Wind Chasers

February 2 / 2017

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Electric Car

A couple of years ago, we started thinking about electric cars. Thinking about them led to talking about them which led to researching them on the internet. We learned that you can build your own electric car. Wouldn't that be cool to build your own electric car and charge it with your own wind turbine, which you also built yourself! Well that was it! We started keeping an eye out for a suitable car to buy that we turn into an electric.

As time went by, and we got busier and busier here helping people build wind turbines, the idea kind of got put on the back burner. We still wanted to build one, but it would have to wait till we had more time.

One day, while we were checking out electric cars on the internet, we came across a web site that had a section in it for people selling electric cars that they had built. Most of the cars were from California or some other place that was too far away. Then, low and behold, was a picture of an electric car from Ontario. Not only was it from Ontario, but it was within driving distance from where we live!

After some discussion, and coming to the realization that we might not be able to find the time to build an electric car ourselves any time in the near future, we decided to go and have a look.

We made the trip to a rural area near Barrie Ontario, where we met a wonderful couple, who had built the car. They explained how they had built the car from parts sourced locally and over the internet. They gave us all of the history about the car and a ton of technical information. The car was in excellent condition considering that it is a 1987 model. Only a couple of little rust spots which could easily be repaired. The price was right, so we decided to take the electric car plunge!

So far, we have not driven the car a  lot since it was getting on into fall by the time we got the safety check completed and we didn't want to drive it in the winter. However, it has proven, even with the limited amount that we drove it last fall, that it will be a great little car to get us back and forth to work. As soon as the weather gets better, we will be driving it daily and we can give a better report on the performance.

Here she is, our new baby! A 1987 Volkswagon Cabriolet convertable!

Pretty cool!

Here we are after picking the car up and arriving home. We had to rent a car dolly to bring it home since it was too far to run on the batteries.
Craig undoing the straps while Mike supervises! Mike volunteered to take the car dolly back for us since it was rented from near where he lives. Also, so that he could be the first one to see the car!
Trying to figure out all those wires!
There she is, right at home in our crowded garage!
That's me wondering what the heck did we just get ourselves into!

Mike and Craig still trying to figure out all those wires! They must go somewhere!

Here, use these wire cutters, I just happened to have in my pocket!
Notice where it used to say "Volkswagon" it now says "Voltswagon". Clever!
This is the front of the car showing part of the 16, 8 volt batteries. The electric motor is under the batteries and the rest of the batteries and the charging unit are located in the trunk.
Another shot of the front end.