Wednesday, April 1, 2015

A VW Microbus Hybrid, an Electric Slug-Bug, and a King Midget

Now that is what I call a "green" Bug!

Yes, I am a fan of older VWs. I have owned several and have wanted to own several others. I also like how easily VWs lend themselves to electric conversion. That leads us to the electric beetle. Yesterday I found myself with a copy of the most recent Costco Connection magazine in my hand and was intrigued by a classic car article. I flipped over to the article and was very happy to see a vintage Beetle that had not only been converted to electric, but had been converted to an impressive electric! Most electric VW conversions use golf cart batteries and have fairly unimpressive speed and/or range. This bad Beetle has a whole lot(!) of tiny 18650 batteries and is impressive in both speed and range. It delivers numbers more impressive than most new electric vehicles. The Costco article says 85 mph and a possible 200 mile range. I found a few other articles about the same car that list it as a more realistic sounding 85mph/100 miles. Either way, Nissan's Leaf and BMW's I3 have reason to be range-envious. Of course, they offer crazy extravagances like air conditioners and air bags that you never see in a vintage VW. Snagit, this thing is cool!

Here is an article/video in case you want to learn more: Green overdrive cruises the streets in an electrified $18,000 VW Bug

Another VW story that has been making the rounds this week is the re-discovery that VW engineers actually worked on a design for a hybrid VW bus in the late 1970s. In case you are into that sort of thing, here's the story from Jalopnik, which appears to be the story's initial re-surface place. Be sure to check out the great diagrams:
VW Could Have Made a Hybrid Beetle [Microbus] Over 30 Years Ago

For those of you who ponder alternate versions of history, it's nice to imagine a world where we truly pursued electric cars and solar panels after the big energy crisis in the 1970s. Hmmm... Hybrid microbuses....

This next vehicle is only tangentially related, but a King Midget was also featured in the Costco article. I love microcars but probably would not have included this one; however, there is a guy here in Lubbock who crusies around in a King Midget that looks identical to this one. Each time one of us sees it, my friends and I snap a pic and send it around to each other. It is as close as we get to a Nessie or Sasquatch sighting around here.

May your green vehicle inspire random acts of violence wherever you go. Pow! Slug-bug green - no hit backs!

The previous Mesquite Hugger Electric VW Posts:

10/21/2013 Electric Beetle Article - ElectroFahrvernugen
11/5/2013 Another Electric Beetle (VW)
1/30/2014 3 VW Microbuses: Old, New, and Electric
 2/6/2014 Vintage Electric Cars Small & Smaller OR Why I Should Be Banned from Ebay
3/3/2014 Gentlemen (and Ladies). Start Your Tivos! (VW and Citicar)
 3/4/2014 Getting Shocked by the Bug (VW)
3/31/2014 Break Out the Tie-Dye and 8-Tracks (VW)
 4/9/2014 It's been a while since MH posted an Electric VW...

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