Richard van Whye not only does conversions himself, but has tasked himself with teaching others. Starting over twelve years ago by converting his 1974 Volkswagen Karmann Ghia, he has since converted Bugs, Busses, Sandrails, and Things, a Mercedes 230SL and Datsun 280Z, a Porsche, and a Jeep.
Richard’s conversions appear to be clean without being fussy, and one of the more unusual examples of conversions is this Jeep. Powered by thirty-two CALB LiFEPO4 100 ah batteries, at 3.2v nominal voltage each, it’s about a 10kWh pack. For comparison, a 2012 Nissan Leaf with 73 miles of range has a 24 kWh battery. However, that Nissan also weighs about 3,400 pounds and this small aluminum-bodied Jeep likely weighs in at less than 1500 pounds. The thirty-two batteries weigh 240 pounds in total, which keeps this a fun runabout rather than a heavier (but longer-range) commuter vehicle. The body itself appears to be a Hard Body 4×4 by Aqualu Industries Inc and it weighs in at only 199 pounds.
As for the motor, it is a 53 kW 3-phase AC induction motor. 53 kW is equivalent to 71 horsepower, which in an electric vehicle usually has a faster “seat of the pants” than ICE engines due to the constant torque. In a lightweight Jeep like this, it definitely would be a lot of fun. I imagine this Jeep would be at home at a beach house, spending it’s life cruising up and down the boardwalk!
Aside from doing conversions, Richard also believes in education. He has started a 3-day in-person workshop as well as an online workshop where one can learn the various aspects of converting their own vehicle which he operates through a separate “EV Workshops” website.
Having done conversions for over 12 years and with plenty behind his back, EV4U could definitely be a contender for your next conversion project.