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Royster's EV and RE Projects    EV Pages Home       EV Links

1963 VW Type 34 Karmann Ghia EV
click on photos for larger images    all photos by royster





This is the first road capable EV I ever worked on. On the first day of working with MendoMotive Electric Vehicles in July 1999, my first project was to swap out the inoperative Zapi HFM 400 motor controller for a replacement unit.

All went well and it worked! I drove the car 10 miles along the ridges of the Mendocino coast. My EV grin was a mile wide and I was hooked.






Over time I did many repairs and upgrades to this car, including a complete brake system overhaul, clutch assembly reconfiguration, charger and DC-DC converter upgrade, and eventually swapping the Zapi HFM 400 controller for a Zapi H2, also with regen. The regen on these Zapis is two stage, a few amps when the accelerator is lifted, and a few more when brake pedal switch is activated. At the time of the controller swap, the pack voltage was reduced from 144 to 120.

Not visible in these pictures is the majority of the batteries, which are located low in the chassis forward of the rear axles and reaching almost to the rear of the seats.

As far as I know, Steve Heckeroth still has this car and drives it regularly. First converted in 1994.

These vehicles are extremely rare, only about 200 were ever imported into the US. The two shown on these pages are the only two in the world known to be converted to electric propulsion.







Owner: Steve Heckeroth
Location: Albion, Calif. 
Base Vehicle: 63 VW Type34 Karmann Ghia
Motor: Advanced DC 9"
Drivetrain: Stock Type3 VW
Controller: Zapi HFM 400 regen/Zapi H2 regen
Batteries: (24)/(20) US 145 6V
System Voltage: 144V/120V
Charger: Zivan 240VAC   output: 24A@144VDC
Heater: Ceramic
DC/DC Converter: PC20-LV 20A@12VDC
Instrumentation: E-Meter, Analog Ammeter, 12VDC meter
Top Speed: 80+ mph
Range: 60-70 miles
Seating Capacity: 2
Curb Weight: approx: 3700 lbs
Tires: Michelin X LRR
Comments: daily driver in service for 9+ yrs

Updated 2/4/06

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