eClassics, a Stuttgart-based EV-conversion company, unveiled a gorgeous all-electric concept based on the classic T1 Samba Bus. The conversion, a collaboration with Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles, is dubbed the e-BULLI. The price for an e-BULLI, featuring redesigned front and rear axles, starts at €64,900 ($69,500).
eClassics also offers conversions of VW T2 and T3 vans. And the company sells a ready-to-fit parts kit to qualified dealers.
For the concept e-BULLI, eClassics used a 1966 T1 Samba Bus that spent half a century on the roads of California. Bulli is the popular nickname for a VW microbus.
The e-BULLI is powered by a 61kW electric motor, providing twice as much power as the engine it replaced. Power is delivered via a 1-speed gearbox, complete with a B gear for heavy regen power. The top speed is 81 miles per hour.
Energy is stored in a 45-kilowatt-hour battery pack, providing an estimated 124 miles. A CCS charging system enables charging from empty to 80% in about 40 minutes at 50kW. Level 2, AC charging ranges from 2.3 to 22kW.
The silent electric powertrain transforms the drive experience. The official media release explains:
Compared to the T1, riding in the e-BULLI feels completely different. This is further enhanced by the chassis, which has also been redesigned: multi-link front and rear axles with adjustable shock absorbers and coilover struts, plus a new rack-and-pinion steering system and four internally ventilated disc brakes contribute to the new dynamic handling being transferred to the road with serene poise.
If you prefer a ground-up new VW electric van, the ID Buzz is planned for production in 2022. And Volkswagen CEO Herbert Diess said it would reach US dealerships as a passenger van or cargo vehicle, also in 2022. It’s expected to be offered with a massive 111kWh battery pack or a more modest 83kWh pack. Pricing has not been announced.
Here are images of the ID Buzz, which remakes the California surfer van for the electric age:
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