Translogic Drives EV West Electric Volkswagen Karmann Ghia – Video

MAR 13 2015 BY MARK KANE 14

EV West

EV West

Translogic visited the EV West garage to discuss electric car conversions.

Beside modern projects, there are a lot of vintage cars that, after electrification, get a second life.

EV West owner Michael Bream shys away from hardcore environmentalists, instead focusing on performances and driving pleasure.

Here is presentation of the 1969 Volkswagen Karmann Ghia with 80-100 miles of range, converted for some $30,000:


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14 Comments on "Translogic Drives EV West Electric Volkswagen Karmann Ghia – Video"

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These guys are offering me a 5008ev (an electric Zote) for $6400. It goes 480km chargers in 30 min etc. Is it too good to be true? I do not think so. I think that EVwest etc. are too expensive.

Would you really want to buy a car with a frame made of ‘chassis of roadlice’ or has a monolithic rear axle? 🙂
I think the phrase ‘lost in translation’ was MADE for this company!

My brother has an old (50s) Nash Metropolitian. It is SCREAMING for an EV drivetrain. The original engine is gone. Meaning no longer with the car.

What a sexeh EV conversion…

A lot of fun to watch, but of course this won’t be a mainstream solution. I doubt the expense can go down much: A lot of manual labor, both in planning and execution, and not many economies if scale component-wise since each car they do is different.

There might also be safety issues: Significantly changing a car’s weight & weight distribution can affect handling, esp. if they “at least double horsepower and torque” as they say. If it becomes at all common, I expect authorities to come down on this, and force conversions to undergo safety testing & homologation.

I suspect the conversions aren’t net green either; however much the ICE cost environmentally originally, it’s already there, and mileage on old classics tend to be fairly low anyway, so the conversion won’t be carbon-amortized over many miles.

Actually the expense can go down a lot. All they need to do (and do already) is sell conversion kits. Cost is around $7k for most of their conversions.

According to the commenter b.rn on autoblog the Karmann Ghia had chronic understeer issues which has now been solved by the batteries sitting in the frunk. Anyways, Who cares if there’s been a minor change in vehicle dynamics??! Someone driving around on bald tires in the wet will have 100x worse handling than any well-maintained EV conversion.

As was stated in the video (and was written about in the summary) EV West (and myself, not related) are not hardcore environmentalists. Our main priority is HP. Carbon amortization isn’t a major consideration (however they do sell the motors for someone else to make use of.)

I’m not familiar with the field (in my neck of the woods conversions would be illegal anyway), just going by the video which said typical cost wa $30K (or are you referring just to drivetrain parts’ cost? $7K sounds low even for that, given typically a BEV’s battery cost is given as ~$10K. Re the motivation, I did notice it wasn’t environmental on EV West’s part — I said I suspected conversions weren’t net green because that might affect customer demand for such conversions… the journalist implied this was a good way of re-using old cars (“reduce, _reuse_, recycle”), which I doubt, environmentally speaking. Re the safety aspect: “Who cares?” Really? How do _you_ know whether the change in dynamics is minor if you haven’t subjected the post-conversion car to the extensive kind of testing carmakers do (and/or simulated it pre-conversion)? This is a ton of metal going 100mph, and small changes can cause serious damage if they result in loss of control. It would be different if it were a closed course, but you’re talking public roads here… Bald tires is a strawman argument; there’s a built-in mechanism for catching those: annual inspections, as well as any competent cop… Read more »

Are you from a country where modifying cars is illegal? I feel sorry for you man.

They have a lot of experience, including building race cars.

Electric Factory Five 818 Project – Track Shakedown – EV West / 33 Machine:

All Electric Off Road Race Car – Electric Vehicle Sounds – Silent Offroad Racing EV West Baja Bug:

Bill Caswell Takes the BMW M3 Electric Pikes Peak Race Car for a Test Drive – EV West:

EV West Pikes Peak Official Run 2012 – Electric BMW M3 – First Converted Car to Race:
Think about what can go wrong here if they don’t pay attention to driving dynamics, especially past halfway up.

I christen this car the Karmann Electra.

Virtual like button clicked.

IN all of EVwest’s conversions they, so they say, DOUBLE the motor size. I’d question the longevity of the original gearbox. I don’t think VW built that kind of redundancy into it in 1969. I’d be more than satisfied with 50 hp.

Too bad at this late date they can’t make the car go futher. Agreed with another poster who said these are alot of money for what you really get.

That VW was nice but they really did *NOT* do a restoration.. They added all kinds of digital things and LED tail pipes and that kind of cutesy stuff, but it still had poor range, and it was a lot of money.

So for what they do, its fine, but I’d like a tuner who emphasizes range and restoration rather than cutesiness and double the power.

The cars were popular at 1/2 power. I don’t understand how that is such a difficult concept to grasp, and I don’t want to be constantly putting in new clutches and gearboxes.

Restoration or usability isn’t the point… Showing off at stoplights in front of the other kids is.

actually, if you check out the EVWEST video series, you will see they do lots of true restorations; such as their recent Ferrari 308 project, which was sourced DOA and with major fire damage.

There’s a few people out there modifying old VW transaxles for drag racing. The gearbox could be beefed up if need be.

As far as cost, it’s in the realm of most other motor vehicle hobbies: motorcycles, boats, jet skis, four wheelers, Corvettes, vintage hot rods, etc.