Thursday, July 31, 2008

Its registered and home

So after a little more taste of SAAQ red tape, I finally got the car registered last week.

Cindy and the kids helped me get it home on Sunday. We took it home on the (little known) ferry from Laval to Ile Bizzard. I keep forgetting to turn off the flasher, something I'll have to get used to! The driver's side floor heating is also stuck 'ON', it was like having a hair-dryer blowing on my ankles. Despite this, things were going well by the time we made it down to highway 20 and St-Charles, so I gave it a go: no problems on the highway, its stable and smooth at 100km/hr -- looks good for the inspection!

At the moment, it sits quietly in the driveway awaiting its fate.

Next steps:
- Get the car inspected and approved for road use, as is.
- Change out the weather seals (dried and cracked in some places) and install a 'drivers side window scraper' (it squeegees the water off the window when you roll it down, and keeps it sealed while its up. This part is missing at the moment so the car is under a tarp.)
- Rip out the ICE components.
- Clean it up and figure out a way to get it to Ottawa in time for mid-September.

At the same time, I have to discuss and nail down the components list with Richard at REV Consultants. I got a quote from CanEV for most of the parts, but again, some of these are undecided. I have to enquire as to the hassle of importing parts from the US, both EV and Ghia-related.

At the moment, the following is looking like the most attractive major components
- VW Type-1 adapter plate and coupler from CanEV
- NetGain Warp9 motor
- Logisystems 1000Amp 144-156V motor controller
- Zivan NG3 charger at 156V-14A with AGM algorithm
- Zener Diode and lamp regulators in parallel with each battery.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Red tape

I went to the SAAQ this morning: apparently the left hand doesn't talk to the right!

What should have been 8$ for a four day transit has turned into: get an estimate of the car's value, have the previous owner come register it as 'in storage', have him pay the taxes for importing the car to Quebec, then I can buy it from him and pay some more taxes, then I pay to register it, thereafter its mine 'in storage' and I can get a one day transit (I don't know what good that's supposed to be!).

I'll meet with the previous owner on Monday at the SAAQ to get it all sorted.

I've found a garage to do any work, he has experience with Type-1's. I'm very happy to encourage his business:

Wouldn't it be great if we all had such initiative?

Thursday, July 17, 2008

And so it begins...

Yesterday, after some calls to my insurance company and the SAAQ (Quebec's department of transportation), I closed the deal for the purchase of a 1972 Karmann Ghia. It will be converted to a completely electric drive, similar to the following:

Sure, its been done before, but, for me: that's the point! This will be my first conversion and the Ghia is relatively simple to convert: its a simple car. The instrumentation is basic, in fact, pretty much everything is basic.

Why I picked a Ghia:
- Its lightweight, 1918lbs, as per the owners manual; I'll weight it myself before and after the conversion.
- It has a small frontal area and is reasonably aerodynamic (21sqft & 0.37, both to be confirmed). - There is a great support community for restoring / fixing / maintaining this car.
- Its a car I want to drive. I don't like commuting to work, but this car will make me look forward to that aspect of my day.

The Ghia runs as-is, I took it around the block near the seller's home in Laval. I still need to get it inspected and registered. I'm getting its 'transit' papers this week so that I can bring it for its inspection on Monday morning. The plan is to have it fully plated and insured as an ICE, then do a converion, have it re-inspected and then re-registred as a EV.