Electric T2s!!!

  • Hey Guest, We've had to cancel our 2020 Summer BushMoot PLEASE LOOK HERE for more information.

Paul_B

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Jul 14, 2008
4,408
610
Lancashire
What do you VW fans think of that company that's taking classic VW campers and replacing the engines with electric motors and batteries? Can't remember where now but they take early examples in mint condition and turn them electric.

I'm converting a Vauxhall van now and I'm thinking that we'll run it for ten years or more if we can . However we're thinking that before we need to replace the engine might be undesirable in many places. It's not euro 6 and I suspect even euro 6 vans might fall foul of emission charges one day. I've even heard there's an area of outstanding natural beauty or national park sort of place that has become an emissions charging zone. Euro 4 or below gets a hefty fine I think.

With the way things are going perhaps it's the only way to keep these vans in the road in the long run?? It just seems wrong somehow. However people with money have been doing stuff to the old, classic VW's such as Porsche engines in them. So perhaps it's nothing really?
 

demographic

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Apr 15, 2005
4,226
230
-------------
I think it's great.
With luck the Toyota I own now will be the last Infernal Contraption engine I buy.
I'm not blown away by too much tech in vehicles and as far as I'm concerned I just want a roof with a wheel at each corner. No lecky windows and cheapo screens instead of knobs and switches. I want it all to work without hassle.

Electric motors though? Can't wait.
 
  • Like
Reactions: punkrockcaveman

Paul_B

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Jul 14, 2008
4,408
610
Lancashire
The van converters we're using was finishing off a large job for a hygiene company's fleet of vans. They had been told that next time the Disney will be fully electric. Their London vans were already electric.

We were concerned that if say the lakes put in place a LEZ or ULEZ then our van would not be practical as we go up there most weekends before COVID. We didn't think it would happen but I did hear it being mentioned up there this year. I reckon we'll get 10 years post conversion which will make the conversion worth the cost and hassle. The next van is likely to be electric since I think the next e-vans will make it reasonable and probably ten or so years they'll be cheap enough secondhand for us to afford one. Plus network of charging points should be better by then. Right now there's very little charging facilities near us and we can't legally charge from home because the cable would pass over a footway. That's technically not allowed under regulations.
 

demographic

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Apr 15, 2005
4,226
230
-------------
The van converters we're using was finishing off a large job for a hygiene company's fleet of vans. They had been told that next time the Disney will be fully electric. Their London vans were already electric.

We were concerned that if say the lakes put in place a LEZ or ULEZ then our van would not be practical as we go up there most weekends before COVID. We didn't think it would happen but I did hear it being mentioned up there this year. I reckon we'll get 10 years post conversion which will make the conversion worth the cost and hassle. The next van is likely to be electric since I think the next e-vans will make it reasonable and probably ten or so years they'll be cheap enough secondhand for us to afford one. Plus network of charging points should be better by then. Right now there's very little charging facilities near us and we can't legally charge from home because the cable would pass over a footway. That's technically not allowed under regulations.
You seem to be in the same position as me regarding on street parking and charging infrastructure.
I love the idea of converting classic cars to electric. They don't have as complicated systems to integrate with as opposed to some modern cars that show the engine management light at the drop of a hat and I just can't be done with that.

I'll be really interested in electric vehicles when they kind of mature and stop throwing everything but the kitchen sink at the dashboards and for. E simpler is better.
I even actively avoid vans with electric windows cos I just don't need em.

Electric motors though, I can see huge benefits from them.
More efficient, cleaner with instant torque for better offroad capabilities and less maintenance.

Modern ICE engines are dead and I can't see them holding their prices for the new ones as more alternatives come on the market.
 

fenix

Tenderfoot
Jul 8, 2008
73
32
Kent
There is a hell of a lot of research going into hydrogen fuel cells at the moment, a British company is one of the leaders. By the time petrol and diesel are being phased out hydrogen might be the replacement. The new tech allows them to be made cheaper, more robust, etc. Lots of advantages over battery, and the H2 can be used as a chemical battery when electricity is cheap.
 

