Volkswagen will be offering official electric conversions for its Transporter T1, T2 and T3 classic vans and minibuses, badged as the e-Bulli.
‘Bulli’ is what the original VW van and its derivatives are informally known as in Germany.
VW has now announced it will be converting classic vans, replacing the rear-mounted boxer engine with a 45kW battery pack and an 83hp electric motor, donated by the VW e-Up city car.
Unlike many aftermarket EV conversions of classic cars, the e-Bulli does not use the original transmission. Instead, it uses a single-speed gear, like most modern EVs. Drive can be selected using a standard automatic gearbox selector, although it gains a ‘B’ setting, which can be selected to increase energy recuperation.
The e-Bulli can be charged at up to 50kW, meaning that the battery can be topped up to 80% in as little as 40 minutes. With a full charge, VW reckons the van is able to drive more than 125 miles.
As the converted van will be a lot faster and heavier than the original, VW fitted it with modern multi-link suspension, rack-and-pinion steering and disc brakes all-round.
The conversion is carried out by eClassics and costs from €64,900, not including the donor vehicle. The company can perform the conversion on either T1, T2 or T3s, and will offer a ready-to-fit kit to qualified dealers.
Meanwhile, VW is also launching an offer for its used commercial vehicles. Until 31 March, used VW commercial vehicles from the manufacturer’s approved used scheme, Das Welt Auto, come with discount up to £1,500, or when purchased on finance, a £500 deposit contribution and two services for £179.