Electric Volkswagen bus: Converted Type 2 'e-Bus' unveiled

EV West transplants e-Golf drivetrain into classic Volkswagen minibus

Electric Volkswagen bus

Volkswagen in the US has revealed an electric-converted Type 2 minibus, produced in collaboration with the electric-conversion company EV West.

The bus uses the complete powertrain from a 2017 Volkswagen e-Golf, comprising of a 36kWh battery and a 134bhp electric motor, fitted in place of the original 59bhp air-cooled engine. A range of up to 125 miles is expected from the vehicle.

The motor, transmission and charging system are contained within a single unit, while the charging port is installed where the fuel filler nozzle used to be. The battery is stored in a custom engineered, reinforced and fireproof enclosure located under the front seats – the original location of the fuel tank.

Up front, the original, long-throw gearstick is used to switch between the e-Bus' driving modes: reverse, neutral, drive and regenerative braking. A classically styled digital display screen allows the driver to keep an eye on charging and energy consumption information.

“We're 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.”

Although this conversion is a one-off, Volkswagen is working on a modern reinterpretation of the Type 2 that will sit on the same electric underpinnings as the Volkswagen ID.3 hatchback. The new bus been previewed by the ID. Buzz concept and could go on sale by 2022.