RE: VW e-Beetle on the way to Frankfurt

RE: VW e-Beetle on the way to Frankfurt

Thursday 5th September

VW e-Beetle on the way to Frankfurt

Combine the e-Up running gear with the original people's car, and this is the result...



Electric classic cars are somewhat voguish right now, the concept being taken on - to a mixed reception - by Jaguar and Aston Martin as well as independent conversion specialists. Expect to see plenty more, basically, as buyers demand the style of a classic with EV ease-of-use and efficiency. Beginning with the Beetle...

Yep, it was going to happen soon enough, especially given the Beetle's symbolic importance historically as the car of the green movement. Now its local emissions can actually be kind! The e-Beetle is a collaborative product between VW Group Components and eClassics, described as combining "the charm of our classic car with the mobility of the future".


The powertrain comes wholesale from the e-Up, with motor and gearbox made at Group Components plant in Kassel and the battery system from the Brunswick plant. The important numbers are up to 36.8 kWh of battery capacity, 82hp and 1,280kg. VW says that's sufficient for 0-50mph in just over eight seconds, a top speed of 93mph and a 124-mile range. The e-Beetle can be fast charged, too, which should permit 93 miles of range for an hour of juicing.

While there's no confirmation yet of an e-Beetle beyond this show car, it is described as a "near-production"; furthermore, VW says that this concept proves "the subsequent electrification of other historic vehicles will also be possible." There's talk even of electric Porsches 356s - heavens above - as well as using the MEB electric architecture to boost range and performance.

That's all for the future, though. Now - indeed next week, when the Frankfurt show opens to the media - is time to appreciate and ponder the e-Beetle. The poor old thing never had the most powerful engines, so it's arguably riper for a swap than those straight-six sports cars. Or is that flat-four central to the Beetle charm, even with just a handful of horsepower? Over to you...






Author
Discussion

Miserablegit

Original Poster:

739 posts

54 months

Thursday 5th September
quotequote all
presumably the E-up is only available in Yorkshire?

NDNDNDND

751 posts

128 months

Thursday 5th September
quotequote all
Are buyers actually demanding this?

Electric conversions just seem to reduce the car's usability, neuter its character, and not really offer any sort of reasonable payback period.

It's just environmental virtue-signalling of the worst sort.

Plate spinner

13,380 posts

145 months

Thursday 5th September
quotequote all
NDNDNDND said:
Are buyers actually demanding this?

Electric conversions just seem to reduce the car's usability, neuter its character, and not really offer any sort of reasonable payback period.

It's just environmental virtue-signalling of the worst sort.
Inclined to agree

The most charismatic thing about the old beetle is it’s engine.

Turbobanana

1,471 posts

146 months

Thursday 5th September
quotequote all
I'd much rather see this than an EV version of an E-Type / DBxx etc.

Also - stroke of genius putting the charging point behind the tail light.

cookie1600

1,263 posts

106 months

Thursday 5th September
quotequote all
NDNDNDND said:
Are buyers actually demanding this?
Apparently so and it's by no means a new or unique thing:

https://www.electricclassiccars.co.uk/

https://www.evwest.com/catalog/index.php?cPath=40

https://www.zelectricmotors.com/




dzernski

81 posts

39 months

Thursday 5th September
quotequote all
I like it. What you've done is take away the most troublesome bit of an old car and replaced it with something that works in the modern world. I prefer classic conversion to the high end concepts and present stock of new builds as you're maintaining a variety a car shaped on the road (rather than a bunch of bland euroboxes). That being said, would've had that Honda concept, but largely as it took heavy influence from earlier (ie more interesting) cars

Miserablegit

Original Poster:

739 posts

54 months

Thursday 5th September
quotequote all
In a car where the engine is almost the least important aspect then EV conversion seems sensible and might be cost effective depending on install costs.
I’ve always said an electric classic DS would be good and the beetle seems a sensible choice as well because they were never quick - if you need the engine noise piped in then go for it.


waftycranker

34 posts

5 months

Thursday 5th September
quotequote all
Carbon footprint of running an old petrol engine that was already fitted to the car < Carbon footprint of manufacturing electrical running gear.

