September 2019 in Frankfurt, Volkswagen takes its turn in electric retrofitting by presenting its mythical first-generation Beetle, transformed into a 100% electric …
The zero-emission “people’s car”
In Frankfurt, Volkswagen presented an old Beetle Convertible whose model was produced between 1973 and 1980 in a zero-emission version. Transformed into an electric car, the electric Beetle or “e-Käfer”, was produced as part of a German partnership between the German manufacturer and conversion specialist e-Classics. The retrofit of the “people’s car” is based on the use of mechanical components from the Volkswagen e-Up, the first 100% electric vehicle marketed by the manufacturer.
Equipped with a 60 kW (82 hp) electric motor installed under the bonnet and 14 lithium-ion battery modules of 2.6 kWh each, totalling 36.8 kWh of energy. The chassis and ground connections (axles and suspensions) had to be reinforced to support the total weight of the new equipment, but also its constraints.
The electric Beetle vw passes the test from 0 to 50 km/h in 4 seconds
With its 1280 kg, the electric Beetle vw or e-Coccinelle performs the 0 to 50 km/h test in 4 seconds and promises a top speed of up to 150 km/h. The manufacturer announces a range of 200 km and promises that one hour of charge is enough to travel 150 km – at “normal” NDRL speed.
The eKafer is available in three versions, marketed in Germany
The electric retrofit kit for this model, is sold in Germany at a price of 49 900 € vehicle not included. However, it will still cost €99,000 for a complete electric Beetle vw “e Käfer” in its restored and electrified version. Vehicle and retrofit included. More information is available on the e-Classics website.
Volkswagen looks at electric retrofit kits
The German firm plans to offer electric conversion kits for the electrification of old vehicles. “We are already working together to prepare the Combi platform. An e-Porsche 356 could also be developed in the future,” says Thomas Schmall, President of the Volkswagen Group’s aftermarket division.
Watch the eKäfer presentation video: