Orion battery management system enclosed within the battery box keeping everything running really really smoothly. Let’s take another quick look at what’s going on in the back of the vehicle.

So in this particular conversion we’ve split the battery pack 50 50 front and back so therefore we’ve had to create a bit more of a boo. Sso we’ve got a false floor in here we’ve got charging cables that we include with every conversion because we don’t want you to have to spend extra when you get the vehicle home to need to charge it. So we give you a Type 2, 7kW charge cable when you’re out and about and a home, granny charger for if you ever need to emergency top up from just a regular three pin plug. Those come included as standard with your conversion. There we’ve got a safety disconnect as well if there is any maintenance needed on the vehicle or any emergency needed, if the vehicle was involved in an accident; emergency services would need to be able to access that and there’s no kind of manual that tells someone where this will be, because obviously it’s custom so we have kept it quite obvious in this vehicle, so people should be able to find it nice and easy. We’ve got a little bit of storage underneath this slot here, this is the battery box itself the other half battery box. It’s got a little contactor inside it and the safety disconnect fuse that I mentioned before and again, the cooling system is linked to the front box too plus a little bit of extra storage around the edges too so we wanted to make the most use of that.

So let’s take a look at the interior. So we’ve kept the interior as sympathetic as possible. Everything here on the dash is reasonably as you’d expect so if you immediately got into this vehicle you’re not suddenly thinking this is crazy what’s going on here. The main things that we’ve touched are the dash which we’ve replaced with some canbus enabled custom gauges, which show your miles per hour, your battery percentage and also your current or amps gauge which is effectively your revometer. And that’s really nice because it shows how much power you’re using and

how much power you’re charging as well or regening which is active and live on that dial. These are all LED powered and they’re on the same light systems that we have before and they’ve got built-in little LEDs for your indicators and for your beam lights as well so they’re really smart and really subtle. Down here we have a little bit more of a change so in the custom buttons that were there before in the kind of blanking plates we’ve got our start button which is the system that you can turn on the ignition. As you normally would with the key and then as the vehicle kind of primes itself and primes the battery pack you need to hit that start button to actually go. That will then engage the gears and engage the ability of a high voltage to go through to the motor and let you move. Right next to it is our heater switch that’s a high voltage heater that we’ve built into the matrix itself so you need to have the fans on for that to operate which helps it to stop from overheating and that powers straight into the original ducting. This has high voltage heating as well which is really great and trust me driving converted electric vehicles for the last eight years having heating built in is really amazing. Finally in here there is no gear stick, it’s effectively an automatic drive. You’re a single speed reduction gearbox in that Tesla unit so you’re just got two pedals; stop and go, and that means that there’s no gear stick either. No clutch, no gear stick so in the place where the gear stick was we have a gear selector that’s a simple subtle dial that moves from reverse to forwards and neutral. And we’ve also got a motor temperature dial there as well not essential but it’s nice to know how the motor temperature is operating. So it says motor temperature but it’s actually the inverter temperature. It’s that most delicate part of the drive unit so it’s really key to us to be able to see how that’s performing in certain operations. It’s also great for diagnostics if some way down in the future the vehicle wasn’t performing properly we can really quickly check and see what’s going on with that too. So I love how simple this interior is, it’s this wonderful really deep grey tones perfect for the era that these cars were so popular in. And I love how we’ve managed to subtly integrate the electric conversion without being too bling and too LED and too in your face. I also love some of the little features that we’ve got in here especially the recline on these seats.

So let’s have a little chat about what’s actually inside our Golf Tesla conversion. So you’ve guessed half of what’s inside by what I’ve been referring to it as. So we have Tesla power behind the front wheels in our Golf GTI conversion. In this particular conversion that’s provided by this, which is a rear drive unit from a Model s or a Model x Tesla. In future versions of these we are going to be using the Model 3 motor which I will explain the reasons why for you in just a second. In addition to this we also have, this is one CALB module battery module. This is a 3p4s module runs about 16 volts. It’s 2.2 kilowatt hours of capacity and we run 24 of these in series in our Golf and it’s a split pack. 12 modules in the front, 12 modules in the rear and they’re fantastic for providing the capacity and the power that we need to power this motor and to also get to the 200 mile range that’s really desirable. So we mount these into our vehicle on custom cooling plates that are structural for the batteries and also, obviously, help with the cooling. Especially when rapid charging is involved. In our Golf we have CHAdeMO rapid charging in this particular model but again future models will utilise the newest CCS2 rapid charging which is 70 kW charging speeds. And finally here we have a box of Haribo because that’s basically all that we eat here at eDub, which is not brilliant for a diabetic.

