Gear

A Zero-Emission Beetle By Zelectric Bug

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Made by Zelectric Motors, it’s a Volkswagen Type 1 retrofitted with an electric drivetrain.  Which makes sense, since nobody collects the Bug for its incredible engine anyway, so might as well make it level up your environmental street cred to go with all the Plug and Play Solar Panels lined up in the roof of your home.

The Volkswagen Beetle, officially the Volkswagen Type 1, or informally the Volkswagen Bug, is a two-door, four passenger, rear-engined economy car manufactured and marketed by German automaker Volkswagen (VW) from 1938 until 2003.

The need for this kind of car, and its functional objectives, were formulated by Adolf Hitler, leader of Nazi Germany, wishing for a cheap, simple car to be mass-produced for the new road network of his country. He contracted Porsche in 1934 to design and build it to his exacting standards. Ferdinand Porsche and his team took until 1938 to finalise the design.This is one of the first rear-engined cars. With over 21 million manufactured (21,529,464) in an air-cooled, rear-engined, rear-wheel drive configuration, the Beetle is the longest-running and most-manufactured car of a single design platform, worldwide.

They used Volkswagen Type 1s from 1958 to 1966, when models came out that the outfit believes to be the most driveable(they can handle the increased 110 pound-feet of torque from the new drivetrain), all while being highly sought after among collectors.  The simplicity of the cars’ design and their light weight also lend them well to the kind of modifications required.  As such, the only metal modification they need to perform is to drill some holes under the back seat to accommodate wiring, leaving the rest of the car completely intact.

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Each converted plug-in Bug will come with a range of up to 110 miles, with top speeds of over 80 mph.  Battery life is rated to last for 160,000 miles (estimated at around 15 years with average use).  Each one will get a stock rebuilt transmission, full sound deadening, front disc brakes, heavy duty shocks and sway bars, LED head and tail lights, and a Digital eFuel Gauge for monitoring battery levels.

Pricing for the Zelectric Bug starts at $45,000.


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