I've been on a resto-mod kick for the past few months, fantasizing about hopping-up a Volvo 122S, a vintage Mercedes, or maybe a Squareback. The combination of classic style and new tech is just too damn enticing, and on more than one occasion I've thought about going electric. Or I could just buy this.
Zelectric Motors has been perfecting the art of the electric Beetle for the past few years, and I ran into their latest completed project – a black-on-red '66 – at Crash d'Concours during this year's Pebble festivities. I was immediately in lust.
It wasn't another hack-and-slash job like so many of the classic EVs floating around the Bay Area. The back seat wasn't stacked with marine batteries. The engine bay and front trunk weren't cut and welded and abused. It was clean, simple, and showed an attention to detail that you just don't get with garage builds.
Now it's for sale, with 22 kWh of LiFePO4 lithium-ion batteries, a 3-phase 50 kW HPEVS motor with 110 pound-feet of torque and a controller that can handle up to 650 amps. Top speed is around 100 MPH with a range of around 80 miles on the freeway and over 100 miles around town. It even still has the manual transmission, although 1st gear is pretty much just for drag racing. But the best part is the conversion didn't involve any cut metal or superfluous welds. If the buyer wants to convert it back to a flat four, it's just a matter of yanking the batteries and the motor and bolting in an engine.
For a ridiculously clean, fully-restored and well-maintained '66, Hagerty puts the price around $22k – which makes the $45,000 asking price a bit… absurd. But for something this unique and well executed (and with a few awards), there's sure to be a buyer.
Jason drove one of their earlier models last year and was impressed. If you can make a positive impression on that Beetle-nut, it says something. And apparently this version is even better.