Keeping classic cars up to snuff is hard enough as it is. Converting them to more modern technology can be a vastly trickier proposition, and can compromise what makes the car a classic in the first place. But, as it turns out, the Volkswagen Beetle is uniquely suited to an electric makeover, even if there are a few caveats.
The Bug is actually an ideal candidate for an electric conversion, thanks to how it’s put together. First assembled under orders from Hitler, believe it or not, Ferdinand Porsche was under pressure to come up with a cheap car that had easily replaceable parts, was light, was fast, was small, and could haul a family and their stuff with ease. To be fair to Volkswagen, though, the Beetle we know came about thanks to post-war British policy.
The design actually makes it a highly useful car to mess with, not least because it’s simple to pull parts out of it and replace them with new ones. In fact, this electric conversion largely adheres to where parts are located in the original car. For example, where the fuel tank once was, now you’ll find a suite of batteries to run the car. In fact, the parts are so light, and the engine so powerful, the Beetle has twice its original, admittedly unimpressive, 53 horsepower.
That said, there are a few drawbacks. This only has a range of about 100 miles, typical of all-electric cars. It also doesn’t have any sort of modern safety features built into it, so if you get in a wreck, you might be in real trouble. But if you like a classic while hating its fuel bills, it might be time to give the Electric Beetle a try.
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