Nova Scotia Community College begins transformation to create Tesla powered VW Beetle

When complete, it may be one of the best sleepers on the road. Nova Scotia Community College’s Pictou campus is embarking on a project to transform an old (but in really good condition) VW Beetle into an Tesla Beetle.

Aptly nicknamed Voltswagen, the project will be led by Glen Coleman in the college’s Electronics Engineering Tech program, but will benefit a variety of students with different backgrounds. Welding students will contribute by welding brackets and supports to secure the Tesla motor within the body of the Beetle. Machining programme students will fabricate custom adapters and plates.

The base for the project is a 1997 VW Beetle with just 40,000km sourced from Mexico after countless nights scouring the internet for the perfect candidate. Coleman told that he didn’t want any old beat-up car, but something that was in good condition to start with.

Something that was more rust than metal would have been less than ideal. Starting with a solid car was important because we want students to have a good base with which to work.

The Beetle will be retrofitted with an electric motor kit from EV West, giving it 80 horsepower and 120 lb-ft of instant torque. The battery pack will come from a 85kWh Tesla Model S, and will be charged via a J1772 charing port

Keeping with the spirit of involving multiple faculties and students, the old gas engine will be advertised and sold off by business students on campus. They will also have the job of securing sponsors to help fund the project.

This project had barely begun before the coronavirus outbreak closed schools, colleges, and universities across the country. Once they are allowed to re-open, students will a great opportunity to learn some very useful skills for the future.

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