No word a lie, we here at AutoblogGreen are fans of classic cars. What we are not fond of, however, is the pollution that their inefficient engines create, and so it's great to see our old favorites lovingly up-cycled with electric drivetrains. The ZelectricBug is a beautiful example of how new, cleaner life can be breathed into an old Volkswagen Beetle.

Now, we first came across this particular automobile during the Refuel event last summer and we were struck by its cleanly done conversion then. Aside from a few snaps in our gallery, though, we didn't give it the kind of attention it deserves. Fortunately, the good folks over at Roads and Rides have rectified this by turning their pro video camera skills onto the 1963 V-Dub and producing a nice little segment to accompany their write up.

Scroll below to see the finished footage and head over to their website for some stills. If all this gives you a hankering for your own Zelectric, the company does have plans to sell to the public starting this summer. If you don't want to wait, EV West, the guys who did the drivetrain work on this car, have conversion kits available for Beetles, as well as a number of other vehicles.



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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 10 Comments
      jeff
      • 1 Day Ago
      The guys at EVWest are the best conversion shop in the country in my opinion.... I really love my little converted EVThing. It uses the same HPEVS AC50 kit as this bug... www.EVThing.me
      atc98092
      • 1 Day Ago
      Nice video, but very little hard information. No explanation about the drivetrain, other than doubling the original engine's horsepower. What batteries, and where are they located? I realize their web site will likely answer many of these questions, but a little more detail in the video would have been nice. That said, I love the rig! Couldn't live with it here in the Seattle area without some sort of heater, because I don't have space to store a car and only drive it when the weather's nice.
        GreenDriver
        • 1 Day Ago
        @atc98092
        Seattle gets nice weather? ;)
        2 wheeled menace
        • 1 Day Ago
        @atc98092
        You could run a portable 2 cycle propane heater on the lowest setting during the winter. Oldschool EVs came with kerosene heaters.
        jeff
        • 1 Day Ago
        @atc98092
        You can easily add a heater to the EV.... Here is how I did mine... http://youtu.be/Hxi226oH-KU
        Ricardo Gozinya
        • 1 Day Ago
        @atc98092
        This car does have a heater in it. A ceramic heater. Uses LiFePO4 batteries, and has a 22kwh battery pack. Interestingly, they kept the transmission, putting in a heavier duty clutch, and lightening the flywheel.
        Domenick
        • 1 Day Ago
        @atc98092
        The motor is an air-cooled AC inductive unit, I believe from Hi Performance Electric Vehicle Systems. Likely an AC-50. Not sure what particular batteries are in it, but probably something like LiFePo4 the CALB cells. Since they say they didn't cut up the car at all, I suspect the batteries are under the back seat. Often in Bug and other VW conversions, battery boxes are placed on either side of the motor in back. Some also use the space under the hood and/or the back seat.
          jeff
          • 1 Day Ago
          @Domenick
          You can get all of the Specs at EVWest.com... The Motor is a HPEVS AC50 with 36 CALB 180AHr LiFePo4 cells. The charger is a 2400W Elcon (THC) and the DC-DC converter is a Meanwell. I have a very similar setup in my car...
      BraveLil'Toaster
      • 1 Day Ago
      Kind of reminds me of this thing this guy at the local university did. Four years ago. http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/nova-scotia/electric-car-ends-coast-to-coast-trip-1.885666