Voltvo a 100% electric Volvo Amazon wagon

Building for 6 years

driven 3171 km


Support rebuilding

The story – live your dreams

Back in 2015 my wife and I talked about future dreams and decided ‘later is now’. I always wanted to convert an old Volvo to full electric. She wanted to travel. We went to Iceland with our young kids and I started my project.

It took me six years to restore the car and convert it to full electric with features one also finds in a modern production EV. In June 2021 we travelled again. “EVeryday nature”, with the electric Volvo Amazon wagon to Sweden for two months as a family. Unfortunately on June 30th the dream shattered as the car spontaneously caught fire when parked.

Build specifications and components

Amazon wagon overview
6,6 kW AC charging
CHAdeMO DC fastcharge
Tesla Model S battery modules
Siemens AC motor
Airconditioning for active battery cooling

Motor and controller

100 kW liquid cooled Siemens AC motor with 300 Nm torque coupled with a rebuild M400 gearbox from a Volvo 164 while keeping the long shifter. Using a DMOC 645 liquid cooled inverter.

Siemens torque curve transp
Siemens motor M400


The battery from a Tesla Model S are known for their high energy density and due to their liquid cooling have excellent opportunities for long a lifespan.

Tesla module 444 cellen type 18650

Thermal management

Keeping batteries in their ideal temperature range during operation is key in optimizing their lifespan. Lithium batteries neither should be too hot nor too cold. More information in my EVcreate blogpost: Ideal battery temperature?

The motor, inverter and DC/DC converter need liquid cooling. However, they al differ in ideal and more important acceptable temperature. In the end I decided to implement three separate cooling systems.

You do not want to overheat for example batteries or electronics with waste heat of the motor. There was not enough room to implement a 4-way valve to use motor waste heat to warm up the batteries like Tesla does. More details about what Tesla does can be found in the EVcreate blogpost: Using Tesla thermal management system parts. The radiator sizes were designed based on waste heat to be dissipated while balancing and distributing available space.


AC charging

Two Thunderstruck TSM2500 chargers of 3,3 kW each hidden on the left and right hand side in the trunk.

Onboard charger
AC granny charger Charge Amps

CHAdeMO fastcharge

Using the EVcreate CHAdeMO controller. Up to 100A but I used 80A max. Allowed DC charge current dynamically controlled by the BMS depending on factors such as battery temperature and state of charge.

During the charging process all details are visualized on the screen.

CHadeMO DC fast charging


The electric Volvo Amazon wagon has two small screens integrated in the speedo and one larger screen embedded in the dashboard.

Small screens in the speedo cluster

Two small screens were integrated in the original speedometer where the tank and temp. meter used to be. Starting procedure remained identical, when you turn the ignition on the warning lights light up and after starting these go off (if there was no warning). Furthermore the iso icon for ‘Ready’ would show up on the screen.

The content of these screens was different for drive and charge mode.

Central display

In the middle of the dash where the heater controls used to be (moved those to the right a bit) a 5-inch screen was integrated. Previous and next page were controlled by an Amazon-style knob. For AC and DC charging two pages showing process specific data were implemented.

EV Peripherals

The custom home build EV-peripherals controller drives all secondary features. From remote control to cooling pumps and fans to the small displays and the interior heating and cooling. It uses heating and cooling requests coming from the BMS as well as various inputs such as buttons, switches, speed and temperatures and parameters from the CAN-BUS.

EV Peripherals PCB

Classic appearance with modern technology

Stainless steel battery
Heavy duty battery boxes

Stainless steel boxes with vent valves.

CHAdeMO fast charge at Fastned
DC fast charge

In house developed CHAdeMO controller.

Displays integrated
Integrated screens

Small screens where the temp. and tank meter were.

Custom bezels
Knobs in Amazon style

Knobs for range mode, display and heated rear window with custom bezel.

Controlling via iPhone 1
Smartphone App

Remote monitoring and enabling the stationary heater.

