This looks amazing. It’s an electric vehicle based on a T1 Samba Bus that was originally produced in 1966 and which has been comprehensively restored. Called the e-BULLI, it was due to be launched at Techno Classica 2020 but, because the event has been postponed, Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles (VWCV) is now presenting it virtually.
As the basis for the e-BULLI, the team chose a T1 Samba Bus produced in Hannover in 1966, which prior to its conversion spent half a century on the roads of California. Only instead of a 32 kW (44 PS) four-cylinder boxer engine, the e-BULLI features a silent Volkswagen electric motor delivering 61 kW (83 PS) that’s almost twice as powerful as the boxer.
What’s more, with maximum torque of 212 Nm, the new drive provides more than twice the force of the original T1 engine from 1966 (102 Nm). The e-BULLI reaches a top speed of 130 km/h (electronically limited) whereas with the original drive system the T1 managed a top speed of 105 km/h.
Charged via a combined charging system (CCS) socket, the e-BULLI can be used with alternating or direct current. With alternating current the battery is charged via an AC charger with charging power of 2.3 to 22 kW, depending on electricity source.
And with direct current the high-voltage battery can also be charged at DC fast- charging points with up to 50 kW of charging power. VWCV claims it can be charged up to 80 per cent in 40 minutes with the range of one full battery charge more than 200 kilometres.
Inside, the designers have modernised the the iconic vehicle with a two-tone paintwork finish in ‘Energetic Orange Metallic’ and ‘Golden Sand Metallic MATTE’. Also new are LED headlamps with daytime running lights and LED charge indicators. They signal to a driver walking up to the e-BULLI how much charge the lithium-ion battery still has even before they reach the vehicle.
Solid wood like a ship’s deck is used for the floor throughout. As a result of this and the nice bright leather tones, this electrified Samba Bus takes on a maritime feel. Tech features include Via Volkswagen ‘We Connect’ which enables the e-BULLI driver to call up information online by smartphone app or via a PC and a corresponding web portal such as on remaining charge time, current range, kilometres travelled, trip times, energy consumption and recuperation.
Music on board comes from an authentic-looking retro-style radio, which is equipped with cutting edge technology such as DAB+, Bluetooth and USB. The radio is linked to a sound system with out-of-sight components, including an active subwoofer.
All who find the new e-BULLI an electrifying prospect can fulfil their dream of owning an emission-free T1 at eClassics. They are offering the T1 conversion, complete with redesigned front and rear axles, at prices starting from 64,900 Euros. T2 and T3 conversions are being offered by eClassics too.