Stephen Ruppenthal's 1965 Lithium Ion Volkswagen Type 3 Karmann Ghia Conversion
Updated 7/24/2010.

Here is Stephen's Karmann Ghia at the Sonoma Mountain Art and Wine Festival at Sonoma Mountain Village in Rohnert Park in September 2007.

Here is a view of the rear engine bay, that includes motor, motor controller and 240V charger.

Here is what the engine bay used to look like, with 8 6V flooded lead acid batteries included.

Here is a view of the back seat battery box that holds 24 LiFePO4 cells, plus an unknown 30A gage, and a Zapi controller display. It used to hold 8 flooded lead acid batteries.

Here is a view of the Emeter on the dashboard.

Here is a view of the front trunk compartment, that includes 24 cells, battery management cell boards, and a 120V charger.

Here is what the trunk compartment used to look like when it also had 8 flooded lead acid batteries.


Owner Stephen Ruppenthal
Location Sebastopol, CA
Vehicle 1965 Volkswagen Type 3 Karmann Ghia
Made in Europe only; rare 4 seat
Motor 8" Advanced DC
Drivetrain custom motor to flywheel adapter
stock 4 speed transaxle
Controller Zapi 144V with regenerative braking
Batteries 48 3.4V 180 amp-hour CALB (Formerly Sky Energy) LFP180AHA-C LiFePO4 cells
720 amps (4C) continuous, 2160 amps (12C) burst, 29.3 kilowatt-hours, 593 pounds
(Was 24 6V Trojan T125 flooded lead acid, 1584 pounds, 991 pounds heavier)
Battery Management System Thunderstruck Motors TSX-BMS
System Voltage 163 volts nominal
(was 144 volts)
Traction Battery Chargers: two Zivan NG5 240V AC 25A DC
Zivan NG3 120V AC 14A DC
Heater one that plugs in to cigarette lighter
DC-DC Converter Zapi integrated
Instrumentation Emeter, battery amp gage
Top Speed 70 MPH
Acceleration good
Range Over 100 miles
(Was 60 miles with new flooded lead acid batteries)
Watt Hours/Mile less than 300 estimated
EV miles Start ~8,000 miles
27,085 miles in May 2010
Total ~19,085 miles
Seating Capacity 2 (was 4)
Curb Weight TBD
Tires Jupiter SB-802 165R15
Conversion Time 0 by owner. Was the last EV converted by Steve Heckerouth of Homestead Enterprises in 2000. Upgraded by Thunderstruck Motors in 2010.
Conversion Cost $15K for original lead acid configuration, including labor. $17K for battery upgrade, including installation.
Additional Features None

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