Paul_B

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Jul 14, 2008
4,408
610
Lancashire
I must admit that EVs are reaching the point where infrastructure is going to be the limiting factor. Ultra fast charging on new models give 80% charge in 30-45 minutes realistically (source was an EV expert being interviewed on r4 current affairs about 6 months ago). He did say the timings isn't as EV makers are claiming, a bit of exaggeration for marketing purposes. I think there's newer tech to come soon though.

So EVs work for private driveways and possibly flats with charging points in their private carpark. It works where employers provide them in company carparks. The Lancaster university near us has plenty of carparking spaces where there's a charging point. There's plenty using them to get a parking space near where they work because they're advantageously located. Park there and plug in to stay there all day without a permit. CP hoggers!! A new antisocial!

Electric vans are a good city solution but the issue with fleets are the reduced space inside due to batteries but mostly the weight of the batteries eating into maximum load weight. If your driver can only drive a van up to the lower weight (is it 3.5t?), then batteries count for a part of that weight above normal vans. Apparently with current tech it's significant.
 

demographic

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Apr 15, 2005
4,226
230
-------------
I must admit that EVs are reaching the point where infrastructure is going to be the limiting factor. Ultra fast charging on new models give 80% charge in 30-45 minutes realistically (source was an EV expert being interviewed on r4 current affairs about 6 months ago). He did say the timings isn't as EV makers are claiming, a bit of exaggeration for marketing purposes. I think there's newer tech to come soon though.

So EVs work for private driveways and possibly flats with charging points in their private carpark. It works where employers provide them in company carparks. The Lancaster university near us has plenty of carparking spaces where there's a charging point. There's plenty using them to get a parking space near where they work because they're advantageously located. Park there and plug in to stay there all day without a permit. CP hoggers!! A new antisocial!

Electric vans are a good city solution but the issue with fleets are the reduced space inside due to batteries but mostly the weight of the batteries eating into maximum load weight. If your driver can only drive a van up to the lower weight (is it 3.5t?), then batteries count for a part of that weight above normal vans. Apparently with current tech it's significant.
I assume you've been watching Thefullychargedshow (no spaces) and Transport Evolved on Youtube? Lots of good info on there.
Also look up EV West as they do conversions of old vehicles in the US. Some of which really chuck out some power.

For the people with off st parking, solar panels and maybe even batteries like Tesla Powerwalls this technology really makes sense.
For me? Not yet but I'm keeping an eye on it.
 

Paul_B

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Jul 14, 2008
4,408
610
Lancashire
The trouble is we buy cars at 4 or 5 years old and run them until we start worrying about their reliability. With EVs I'm thinking that's likely to not work well because of battery replacement. Anyone know about EVs reliability as they age? When would batteries need replacing? How much? What's the longevity of electric motors? Work machinery that use electric motors (admittedly unlikely to be as reliable and durable as EV motors) need to be sent off for refurb from time to time. Is that the same for EVs? Anyone bought one secondhand?
 

Tengu

Full Member
Jan 10, 2006
10,907
473
47
Wiltshire
I am biased

I had a dormobile some decades ago, it was a a heap of junk. However I will say it was no legit conversion and needed a lot of work...

Cant see why people like them. not much room and the design is poor. They were (Like their beetle parents) were designed in another age. Things have moved on since then.

And as a classic fan I am dubious about such a radical change; an early example in mint condition would be a) Super rare and b) Super expensive.

(You are looking at tens of thousands rather than thousands)

And I doubt the change is cheap. (But you might get your money back by selling on the gubbins you ripped out)

Given that these vehicles do keep their value, I would be very reluctant to go electric.

However there would definatley be a market for such things; the Surfing industry is looking at its green credentials (always there but used to involve a lot of plastics and dangerous chemicals...Now they prefer to go to very distance places to surf...)

