Home Around retrofit The great story of the electric VW van to raise awareness about re-employment.

The great story of the electric VW van to raise awareness about re-employment.

by Retrofit-Daily

This is the story of Nano, the electric VW van, retrofitted by Rémi the mechanical engineer and Alexandra the architect. Their adventure starts in France in 2017 and will continue in the summer of 2020 as part of a journey of more than 50,000 km…

Electric VW van
Nano, the retrofitted VW van.
Photo: EVWT

EVWT: a 50,000 km journey in an electric VW van

The adventure starts in 2017 with the acquisition of a VW van T3 to be converted into an electric and solar vehicle. On board the blue ship, two Frenchmen who have set themselves the goal of covering more than 50,000 km, charging the vehicle with solar panels placed on the electric van and its trailer. 

After the conversion of the thermal vehicle to an electric one, the idea is to leave France for two years, on board the electric van, and cross 30 countries. With the sun as the only source of autonomy, the project is ambitious, especially if you have to travel 300 km a day.

Three stages: 

  1. Conversion of a thermal car to an electric car 
  2. Develop the mobile and autonomous solar generator
  3. Validate innovations by testing them over 50,000 km to prove them and make them reliable
Electric VW van
3D images of Nano, the electric VW van and its solar panels.
Photo: EVWT

The objective of the operation is simple

To give a good example of circular economy by demonstrating that a second life is possible for internal combustion vehicles. By going to meet young schoolchildren and students in the countries crossed, the trip will be transformed into a real awareness operation. The message? To leave behind the passage of the blue electric van future solutions for mobility and energy. 

The DIY electrical retrofit

Sourcing of suppliers, plans, aluminium welding, creation of chassis, removal of the combustion engine, wiring… The adventure of Nano, the blue VW van electric is 100% “DIY” (Do It Yourself). Just for the aluminium welding alone, Rémi has trained more than 100 hours. That’s telling.

Read also: Retrofit authorization in France: what the texts say

Eve, the solar trailer

Nano, the electric van is already done. Eve, the solar trailer, is being built. The 750 kg trailer will produce up to 85 kWh hour of electricity in less than 2 days to cover the needs of the electric van.

The first load tests with the trailer will take place in the spring, to be able to start the journey in the summer of 2020.

Electric vw combi
Nano, the retrofitted VW van with its recharge trailer.
Photo: EVWT

2019 is mandatory, the approval of the vehicle was carried out in Romania

EVWT’s adventure having started in 2017 with the transformation of the thermal vehicle into an electric one. In 2018, the question of the homologation of their electric van therefore arose for them in 2019. That is one year before the publication in the Official Journal of the ministerial order promoting retrofitting in France.

The homologation tests (braking, weight, range, maximum speed, etc.) were therefore carried out with the support of EV Romania, a French retrofitter established in Romania. Nano, the VW van electric, thus obtained a certificate of conformity, which allowed it to be insured and registered in Romania. This will not prevent it from being driven in France, or in other countries. But what will prevent Nano from being insured and registered in France.

To discover the EV World Tour Youtube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCHOCdckFdBEmTfR1qoW4Atg

What about their video “What’s it like driving a VW T3 electric van?”:

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