It's legal at last!
Two tough inspections and a sea of paperwork later, the electric Mitsubishi Tredia is legally allowed on the road!
I was as nervous as hell during the inspections but it turns out that it was all worth it as I now have a fully functioning, road-legal electric car!
This episode begins with transporting the car up to Auckland City for the main Certification test, then transferring the car all the way back to New Plymouth for the Warrant of Fitness test. Once I had those tests under my belt and a WOF sticker on my windscreen, I could go to the post office and... well, get more forms to fill out. But once I'd filled THOSE out, I was given my registration sticker!
Next step was to start my "Road User Charges" (another tax) and away we go - Time to hit the roads!
I celebrated by taking the car out for it's first legal go-anywhere road trip! I even passed two gas stations, one of them might look familiar!
As always, I welcome your comments and tips. But in the mean time, I'm off for another drive! ;)
Gav's EV Conversion - 19 - Frequently Asked Questions
Now that the conversion's complete I thought I'd tackle all those questions
I get through my inbox.
The questions answered in this video are the most common I get asked on
almost a daily basis by people at supermarkets, on the street or by email.
I'm sure many of you have the same questions too, so on with the video!
For all the other technical questions, check out my FAQ page or my Tech
Specs page at www.KiwiEV.com
I admit, it's not a terribly exciting video compared to the others, but
it's important for anyone using my conversion as a platform for their own.
Gav's EV Conversion 10 - Installing the Motor
The motor is in!
After a bit of a delay, the adapter plate has been created and mated to the
gearbox, and the motor has been installed into the Tredia!
We had a few delays along the way with problems finding an engineer, our
wedding being overseas, the adapter plate & motor not fitting in the first
time, and THEN having to get a mounting bracket welded up.
Whew, there's a bit of work involved in getting the motor installed but at
long last it's in!
I noticed in the video that we make that heavy motor look light & fluffy
lowering it into the Mitsubishi. It is not. I think it was due to editing
out all swearing and straining noises from the video.
I can finally say the motor has been installed into the car and I think a
big Yeeehhhaaaa is in order.
That's one small step for Gavin, but one giant leap for Gav's EV
Gav's EV Conversion - Bonus Video - Wow! I'm Famous!
TV3's top rating current affairs program Campbell Live did a piece on my
electric car project!
It's a hot topic with the price of gas going up recently, and will get
become even more valid when gas prices go up again in the next few weeks.
It was a great fun day of filming and test driving on private roads north
of the city. You can see some beautiful Taranaki backdrops there too.
You can see the presenter enjoying driving the electric car too. He
couldn't believe how good the acceleration was and how it didn't use a drip
of fuel the whole day! Hey, I'm still getting used to it myself!
Being part of the TV3 film crew for a day was great fun - I could do that
more often! :)
You can check out the next step and project progress on my website
Gav's EV Conversion 14 - Installing the Batteries
The batteries have arrived and are installed at long last!
It took a few days of fiddling about but we installed and secured the front
and rear batteries into place with super-strong stainless steel strapping.
I also created and installed my sealed rear battery box which has the
extraction system connected to the turbo
timer and a relay so that both the ignition and the charging system
activate the fans. The turbo timer
ensures the fans keep going for 3 minutes after I've turned the car off, or
unplugged the charger.
It sounds complex but it isn't. You have to remember it's ME we're talking
about here ;)
Gav's EV Conversion 6 - The New Gearbox
In this latest episode I take the old internal combustion parts to the
refuse centre and then pick up my new gearbox.
I found a local wreckers yard that had an old Mitsubishi Cordia gearbox for
$150 so I snapped it up right away!
You'll notice the new gearbox doesn't have a gaping big hole in the side of
it which helps a little...
It needs a serious clean up though. Looks like it was beaten with the oilly
Gav's EV Conversion 11 - Installing the Heater
There's still a couple of weeks before I can get the battery racks
installed, so now's the perfect time to sort out the car's electric heater.
It's the law in New Zealand for your EV to have a working heater
(primarily to stop the windscreen from fogging up).
I was going to buy an EV heater from an EV accessories supplier but was
advised I could save a bundle by doing it myself from parts!
The whole thing has cost me $70 NZ as opposed to $174 NZ from a popular EV
And once again, if I can do it then anyone can!
I hope this video proves educational. Feel free to see the install in more
detail at KiwiEV.com
Once I scrounge enough money together then the Battery Racks video will be
Progress has slowed a little as things have got tight financially so I've
even set up a donations page on KiwiEV.com to make sure the car is
completed by the middle of summer in February!
Gav's EV Conversion - 20 - Living with an EV 1
So far so good! Having an electric car has been great!
We've been using the Tredia as a reliable daily driver for a couple of
months now and we've cleanly clocked up over 800 kilometres (500 miles)
Our "Unspent Gas Money" jar gets a $40 visit from Her Majesty each week.
It's much better having the money we normally spend on gas back in our
pockets, that's for sure!
After 2 months we've put almost $300 of money in the jar that would have
otherwise gone up in smoke - literally. We now have to decide what to spend
I've been busy saving money and I've sold a few things to make up enough to
buy a new faster charger too.
The method I'm currently using works fine, but it's slow and chargers here
are VERY expensive. I'm about to order a new Zivan NG3 16-amp charger from
That'll be in the next video, along with my demonstration at the regional
Sustainable Energy Expo!
So keep your eyes peeled for the next video!
Until then, happy motoring.
Gav's EV Conversion 9 - Installing the Pot Box
The next video in this classic New Zealand Electric Car Conversion has
My Potentiometer Throttle Box has arrived from America! It was a birthday
present from my mum - sure beats socks & undies!
