Volkswagen Beetle enthusiasts, rejoice! Your classic and venerable Beetle can now be equipped with a new electrified drivetrain. Well, at least the possibility is already out there.
Volkswagen, together with its partner eClassics, has made a conversion kit for the iconic classic Beetle in order to celebrate the release of a near production-ready e-Beetle at the International Motor Show in Frankfurt Germany.
The electrified Beetle combines the charm of our classic car with the mobility of the future. 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.
The e-Beetle concept vehicle comes with a single-speed gearbox and a battery system that is based on the e-up. These parts are manufactured by Volkswagen itself through its production site in Kassel, while the battery system components are made and supplied from the Brunswick plant.
The parts from Kassel and Brunswick work together as the electric powerhouse in the electric classic Beetle. The electric motor peaks out at 81 hp. The battery system is built into the underbody of the classic Beetle and consists of 14 modules, with each module holding capacity of 2.6kWh. The lithium-ion battery modules, when combined together, can deliver the energy of up to 36.8kWh. There is a slight caveat, the chassis of the iconic Beetle cannot handle the extra weight. The solution to the problem is to add chassis reinforcements as well as brake upgrades to the classic vehicle to handle the extra weight.
The overall total weight of the conversion is 1,280 kg. But thanks to the new electrified powertrain, the Beetle now gets near-instantaneous torque. It allows e-Beetle to accelerate to 50km/h in just under four seconds, it can even reach 80km/h in just a touch over eight seconds. When higher speeds are required the electric vehicle can reach speeds of over 150 km/h. For range, the vehicle can only go about 200 kilometers depending on the road conditions. While the range isn't impressive just yet, it allows for enough charge to last you a comfortable day out.
For those worried about the vehicle conking out in the middle of a journey, conversion kit comes with fast charging components so you don't have to wait too long for the batteries to charge back up. Thanks to the fast charging technology, you can have another 150 kilometers of range just after one hour’s worth of charging.
With the concept e-Beetle and its conversion kit, a more futuristic drivetrain is possible for other historic vehicles. Schmall states that they are already working to prepare another platform for electrification. Next up on the list is the VW bus and an electric Porsche 356. Since the conversion kit is modular it can easily be adapted to other units in the future.
There is no word yet on how much the conversion kit will cost but it's good news for those who want to retrofit their classic cars with an electric drivetrain. The future is looking bright for electric vehicles thanks to innovations like this.