DIY electric VW goes 82MPH

Aaron sez, "An engineer gutted an old Volkswagen that he bought on Craigslist and designed a custom electric motor for it. It can hit 82 MPH!"

Tischer converted a '91 VW Passat with a blown engine. He found it on Craigslist for $1,800. The Passat is a bit big for a conversion, he says, but it's aerodynamic and attractive. That counts for a lot. "It's just a professional looking car with a beautiful interior, and something I enjoy having as a daily driver," he said.
Tischer's EV project

VW Owner Shifts Gears, Goes From Gas to Electric (Thanks, Aaron)


  1. NICE!!

    That’s not a 1991, probably a 2001. I have a 2000 Passat GLX and it looks identical. Good to know that my car is good for something… I’ve been procrastinating on selling it for months now. When I bought the car I loved it, it’s super-fun to drive when you get it out in some canyons, is super-comfortable to ride in, and has all kinds of fun gadgets in it. Other than that, these cars are a total maintenance nightmare (last thing to go was the alternator in the middle of a drive from Los Angeles to San Francisco, and cost me $750 in parts and labor to repair), so it’s no surprise that this fellow found one with a blown engine. The cargo space for the batteries is probably what makes it so attractive to convert to EV, otherwise it’s a HUGE car and weighs in at well over 4000 pounds. (It’s literally twice the car as my girlfriend’s tiny Honda Fit, and gets less than half the gas mileage and requires a diet of premium gasoline)

    VERY very cool.

  2. That’s not an “old Volkswagen.” That is not a 91 Passat. It looks like the 98-05 generation to me.

  3. Only 6 more MPH, and we can go back in time!
    (Actually, in the graphic, it’s only 0.3MPH off..)

  4. Whoa! This one of my old roommates from college. He helped me change my Accord’s starter when it died.

  5. aha!~ did you ever check that starter carefully? I’ll bet he did that to a whole string of people and pocketed all the extra electrons for this project!

  6. That’s all fine, but the real question is:
    does it need 1.21 GigaWatts to hit 88mph?

  7. Wow. That’s a seriously big car to convert into an electric!

    Electric car technology seem to be getting better and better. It’s possible I might even see the end of mass fossil fuel car use in my lifetime.

  8. Isn’t the selection of such a MAHOOSIVE great German land yacht a bit self defeating?

    Weight is where electric cars take it in the neck.

  9. This is a seriously great project.

    The buy has put loads of time and thought in to this and has obviously pulled it off brilliantly.

    Well done and good on him.

  10. As Jeff Lint would have asked: “And Your Point Is?”

    There are plenty of other homebrew electric cars out there. There are plenty that go a lot faster than 80mph. What’s the big deal?

  11. Cool project.

    The B5 Passat has a lower Cd than a Corvette, so no, it’s not a really horrible choice. Mine gets ~30 mpg on the highway with a moderately sized V6, so it’s fairly slippery. In addition, it’s got a longitudinally mounted engine, which probably simplifies getting the thing mounted and power to the wheels.

    That’d be an early 2001, prior to the update mid-year when they added chrome strips all over.

  12. Making an electric car is not difficult. Making an electric car that can last 100,000 miles, not catch fire in the rain, work in cold weather, and not electrocute accident responders is much more difficult.

  13. So can it go 82 MPH or 87 MPH? Title say one thing, GPS says another. I need to know, people.

  14. Relevant stats please:

    Acceleration, range, charge time?

    You can get an old VW to 88MPH by rolling it down a steep enough hill.

    (Site is down…. So I can’t tell if that stuff is available there)

  15. Worth Noting:

    “Converting his 2001 Volkswagen Passat to run on electricity took 11 months and cost about $20,000.”

  16. Hah, my dad converted a 1960s ghia to be all-electric and it was a LOT cheaper and faster (91 on the fwy) than that.

  17. ghia weighs nothing compared to the vw.

    if he can get the vw to go that fast, its also possible to get a smaller car with 4 fat people to go that fast.

  18. Thought I’d give you all an update on my Passat.

    I have driven the car 99 mph on flat ground, and it still has plenty of power to go faster. The controller is putting out about 120 hp. It has been my daily driver for 4 weeks now, and I have 900 miles on it now.

    0-60 mph using only 2nd gear is 16 seconds flat. 80% torque will break the wheels loose in 1st gear, It will lay a patch of rubber about 10 feet long =)

    For more updates, please check out my website

  19. 91 Passat
    I highly doubt that the Ghia did 90 plus mph on the freeway. I have one.

    The point is that you can build one with AC drive, Regen and can do freeway speeds at an affordable price rather than the insane prices of $80,000 and up.

    It is actually not and easy thing to do but it can be done and can be affordable and be safe and last an easy 100,000 miles to boot.

    Mafia won’t shut it down. Folks been doing conversions since before the 70’s oil crisis.

    Pete :)

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