After a feasibility study in March 2015 I decided to convert our Volvo Amazon estate to a fully electric powered vehicle. In various blogposts, you can check out the conversion in more detail while on this page you can find the summary.
Exploration in 2015
It started with a dream and then a feasibility study. I looked at four aspects:
Technical feasibility = OK
Economic feasibility = Low
Regulations = Challenging
Fun factor = High
So it became a GO and I’m started the project. See below the blog post from March 2015 with some further substantive aspects of the exploration.
Summary of the conversion project
The donor: a 1967 Volvo Amazon wagon
I bought this car in July 2008. It had been waiting for being restored for 15 years already and while we had it another 7 years.
Dark green (color number 94) it it’s original color and according to the Volvo Historical Archive it has been delivered to Belgium in April 1967. In 1975 it has been imported into the Netherlands. At first it appeared to be quite an original car, but in the end it turned out to have quite some rust and low quality repairs by previous owners.
Principles of my EV conversion
- Intended range of approximately 115 km
- AC motor (Siemens 1PV5135-4WS14 with DMOC 645 inverter)
- Keep the gearbox (upgrade to a M400 from a Volvo 164 converted to a long shifter) and reinforced clutch
- 8 Tesla batteries with 42 kWh nominal and max 38 kWh usable energy
- MIA subsidy available
- Loading capacity 500 kg
- Having it registered as electric vehicle seems doable
Throughout the project, I come up with new ideas and technology advances. Meanwhile, a number of new points have been added:
- Using 8 Tesla Model S batteries has a better energy density (less weight and at the same time more range)
- Implementing CHAdeMO fastcharge
- Using a battery management system (BMS) to monitor individual cell voltages and battery module temperatures
- Possibility to heat and cool the batteries
- Stationary heating
I have selected New Electric from Amsterdam as the key partner and provider of the electric components and support for the conversion.
Nordicar and their parts webshop volvo-parts is the parts supplier for restoring the car. Nordicar is probably the largest if not one of the larger parts suppliers for new parts in the Netherlands.
As Garage71 themselves describe it on their website “Everything imaginable is built by us” seems very aptly put to me. Mischa frequently cites the quote from Colin Chapman, founder of Lotus Cars:
“Simplify, then add lightness”
That helps me find a good balance between a high-end conversion with nice features and a manufacturable whole.
At Tinustuning aka Ben Flierman I have been coming for a long time. Initially started as Tinustechniek, then specifically for engine tuning and now broader again. For me, the address for such things as a HD stabilizer bar and especially for my electric wagon a pressure plate and clutch plate that can handle the high torque and power of the electric motor. In addition, Ben is a regular sparring partner when it comes to cooling and flow design issues.
In terms of emissions, the electric wagin could soon be back on the road for years. To make sure that is also the case for the bodywork, Jansen Restorations does the entire process from blasting to painting.
The combination of a nice atmosphere, professionalism and good communication makes the car in good hands. What is particularly appealing to me is that it is a “one stop shop”. Extensive experience with blasting, sheet metal work where necessary, scooping (flame galvanizing), epoxy spraying, seam finishing, tightening, final painting and individual parts powder coating all at the same company. As a result, these steps are well aligned and run smoothly.
Updates / blogposts
View all blog posts from the conversion phase.