Magic e-bus: Volkswagen electrifies its classic camper

Volkswagen e-Bus electric camper

Volkswagen has followed up its electric Beetle with a battery-powered bus. The Type 2 camper uses the running gear from an e-Golf.

Like the Beetle, the Type 2 swaps out its rear-mounted air-cooled engine for an electric motor and battery pack. It features the Golf’s 35.8 kWh battery and 100 kW synchronous AC permanent magnet electric motor. That gives the ‘e-Bus’ an approximate range of 125 miles.

It also borrows the Golf’s single-speed transmission and charging system. The batteries can be found under the front seats, as well as where the fuel tank used to be. 

Volkswagen e-Bus electric camper

That is where the changes end, however. As with the Beetle, the aesthetic of the Type 2 Bay Window goes largely unchanged, maintaining its classic appeal.

Even the long-throw gear shifter of the original bus remains, albeit with new park, reverse, neutral, drive and regenerative braking modes. What is different inside is the digital dashboard, but even that is classically-styled.

The project is a collaboration between Volkswagen USA and EV West, an electric vehicle parts and EV conversion company. The latter has plenty of prior experience swapping electric powertrains into everything from classics to track cars. 

Volkswagen e-Bus electric camper

“Their passion for classic-car culture and commitment to renewable energy made EV West the ideal choice for this project,” said Mathew Renna of Volkswagen. 

“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.”

Volkswagen e-Bus electric camper

“We are very excited to be a part of this project,” said Michael Bream, 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.” 

In pictures: Volkswagen e-Bus electric camper

Motoring Research will use the information you provide on this form to contact you with regular newsletter updates only. Please confirm that you are happy to receive newsletter information from us by the below methods:

You can change your mind at any time by clicking the unsubscribe link in the footer of any email you receive from us, or by contacting us at contact@motoringresearch.com. We will treat your information with respect. For more information about our privacy practices please visit our website. By clicking below, you agree that we may process your information in accordance with these terms.

We use Mailchimp as our marketing platform. By clicking below to subscribe, you acknowledge that your information will be transferred to Mailchimp for processing. Learn more about Mailchimp's privacy practices here.