June 22, 2021

Auto shop converts Beetle into electric vehicle

A Maine auto repair shop converted a 1971 Volkswagen Super Beetle into a fully electric vehicle.Powered by 35 batteries its gets 80 miles on a single charge.“Converting this to fully electric basically future-proofs your car for generations to come,” Neil’s Motors service advisor Jordan Brown said.The Biddeford-based auto repair shop took on the job to convert the Beetle to electric for a summertime Biddeford Pool resident who has owned the car for 50 years.“The biggest challenge on this was all the research,” Brown said.The technicians had to figure out exactly how to retrofit a classic, gas-powered car with today’s modern EV technology without any plans to follow.“I had to find every piece that was going into the car, a location that I could mount their pieces without interfering with the normal car operation of the rest of the vehicle,” master technician Jason Bougie said.“What we’ve learned is that this is the future of the automotive industry, and we hope to be a big part of it when it comes time,” Brown said.The project took several months to complete, and the result was a fully restored Beetle with many of the original parts, including the standard transmission intact.While this the first conversion for Neil’s Motors, Bougie said as states continue to tighten emission laws, many more will follow. “Just the fact it’s so versatile, you can basically convert an Audi. You can convert an old Volkswagen, an old Chevy car, it’s limitless,” Bougie said.The electric conversion could add another 50 years to the classic Beetle’s life. “A car like this that’s already been in the family for two generations can continue to be for the next four or five,” Brown said.While the car still looks like an old Beetle, it does not drive like one. Instead of topping out at 60 mph, it can now do 100 mph.

A Maine auto repair shop converted a 1971 Volkswagen Super Beetle into a fully electric vehicle.

Powered by 35 batteries its gets 80 miles on a single charge.

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“Converting this to fully electric basically future-proofs your car for generations to come,” Neil’s Motors service advisor Jordan Brown said.

The Biddeford-based auto repair shop took on the job to convert the Beetle to electric for a summertime Biddeford Pool resident who has owned the car for 50 years.

“The biggest challenge on this was all the research,” Brown said.

The technicians had to figure out exactly how to retrofit a classic, gas-powered car with today’s modern EV technology without any plans to follow.

“I had to find every piece that was going into the car, a location that I could mount their pieces without interfering with the normal car operation of the rest of the vehicle,” master technician Jason Bougie said.

“What we’ve learned is that this is the future of the automotive industry, and we hope to be a big part of it when it comes time,” Brown said.

The project took several months to complete, and the result was a fully restored Beetle with many of the original parts, including the standard transmission intact.

While this the first conversion for Neil’s Motors, Bougie said as states continue to tighten emission laws, many more will follow.

“Just the fact it’s so versatile, you can basically convert an Audi. You can convert an old Volkswagen, an old Chevy car, it’s limitless,” Bougie said.

The electric conversion could add another 50 years to the classic Beetle’s life.

“A car like this that’s already been in the family for two generations can continue to be for the next four or five,” Brown said.

While the car still looks like an old Beetle, it does not drive like one. Instead of topping out at 60 mph, it can now do 100 mph.

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