The Volkswagen Group Components (VWGC) is reportedly turning the electrification of vintage cars into a new business model. An electrically powered Beetle will be presented at the IAA.
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For this undertaking, VW has partnered with eClassics based in Renningen near Stuttgart, Germany. According to German publication Automobilwoche, VWGC boss Thomas Schmall revealed, “We are already working together to prepare the platform for the Bus. An e-Porsche 356 could also be pursued in the future.”
The Beetle conversion is based on technology from the VW e-Up. The electric motor produced in Kassel has an output of 60 kW, and the lithium-ion battery assembled in the VW plant in Braunschweig has a capacity of 36.8 kWh. With a range of “more than 200 kilometres” as reported by Automobilwoche and a top speed of up to 150 km/h, the electric beetle would even exceed the e-Up that lends its technology. The e-Up currently boasts slightly less performance on both counts with a 190-km-range and a top speed of 130 km/h. But the technology donor has apparently also had an upgrade, and the new edition of the e-Up (which will also be shown at the IAA), now has a range of more than 250 kilometers.
For a Beetle or Porsche 356, the performance of the e-Up drive is more than sufficient – larger and heavier models would be underpowered. For this reason, VWGC boss Thomas Schmall is obviously thinking about using the modular e-drive construction kit MEB for these kinds of electric modifications. This would not only enable significantly larger batteries (up to 77 kWh), but also more powerful electric motors. It is not known whether the Bulli van that Schmall announced will be based on MEB or e-Up technology.
Prices for the electric beetle conversion or the other models mentioned have not been given.
Update, 5 September 2019: VW has now published an official press release on the subsequent electrification of classic cars in cooperation with the specialist eClassics, which contains a few more details. The e-Beetle is said to weigh 1,280 kilograms. In addition, the higher performance and the increased weight due to the electrification the little car’s chassis and brakes have been adjusted and reinforced. Since the e-Beetle takes over many components from mass production, it will also be getting a CCS charger, which can be used to charge energy for more than 150 additional kilometres in around an hour. According to VW, this will be enough for a relaxing trip in the electrified vintage car.
While Volkswagen Group Components supplies the series parts of the electric drive and the battery system, the actual conversion of the Beetle is carried out by the partner company eClassics from Renningen near Stuttgart, Germany.