“The electrified Beetle combines the charm of our classic car with the mobility of the future,” explained Thomas Schmall, Member of the Board of Management of Volkswagen Group Components, about the announcement of the Beetle E. “Innovative e-components from Volkswagen Group Components are under the bonnet—we work with them to electrify historically important vehicles, in what is an emotional process. We are also providing Beetle owners with a professional conversion solution, using production parts of the highest quality.”
What Schmall is saying is that with a new conversion kit, which comes about through a partnership between the Volkswagen Group Components subsidiary and eClassics, you can turn your old bug into a fully electric vehicle. The kit swaps out the air-cooled engine and puts in an e-Up powertrain in its place with a 1-speed gearbox and battery system.
The electric motor is good for only 81 braking horsepower, so you won’t be breaking any speed records, but let’s be honest, aside from Herbie, there haven’t been too many Beetle race cars. Still, that’s enough horsepower to propel the Beetle E to a top speed of 93 miles per hour. The chassis and the brakes are reinforced to compensate for the extra weight of the 36.8kWh battery, which are fast chargeable. With that battery, the Beetle E has a range of 124 miles.
While the current iteration of the project is just a concept, the idea is to make the kit available for people to start turning their existing historic Beetles into their own version of the Beetle E. Volkswagen isn’t looking to stop with just the Beetle, though. “We are already working to prepare the platform for the Bus. An e-Porsche 356 could also be pursued in the future,” said Schmall.