Electrified Bug Now Rolling

It is now official, ZelectricBug’s prototype is now up and rolling on pure electric power.

For those who like vintage style, but also want green power the calif. Based team of ZelectricBug is working on adapting an electric powertrain to VW’s iconic classic, the original BeetleZelectricBug_Emotor-668.

The team said it plans to spend the next month fine-tuning the motor’s settings and dialing in the suspension for a perfect ride.

The goal of the team is to convert various Beetles from the ‘50s and “60s to electric power, thus offering, in ZelectricBug’s words, “the best of both worlds.”

ZelectricBug hopes to be able to offer their first Zbug for sale this summer.

The RedBug#1 Zelectric prototype is powered by a HPEVS AC-50 electric motor linked to 180 Amp-hour lithium ion batteries.

A full charge will take anywhere from 4 to 8 hours depending on the charger used. The Zbug can be plugger in 120 or 220 volt outlets.

Other electric modifications include an electric ceramic heater, an electric wiper washer pump, the addition of a RetroSounds Stereo with iPod Port as well as LED head and tail lights, including a third brake light.


ZelectricBug expects the range to be between 80 to 100 miles on a full charge.

Once full production is underway, the company plans to offer the following models: 58-66 convertible; 58-63 ragtop sunroof; 58-66 sedan; and 64-66 sedan with sunroof.

Pricing has yet to be set, but the company expects the final pricing will probably come in between $45,000 and $60,000, depending on the particular car and model.

If you’re in Southern California, the RedBug#1 Zelectric prototype will debut at Meguiar’s Del Mar Nationals on Friday & Saturday April 5 and 6. The prototype will also be featured in the La Jolla Motor Car Classic between 9 am and 3 pm on Sunday April 7.

The endeavor is the brainchild of David Benardo and Bonnie Rodgers who have “toyed” with Beetles and old Volkswagens since the mid-eighties.

The car’s maiden drive down the alley can be seen in the following video:

More Hybrid News...