VW to Offer ‘Factory’ Historic Beetle BEV Conversion

Volkswagen’s parts wing is to offer an ‘official’ factory BEV conversion kit for the motoring icon that is the historic Beetle.

While there are many companies currently converting old Beetles to full electric powertrains, this is the first time the factory has considered the conversion that many traditionalists would see as pure heresy. Yet, Volkswagen Group Components has presented a “holistic concept” partnering with the conversion specialist eClassics to electrify the historic Volkswagen Beetle.

The conversion uses new parts they have mutually agreed on from the series production of Volkswagen Group Components. The electric drive, the 1-speed gearbox and the battery system are based on the new VW e-up!. The conversion of the historic Beetle is being carried out by the specialist company eClassics. Its premiere is being marked with a near-production version of the e-Beetle at next week’s 2019 Frankfurt Motor Show (IAA).

The powertrain for the e-Beetle peaks out at 80bhp and consists of up to 14 modules, each with a capacity of 2.6 kWh, built into the underbody of the donor car. The lithium-ion battery modules cumulatively deliver energy of up to 36.8 kWh. The higher performance and the increased weight of the powertrain require adaptation and reinforcement of the chassis and the brakes.

Despite the conversion nearly doubling the original car’s weight at a porky 2,815-lbs, the e-Beetle claims acceleration time to 31mph in four seconds and to 49mph just over eight seconds on the way to a top speed of 93mph. Battery range claimed is 124miles with a fast charger able to restore a range of 93 in about an hour.

Thomas Schmall, member of the board of management of Volkswagen Group Components, said: “The electrified Beetle combines the charm of our classic car with the mobility of the future. We are also providing Beetle owners with a professional conversion solution, using production parts of the highest quality.”

— Paul Myles is a seasoned automotive journalist based in London. Follow him on Twitter @Paulmyles_

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