Volkswagen Microbus To Return As An Electric Vehicle!

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#1

Not this one!

This one!

While I was attending college classes I worked at Volkswagen dealer and regularly drove an air-cooled VW Bus (Volkswagen Type-2) , as we called it. I made parts pick-ups from a VW distributor several hours away.

I actually sort of enjoyed it in a Walter Mitty sort of way. I imagined I was a bomber pilot during WW2 driving that noisy thing! :blush:
CSA


#2

I really like the first one way more than then one to reappear in 2022


#3

I think there comes a point when people are just plain out of new ideas and think enough of the old folks have died off to just recycle the old ideas. I’m wondering if the new one will be the same death trap that the old one was? At least they came up with a new color though.


#4

The roads were full of cars that would by today’s standards be “death traps” when the Microbus was introduced in 1950. Even my '61 Beetle (my first car) would be considered by today’s standards to be a “death trap”. The new version will need to be designed and manufactured to modern safety standards to be sold in the U.S., and probably even in Europe. They too have standards now.

The key factors for success will be no different than it is for other EV options; cost, range, “normalcy”, and rechargability. All of those have advanced greatly in the last 10 years, and I expect the new VW van will too. In five years I expect there’ll be even more progress.

Time will tell.


#5

I prefer the 1966 15 windows version. Unfortunately that would cost twice as much today as that new electric VW bus


#6

I’ve actually seen two old VW vans in recent weeks. One looks in decent shape. But the second is lots of holes held together with rust and duct tape.


#7

I agree. The new one is ugly, in my opinion. Specially the very low profile tires, to me useless and a safety hazard.


#8

This article made me smile. I bought a used VW bus from my boss for the grand sum of $150 way back in 1972. The clutch cable had broken for the third time and he was ready to scrap it. I bought a clutch cable on the way home and told my dad about my purchase. He agreed to take me back to get the bus and to install the new cable for me. I drove the bus back home using a technique that was perfected when I owned my first VW bug. Just start the thing and go. Careful shifting and taking a direct route home with no stop signs or traffic lights was a must.

My dad installed the cable the next morning while I was at work. My mom said that he drove that thing all afternoon. When I got off work…I headed home to check out my newly repaired bus. My dad went with me and he could not stop talking about how much he loved that little bus. When we returned home…I handed him the keys. I knew by listening to him that I was no longer the true owner. He resisted at first but finally accepted that little blue bus as his. He drove that thing until he passed away in 1985. Thanks for listening a moment to my little story.


#9

This thing could make an awesome service van for electricians (see what I did there?) or plumbers or delivery company. Local use with short miles is perfect for an electric vehicle. Charge overnight and back at it the next day.

If they would design it with a drop-center floor like the old VW bus with a side ramp door like the Corvair truck, it could deliver small appliances in cities.


#10

If I was looking for a vehicle to convert into an EV, something as light as an old Microbus or Beetle would be a good candidate, but since they’re death traps by modern standards, I wouldn’t use one for anything more than my 4-mile commute.


#11

The old Beetles and Microbuses wouldn’t be able to operate safely on modern highways. On very straight and level highways like we had in the Midwest, they could eventually get up to a highway speed, but they couldn’t keep up overall. Or stop safely. My buddy and I did manage to get his Isetta up to a modest highway speed once on the long, flat, empty North Dakota “highways” of 1971, but it ain’t safe.


#12

I’ve driven a Microbus couple times. So underpowered. 6 people in the bus and it’s struggling to go up a hill. Some hills had to be taken in 1st gear.

A restored one is going for insane money. $60k+.

I wonder if Fluffy will buy one of the new ones.


#13

Didn’t Tom and Ray always say that they sat 6 so you would have 5 people to push it up hills?


#14

That’s a great looking truck. I used to drive a Greenbriar van at a summer job. It was slow and I shifted the manual transmission with a long stick that was probably over 3 feet in length if you straightened it. The Greenbriar wouldn’t go over 50, but the owner didn’t take good care of it. The best thing about it was it made my Corvair Monza seem like a sports car when I drove home from work.


#15

When I worked at the greenhouse as a kid we had a Greenbriar for deliveries. We delivered flowers around Minnesota and into Wisconsin with it. Fun but very slow with the two speed trans and four cyl engine.


#16

And I’d bet it was attached to a 12 foot long rod under the floor back to the transmission!

I’ll bet it was a miracle that you could find the gears!


#17

It was tough, alright. s for @Bing’s delivery van, I think 2-speed autos were very much in use in the mid-60s, weren’t they.


#18

Behind a big V8 they weren’t a problem. My dad had the 2-speed powerglide on his 67 Malibu SS matched to a 327. No problem in performance there.


#19

Thank you for telling that little story!
It brought a smile to my face. :slight_smile:
What a great memory to have.
CSA


#20

I had the same tranny in my '70 Chevelle 307 (small V8). Not sure if the Turbo Hydramatic would have been available.
My car was bare-bones. Not even a clock! A/C? I had to settle for "Astro Ventilation"
LOVE those earlier Chevelles (esp. the '69).