1970s Kombi does the electric boogaloo

Riley Riley

Offering the best of both worlds, a Volkswagen Kombi bus from the 1970s has been converted to run on electric power.

Volkswagen commissioned electric vehicle conversion specialist EV West to transform the 1972 Volkswagen Type 2 Bus.

The electric powertrain from the 2017 e-Golf has been used as the basis for the conversion.

With a 35.8 kWh battery system from the e-Golf gives the e-Bus an approximate range of 200km.

The powertrain replaces the stock air-cooled 45kW flat 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 other 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 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 has been 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,” VW’s Mathew Renna said.

“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.”

Founder and CEO of EV West, Michael Bream said the company was very excited to be a part of the project.

“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,” he said.

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