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Thread: Electric Nova Conversion

  1. #1
    Senior Member Phill's Avatar
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    Electric Nova Conversion

    There's been quite a lot of TV shows recently showing VW's converted to Electric Power. Most recently a program called Vintage Electric. They keep the transmission and brakes - remove the VW engine and bolt in an electric motor using an adapter plate. So the clutch and gearbox remains in use. The conversion looks relatively straightforward and seems to be well proven. I just wondered if anyone had considered doing this to their Nova? I know theres been a few electric version mooted over the years but I have never yet seen an actual completed car. Not sure what effect this would have on historic vehicle status - I suspect the conversion may have an impact on this. But it seems to me, someone with deep pockets may find this to be the way ahead. And surely an electric powered Nova would be worth significantly more than a traditional car due to it's rarity and more widespread appeal?

    Cost wise - does anyone have any idea how much such a conversion would cost if done DIY?
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  2. #2
    Owners Register Admin & Euro-Nova Supporter BlueNova's Avatar
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    I saw that episode Phill and am really attracted to the idea ... but maybe as a future project once I’ve had my Nova running for a while and prices of motors have dropped. Sticking most of the batteries under the bonnet would also assist handling. Maybe there are some 2nd hand electric motors already out there for industrial machinery that would be cheaper than a new unit??

  3. #3
    Senior Member Phill's Avatar
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    I think the batteries are the biggest expense but they're coming down in price. I did wonder about buying a second hand Nissan Leaf and taking all the parts from that - the only thing then needed would be an adapter plate. But the Battery pack on an affordable Leaf would probably be near it's life's end.

    The biggest downside would be the noise - I would hear all the creaks and rattles with the absence of a noisy engine to drown out all the cabin noise. It would be like rolling down a hill inside a noisy tin can.

    But great performance and as you say improved weight distribution
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  4. #4
    From what I know there were two electric sterlings in the USA, a black one with twin headlights and a red one. They were on the Sterling site long ago

  5. #5
    Owners Register Admin & Euro-Nova Supporter BlueNova's Avatar
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    Phill,

    You got me thinking if this could be done on a budget.

    I found this guy who simply wanted to save some money on his fuel bill. He admits that it's just a 'low budget fun vehicle' and acknowledges that it only achieves about 45 mph with a range of 20 to 30 miles, but given that he's only using 6 x 12V batteries, there's scope to increase both the speed and range with more batteries.

    The electric motor was from a forklift, and both it and the batteries were 2nd hand so relatively cheap. The main 'extras' were an adapter plate and drive shaft coupler which had to be fabricated, and he had to buy a 72V charger.

    This is video No. 15 from a series of videos and it shows him driving the car. If you want to see all the other details of the conversion just search for videos 1 to 14. .... Food for thought!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B41BlafQOYU

    Alistair

  6. #6
    I know someone who has been messing with home-built electric cars for 20+ years. He favours Lynch motors and has tried most of the available battery options. The control gear is usually the weak-point, as some embedded circuit fritzes in a way that is usually uneconomic to repair. Ben (Club Nova) has dreamt of converting one of his to electric for years....
    It's a 52 year old car and everything works, just not always at the same time.......and it's probably about to get jealous!
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    Silly question: If you wanted a Nova to have a range of say, 200 miles on 1 charge, what weight (and size) of batteries would you need?

    I know the answer is 'it depends ...' But can anyone give a ballpark figure? 50kg 100kg ?

    I think the best place to mount the batteries would be on the rear torsion tube (maybe encroaching into the cabin a little) with bracing onto various points on the rear frame. I like the weight distribution advantages as well.

  8. #8
    There is an EV Stirling on their forum but I don't know if it ever got finished, like the forum it just fizzled out.

    The Electric Eagle SS, which is really just a shell over the electric chassis, my True Cousins. is the fasted in the world but who want's to go that fast and only 1/4 mile.
    https://www.truecousins.dk/edragraci...a-start-til-nu
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by steve View Post
    Silly question: If you wanted a Nova to have a range of say, 200 miles on 1 charge, what weight (and size) of batteries would you need?

    I know the answer is 'it depends ...' But can anyone give a ballpark figure? 50kg 100kg ?

    I think the best place to mount the batteries would be on the rear torsion tube (maybe encroaching into the cabin a little) with bracing onto various points on the rear frame. I like the weight distribution advantages as well.
    Here's a donor vehicle https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/CROMPTON-...IAAOSwxL1fADn0

  10. #10
    Owners Register Admin & Euro-Nova Supporter BlueNova's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peter View Post
    There is an EV Stirling on their forum but I don't know if it ever got finished, like the forum it just fizzled out.

    The Electric Eagle SS, which is really just a shell over the electric chassis, my True Cousins. is the fasted in the world but who want's to go that fast and only 1/4 mile.
    https://www.truecousins.dk/edragraci...a-start-til-nu
    Agreed Peter, but if you can achieve the blistering acceleration that these guys can, (ie 5.12 sec for 1/8th mile with an exit speed of almost 140mph) you should be able to reconfigure the batteries to provide more conventional performance and range .... albeit at a cost

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