Volkswagen revamps classic 1960s microbus into a cool electric ride

Volkswagen campers have been the choice of many road warriors
since the 1950s. Now, the iconic car manufacturer has just unveiled
an electric option of the classic T1 Samba Bus. Although the
new-and-improved microbus still boasts its original hippie-era
coolness, the revamped e-BULLI is now powered by a 61kW electric
motor.

aerial shot of VW van driving on a winding road

Since the 1960s, the T1 Samba Bus has been a symbol of road
adventures across the globe. With enough seating to fit a large
family or group of friends, the iconic microbus has been a top
VW model for
decades.


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orange VW electric van

white leather seats inside a VW van

Now, the German car manufacturer has decided to bring the Samba
into the 21st century by electrifying the beloved van. While
keeping the recognizable shape of the 21-window body, VW added a
61kW electric motor. And lest you think that the new electric
system will slow the van down, not to worry. The state-of-the-art
electric motor actually provides twice as much power as the
original engine.

driver's console inside VW van

orange gear shift inside a VW van

The new version of the VW classic was made possible by a
collaboration with eClassics, a firm specializing
in electric car conversions. Working closely with VW, the company
replaced the engines in the Samba Bus models Type 1, 2 and 3 to run
on 82-horsepower electric motors
instead of the Sambas’ original 43-horsepower four-cylinder
motors. The motors work with a 45-kilowatt-hour battery pack, which
can charge from empty to 80% in less than an hour. The e-BULLI
comes with an estimated range of 124 miles. As far as speed, it can
reach a top speed of 81 miles per hour.

speedometer inside VW electric van

electric plug charging an orange van

The new electric system
provides drivers with an extra-smooth ride. According to the
company, “Compared to the T1, riding in the e-BULLI feels
completely different. This is further enhanced by the chassis,
which has also been redesigned: multi-link front and rear axles
with adjustable shock absorbers and coilover struts, plus a new
rack-and-pinion steering system and four internally ventilated disc
brakes contribute to the new dynamic handling being transferred to
the road with serene poise.”

electric battery setup

Orange VW van on the road with windmill in the background

With its eight seats and convertible fold-back top, the van
still retains its classic style with a few twists. The exterior is
painted in a mix of “Energetic Orange Metallic” and “Golden
Sand Metallic Matte”. Inside, the seating and the central driver
console area have been restored with modern materials, and the
interior lighting systems were updated with LED lighting.

VW van driving past windmills

side view of orange and gold VW van

If you’d like to get one of these electric VW vans to
hit the open road, it will cost $69,500. Unfortunately, they are
only available in Germany at this time.

+ VW

Via
Dezeen

Images via VW

Source: FS – All – Ecology – News 2
Volkswagen revamps classic 1960s microbus into a cool electric ride