volkswagen has replaced the original internal-combustion engine of this 1972 type 2 microbus with an electric powertrain. the german automaker commissioned EV west — a company that specializes in electric conversions on the west coast.
the electrified volkswagen shows the potential of an E-golf powertrain in vintage vehicles, taken from a 2017 model. paired with a 35.8 kWh battery system from the donor 2017 E-golf gives the e-bus an approximate range of 125 miles
the powertrain resides in the rear compartment of the e-bus, previously occupied by the stock air-cooled 60-horsepower four-cylinder engine. the independent rear suspension of the type 2 bay window makes a perfect mate to the transverse driveline which is contained in a single unit that houses the 100kw synchronous ac permanent magnet electric motor, one-speed transmission and charging system.
Most of the exterior and interior features of the e-bus remain, mostly unchanged. the battery units are contained inside custom-engineered, reinforced and fireproof enclosures located under the front seats and in the former location of the fuel tank.
the stock long-throw shifter remains but now actuates park, reverse, neutral, drive, and the regenerative braking modes (PRNDB) that are all familiar aspects of the E-golf. to further maintain its authentic feel, the e-bus will be fitted with a classically styled multi-function digital EV gauge in the dashboard. this gauge allows the operator to cycle through multiple views and monitor vehicle outputs.
‘their passion for classic-car culture and commitment to renewable energy made ev west the ideal choice for this project,’ said mathew renna, VP G4, volkswagen north american region. ‘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.’
‘we are very excited to be a part of this project,’ said michael bream, founder and ceo of EV west. ‘merging a historic model from an iconic brand with the technology of today, is just one of many ways that we can step closer to a more sustainable future while continuing to enjoy our rich automotive heritage.’