Volkswagen continues to tinker with its electric vehicle concepts with the e-BULLI. On the heels of their Type 20 electric minibus, they've taken another vintage design and brought it into the 21st century. The e-BULLI prototype is based on the T1 Samba bus, which started production in 1966. By marrying classic design with new technology, Volkswagen has once again delighted its nostalgic fanbase.
The microbus features a 61 kW (83 ps) silent electric drive system that replaces the original 32 kW (44 ps) four-cylinder boxer engine. This allows the e-BULLI to hit a top speed of 80 mph, which is a big jump from T1's original top speed of 65 mph. Volkswagen has also included a battery that will last 124 miles, giving more than enough mileage to move around comfortably with one charge. The charging socket is tucked underneath the license plate and can get you powered up to 80% in just 40 minutes using a fast-charging source.
Aesthetically, the e-BULLI hits all the marks by maintaining the lines of the T1, but adding new touches where needed. This includes LED headlights, a retro speedometer that also tracks battery life, and a tablet mounted above the windshield for all of your navigation needs.
“It started with the seemingly audacious idea of switching an historic BULLI over to a drive system producing zero emissions on the road in order to bring it in line with the challenges of a new era,” shared Volkswagen. “To this end, engineers and designers formed a team along with drive system experts from Volkswagen group components and the eClassics company, which specializes in electric car conversions.”
Volkswagen has partnered with eClassics to make the e-BULLI available for €64,900 (just under $70,000). If the price tag is too steep, eClassics has two alternatives available for those who wish to convert their VW microbuses into electric vehicles. It's possible to buy the individual components and install them yourself or have eClassics convert your classic VW for you.