This "Pot Box" as it's known, is like a light dimmer switch. The
accelerator cable is attached to it and when you press the gas pedal, the
lever moves, adjusting the amount of power the motor is to receive.
I also learnt that in New Zealand you require an additional spring
connected to the outside of the pot-box for safety in case the main spring
It made me wonder if other countries have this same extra spring
Gav's EV Conversion - 23 - Living with an EV 4 (1 of 2)
It's been a while but the Tredia's still kicking gas!
In the last six months the car's passed the 5000 kilometre mark without a
single drop of gasoline. I also interview three other EV converters, and we
finally get insulation and a heat pump (reverse cycle air conditioner
thingy) installed in our icebox of a house! It's nice and warm now that's
The United States government has taken a jump to the left, and a step to
the ri-i-i-ight has occured for New Zealand's new government (couldn't
resist the Rocky Horror pun) so the global theme seems to be change,
Since the last video I've had a brief stint at advertising which was fun,
I've topped up the water in the batteries twice, and the car finally has a
CD player. Most importantly of all though, this video has been recorded in
brilliant High Definition (and widescreen too) - see the difference?
Thanks to technology one of the people I interviewed was in another country
- Australia! We set up a link and I was able interview the famous (but
Australian) creator of EVCapri.com! Not only that but I celebrate the car's
first birthday! Yup, as of the 23rd of November, the car has been powered
up for exactly one year! Being such a monumental occasion I made a
delicious birthday cake like no other. I might even upload the recipe if
there's enough interest.
The 'Piece of Resistance' however, is the much talked about Bonus Video
which appears near the end. It's not in high definition (filmed on the old
camera) but the catchy song Chica Me Tipo by the American band Sublime more
than makes up for it.
As for the fate of the Tredia and what will take it's place when it finally
passes on? Only time will tell...
Gav's EV Conversion - Step 17 - The Charging System
The car's finally ready for the big inspection!
After some initial hiccups, my recharging system is now up and running
using 13 individual chargers and one 32-pin plug (I'm only using 28 of the
As well as finally getting the charging system going, I've also installed a
splash-guard under the motor and installed the ventilation ducting.
Everything went well and each battery is charging as it should with no
noticeable voltage-drop through the recharging cables either!
A car transporter will arrive in a few days to collect the Tredia and take
it up to Auckland where I'll meet it for the big test! Let's hope it
(I'll need everyone to cross their fingers)
Next video coming soon!
Gav's EV Conversion 12 - Installing the Battery Racks
At last! The battery racks are in!
After a some battery choice problems, some battery rack sizing problems and
a few delays I've finally got all three racks installed.
It took a while and there was many a stressed moment but at last the racks
The rear rack is bolted into the floor with 5mm thick steel bar underneath
to hold it in place.
The front racks are welded to the chassis (not the sub frame) to ensure the
crumple zones remain... well, crumpley in an accident. :)
Now it's time to get the control-box and Curtis Controller wired up and
visit the bank for the batteries.
It's full speed ahead! The conversion will be complete in no time!
Gav's EV Conversion 16 - The First Trial Run
The Tredia is alive and KICKING!
After successfully test-spinning the wheels with the car off the ground, we
lowered it down late on Friday night and took it for it's first test drive
up and down our empty street!
I make no apologies for my excited girly giggling - you would too!
I would rather have test proven the car on a race-track or abandoned
airport runway but there are none of those things near here so I had no
choice but to use the empty road.
In case the Police are reading this, Sorry! I had to for testing purposes!
It won't happen again! :)
So, not only was the test drive REALLY good fun, it was very useful for
finding faults. I've tracked down three teething issues I need to work on
before taking the car to Auckland to be certified!
If you're thinking of starting your own conversion or if you've been
putting it off, START IT TODAY!
Ok, still heaps to do before I can drive it about so it's back into the
garage to build the recharging system!
Gav's EV Conversion 7 - Buying the Motor
I was worried about this video - I mean how could I possibly make an
interesting video about buying a motor on the internet? :)
Still, the saga continues!
Just this morning I went in to the bank to sign the loan paperwork for the
electric motor and borrowed $3000 NZ to get my EV conversion project
This is a major milestone in the conversion process. I reckon I'm about a
quarter of the way there already!
I made a second trip to the bank this afternoon once the money had appeared
in my otherwise sad looking bank account, and sent $2015 US to the other
side of the world.
Within a matter of a few short days my motor will arrive by airfreight!
So, now that the motor is on it's way I can relax right? No... Believe it
or not, there are still quite a few things to be done before that motor
arrives. Keep watching this space.
1963 Volkswagen Beetle Electric Car Conversion by EV West
1963 VW Beetle Electric Car Conversion by EV West. Visit:
Videoof a 1963 Volkswagen Beetle electric car conversion. The components
used in this conversion are available in kit form at http://evwest.com/
100 Mile Range
8 Hour Charge Time
85 MPH Top Speed
24.4 kWh Capacity
650 Amp Controller
70 kW AC Moto
1963 VW Beetle Electric Car Conversion by EV West.
Gav's EV Conversion 15 - Installing the Main Cables
The electric car has power!
After 2 days of slithering about underneath the car installing cables and
cleaning the garage floor with my back, I've finally finished installing
the main cables for the electric car!
The last 10 minutes were the most nerve-wracking as we fought the urge to
turn the key and forced ourselves to check all our connections one by one.
In the end, we connected everything and heard the sound of that amazing
Curtis 1231C Controller springing into life!
The car was jacked up at this point so We did a test spin of the motor,
then a test spin of the car in gear (with the wheels off the ground). It
all went GREAT!
The next video will show us taking the car onto the road for it's initial