Automotive

Drivetrain conversion turns the classic Beetle into an EV

The e-Beetle, as it’s been dubbed, debuts as Volkswagen’s collaboration with eClassics
The e-Beetle, as it’s been dubbed, debuts as Volkswagen’s collaboration with eClassics
View 12 Images
Using ready-to-go components from the upcoming Volkswagen e-up EV, a classic Beetle can be converted to electric
1/12
Using ready-to-go components from the upcoming Volkswagen e-up EV, a classic Beetle can be converted to electric
Using components from the new VW e-up electric car, the e-Beetle has a modular powertrain that can be used in most classic Volkswagens of the era
2/12
Using components from the new VW e-up electric car, the e-Beetle has a modular powertrain that can be used in most classic Volkswagens of the era
The e-Beetle can fast-charge on a global network of available chargers, getting most of its range in about an hour
3/12
The e-Beetle can fast-charge on a global network of available chargers, getting most of its range in about an hour
The e-Beetle (white) shown here with a contemporary with its factory gasoline engine
4/12
The e-Beetle (white) shown here with a contemporary with its factory gasoline engine
The e-Beetle with its "eKafer" logo on the side, meaning "e-Beetle"
5/12
The e-Beetle with its "eKafer" logo on the side, meaning "e-Beetle"
Trunks open, we can see the standard air-cooled engine in the classic Beetle and the storage-ready e-conversion e-Beetle next to it
6/12
Trunks open, we can see the standard air-cooled engine in the classic Beetle and the storage-ready e-conversion e-Beetle next to it
Using the e-up’s powertrain, the e-Beetle sports 2.5-kWh lithium-ion battery modules that can deliver up to 36.8 kWh in a bundle of 14
7/12
Using the e-up’s powertrain, the e-Beetle sports 2.5-kWh lithium-ion battery modules that can deliver up to 36.8 kWh in a bundle of 14
The Volkswagen e-Beetle has an estimated range of about 200 km (124 miles) per charge
8/12
The Volkswagen e-Beetle has an estimated range of about 200 km (124 miles) per charge
Volkswagen says that it is working with eClassics to create conversion options for other historic VW Group vehicles
9/12
Volkswagen says that it is working with eClassics to create conversion options for other historic VW Group vehicles
The e-Beetle weighs in at 1,280 kg (2,822 lb)
10/12
The e-Beetle weighs in at 1,280 kg (2,822 lb)
Top speed in the new e-Beetle is 150 km/h (93 mph)
11/12
Top speed in the new e-Beetle is 150 km/h (93 mph)
The e-Beetle, as it’s been dubbed, debuts as Volkswagen’s collaboration with eClassics
12/12
The e-Beetle, as it’s been dubbed, debuts as Volkswagen’s collaboration with eClassics

Classic Volkswagens, like the Beetle and the Bus, are now iconic pieces of driving history throughout the world. Volkswagen wants to take that love a step further by adding an electrification option for restorers looking to bring new spark to their classic Beetle cars.

The e-Beetle, as it’s been dubbed, debuts as Volkswagen’s collaboration with eClassics. Using components from the new VW e-up electric car, the e-Beetle has a modular powertrain that can be used in most classic Volkswagens, and offers a factory-vetted, new-component option for the change.

Using the e-up’s powertrain, the e-Beetle sports 2.5-kWh lithium-ion battery modules that can deliver up to 36.8 kWh in a bundle of 14. That’s an estimated range of about 200 km (124 miles) per charge. Recharge time for 150 km (93 miles) of that can be available within an hour, depending on charging station speed.

Performance is far better than the world-changing, air-cooled, low-output engines of the Beetle when first introduced, bringing 60 kW (82 PS) of output at immediate throttle press and a 0-50 km/h (31 mph) sprint of about four seconds. Top speed is 150 km/h (93 mph).

The e-Beetle with its "eKafer" logo on the side, meaning "e-Beetle"
The e-Beetle with its "eKafer" logo on the side, meaning "e-Beetle"

Volkswagen says that it is working with eClassics to create conversion options for other historic VW Group vehicles such as the Porsche 356 and the VW Bus. For conversions of the e-Beetle, Volkswagen Group supplies production parts from the e-up to eClassics, which undertakes the conversion process on behalf of the vehicle’s owner.

Because components are modular, they can be tailored to specific needs, giving flexibility with other conversion options. The e-Beetle weighs in at 1,280 kg (2,822 lb), but larger vehicles could possibly accommodate more battery weight for better range.

Source: Volkswagen

7 comments
guzmanchinky
How I would love to see every car come as an e vehicle option. Seems like it would be (somewhat) simply to replace the fuel tank with batteries and replace the engine and transmission with an electric motor.
Harley Dave
e-kafer means e-Beetle - where did you get trunk from?
Mzungu_Mkubwa
LOVING that they are doing this with some of the old classic designs! Please work up the original Mini Cooper and Moke next, y'all! 👍
lucius
It would be great if the Volkswagen e-Beetle would go into full production and sold worldwide, but of course that will never happen...
ljaques
I'll bet those kits go for "only" $50k or so. Um, about that 220kph speedo: Ayieeeeeeeeeeeeee!
Gannet
they would be better to sort out conversions of the many diesels that are sitting around due to dieselgate, a huge waste of resources.
Nigel Quinton
@Mzunga_Mkubwa somebody already has done an e-Moke. Saw one on holiday in Corsica last month.