It was a symbol of counter-culture and freedom from the norm during the ‘60s and ‘70s, now the Volkswagen Microbus is donning that mantle again, becoming a symbol of the electrification movement thanks to a partnership between Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles and eClassics. The two companies have paired up to create the “e-Bulli” electric Microbus.
This new project is a continuation of the work that VW and eClassics started with the classic electric Beetle that they put together last year. To convert the Bulli—the German nickname for the Microbus—into an e-Bulli, the two companies started with a Microbus out of California. The original four-cylinder boxer engine was replaced with a new electric motor. The new motor boasts nearly double the horsepower compared to the original gas motor, bringing 82 horsepower into play. Torque also doubles, coming in at 156 lb-ft. The motor connects to a one-speed gearbox. The e-Bulli is electronically limited to 81 miles per hour, but the 45 kWh battery pack does provide more than 124 miles on a full charge. That charge comes quickly thanks to the DC fast charging feature. In just 40 minutes, the battery can reach an 80 per cent charge. As is fitting for the Microbus, all the drive components are in the rear driving the rear wheels.
Volkswagen also installed a new multi-link suspension in the front and rear, and outfitted the e-Bulli with adjustable shocks. The rack-and-pinion steering system is new, and four-wheel disc brakes were installed. All the lighting was swapped out for LEDs. The Microbus was treated to a new paint job with Energetic Orange Metallic complemented by Golden Sand Metallic Matte. For the interior, new seats were added along with a new drive interface with a new gear shifter in the centre console. The flooring is made out of wood.
The best news about this Microbus is that it can be yours. The e-Bulli conversion is being offered for 64,900 euros (plus the cost of the donor bus). eClassics also offers conversions for the T2 and T3 vans.