I Wish All EVs Looked As Nice as This Electric VW Kombi Conversion

I Wish All EVs Looked As Nice as This Electric VW Kombi Conversion

If it’s not completely obvious, I love writing about electric car conversions and talking to the people who do them. This time around, I’m highlighting Traction EV, an EV kit company that exhibited an electric Land Rover and a Volkswagen Kombi van at Fully Charged Australia.

If you’ve gravitated around the conversion space, you probably know that there’s quite a following for Kombi conversions (and on a similar note, Volkswagen is building a modern electrified spin on the classic van).

Traction EV mostly works on classic cars from before the 2000s, with Volkswagen cars being quite popular for the business at the moment, in particular Beetles, Kombis and Type 3s.

“We do bespoke [EV conversions] as well as kits. It just depends on what the customer is after, or what kind of kit they’re after,” Traction EV’s Dan Ahonen told Gizmodo Australia.

“We typically have a few different vehicles going at the same time, so for something that we haven’t done before it’ll definitely take longer. Designing battery boxes and adapters to be able to fit into the vehicle, it takes a long time to make everything work well together, as well as we’ve got to have everything engineered for the Australian road regulations.”

electric kombi
Image: Zachariah Kelly/Gizmodo Australia

Ahonen told us that, at the moment, Traction EV doesn’t offer DIY kits directly to the customer, instead offering either conversions that are tailored to the customer’s requirements or prebuilt specification kits that the company will then do for the customer.

Using a Beetle as an example, Ahonen said that it would take “about a month” for the job to be done correctly, and would start from about $50,000, depending on what the customer is after – a similar quote to what we’ve heard from other conversion mechanics.

If you’re interested in checking out the cars that Traction EV has converted in the past, the company has a catalogue on its website, but let’s talk about the Kombi for a moment – just because it’s such a beautiful thing.

electric kombi
Image: Zachariah Kelly/Gizmodo Australia

The Kombi has a 200kW small drive motor from a scrapped Tesla, with a 75kWh battery pack and an expected range of above 350km. It’s fitted with DC fast charging and air conditioning.

The project started as a restoration of a rolling shell, and today, it’s apparently quite a pleasant drive, with no transmission noise and only subtle noise from the Tesla motor, according to the website.

What a neat conversion. Here’s to hoping that the upcoming Volkswagen electric van is as pleasant as this Kombi with a modern twist.

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