News: The Volkswagen Type 2 Bus Is The Perfect Candidate For A Little Electric Motivation

The Volkswagen Type 2 Bus Is The Perfect Candidate For A Little Electric Motivation

By News Desk
November 22, 2019

Slow and noisy but perfect for just about any task from hauling families to cargo; that description of the 1960s Volkswagen Type 2 bus will be needing some revision once people see the Project e-Bus on display at the Petersen Automotive Museum during Volkswagen of America’s 4th Annual Drive-In Movie event.

Designed to showcase the possibilities of the e-Golf powertrain to motivate classic VW models, Volkswagen of America commissioned electric vehicle conversion specialist EV West to construct this electrified Volkswagen Type 2 Bus. The end result is a great amalgamation of classic style and practicality with modern technology.

Speaking of EV West’s achievement, Mathew Renna, VP G4, Volkswagen North American Region said, “Their passion for classic-car culture and commitment to renewable energy made EV West the ideal choice for this project. We thought, who better to see if the e-Golf powertrain would be the perfect fit for our older vehicles. It’s great to see that the spirit of hot rodding is going to live on into the electric age.”

The stock powertrain and 35.8 kWh battery system from the donor 2017 e-Golf gives the newly electrified T2 bus a range of around 125 miles (200km). The electric motor takes the place of the original air-cooled 60hp four-cylinder gas engine in the rear compartment and its 100kW (134hp) output and instantaneous power delivery should give the old bus a new pep in its step.

The battery units are stored in a custom-designed reinforced enclosure beneath the front seats, taking the place of the fuel tank. Aside from a  classically-styled multi-function digital EV gauge in the dashboard, the interior remains mostly stock. Even the original long-throw shifter remains but now activates park, reverse, neutral, drive, and the regenerative braking modes (PRNDB).

“We are very excited to be a part of this project,” said Michael Bream, Founder and CEO of EV West. “Merging a historic model from an iconic brand with the technology of today is just one of many ways that we can step closer to a more sustainable future while continuing to enjoy our rich automotive heritage.”

Painted Kansas Beige and Pastel White, the e-Bus is a great example of how modern technology can help keep classic cars on the roads and this conversion is a great way to showcase the versatility of VW’s electric platform, too. The Type 2 bus is still the perfect carry-all, but in e-Bus form, it can finally lay to rest its slow and noisy past.

Images courtesy of Volkswagen

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John Runberg
John Runberg
3 years ago

Very cool. One niggle, however. The Bay Window T2s (like the splitters) had the gas tank just forward of the engine. If the batteries are under the front seat area then they’re generally where the Vanagon gas tank resided.

BTW VW. If you offered a kit to retrofit a Bus I’d install one in a second!

Bryan Dickerson
Bryan Dickerson
3 years ago

Michael Bream and EVWest are absolutely killing it! What a cool opportunity VW threw in the right direction. The only way to improve this would have been to use the Tesla motor swap that EVWest put in their Porsche 912! I guess I do understand why that might not have been Volkswagen’s favorite option………