Electric car conversion by ACPropulsion — everyday driving of a real EV

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The red GOLF was was converted to then-state-of-the-art spiral wound Optima batteries by ACPropulsion. Conversion was a team effort, with Paul Carosa doing much of the design and construction. Alan Cocconi was the chief designer of the the Gen I drive system and Battery Optimizer modules. Dave Sivertsen did the battery optimizer controller. This is probably the most sophisticated lead-acid battery management system ever devised, with individual module-level monitoring of sealed spiral-wound lead-acid batteries that are still available today. Of course, the best module-level Battery Management System is not quite as good as the cell-level monitoring of the (successor) T-zero and then eBox, a system now used on the banked Lithium cells in the Tesla Roadster. While the Tesla might be considered the third-generation EV1, the Red Car could be considered the second-generation, perhaps a test article among that pack, and thus has a place in automotive history. On the video, the Red Car is compared with two Toyota RAV4-EV, which have over 100 miles range using NiMH nickel batteries produced prior to the Chevron lawsuit’s shutting down production (Nov., 2002). But, really, lead-acid is the best choice for the daily commute; the lead-acid EV1, upgraded to PSB 1260 batteries, had a range over 100 miles, more than enough for the daily grind even if you didn’t plug-in while working. The weight of the battery pack, 1300 lbs., in contrasted with the Tesla’s 1000 lb. pack, and it’s not


Telstar85 says:

I just love your Amp meter. It’s in the perfect place. Taking the idea a bit further, fuel meter should show battery capacity and oil temp to show battery or motor temperature. I think 100A is very low currency for acceleration considering cars weight.

divadspatches says:

how come this guy voice sounds like tom hanks

divadspatches says:

how come this guy voice sounds like tom hanks

3089280288 says:

nice guages.

Liftium says:

clean biodiesel truck smells like french fries

anewlow23 says:

What kind of transmission do you have in that car? You accelerated very fast but didn’t hear you shifting any gears. 100 amps is very impressive on acceleration with my warp9 motor I pull about 200 -250 amps for a brief time and up a hill forget about it!

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Brendon00000 says:

I want a electric conversion on my light weight honda crx, but sorry to say the tesla and bmw mine E go 300miles per charge

johnson1095 says:

Who the heck is talking on here? it sounds like that dude who used to be the old weekend update anchore for SNL. Could somebody tell me if i’m right?

Jay Anderson says:

So what batteriys are in your car. and range? i here lead can onley do 50-60 miles and then slow charge…good video would be great if i could see under the hood…

liveoilfree says:

That’s the way to do it; car companies tend to foolishly cling to “old thinking” and put EV drivetrains into large cars or trucks; ACPropulsion started with small cars, and made them very efficient to maximize battery value.

liveoilfree says:

Auto makers don’t like diesel because the engines are far more expensive to make, and don’t break down (no work for dealers!); refiners hate diesel because in California, they formerly dumped toxic waste into diesel fuel to lower the cost of disposal.

liveoilfree says:

All real EVs have regen braking; it extends the range, but more importantly, it returns the energy when you stop that you expended to get it moving.

93ej20 says:

“As ideal as that sounds, what you’re proposing will actually waste more electricity via friction and electrical resistance, thereby, shortening battery range. Now what you could do is recapture some energy via regenerative braking. ; )

SOPM2007 says:

Just wow! By far the best conversation I’ve ever seen!

jcost2008 says:

how about if you ad an alternator so that the batteries never die ?

TakayaFreeman says:

True, but it comes back to the cost of gas and oil changes within a span of a year. With an electric car (and compared to the mpg your gas-powered car has), you save between $1,500 to $3,750 (or more) per year. So, within a year to a few years (and again depending on the type of electric motor, batteries, controls, etc. you chose), it balances out the amount of money you spent to convert to electric.

Apoth3cary says:

Yea, but for now, I like my car a lot, and no electric car in my price range drives the same.

TakayaFreeman says:

Just a matter of time.

Apoth3cary says:

I know electric is better dude, I am saying there is more demand for normal gas engines, with decent mpg. I personally as of right now, like gas better, but give it time electric will win in the long run..

TakayaFreeman says:

“I think they want good mpg normal cars.” Do more research. Electric cars now have the same mileage of a gas car per charge, and here’s the crazy part: You no longer have to pay for the price of gas. Put a gas car with 30 mpg and an electric car. Gas is at least $3 per gallon. An electric car is $0.02 per mile. 30 miles makes that $0.60. $0.60 is far better than $3 or more.

creamyfilling102 says:

stinky clean diesel? i like electric cars, but i don’t appreciate spreading the anti-diesel movement.

Anthony Abelardo says:

Nice, you seem to know everything what it takes to make an electric car. What type of car are you going to make? I suggest starting a company with entry level electric like a Smart sized car, a medium level entry to rival the Prius and the other competator, and a high end one to rival the LS600hL.

morgangamer22 says:


afferch says:

People want electric, but big oil does not realy want them to be easily available to the average consumer. Good work liveoilfree.

Apoth3cary says:

I like my Scion tC….I will stick to gas instead, I dont think people want electric cars that much, I think they want good mpg normal cars…

walkman5410 says:

You sound like the dude from big labowski lol

pheenix42 says:

Very nice! How about keeping warm/cool in an electric? I wish I had something similar just for work commutes as I only live a few miles from my job!

atgmam says:

new diesel tractor trailers are very efficient and get very good fuel milage for the cargo it is hualing. One tractor trailer can hual more product than 30 pick-up trucks and get the same gas milage as one of the fully loaded pick-ups. I am for electric cars but over population is the real problem.

monstercameron says:

but is that traction control any good, no burning rubber or is there an off switch (cause every likes a burnout)

liveoilfree says:

To detect “FULL” the pack is brought to 420V (don’t forget the BOC is preventing overcharging); when running, typically we’re at 12.8v when full, the voltage drop might bring it down to 12 or even 11.5 on high acceleration. 336v times 400A is only 134 kW, that’s why to get max power it sometimes has to go to 500A. And if you draw 500A when the battery is low, voltage drop can be severe, that’s one way packs get ruined, trying to up the ante when the battery’s low.

liveoilfree says:

Btw, traction control is needed because the COG was a bit too far back and the GOLF is unibody, sucks, not easy to fit the 1300 lb. battery pack on board. If they had run a W&B program or had rear-wheel drive, might not need traction control.

liveoilfree says:

Actually, it has “TRACTION CONTROL” built-in, so that the tires can’t spin. The ECU detects that the wheel is moving faster on one side than it should, and automatically reduces torque (“dumbs it down”). In order to blow away normal cars, I have to reach 200A; in order to match a hot MB, 400A (and if I give even a tiny leg, they can smoke me). The Tesla can probably beat anything on the road 0 to 60; but 0 to 30 the VW is not too bad.

liveoilfree says:

I’ve done some speed runs, but introducing them gradually, this pack is brand new and trying to break it in properly. Gonna bring it down to Bob Siebert’s and film his Li Honda with ACP’s lead golf.

monstercameron says:

btw goos job though

monstercameron says:

did i hear “KEEP UP WITH THE TESLA”, gross overestimation but teslas doin good gotta give it props , you just made 0-60 sound slow, no offence

edstar83 says:

If you think an electric car cant burn rubber then you are pretty CLUELESS.

Darksteelbeast says:

clean diesel is just as funny as clean coal

tsport100 says:

28 x 13.8 volts = 386v

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