For many people, it is the most congenial car of a new era: The Beetle! The successor to an automotive icon. Its world premiere took place in April 2011 in New York, and it was launched on the market in October. Since then, the sportiest Beetle ever has been ready to perform – with up to 147 kW / 200 PS in power. And because all Beetle versions are tuned for agility, versions with less horsepower (from 125 kW / 170 PS in America, from 77 kW / 105 PS in Europe) are still simply fun to drive – mile for mile, kilometre for kilometre. Now, at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Volkswagen is showing that this sportiness can also be transferred to a Beetle with pure electric drive. The E-Bugster was specially designed for this mission: a two-seat Beetle speedster, 85 kW in power, 0 to 60 mph in 10.9 seconds, with zero emissions yet the sharpest of proportions.

Blue-e-Motion for a clean future

The central electric module of the E-Bugster has an innovative design; it weighs just 80 kg. The energy for powering the electric motor is stored in a lithium-ion battery whose modules are housed in a space-saving location behind the front seats. The battery’s energy capacity of 28.3 kWh enables a range of at least 110 miles (180 km) in the urban world. And even in an enormous country like the USA, for the majority of commuters this distance is sufficient to drive to their workplaces and return home. Since the Volkswagen has a quick charging function, the battery can be ‘refueled’ within 35 minutes at suitable charging stations. At home, the battery of the E-Bugster can also be charged from the 120-Volt outlets that are usual in America (or from 230-Volt outlets in Europe). The interface for the charge cable is located below the normal ‘fuel door’ position near the C-pillar.

Thanks to a new Combined Charging Systems – which was developed in cooperation with German carmakers Audi, BMW, Daimler, Porsche and Volkswagen as well as American partners Ford and General Motors / Opel – the E-Bugster can be ‘filled up’ via an interface using any of the available charging modalities. Possible are:

* Single-phase charging with AC current, and
* Ultra-fast DC charging at charging stations.