VW Commercial has built a trendy retro styled e-BULLI that produces zero emissions on the road and it’s based on a T1 Deluxe Microbus with skylight windows and cloth sunroof, produced in 1966.
Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles (VWCV) has thrown yet another classic curveball into the ‘classic EV’ debate mix with yet another all-time favourite being given a new lease of life – with a plug.
The e-BULLI (German for early VW bus generations) was to be unveiled at this year’s Techno Classica which has now been postponed. VWCV partner eClassics is planning to offer T1 conversions and T1 complete vehicles in the style of the new e-BULLI.
Switching classics to electric has become pretty ‘normal’ recently with various companies providing the service for a hefty fee. VWCV engineers and designers have come up with a stylish retro EV T1 that utilises the Volkswagen Group’s latest electric drive system components and although expensive, looks pretty cool.
The 32 kW (44 PS) four-cylinder boxer engine gave way in the e-BULLI to a silent Volkswagen electric motor delivering 61 kW (83 PS). The comparison of the engines’ power output alone makes it very evident that the concept vehicle has completely new drive characteristics, as the electric motor is almost twice as powerful as the boxer. What’s more, with maximum torque of 212 Nm, the new drive provides more than twice the force of the original T1 engine from 1966 (102 Nm). The maximum torque is also – as is typical
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The trusty four-cylinder boxer at the heart of this desired classic has been transplanted with silent Volkswagen electric motor delivering 61 kW (83 PS), transforming the lazy cruiser into a German sprinter.
Gearbox and the electric motor still reside at the rear and drive the uprated axle with a battery that’s charged via combined charging system (CCS) socket, enabling AC or DC charging. Alternating current: The battery is charged via an AC charger with charging power of 2.3 to 22 kW, depending on electricity source. Direct current: Thanks to the e-BULLI’s CCS charging socket the high-voltage battery can also be charged at DC fast-charging points with up to 50 kW of charging power. The range with one full battery charge is around 200 kilometres.
The interior has retained some of its elder statesmen features such as the analogue speedometer resembling the original, while a two-digit charging display sits below the e-BULLI logo prominently situated at the centre of the stylish clock.
There is no doubt the electric VW T1 has bags of style and nostalgia but whether the tasteful colour scheme, panoramic roof, slick number plate design and zero emissions are enough to persuade the classic loving punter to untie his or her rather tight purse strings is another matter.
The complete electrified e-BULLI T1 package is being offered at a starting price of €64,900, whilst the T2 and T3 conversions are also being offered by eClassics.