Volkswagen e-BULLI previews electric T1 conversion

VW launches eClassics division to convert and build retro vans with modern electric car technology

Volkswagen e-BULLI

Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles has revealed the e-BULLI electric van. It was due to be unveiled at the postponed Techno Classica show, but the company has subsequently previewed it online.

The e-BULLI is built by Volkswagen's eClassics divisions and uses a 45kWh battery to power an 82bhp electric motor, which is almost twice as powerful as the original T1’s four-cylinder petrol engine.

The motor produces 212Nm of torque – again, around twice as much as the original. Volkswagen says the e-BULLI is limited to 81mph – the same as the recently updated e-up! city car.

The electric drive system is all built in-house at the Volkswagen Group’s facility in Kassel, Germany. The batteries are mounted centrally under the floor, which the company says “lowers the e-BULLI’s centre of gravity and thus improves its driving characteristics”. Every e-BULLI is rear-wheel drive.

CCS charging allows owners to top up the e-BULLI's battery to 80% using 50kW fast chargers in around 40 minutes. It can also charge at up to 22kW on an AC charger; a full charge results in around 124 miles of range.

Visually, the e-BULLI keeps all its retro styling cues – and looks almost indistinguishable from the original on the outside. The two-tone paint has been updated for 2020, and there’s a set of LED headlights – as well as a battery charge indicator at the rear.

Inside, the interior has been overhauled with a two-tone colour scheme, push-button start, and the gearlever from the latest T6.1 Transporter van. There’s solid wood on the floor, a panoramic folding roof and seating for eight. The digital displays and LED lighting further emphasises the modern edge.

This is not just a show car, however, as Volkswagen will be offering electric conversions – as well as fully built restored classics – of its T1, T2 and T3-generation vans. Prices for the T1 conversion start from €64,900 (£59,000), while all necessary parts will be available as a kit, too.