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FuelTech has released its latest software, version 5.1, for its PowerFT VCU line and the biggest highlight is its Electrification Pack.
The just-released software brings the FuelTech products into the world of electrification, including hybrid drive systems. The software upgrade is compatible with FT600, FT550, and FT450 VCUs.

FuelTech has released its latest software, version 5.1, for its PowerFT VCU line and the biggest highlight is its Electrification Pack.
The just-released software brings the FuelTech products into the world of electrification, including hybrid drive systems. The software upgrade is compatible with FT600, FT550, and FT450 VCUs.

FuelTech and Electric Vehicles: the future is now!

Discover our Electrification Vehicle Division

Electric mobility is rapidly growing in popularity as the environmental and financial benefits of electric cars gain mainstream momentum. We at FuelTech are proud to share our innovative solutions for hybrid and electric vehicles that have been developed through years of research and key partnerships.

On this page you will learn about FuelTech’s advances in electrification, converting combustion vehicles to fully electric or hybrid configurations where the electric motor assists the performance of the combustion engine. Thousands of hours of research, development, testing and data collection will culminate in the creation of a wide array of products.

FuelTech FT600, FT550, FT450 VCU for hybrid and electric vehicles.

The current PowerFT line was part of the electrification development and through this, ECUs have become VCUs (Vehicle Control Units). Now, in addition to managing the combustion engine, FuelTech ECUs are able to manage the electric motor and several other important functions for electric vehicles, such as: torque and power control of the electric motor, independent temperature and cooling controls of the electric and combustion systems, control of battery limits, energy regeneration and recharge, and mainly interconnecting all the vehicle's peripherals, generating better safety and performance in the application.


Here you will find some valuable information and tips for the electric conversion of a vehicle originally designed for combustion engines. However, before we focus on tips for electrification, let's get to know some elements that are part of the electrified system.


FuelTech VCU: (Vehicle Control Unit) is the control system for the electrified vehicle. FuelTech VCUs have been updated to control the electrified system to provide maximum performance, drivability and safety in all applications. The PowerFT and VisionFT lines are compatible with the most popular inverters, Battery Management Systems (BMS), DC-DC converters and on board charges in the market and incorporates the necessary drivability, safety and diagnostic features for the conversion.

Powertrain: This is the drivetrain of the electric vehicle. The electric motor and inverter have their own characteristics of power, torque and operation.

Battery pack: The bank of batteries which feed the electrified system. The choice of “pack” will determine the autonomy of the vehicle as well as guarantee the performance, power and torque of the powertrain.

BMS: “Battery Management System” is the electronic system responsible for monitoring the lithium batteries by reading the voltage and temperature of the cells. The BMS is also responsible for balancing the cells and for indicating to the systems the limit of electric current that can be charged or consumed from the battery.

PDU: “Power Distribution Unit” is the unit that distributes power from the high voltage battery to the system's components.

Power cables: These are electrical wires with adequate insulation, which interconnect the high voltage system.

DC-DC Converter: Is responsible for converting the high voltage of the vehicle's traction battery into low voltage for traditional 12V batteries.

On-Board Charger: (OBC) This equipment is intended for charging the traction battery by converting alternating current (AC) from the charging station to direct current (DC) which can then be stored in the high-voltage battery

Charging socket: Location where the battery charger socket will be inserted. There are several models, the most common being Type 2.

Transmission: Composed of the gearbox and clutch mechanism of the vehicle that will be connected to the electric motor.

FuelTech Switch Panel: This is an optional accessory that can result very useful when doing adaptations. The panel has buttons that can be used to activate various functions in the electrification system and/or the vehicle and it connects through the FuelTech VCUs via the CAN network.

Cooling pump: Electric pump used to circulate coolant through the Powertrain (Engine and Inverter), batteries and sometimes chargers. The system requires a coolant reservoir and a radiator kept within the vehicle.

Vacuum pump: Electric pump responsible for generating vacuum for the brake booster (compensating for the vacuum previously created by the combustion engine).

  1. Keep in mind your goals, objectives, needs and the use that will be given to the electrified vehicle. This will facilitate the choice of powertrain and components. It is also essential to be clear on the available budget, technical requirements and the inherent viability of the project.
  2. Electric motors have an inherent characteristic that they deliver maximum torque almost immediately at low rotation speed, which is a notable advantage when compared to combustion engines. Incorporating a FuelTech VCU will help ensure the vehicle’s performance, drivability and safety. Choosing the proper VCU for the project will depend on the number of sensors, actuator and CAN network peripherals used for the particular application.
  3. When choosing the powertrain for your conversion, look for a power and torque configuration that closely resembles the combustion engine that was originally equipped in the vehicle. Doing this will result in similar performance to the original vehicle and will guarantee safety when braking.
  4. Evaluate in advance the dimensions of the powertrain and the space reserved for it in the compartment where it will be installed. This will make it easy for the conversion to be accurate and fast, without requiring too many changes. Calculating and measuring spaces for the engine, transmission and batteries in advance will certainly provide positive results to the project.
  5. Each powertrain has a voltage level that requires a specific peripheral package (BMS, DCDC, OBC).
  6. Choosing the appropriate battery pack for the powertrain that is being installed will depend on the required/ desired autonomy (range) and performance.
  7. Lead cell batteries tend to have a lower discharge rate when compared to lithium and are much heavier, impacting the vehicle's performance and autonomy. As an advantage, the lead cell battery does not require a BMS or special charger.
  8. Some lithium batteries already come equipped with the BMS and power distribution unit (PDU) circuits.
  9. For the conversion, in addition to the engine, remove all components that are part of the combustion engine system, such as the fuel tank, fuel line, ignition coils and the electrical harnesses dedicated to the combustion engine system.