-------------------------

Some years back I was in Caterham and so went to see the Car factory. Very interesting, and they are indeed looking at electric and other alternative fueled versions.

But these are new cars, not retroactivley converting old ones.
 

Laurentius

Native
Aug 13, 2009
1,836
146
Knowhere
I'd love an electric conversion on a vintage landy. The problem for me is practical however as a flat dweller with no access to charging at home. I would certainly replace my current car with a plug in hybrid that I could top up from public charging points whilst keeping the ability to go anywhere where charging is not yet available.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Paul_B

Paul_B

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Jul 14, 2008
4,408
610
Lancashire
If the car or vehicle is in his condition as in the structure of it the mechanics are pretty much replaceable anyway I'd have thought, everything with its expected lifetime. As for mint well you should check out a Morecambe based VW refurb outfit. They get mint VWs and completely renovate and outfit so they look like original but are fully up to date. Cheapest models are nearer £60k and it goes upwards for the less common builds. They are absolutely retro beautiful though and that's from someone who sees VWs as overpriced and too small for even campervan use.

We got a new shape vivaro which has the same sort of dimensions as the equivalent VW van. Wheelbase, width, etc. However inside the more boxy Vivaro gives us useable space. The externals are similar but internals better on Vivaro.

The biggest deal breaker for us was the way the VW van tapered in from the bottom of the windows. The result was the three seats up front become two seats when I'm a passenger. As a driver no problem. Half the cab seems to be drivers side with the double bench filling the other half. This made it impractical for us until possibly the second row of seats got put in. We've been using the van for almost a year without rear seats. A VW that's impossible for us. We'd have to replace the double seat with a single losing space.

Overall the VW is solely about looks and image. I've driven Trafic, Vivaro, transit custom and a few VW models when we were looking for our van. For driving feel it's Ford transit custom then VW then Trafic/Vivaro. There's really not much in it despite the 140hp VW,124hp custom and 115hp Trafic/Vivaro power rating. For conversion VW does have more suppliers though that's improving especially for the ford.

As to the ready made motorhomes and campervan style motorhomes it's common to see fiat Ducato base vehicles. They probably make up most of them. With Peugeot being common too.

Having said that I think the ultimate campervan conversion is a Unimog! Auto wheel pressure adjustment with 4 presets to cope with different terrains, I've even seen one kitted out for Arctic travel. Made VW buses look cheap though costing £198,950!!!
 

Paul_B

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Jul 14, 2008
4,408
610
Lancashire
Caterham? I went to the lotus factory once. Got a full walk around and lunch in the canteen. Unfortunately I missed the meeting where our contact had wangled a trip round the test n track on site in a prototype with one of the test drivers. One of our Saturday racing types got schooled by those drivers and came out of the car throwing up. He never made much of his track by days after that. Those test drivers are on another level of driving ability. Plus lotus cars really do handle well apparently.

Must admit that I'm of the age when it you asked kids to draw a sports car they'd unwittingly draw the lotus esprit or possibly elite from the 70s. Basically the wedge shape. Kids still draw that shape now. I wonder if there's an electric lotus being built???
 

Paul_B

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Jul 14, 2008
4,408
610
Lancashire
I'd love an electric conversion on a vintage landy. The problem for me is practical however as a flat dweller with no access to charging at home. I would certainly replace my current car with a plug in hybrid that I could top up from public charging points whilst keeping the ability to go anywhere where charging is not yet available.
PHEVs are what will keep my company making money for a bit longer I reckon, we supply parts for vehicle exhausts.
 

Tengu

Full Member
Jan 10, 2006
10,907
473
47
Wiltshire
I was offered a test drive but declined when I discovered that my foot covered both the brake and the accelerator.

Plus, to extract me, they had to turn the whole vehicle upside down and give it a good shaking until I fell out.

I do not regard myself as a large person.