Electric Vehicles

To modernize a classic, VW added an e-Golf electric powertrain to a 1972 Volkswagen Type 2 Bus

Volkswagen is exploring the potential of modernizing classic cars with new electric powertrains.

Photo courtesy of Volkswagen AG

Classic cars sure are pretty to look at. But, they're not so great when it comes to running clean. A new movement in the classic car community looks to change that, swapping old engines for fresh electric motors.

Chevrolet highlighted the trend earlier this year on a 1962 Chevrolet C-10 pickup truck and now Volkswagen is getting in on the game, showing off a 1972 Volkswagen Type 2 Bus that has been retrofitted by EV West to include the powertrain from a VW e-Golf.

Electrified 1972 Volkswagen Type 2 Bus

Photo courtesy of Volkswagen AG

Volkswagen has exchanged the powertrain in a 1972 Volkswagen Type 2 Bus for that in a 2017 Volkswagen e-Golf.

"Their passion for classic-car culture and commitment to renewable energy made EV West the ideal choice for this project," said Mathew Renna, VP G4, Volkswagen North American Region. "We thought, who better to see if the e-Golf powertrain would be the perfect fit for our older vehicles. It's great to see that the spirit of hot rodding is going to live on into the electric age."

The stock powertrain from a 2017 e-Golf features a 35.8kWh battery system that gives the Bus 125 miles of all-electric range. The powertrain sits in the rear compartment of the Bus, which previously held the vehicle's stock air-cooled 60-horsepower four-cylinder engine. The battery units are housed inside custom engineered and reinforced enclosures under the Bus's front seats where the fuel tank used to sit.

According to Volkswagen, "The independent rear suspension of the Type 2 Bay Window makes a perfect mate to the transverse driveline which is contained in a single unit that houses the 100kW synchronous AC permanent magnet electric motor, one-speed transmission and charging system."

The Bus's stock long-throw shifter now features park, reverse, neutral, drive, and regenerative braking modes. It has been fitted with a retro-inspired multifunction digital EV gauge on the dashboard.

"We are very excited to be a part of this project," said Michael Bream, Founder and CEO of EV West. "Merging a historic model from an iconic brand with the technology of today, is just one of many ways that we can step closer to a more sustainable future while continuing to enjoy our rich automotive heritage."

The Bus is painted Kansas Beige and Pastel White. It is not currently for sale.

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The Hyundai Santa Cruz will debut next week but ahead of that, the design department is giving a closer look at the truck in a new video.

Photo courtesy of Hyundai Motor America

We'll see the Hyundai Santa Cruz in full for the first time when it debuts on April 15 but ahead of time, Hyundai is setting the stage for expectations with the model. To help with that, the company released a video today featuring the truck's design manager discussing the inspiration for the utility vehicle.

The quick one-minute video is hosted by Brad Arnold, design manager at Hyundai North America. The Southern California native is the leader of the team that created the Santa Cruz, a project that began years ago. He's joined in the video by Senon Franco, the lead designer at Hyundai North America.

2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz

Photo courtesy of Hyundai Motor America
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As Arnold explains in the video, the design of the Santa Cruz started with a simple premise: "this is not a typical truck". Based on how Arnold describes the capabilities of the truck, that sounds true. It is meant to "thrive in dense urban environments and the open outdoors". One could argue that no full-size truck on the market today does that. Neither do most of the midsize models, though their sizing is better for that landscape.

Arnold says that the Santa Cruz is "small in size", a call that serves to remind viewers that the Santa Cruz isn't a big truck. It's more similar in size to the forthcoming Ford Maverick, a small truck that slots below the Ranger in Ford's lineup.

However, the company isn't even calling it a truck. The new model is being referred to as the Santa Cruz Sport Adventure Vehicle. This sounds a lot like how Kia is referring to the new generation of its Carnival minivan as a multi-purpose vehicle (MPV).

Arnold says that the design is meant to make the Santa Cruz not look like a truck. Rather, it's supposed to look "like a Santa Cruz". Part of that includes the front end, which looks like a carryover from the fascia of the 2022 Hyundai Tucson.

Among the other secrets Hyundai is giving away ahead of the product's reveal is that there will be more than one "efficient" powertrain, a flexible bed, "cutting-edge" connectivity, and all-wheel drive.

Watch the video for yourself below.

Design Inspiration | 2022 Santa Cruz | Hyundai www.youtube.com

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And all-electric version of the Chevrolet Silverado is on the way.

Photo courtesy of Chevrolet

Earlier this year, General Motors very quietly teased its forthcoming electric full-size pickup truck. Today, the automaker is giving us a closer look with a new teaser video.

The video accompanies an announcement that says that the Silverado electric pickup will be built at the company's Factory Zero assembly plant in Detroit and Hamtramck, Michigan. The Silverado electric vehicle (EV) will be built alongside the 2024 GMC Hummer EV SUV, which debuted this weekend.

GM has designed the Silverado EV to be an electric vehicle from the ground up, riding on the company's Ultium Platform and keeping Silverado's capability in focus. The automaker says that the truck will offer more than 400 miles of all-electric range on a full charge.

The company confirms that retail and fleet versions will be offered.

"The vehicles coming from Factory ZERO will change the world, and how the world views electric vehicles," said General Motors President Mark Reuss. "The GMC Hummer EV SUV joins its stablemate in the realm of true supertrucks, and Chevrolet will take everything Chevy's loyal truck buyers love about Silverado — and more — and put it into an electric pickup that will delight retail and commercial customers alike."

What will it be called? The teaser photo GM released was labeled "Silverado E". Stay tuned for confirmation on the name.

GM plans to deliver more than 1 million electric vehicles globally by 2025 and earn EV market leadership in North America. With the company's Ultium Platform, virtual development tools and technology, GM has reduced vehicle development times by nearly 50 percent to just 26 months.

The GMC Hummer EV pickup truck and Cruise Origin will also be built at Factory Zero. Reports indicate that a forthcoming Cadillac Escalade BEV could also be built there and be ready for dealerships around the same time as the Hummer EV SUV.

To ready for its new products, GM has invested $2.2 billion in a complete renovation and retooling at the historic GM manufacturing facility. The project is the largest ever for a GM manufacturing site. The plant's paint and body shops and general assembly area are receiving comprehensive upgrades, including new machines, conveyors, controls and tooling. The plant has expanded to over 4.5 million square feet.

Late last year General Motors revealed details about many of the new electric vehicles it has in the pipeline.

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