Old VW Bus Converted Into Solar-Powered EV Camper

26 February 2019 - insideEVs

Old VW Bus Converted Into Solar-Powered EV Camper

This volts-wagon truly is a magic bus.

This Volkswagen Bus is the stuff of dreams. At least, it is if you're the type to fantasize about owning an electric vehicle that can get much of its road-tripping energy from the sun. That this thing, this cultural icon, is also a superb compact camping platform is a huge plus as well. The video above takes us inside its cozy confines as its owner explains the hows and whys of its creation.

Inspired by a solar-powered golf cart our protagonist, Brett Belan, created a dozen years earlier, the project began with a relatively cheap non-running bus of 1973 vintage. We're given the impression that it cost about $4 or $5 thousand to pick up. Besides a motor that had already gone to that great VW jamboree in the sky, it was in need of significant interior restoration.

From the outside, the most noticeable change — aside from the lack of a clattering of a high-maintenance four-cylinder engine — is the massive solar panel roof. Usually, we would recommend those interested in a solar-powered EV to put the panels on their house instead of their car, but in this case the arrangement makes good sense. For one, the van has the maximum amount of prime panel real estate available. And two, not being dependent on charging stations means it can push the exploration envelope without worrying about the nearest plug.

The big trick here is the entire roof tilts up on one end. Not only does that allow the panels to be aimed more directly toward the sun, but with its custom canvas walls, it creates second-story sleeping quarters that can accommodate the owners and their two children. According to Belan, there is even enough room for an adult to stand up. Impressive!

The van relies on an air-cooled AC HPEVS electric motor wired to a Cutis controller. Its batteries are admittedly a little on the retro side, as Belan opted for lead-acid golf cart batteries instead of a lithium-based pack. Apparently, these are still capable of yielding a 50-mile range.

Belan says he would like to swap these out in the future for a pack made with more modern chemistry, which could potentially quadruple its range up to 200 miles. Other upgrades could include solar awnings which could further improve its electric grid independence.

There are lots of great little tips in this nine-minute video, so if you haven't done so already, mash that play button. Enjoy!

News By Tags

a1ACEAalfaalfa romeoAlfa Romeo 4CAlfa Romeo GiuliaAlfa Romeo StelvioAlfa Romeo TonaleAlpinaalpinealpine a110amazonAston MartinaudiAudi A3Audi A6Audi A8Audi E-tronAudi Q5Audi R8Audi RS3Audi Rs5Audi RS6Audi SQ8AustraliaAustrijaautiautobusautocestaautocesteautoindustrijaautomobilautomobiliautomobilska industrijaAutopilotautoškolaBentleybenzinbikebikesBjelovarbmwBMW 3 seriesBMW 4 SeriesBMW 5 SeriesBMW 7 SeriesBMW 8 SeriesBMW i3BMW i4BMW ix3BMW M2BMW m3BMW M4BMW M5BMW X3BMW X7boatboatsBosna i HercegovinabrabusbrzinaBugattiburacampercamper vancar buying guideCentar za vozila Hrvatskecestacestarinacestecestovni prometChryslercijenacijenecitroenCItroen BerlingoCitroen C3citroen c4Citroen C5classicscrash testCroatiacrossoverCustom carCVHdaciaDacia DusterDacia SanderodaimlerDalmacijadavor božinovićDetroit Auto ShowdieselDiesel bandiesel scandaldieselgateDizeldizelašidrag raceDucatiDugopoljeDysonelectricelektrična vozilaelektrični automobilelektrični automobiliEUeuropeEuropska komisijaeuropska unijaevFCAferrarifiatFiat TipoFiskerfordFord F-150Ford FiestaFord FocusFord MustangFord PumaFord RangerFord Transitformula 1Frankfurt Motor ShowfunnygenesisGeneva Motor ShowgermanygliserGMgorivoGrand TourgranicagumegužvehacHAKHarley-DavidsonHoldenhondahow toHrvatskaHrvatske autocesteHrvatske cestehybridhydrogenhyundaiHyundai i20Hyundai KonaHyundai Santa FeHyundai TucsonIgor NešićistraživanjejaguarjeepJeep WranglerJeremy ClarksonkamerekamionKarlovacKaznakazneKiaKia SorentoKia SportageKia StingerkoenigseggkoronakrizakoronaviruskrađaKTMkupnjalamborghiniLamborghini Uruslancialand roverLand Rover DefenderLexusLotusmarin kameničkiMaseratiMate RimacmazdaMazda CX-30mclarenmercedesMercedes SprinterMercedes X-Classmilan bandićmitsubishiMitsubishi OutlanderMotociklimotorcyclemotorsportMUPnesrećaNikolanissanNissan ArmadaNissan GT-RNissan LeafNissan NavaraNissan QashqaiNissan TitanNjemačkanovi automobiliNovskaOff-roadoffroadOleg ButkovićopelOpel AstraOpel ComboOpel CorsaosiguranjeOsijekParis Motor ShowparkiranjePDVpeugeotpeugeot 2008peugeot 208Peugeot 3008Peugeot 308Peugeot 5008Peugeot 508pickuppolandPolestarpolicijapolovni automobiliporezporeziporschePorsche 911porsche panameraPorsche TaycanposkupljenjepotrespožarprekršajiprodajaProdaja automobilaprodajni saloniprometprometnaprometna dozvolaprometna nesrećaPrometne kazneprometne nesrećePSAPularabljenirabljeni autirabljeni automobilRabljeni automobiliradoviramrecallrecreational vehiclerecreational vehiclesregistracijaRemetinečki rotorrenaultRenault ClioRenault DusterRenault KadjarRenault MeganeRenault TwingoRenault Zoerent a carRichard HammondRijekarimacrimac automobiliRimac C_TwoRimac NeveraRivianRivian R1romeorotorRVsafetyScaniaSeatSeat Leonself-driving carservisŠibenikskodaSkoda EnyaqSkoda ENYAQ iVSkoda KaroqSkoda KodiaqSkoda OctaviaSkoda ScalaSlavonski BrodSljemeSlovakiaSlovenijasmartSplitspy shotsSrbijastarost vozilaStellantissubarusudarsupercarssuvSuzukitechnologytehnički pregledteslaTesla Model 3testtest rabljenogtoyotaToyota SupraToyota TacomaToyota YarisToyota Yaris CrosstrajekttrošarinatrošarinetrucktržišteTržište automobilatuningtvornicaukUmagunos automobilaUSAused car buying guidevanVaraždinVelika BritanijaVelika GoricavladaVolkswagenVolkswagen ArteonVolkswagen CaddyVolkswagen GolfVolkswagen ID.4Volkswagen PassatVolkswagen Tiguanvolvovozačivozačka dozvolavozački ispitvozilaVOZNI PARKvožnjavwVW ArteonVW Atlasvw beetleVW GolfVW Golf VIIIvw jettaVW PoloVW T-CrossVW T-RocYachtYamahayugoZadarZagrebZagreb Auto Showzakonzakon o sigurnosti prometa na cestamazastavazimske gume