Magic e-bus: Volkswagen electrifies its classic 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.

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

Related Articles

Ethan Jupp
I'm Content Editor at MR. Road trips music and movies are my vices. Perennially stuck between French hot hatches and Australian muscle cars.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here


BMW eDrive Zones help get the best from plug-in cars

BMW has launched its world-first eDrive Zones technology in the UK. The system switches to electric power when entering a zero emission zone.

How Princess Diana made Audi the ‘most sought-after status symbol’

Maybe more than the Quattro or even 'Vorsprung durch Technik', Princess Diana helped turn around Audi's fortunes in the UK. Here's how.

Petrol station drive-offs: what does the law say?

Although Making Off Without Payment is an offence under the Theft Act 1978, the police may not investigate a petrol station drive-off.

Sat-nav app Waze to help small businesses

Waze plans to make it easier for local firms to add their details to the navigation app, ahead of Small Business Saturday on 5 December 2020.

Find a Car Review