Electric Car Conversion


This is the place where I will blog about my endeavours to convert my 2001 Skoda Octavia TDi estate to electric drive.
It is, of course, a work in progress and is also being recorded on the Open Inverter forum in this thread.
I will try to keep this page, the blog, and the forum thread, updated at the same time, so do check back.

Blog here.

Here are a couple of older photos of my Skoda showing how much of a workhorse it is.

A green Skoda Octavia Estate with a big silver box trailer in tow. Parked on an access driveway with a tall hedge background.
An old photo with my first box trailer on tow.
My green Skoda Octavia Estate with a small trailer upside down on the roof rack.
Well, it saves towing it home.

Some background:
I have been wanting to convert a car to electric for over 15 years.
At the beginning I had started learning about the latest methods to do that and that meant using old DC series wound electric motors salvaged from milk floats and fork lift trucks, controlled with Curtis controllers, and powered by lead acid batteries.

This lead to building a small electric tractor as a test bed to learn how components went together, and how much power and torque a motor could provide. However, having done this I began to research methods to convert a road going vehicle and this became more difficult due to costs, and my insistence on also building the whole vehicle from scratch too!

The downside of this process is that it is hugely time consuming and as time passed technology moved on and three phase AC motors became the favoured option for so many good reasons. New and legacy motor manufacturers began producing mass produced electric cars that were both efficient and desirable, I am sure I don’t need to name them.

And with that I felt left behind, unable to catch up, and despondent that although I could save up and buy, or lease, a modern electric car, none on the market in the early years suited my needs for an estate car that could tow a trailer and carry stuff on a roof rack.
Only in recent years has this need begun to be addressed by some motor companies but sadly they are also out of my price range!

So now, because people have a habit of crashing their cars, modern electric car parts are available in the scrap yards. With the help of the Open Inverter forum, the team at New Electric Ireland, and electrical engineer Damien Maguire it is now possible for people to convert their old cars using salvaged parts from some very good quality mass produced vehicles.

And now I start again with my conversion plans.

Thank you for showing an interest and following me in this journey!