Launching into the motor, this actually is three different units all in one. It’s probably a lot more than that but I like to refer to it as three different units combined into one system. Over here on the far side you have the motor itself that’s a brushless electromagnetic motor. I can’t remember the exact specification somebody can look it up for me and tell me but it’s incredibly efficient. So that there is what’s spinning and providing the motion which then goes through into the center of this central section here which is effectively a single speed reduction gearbox. So the motor spins the initial gear goes through a reducer and into the differential at this end here and out of these two packets go into the front wheels directly with custom drive shafts. And then the really delicate expensive bit is the inverter here on the far side. This needs its own dedicated cooling system the inverter cannot go over 80 degrees otherwise things melt. I speak from experience. So we actually set a limit on this at 60 degrees C because if anything were to go wrong if a pump was to fail or to get knocked or electrical supply to it get damaged, then the system itself will stop at 60 degrees stopping it from getting to that dreadful 80 where things start to go wrong. So the dc power from the battery pack comes in two cables down this side here positive and negative. The inverter, with a ton of settings most of which we can access with a whole load that we can’t, then inverts the signal from a dc to an ac signal through into the motor which provides the generation which then travels the motion through into the gearbox and differential into the wheels and off you go. 

With the model 3 unit, the model 3 unit actually has the gearbox in reverse orientation so what it means is that with this particular model, as I said before this is a rear drive unit from a Tesla and a rear drive unit means that we’ve had to mount it in a front wheel drive vehicle and we can’t do that just by putting it in the same way round it went. The structure of the wheel systems and the suspension systems in the front wouldn’t allow it so we’ve actually had to rotate this motor 180 degrees on the lateral to allow the differential to face closer to the wheels. So effectively in our Golf, not in future versions, but in our Golf, the motor and the gearbox have to be running in reverse instead of forwards. Now a motor doesn’t really care neither do the gears they’re turning one way or the other they don’t really mind which way they’re going. The difficulty comes is that internal to the gearbox system is a manual oil pump and that’s doing two things. The manual oil pump is moving the oil to lubricate around the system make sure everything runs smoothly, but it’s also transferring heat from the motor. So the oil runs through the motor, through the gearbox and out through this heat exchanger on the top which is then transferred. You’ve got coolant pipes in and out here on the side which move that heat away from the unit. So therefore, when we’ve had to modify the drive unit that’s gone into our Golf, we’ve had to take the gearbox apart we’ve had to remove that pump and we’ve got to fit an external oil pump to our system. So our heat exchanger is actually removed, and there’s an external oil pump that moves the oil round in the real the direction it needs to run. Alternatively it would only ever run when we were going backwards which is not good enough. We need to have that cooling operational all the time. The model 3 drive unit, as I said, has the differential on the opposite side of the unit. And what that means is that we would be able to just take a Model 3 unit and put it into a front wheel drive version vehicle and it would just work straight away we can we don’t have to do any modifications inside. It means everything’s much smoother going that way through because it’s a bit of a pain to get everything apart. So not only is that more time for us to do it it’s more risk of something going wrong which we hate. We would avoid that at any cost. The model 3 motors are going to be amazing. The other great thing about model 3 motors is they’re slightly cheaper for some reason. I think it’s because there’s more of them so we’re able to get hold of a supply of model 3 motors. There’s loads of them so they’re slightly cheaper and also we don’t have to do anything internally. So at the moment this inverter has a custom control board actually physically put inside instead of the Tesla one which allows us to access it. The model 3 motor is all external through the i/o loom on the side here which is, again, going to make things so much better. Also, someone else is going to correct me here and fill in the blanks I don’t know the exact statistics, but the model 3 motor is actually more efficient than the model s motor, just in how it produces power. And it’s a slightly smaller package as well so all in all we love it. We’ve got access to those and they’re going to be going into our future model 3 conversions.

Now let’s talk about our batteries. Our CALB batteries are brand new so they’re not reclaimed they’re not from crashed EVs, they’re brand new out of the factory and that’s so that we can give our customers a guaranteed performance from them. And it also means that we know how they’ve been treated until we get them. They haven’t been stored somewhere strange which is experience we’ve had with things like Tesla batteries in the past. So these are brand new out to the factory which is really great,. They are 2.2 kilowatts each so obviously multiplying that we arrange them in series on most situations, multiply that up to the factors that you need to get the capacity in this particular conversion this is a total of a 54 kilowatt hour battery pack. So that involves having, let me think of the number, 24 of these in series and, that gives us the capacity 54 kilowatt hours, and in the Golf that gives us a real world range of over 200 miles. And I say that with a lot of stress to it because we’re very keen about telling our customers exactly what they can expect from their vehicles. Some of you will be familiar with the the kind of ranges that car manufacturers predict and strangely sell to their customers. And you get dealerships that believe those figures and I hear a lot of people who get disappointed with the figures that they are understanding from their EVs. So we try not to do that. That obviously comes from a position of making hundreds of thousands of vehicles of the same thing and putting it on a rolling road and getting a statistic. So they kind of have to do that to some level; we can’t do that, we don’t have a rolling road and there’s kind of no need. So instead I send Dec out on a long drive and he generally does a kind of 50 mile an hour cruise, because what we’re trying to do is we’re trying to find a decent hybrid way of telling you a predicted range. Obviously you can drive faster that you can drive the speed limit at 70 up and down the motorways and you will use a little bit more power but likewise around town or around country roads you’re going to use a lot less power you’re going to be driving at slower speeds. So we find that a cruise at 50 is a good balance. We’re also right next to the A1 here up near Boroughbridge so it’s really easy for us just to jump onto the A1 and just drive up and down, Basically have a nice couple of hours of driving with the heater on which is also a nice little added benefit with our Golf. 

