Smooth sailing, Volkswagen launches electric Kombi


The Kombi, Aussie coastal royalty. It’s a rule firmly established in Aussie coastal living, if you want to drag everyone’s eyes from their flat whites, their beach-reads, or even the incoming swell, all you need is to cruise past in a Kombi. And that’s because the Kombi is timeless, unimprovable, at least, we thought it was unimprovable.

The new e-Bulli comes straight from the horse’s mouth, which is to say, it comes straight from Volkswagen (VW). It has all the classic looks of a 1966 Bulli T1, with 2020 electric driving thanks to a 82bhp electric motor connected to a 45kWh lithium-ion battery.

The Kombi was always smooth to drive, but now it’s quiet too. Driving the e-Bulli must feel akin to floating, or even better, it must feel like riding a wave.

eClassics claims the e-Bulli can perform over 200km of driving before the bus requires a charge, and then, due to fast charging, the battery can charge from empty to 80% in 40 minutes.

Now, VW’s e-Bulli is just a concept, but so was the moon-landing. Of course, the e-Bulli isn’t the first electric Kombi, many individual owners have refitted their eye-catchers. One Byron Bay company, EV-Classic, converts classic cars, such as a prized Kombi, to EVs.

Byron Bay’s EV-Classic converts classic cars to EVs.

Image: EV-Classic/Facebook

Of course, the difference is that the e-Bulli is all new and all VW. Conversion is labourious and only the most patient or well-funded have been able to hold on to their Kombis long enough to still have them ready for conversion. If the e-Bulli can move from concept to creation, well, it will have a big market around Australia.