Sunday 22 September 2019

Volkswagen to spark Beetle back to life - as an electric car

Electric VW Beetle
Electric VW Beetle
Eddie Cunningham

Eddie Cunningham

THE classic Beetle is going electric.

Yes Herbie rides again as an EV, with Volkswagen unveiling an electric system to power the icon of motoring – now called the eBeetle.

And the technology involved will be used to transform more cars from classics to EVs of the future, they say.

A near-production version of the e-Beetle will be unveiled at Frankfurt Motor show next week.

Volkswagen Group Components will supply the parts for the drive and battery system, but the conversion is to be carried out by partner company eClassics near Stuttgart.

The electric drive, one-speed gearbox and battery system are based on the new VW e-up! city car. There has been no indication of price as yet.

Volkswagen are waxing lyrical about the idea, saying the eBeetle combines “the charm of the classic car with the mobility of the future”.

The car will have a range of 200km while a fast-charging facility means the little EV can store enough energy for 150km in an hour. The lithium-ion battery system is built into the under-body.

The 82PS ‘engine’ powers a heavier (1,280kg) car than the conventional classic which incurs tweaks to chassis and brakes. Yet it should still feel fairly nippy - with 0-50kmh taking under four seconds.

Already there is talk of the eBeetle concept being transferred to other historic vehicles such as the e-Porsche 356.

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