So this box here is actually a module not a battery. It’s made up of individual lithium ion pouch cells inside that are arranged within a certain format to give us the voltage most importantly that we need. Now because of the arrangement that we’re building as we said before we’re arranging these as a group of 24 in a row. So this is a 3p4s so three parallel, four series of the pouches internally and that gives us a total figure of what comes out of the positive negative on each end it’s around about 16 volts. That’s important because for us to drive a Tesla drive unit then we need somewhere around 400 volts nominal it’s a high voltage battery pack we also need that amount of voltage ideally to use some of the rapid charging networks They will operate down to about 250 volts but we figure it’s better just to go with what the standard electric vehicle ranges from commercial vehicles and try and stick to those same values. So 400 volts nominal is an ideal place to be, not too high not too low. And so therefore we arrange these batteries in that format. Like I say about 16 volts each, run them all together in series and that gives us around the 400 volts that we need to run this motor.

So i have to admit, when we first accepted this project from the customer, I wasn’t really a Golf guy. I love my campers and I love my kind of, iconic really classic cars. But this was a little bit too modern for me but we stuck at it we went with it we knew. The technology we knew what it could achieve and I have to say, now that it’s fully up and running and we get the experience of driving it about i’m so glad we accepted it.

So one of the really fun things about driving this vehicle, obviously it’s now single pedal, we’ve actually increased the regen from what was standard and we’ve given it a really smooth ride. Which means for the most time I’m simply using my right foot. As i’m bringing off, the pedal is causing us to break and obviously pressing down to go a little bit faster. So I’m barely ever using the brake. On top of that, we’ve programmed the Tesla unit so that just by touching the brake ever so slightly, engages a higher level of regen again. And what that enables us to do is do so much of the braking of the vehicle electronically rather than putting any pressure on the pads. Which doesn’t wear them out and doesn’t put particulates into the ground either. I love how in this car, as well it’s still got that really low to the ground kind of road noise grumble to it as well. So it really makes you feel like you’re connected to the vehicle because it’s so kind of sprightly as you’re steering. You’ve got that wonderful power steering system and that’s just so simple to do it means you can just kind of take charge of it and you’ve got such good control, even with your right foot, I don’t think i’ve ever floored it, it’s too much. Wven though we reduce the power to something like 160/170 BHP, it’s still too much, I don’t like doing it. We’ve tried a couple of times to really try and get going with it and it’s it is too much.

I’m really enjoying our custom gauges that we’ve designed for this build as well the speedo is nice and clear. It’s got LED backlit so it’s really easy to see. And we’ve got a wonderful charge gauge on the right hand side which, to be honest, I’ve never got above 400 amps. That’s even with trying to floor it, I think the battery pack would actually sustain something like 1600 amps as a discharge but over a very short space of time. But even in the short space of time I’ve tried to use it, I’ve never got anywhere near that. So we’ve also upgraded all of the exterior LEDs as well and we’ve kept them with those warm white bulbs so at first glance, I mean, they’re brilliantly clear of brilliant light, but they use barely any power which we love we would always do that by default of the customer it’s always the suggestion we give to the customer it really doesn’t cost that much of what you’re achieving and it puts so much less pressure on the build. 

Okay so we’re gonna do as close to an acceleration test as I dare as we come off this roundabout. So it won’t be from standstill and I am not skilled enough to do that without shredding the tires but it will be from quite slow. So I’m going to count you through as we go, and again, I am going to chicken out, I’m just going to tell you right now. So getting ready to pull off we’re about 20 miles an hour; 30, 40, 50, 60. That was not fun

So is 200 miles range enough, yes. Is 70 kW charging speed enough; yes. Is 270 brake horsepower enough in a Golf mark 2. absolutely yes. Too much for my liking. That to me makes this vehicle an absolutely perfect conversion. If you’re convinced then why not get in touch we did this as a one-off but the popularity of it means that we’re going to do so many more of them. We have all the fabrication ready, it’s a registered designed to build more of these coming next year. So please get in touch go to edubconversions.co.uk/golf-mk2 you can find out all the information there of all the stuff that’s been in this video. You can also get in touch and you can place an order for one of these of your very own to tire spin as much as you want. 

Thank you so much for watching. Please like this video if you are not already subscribed then please subscribe. If you are subscribed; thank you so much we absolutely love the fact that we’ve got so many people so invested in what we’re trying to accomplish here with our electric conversions. My name is Kit, we have been eDub Services and we will catch you next time.

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