In 1938 the very first Volkswagen Beetle rolled off of the assembly line. Since that time more than 21 million of the “classic” beetle have been produced. This makes it one of the most produced cars in history as well as having had the longest lifespan (including the redesigns). But what does a future of shrinking amounts of oil, and the increasing acceptance of electric cars hold for a classic? Zelectric may have an answer to that.

Based out of San Diego, Zelectric retrofits the VW Beetle (1958-1966) with a 65kW AC motor. This doubles the horsepower of the original motor as well as gives it a top speed of over 100 mph. Although much like the early Teslas, the new electric motor does limit the range of the car to 80 miles before needing a charge. Unfortunately this car won’t be making long distance road trips anytime soon.

Zelectric is proud to point out that each car is custom fitted for its motor and that they do not nor will they use conveyor belts. If you want to own one of these beauties it will cost you ~$37,000 if you are providing your own Type 1. If you are buying one from Zelectric that price goes up to around ~$54,000. If Beetle’s aren’t quite your style but looking for a similar classic Zelectric will do pre-80’s: VW Karmann Ghia, VW Microbus, VW Thing, VW Squarebacks, VW Notchbacks, VW Fastbacks, Meyers Manx, Porsche 356, Porsche 911, Porsche 912, Porsche 914, and Porsche replicas. But who could turn down this beauty?
Zelectric Beetle
All in all, these are great looking cars that are virtually maintenance free. They may not be able to make a cross country trip just yet, but with Tesla and others advancing the storage capacity this shouldn’t be a problem much longer. If you want to find out more about Zelectric watch the video below or go to Zelectric.

Credit for photos to Zelectric
Credit for VW statistic to Werner Oswald ISBN 3-613-02116-1 pg. 39


2 thoughts on “Zelectric

    • Much like the early Teslas I think that they are just expensive toys. But with Tesla increasing the battery range of electrics I would expect to see more useful models coming out soon.

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