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Volkswagen is electrifying classic VW Beetles

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Sure, tooling around in classic car is cool, but have you ever tried tooling around in a classic car with an engine that’s way less ecologically unsound than the one it originally rolled off the assembly line with? If you’re a Volkswagen Beetle owner, You’ll soon have the chance to give it a spin: Volkswagen’s come up with a standardized electric engine designed to power their classic Beetles down the highway.

From Volkswagen:

Volkswagen Group Components presents a holistic concept with its partner eClassics for the subsequent electrification of the historic Volkswagen Beetle. The conversion exclusively uses new parts they have mutually agreed on from the series production of Volkswagen Group Components. The electric drive, the 1-speed gearbox and the battery system are based on the new VW e-up!1. The conversion of the historic Beetle is being carried out by the specialist company eClassics.

…The components from Kassel and Brunswick work together in the e-Beetle as an electric drive that reaches performance peaks of 60°kW /82°PS. The battery system is built into the underbody and consists of up to 14 modules, each with a capacity of 2.6 kWh. The lithium-ion battery modules cumulatively deliver energy of up to 36.8 kWh. The higher performance and the increased weight due to the extent of electrification require the adaptation and reinforcement of the chassis and the brakes.

So, your Bug will be a little heavier, but the benefits of the conversion sound pretty sweet: Volkswagen claims the that a converted Beetle can accelerate from zero to 50 km/h in just under four seconds and up to 80 km/h in around eight seconds, with a top speed of 150 km/h. As for range, Beetle conversion owners can expect to go 200km before their ride requires a charge. According to the press release, conversion kits for the Volkswagen Bus and the Porsche 356 are also in the works.

There’s just one catch: for the time being, the conversion hardware is only available in Germany through Volkswagen’s partner company, eClassics. No doubt, if the conversion tech proves to be a hit in Europe, it’ll find its way over to this side of the water, soon enough.

Image courtesy of Volkswagen





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Seamus Bellamy, Khareem Sudlow