Why Convert A Classic Volkswagen To Electric?

Classic VWs, like the beloved Beetle or the iconic Bus, possess a timeless appeal rooted in their reliability, performance, and unmistakable design. When it comes to electric conversion, these qualities make them standout candidates. By replacing the traditional combustion engine with an electric motor, classic VWs not only maintain their historic charm but also gain a significant boost in reliability and performance. One advantage of electric conversion is the utilization of the frunk (front trunk) space for housing batteries. This innovative use of space allows for ample room to accommodate larger battery packs without compromising interior comfort or storage capacity. Moreover, the relocation of heavy components to the front of the vehicle improves weight distribution, enhancing handling and stability on the road. As a result, electric VW conversions boast extended range, improved power delivery, and superior driving dynamics while retaining the iconic silhouette of these vintage automobiles.

The Conversion Process

Remove The Internal Combustion Engine

First, we remove the internal combustion engine components that will no longer be utilized. This involves carefully extracting the engine, gas tank, exhaust system, and transmission from the vehicle.  This is also known as De-ICEing.

Once removed, the transmission undergoes thorough cleaning and inspection to ensure optimal performance upon reinstallation.  If it needs replaced or rebuilt, we source another transmission. 

The gas tank is drained and discarded for scrap metal.

The engine, a centerpiece of traditional VW engineering, finds new purpose through resale. By passing it on to another Volkswagen enthusiast, we extend its lifespan and provide another vehicle with the opportunity for restoration or continued operation, keeping the spirit of these classics alive in various forms.

Prepare For New Components

Once the car is thoroughly de-iced, the next step is preparing the vehicle for installation of the electric components.

It would not make much sense to install the shiny new components in a crusty looking engine bay or frunk. 

The engine compartment and the frunk are sanded, prepped, primed, sealed. and painted to match the body color.

During the process, and now unused clips are trimmed off to give a nice uniform appearance.


Install New 12V Harness

American Autowire offers a comprehensive Volkswagen harness kit designed specifically for classic VW models. This specialized wiring harness provides a seamless solution for electric conversions, ensuring compatibility and reliability throughout the process.

The American Autowire Volkswagen harness is meticulously crafted to fit the unique electrical systems of vintage VW vehicles, simplifying the installation process and reducing the likelihood of compatibility issues. With factory-style connectors and color-coded wires, it facilitates straightforward integration with the vehicle’s existing components, enabling a smooth transition to electric power.

Moreover, the harness is engineered to meet modern safety standards and accommodate the power demands of electric motors and auxiliary systems. Its durable construction and high-quality materials ensure long-term durability and dependable performance, even under demanding driving conditions.

Whether you’re converting a Beetle, Bus, or any other classic VW model, the American Autowire Volkswagen harness provides a reliable foundation for your electric conversion project, offering peace of mind and confidence in the integrity of your vehicle’s electrical system.

Install EV Components

And now the fun begins!

Now that the install spaces have been prepped and the 12V harness is installed, the vehicle is now ready to have the EV components installed.

Some of those components include:

  • Motor
  • Batteries
  • On-Board Charger
  • Charging Port
  • DC-DC Converter
  • Battery Mangement System (BMS)

You can learn more about these components on the Electric Conversion page.

Test Drive!

Once the installation of the components is complete, it’s time for the test drive! We take the car on a 150-mile journey, traversing various conditions including traffic, highway stretches, and rough roads to identify and address any remaining issues.

Should we encounter any mechanical challenges, we address them diligently until your vehicle operates flawlessly. Our goal is to ensure your satisfaction and deliver a classic VW that drives as it should.

Once we’re confident in the car’s performance, it’s ready to be returned to you. With its newfound silent reliability and enhanced performance courtesy of electric power, your classic VW awaits, ready to provide you with an exhilarating driving experience.