  1. Try to maintain the original position of the transmission system. This will facilitate the geometry of the axles and half axles connected to the transmission, as well as their movements in the suspension.
  2. It will be necessary to fabricate parts specifically designed for the conversion. For example; the connection flange for the new electric motor to be coupled to the transmission, supports for the electric motor, supports for the inverter, and the construction of safe housing for the batteries.
  3. When coupling the electric motor to the transmission, always respect the dimensions and original coupling parameters of the combustion system.
  4. The electrified system is capable of operating with various accessories such as air conditioning, power steering and brake system vacuum pump. In these cases it is best to opt for an air conditioning compressor, brake vacuum pump and power steering system that are also electric. This will ensure compatibility with an electric conversion as well as facilitate the control of the system carried out by the FuelTech VCU.
  5. The making of the electric conversion harness must abide by strict standards to provide the necessary power supply and maintain safety. Utilizing components, accessories or harnesses outside of factory specifications or recommendations is strongly discouraged. FuelTech can provide the necessary technical support as well as selection of pre-made harnesses that will be available soon.
  6. Cooling the electric motor, and in some cases the batteries, is extremely important. Most of the time, the original combustion engine’s cooling system is capable of providing the necessary temperature change. In any case, consult the technical department to find out if your system is suitable and also about the settings for maintaining the temperature of the electric motor, as well as the batteries temperature specifications.
  7. Hybrid designs that combine a combustion engine with electric motor(s)s can also be controlled through a FuelTech VCU.
  8. Each project requires different parameters, configurations, systems, peripherals and accessories. Whenever there is a doubt, look to our technical department.
  9. Always respect the safety standards required and certified NFPA 70E, a standard aimed at the health and safety of workers who interact in the installations and service of electrified vehicles.
  10. Never execute the project without appropriate tools and/or technical knowledge. There are specific tools and PPE for working with high voltage.

Questions and Answers

Are the VCUS used on the electrified vehicles the same as the current line?

Yes. The FuelTech modules used in the electrification projects do not differ from the PowerFT modules of the current line, including functions for electrification made available through updates for all customers. Download version 5.10 and enter the world of electrification right now.

I want to convert my vehicle, what should I do?

The conversion of the vehicle with FuelTech products can be carried out together with accredited partner workshops, as is already the case today. We will support customers and partners to develop innovative solutions.

Will FuelTech create trainings for electrification?

Yes, in addition to the products, we will provide all necessary documentation for installation and training. Courses focused on the installation and conversion process will be taught by our training division, FT Education.

Did FuelTech develop an electrified car?

Yes. We have already developed the conversion of two combustion engine classic urban cars into eclectic ones, a Volkswagen Gol and a Beetle.

In addition to the electrification conversions, we have also developed a Hybrid platform called the “UTV Exo Nb” through a partnership with Giaffone Racing. The Exo Nb platform was the only Hybrid vehicle to compete in this year’s Rally Dos Sertões.

FuelTech also has an in-house R&D project where a 1992 Mustang GT is being converted from a 2WD gasoline combustion engine to an AWD dual-motor 600+ HP plug-in EV using the Ford Performance Eluminator crate motors.

What is the difference between electric and hybrid cars?

Electric vehicles have only electric motors and are driven exclusively by the electrical energy stored in their batteries. Hybrid models, on the other hand, have two drive systems, one electric and a combustión one, in this configuration it is possible to create specific utilization strategies for each engine.

FuelTech’s history in the world of electrification


The largest manufacturer of electric motors and inverters in Brazil signs a partnership with FuelTech for the development of automotive electrical solutions.


Acquisition of Energy Systems, the Brazilian startup focused on developing technologies for converting combustion vehicles into electric vehicles.


The inspiration for our first 100% electric conversion was a brazilian classic, the Volkswagen Gol. It received an inverter and electric motor from the WEG company and is completely managed by a FuelTech FT550 VCU. Our first conversion vehicle provided the opportunity to collect data on functionality at different electrical power levels and data on mechanical and electrical alterations through fundamental tests for the development of strategies of electric vehicle management. This approach made it possible to achieve long distance travel during the driving tests.


The other brazilian classic selected for conversion was the Volkswagen Beetle. This project was carried out in conjunction with a partner shop, Sportsystem. This conversion is equipped with a WEG inverter and electric motor and is managed by the FuelTech FT450 VCU to make it suitable for urban use.


In this project, a FuelTech FT600 VCU controls the combustion engine as well as the electric motor. The idea behind the development of this hybrid platform is to allow future users doing conversions to gain power and torque while making it more economical to do any application they may want to develop.