VW Project e-Bus electric Microbus builds Buzz with e-Golf transplant


Haven’t gotten your fill of classic cars converted to electric powertrains? You’re in luck, thanks to this incredibly clean VW Microbus. 

Volkswagen and powerhouse EV West partnered up to build this all-electric Type 2 bus to whet our appetites for the real thing, which is still a couple of years away. This build is equal parts original Type 2 and modern tech, but the source of the underling bits may surprise you. 

While the new ID Buzz Cargo (or whatever it will end up being called when it comes to market in 2021) will be based on the MEB architecture and thus the company’s latest ID powertrains, this conversion makes use of the power unit from VW’s e-Golf. This transverse setup works perfectly with the Type 2’s independent rear suspension. 

Meant for a 2017 model, this driveline includes a 35.8-kilowatt-hour battery pack and 100-kw (134 horsepower) motor. The motor was installed right where the old Type 2’s air-cooled engine sat. EV West fabricated special impact-resistant and fireproof enclosures for the battery packs, which reside where the fuel tanks were, under the front seat.

“We are very excited to be a part of this project,” said EV West founder and CEO Michael Bream in VW’s announcement. “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.”

Inside, the Bus is essentially stock. VW even re-used the gear selector from the original manual transmission, albeit with an altogether different shift pattern. The gauge cluster was also replaced with a digital unit meant to convey information relevant to EV operation, however the displays were designed to match the vintage interior. 

EV West is no stranger to electric conversions of enthusiast cars—and likely a familiar name to those reading about this electric Bus. The firm has competed in the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb in a converted BMW E36 M3, and it has lent its expertise to refurbishing used Tesla battery packs.