It was the iconic vehicle of the protest culture. Now the Volkswagen Type 2 Bus is ready to become the iconic automobile of the electric vehicle movement. Volkswagen of America is teaming up with EV West to build a fully electrified Volkswagen Type 2 Bus. The e-Golf powertrain was brought in to power the iconic—and now electric—van.
“Their passion for classic-car culture and commitment to renewable energy made EV West the ideal choice for this project. We thought, who better to see if the e-Golf powertrain would be the perfect fit for our older vehicles. It’s great to see that the spirit of hot rodding is going to live on into the electric age,” said Mathew Renna, VP G4, Volkswagen North American Region. For his part, founder and CEO of EV West Michael Bream said, “We are very excited to be a part of this project. Merging a historic model from an iconic brand with the technology of today is just one of the many ways that we can step closer to a more sustainable future while continuing to enjoy our rich automotive heritage.”
Combining the old with the new meant harvesting a 35.8 kWh battery system from a 2017 e-Golf. That powertrain grants the new e-Bus a 125 mile range. Where the stock air-cooled 60 horsepower four-cylinder engine once resided, in the rear of the bus, the new 100kW synchronous AC permanent magnet electric motor. A one-speed transmission and a charging system were also installed. The project left most of the exterior and interior details alone. Custom engineered, reinforced, and fireproof enclosures were added under the front seats and where the fuel tank used to be. The shifter is still there and functions to put the e-Bus into park, forward, reverse, and neutral. The e-Bus also comes with regenerative braking.
Looks like the future is going to be alright, and that the Volkswagen Type 2 Bus will come to represent yet another cultural movement.