VW Mixes Past, Present With Type 2 EV Conversion

Nov 26, 2019 2 min read
VW Mixes Past, Present With Type 2 EV Conversion

Get used to a future with classic cars converted to electric.

Regardless of what FIVA (Fédération Internationale des Véhicules Anciens, which translates to, International Federation of Ancient Vehicles) has to say on the matter, it looks like EV conversions are starting to become a trend in the classic car market. For the second year in a row, EVs have had a growing presence at SEMA, and now Volkswagen is showing its willingness to convert historical vehicles to electric vehicles with its new Project e-Bus, which was revealed at VW's fourth-annual drive-in movie event at the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles.

To create the Project e-Bus, VW teamed up with electric vehicle conversion company EV West to transform a 1972 Volkswagen Type 2 into an all-electric van. The interesting part about this conversion is that it used the stock powertrain from Volkswagen's all-electric e-Golf production vehicle, and the build was done so while preserving the Type 2's safety and classic styling consisting of a Kansas Beige paint job with a Pastel White roof and black steel wheels with the chrome dog dish hubcaps.

In place of the Type 2's rear-mounted, air-cooled engine, the e-Bus is powered by a 134-horsepower electric motor, which is a considerable gain from the van's original 60-horsepower output. This motor gets its power from a 35.8-kWh battery pack that is mounted under the front seats – where the original gas tank was located – in a strengthened, fireproof enclosure. The coolest part of the build is the fact that the e-Bus even uses the factory four-speed shifter to actuate the one-speed automatic transmission.

With this conversion, VW says that the e-Bus has all of the zero-emission capabilities of the e-Golf including the 125 miles of driving range. Although VW has made no plans to introduce crate versions of the e-Golf powertrain, this system seems to be an easy conversion for classic Volkswagens like the Type 2.

Volkswagen EV Type 2 Bus

Regardless of where you stand on converting classic and vintage cars to EVs, this trend is only going to keep growing as EV powertrains and battery systems become more affordable and attainable. One VW executive even said that "it’s great to see that the spirit of hot rodding is going to live on into the electric age."

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