Electric airconditioning

For active cooling of interior and batteries.

iBooster installed IMG 5934
Power brakes

Silent electric brake booster from a Tesla.

Electric power steering
Power steering

Speed dependent electric power assisted steering.

Custom heater and aircon
Stationary aircon & heater

Remote controlled stationary heater and airconditioning to pre heat or cool the car.

Central locking and alarm
Central locking & alarm

Alarm and central locking with remote.

Thermal management display
Thermal management

Realtime info showing battery thermal management.

Heated seats
Heated seats

Heated front and rear seats.

AC charging integrated
AC charge port integrated

AC charge port hidden behind original tank cap with store magnet.

EV Peripherals controller
EV peripherals

Custom electronics to control all secondary components.

Custom 222E badge
Custom badges

Amazon wagon sport E-badges.

Custom wiring
New wiring with CAN

Hundreds of new wires and tripple CAN-BUS.

Rear retractable seat belts
Rear seatbelts

Integrated duo-sensitive seat belt with ELR.

Handmate custom swirl pots
Handmade swirl pots

Aluminum swirl pots to get rid of air automatically.

Three custom radiators
Optimized cooling

Three separate systems for motor, batteries and inverter + dc/dc.


Electrical operated steel panel sunroof.

CAD for optimized fit
3D designed

Computer Aided Design (CAD) for perfect fit and weight distribution.

EV Conversion


Only 70 HP, low torque, noisy and gasoline thirsty.

Increasing challenge for availability of fuels.

Not allowed in low emission zones.

enginebay preenginebay post


Smooth, silent, clean, 130 HP and 300 Nm of torque from 0 RPM.

Drive on solar energy.

No local emissions.

Ready for another 50 years on the road.

Blogposts using Voltvo

Wat veroorzaakte de brand in onze elektrische auto?

De elektrische auto brand heeft veel vragen opgeroepen. Nu is het tijd om mijn gedachten te delen over wat de Tesla-accubrand in onze omgebouwde Volvo Amazon combi uit 1967 kan hebben veroorzaakt.

Nieuwe iDrive knop testen

Bedankt Tom (Engovis, ook de maker van Simp BMS) voor de inspiratie, reverse engineering en het delen van zijn werk hieraan. Nu had ik ook nog een tester en knop nodig. Ik wil dit zeker in mijn Voltvo ombouw.

De Shining 3D Einstar scanner gebruiken

De beste manier om te oefenen met de nieuwe EVcreate 3D scantools is om het te gebruiken voor mijn eigen project. Onder de indruk van het gebruiksgemak en het scanresultaat. De volgende stap is het succesvol importeren van de scan in Onshape.

Lege voorste accubak naar de recycling

Vandaag heb ik de oude lege voorste accubak afgegeven bij de recycling. Het deed zijn werk heel goed en bedwong het vuur voor een groot deel waardoor er nog een auto is om weer op te bouwen. Deze bak zal daar geen deel van uitmaken, evenmin als Tesla batterijmodules.

Bedankt AREPA en Dolmans

Bluspoeder van brandblussers schoonmaken is moeilijk, maar mogelijk. Dankzij Arepa en Dolmans zijn de lederen voorstoelen gereinigd, geconditioneerd en klaar voor gebruik.

Wat een toeval, een jaar later, hetzelfde laadstation

Wat een toeval! Afgelopen weekend onderweg naar Legoland met een ongeplande stop hebben we op exact dezelfde plek geladen als vorig jaar op 7 juni met de elektrische Volvo Amazon combi op weg naar Kiel.
1 2 3 7

Blogposts using Voltvo

Checkout all blogpost when actually using our electric Volvo Amazon wagon!

So starting after the conversion and before the fire, teardown and rebuild.


OldVolvo is a classic Volvo hobby blog by Lars Rengersen.

Also electric?

Do you also want to convert your car (Volvo or another brand) to full electric? As a spin-off of my own EV conversion project I started EVcreate for 'enabling EV conversions'

More info www.evcreate.com