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

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