Can’t stand Beetles myself but I’d rather have the character and minimal carbon impact of the knackered old flat 4.

stumpage

1,733 posts

171 months

Thursday 5th September
quotequote all
Turbobanana said:
Also - stroke of genius putting the charging point behind the tail light.
That was my first thought. Great place to put it.

kambites

57,350 posts

166 months

Thursday 5th September
quotequote all
waftycranker said:
Carbon footprint of running an old petrol engine that was already fitted to the car < Carbon footprint of manufacturing electrical running gear.
Carbon footprint yes; localized emissions and hence air quality give rather the opposite picture. I love classics but there's no denying that if you actually use them they're absolutely hideous for air quality and hence respiratory health.

EyeHeartSpellin

101 posts

28 months

Thursday 5th September
quotequote all
stumpage said:
Turbobanana said:
Also - stroke of genius putting the charging point behind the tail light.
That was my first thought. Great place to put it.
Agreed, surely something that will become production on future EVs

T-195

1,285 posts

6 months

Thursday 5th September
quotequote all
dzernski said:
I like it. What you've done is take away the most troublesome bit of an old car and replaced it with something that works in the modern world.
Surely the simplicity of an air cooled VW was what made them popular in the first place.

You buy one if you want. I won't be.

Randy Winkman

6,994 posts

134 months

Thursday 5th September
quotequote all
Love it. Just wait till I sort out my (imaginary) EV Panther 6.

Ollieb7

274 posts

143 months

Thursday 5th September
quotequote all
Fat fat chick!

unsprung

3,444 posts

69 months

Thursday 5th September
quotequote all

Couple of thoughts:

Curb Weight: Batteries add a lot of mass, yet not a lot of range. Of course, the finished product is perfectly fine for use as a city car. But this retrofit has the effect of also reminding us that energy density remains very good with petrol and only just acceptable with electric batteries.

Virtue Signaling: Some have mentioned this. Is it full-on sanctimonious signaling? I dunno. Volkswagen, for its diesel sin, is now looking at all sorts of ways to have the public associate VW with green fields and blue skies. This idea to retrofit old Beetles probably came about in a brainstorming session.

Cost: This one example is all fine and dandy, but the fitment can't be cheap. Will this product be a toy for the better off? Or will VW endeavour to make this a broader opportunity, say, via a corporate-run programme or via a subsidy on pricing?


carl_w

6,279 posts

203 months

Thursday 5th September
quotequote all
1280kg!

AMGSee55

146 posts

47 months

Thursday 5th September
quotequote all
carl_w said:
1280kg!
Quite - it may have twice the power of the original, but that’s certainly not reflected in the power to weight ratio!

Ref an earlier comment, confess I do see some merit in an electric DS. A car which on one hand was incredibly futuristic and innovative, but powered (in its earlier form) by a very outdated engine.

I shall now await to be hung, drawn and quartered by Citroen purists! punch

sisu

460 posts

118 months

Friday 6th September
quotequote all
A vw 1303 cabriolet in good condition is today around €30,000 , the VW E-up is over twice the price of a regular Up, €26,000 instead of €10,000.
Add in the labour to do the conversion, add scene tax and I would guess they will pitch this at over €60,000



arkenphel

403 posts

150 months

Friday 6th September
quotequote all
So let me get this right. scratchchin
93mph max speed.
1 hour to charge 93 mile range.
Assuming it can do 93miles with 1 hours charge, my trip from newcastle to Edinburgh of 110 miles will take me 3 hours as opposed to my usual under 2 in my normal car.

Nah, the tech isnt there yet for me. I'll get an electric car then the charging times are similar to filling a fossil powered car, I think, no matter how iconic the shell.

sisu

460 posts

118 months

Friday 6th September
quotequote all
But this or an electric Golf mk1 bh basket is for mouching around town not doing a 110 mile commute