To modernize a classic, VW added an e-Golf electric powertrain to a 1972 Volkswagen Type 2 Bus

Chris Teague

Chris Teague

Volkswagen is exploring the potential of modernizing classic cars with new electric powertrains.

Classic cars sure are pretty to look at. But, they’re not so great when it comes to running clean. A new movement in the classic car community looks to change that, swapping old engines for fresh electric motors.

Chevrolet highlighted the trend earlier this year on a 1962 Chevrolet C-10 pickup truck and now Volkswagen is getting in on the game, showing off a 1972 Volkswagen Type 2 Bus that has been retrofitted by EV West to include the powertrain from a VW e-Golf.

“Their passion for classic-car culture and commitment to renewable energy made EV West the ideal choice for this project,” said Mathew Renna, VP G4, Volkswagen North American Region. “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 from a 2017 e-Golf features a 35.8kWh battery system that gives the Bus 125 miles of all-electric range. The powertrain sits in the rear compartment of the Bus, which previously held the vehicle’s stock air-cooled 60-horsepower four-cylinder engine. The battery units are housed inside custom engineered and reinforced enclosures under the Bus’s front seats where the fuel tank used to sit.

According to Volkswagen, “The independent rear suspension of the Type 2 Bay Window makes a perfect mate to the transverse driveline which is contained in a single unit that houses the 100kW synchronous AC permanent magnet electric motor, one-speed transmission and charging system.”

The Bus’s stock long-throw shifter now features park, reverse, neutral, drive, and regenerative braking modes. It has been fitted with a retro-inspired multifunction digital EV gauge on the dashboard.

“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.”

The Bus is painted Kansas Beige and Pastel White. It is not currently for sale.

Electrified 1972 Volkswagen Type 2 Bus

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Photo courtesy of Volkswagen AG

Electrified 1972 Volkswagen Type 2 Bus

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Photo courtesy of Volkswagen AG

Electrified 1972 Volkswagen Type 2 Bus

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Photo courtesy of Volkswagen AG

Electrified 1972 Volkswagen Type 2 Bus

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Photo courtesy of Volkswagen AG

Electrified 1972 Volkswagen Type 2 Bus

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Photo courtesy of Volkswagen AG

Electrified 1972 Volkswagen Type 2 Bus

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Photo courtesy of Volkswagen AG

Electrified 1972 Volkswagen Type 2 Bus

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Photo courtesy of Volkswagen AG

Electrified 1972 Volkswagen Type 2 Bus

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Photo courtesy of Volkswagen AG

Electrified 1972 Volkswagen Type 2 Bus

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Photo courtesy of Volkswagen AG

Electrified 1972 Volkswagen Type 2 Bus

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Photo courtesy of Volkswagen AG

Electrified 1972 Volkswagen Type 2 Bus

undefined

Photo courtesy of Volkswagen AG

Electrified 1972 Volkswagen Type 2 Bus

undefined

Photo courtesy of Volkswagen AG

Electrified 1972 Volkswagen Type 2 Bus

undefined

Photo courtesy of Volkswagen AG

Electrified 1972 Volkswagen Type 2 Bus

undefined

Photo courtesy of Volkswagen AG

Electrified 1972 Volkswagen Type 2 Bus

undefined

Photo courtesy of Volkswagen AG

Electrified 1972 Volkswagen Type 2 Bus

undefined

Photo courtesy of Volkswagen AG

Electrified 1972 Volkswagen Type 2 Bus

undefined

Photo courtesy of Volkswagen AG

Electrified 1972 Volkswagen Type 2 Bus

undefined

Photo courtesy of Volkswagen AG

Electrified 1972 Volkswagen Type 2 Bus

undefined

Photo courtesy of Volkswagen AG

Electrified 1972 Volkswagen Type 2 Bus

undefined

Photo courtesy of Volkswagen AG

Electrified 1972 Volkswagen Type 2 Bus

undefined

Photo courtesy of Volkswagen AG

Electrified 1972 Volkswagen Type 2 Bus

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Photo courtesy of Volkswagen AG

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