Putting a Nissan leaf motor into a VW cabriolet

it fits so good!


Using the leaf gearbox, and our leaf drive shaft stubs, the stock VW axles bolt right up!

Just so happens that the full leaf stack! (gearbox, motor, inverter, PDM (power distribution module)) fits under the hood! The leaf battery tray, and fuse box fit nicely in the original VW 12v battery location as well.

A Honda accelerator position sensor is mounted on the side of the leaf stack, with the original VW throttle cable attached.

Controlling the leaf stack

The leaf Motor and PDM are controlled via CANBUS

There are many controllers out there that run the motor and PDM via can, the controller we are using is the zombieverter VCU

The Zombieverter VCU(vehicle control unit) is an opensoruce EV VCU. The zombie has many different hardware and software features for controlling a growing list of OEM (original manufacture equipment) parts: motors, chargers, heaters, pumps, dashboards, etc.

Its very powerful, and makes it pretty easy to run the full leaf stack. All it need is 12v and canbus!

The zombie vcu has a few outputs, we can use these to control the original gauges in the vw to display rpm, battery state of charge, etc. as well as the HV contactors, heaters and water pump.

There’s also a series of inputs on the zombie vcu, for things like the throttle pedal, break pedal, temperature, shunts (measures electrical current). Aswell as set up buttons and switches for different features like cruise control, hill hold, traction control, etc

Updating and tuning the parameters on the VCU is straightforward too, it has a little wifi board built in, so using our phone or computer we can change settings and update it to the latest firmware updates that might be available via a web browser.


full part list, prices in CAD (continually updating):

current costs: 4000$ CAD

now, these costs are an average of what these parts go for in BC Canada, you can defiantly get them for a lot less if you know where to look!

the red paint is nice….but nothing like the original city STROMer!

9 responses to “ELEKTRO-GOLF: VW Cabriolet EV conversion”

  1. Douglas Archer Avatar
    Douglas Archer

    What kind of range are you seeing?
    Is 80MPH possible?
    How big is the battery pack?

    I have a Kubvan and am interested in this conversion.

    1. Gus Avatar

      we have not done range tests yet. its using the stock leaf drive train so 80mph is possible yes. as stated in the post, the battery is 17kwh

  2. Behrle Hubbuch Avatar
    Behrle Hubbuch

    Will this kit fit in a Mk1 Scirocco?

    1. Gus Avatar

      it should yes. the drive shaft adapters work with any german cv joint

  3. Noah Avatar

    How heavy is the converted car compared to the original?

  4. Jesse Avatar

    greetings. California resident here with a 1981 rabbit caddy picking that currently runs and drives well with a 5 speed and 1.9 aaz diesel engine. I am looking to convert it eventually to EV. I have about $25000 usd I’m prepared to invest into the project. I’m looking for someone interested in doing the conversion for me? I’ll pay labor and parts costs. let me know if anyone has any info or contacts. thank you

    1. Gus Avatar

      we are located on vancouver island, bc, canada. so a bit of a trip up here

  5. Marc Avatar

    Why did you choose to use the smart 17kwh battery? Does it include a BMS? Would it be possible to added an additional 17kwh pack for more range? Was there difficulty in getting the Nissan charger to charge the Smart battery?

    1. Gus Avatar

      its what the client wanted to use. we thought we try and use it mostly un modified. to reuses the case and all.

      we have not set up a bms, as its still a work in progress

      the zombieverter controls the full leaf stack, including the charger.

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