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Watch this VW bus get an EV-conversion and let your worries melt away

From rust to riches



Matthew Beedham
Story by

Matthew Beedham

Editor, SHIFT by TNW

Matthew is the editor of SHIFT. He likes electric cars, and other things with wheels, wings, or hulls. Matthew is the editor of SHIFT. He likes electric cars, and other things with wheels, wings, or hulls.

I’ve managed to go quite a few months without mentioning the goddamn coronavirus in an article. But here we are.

Don’t worry though, I’m no longer succumbing to be a harbinger of doom and gloom. Instead, I’m bringing you a salve for your sore, worried mind, and it comes in the form of an electrified classic VW bus.

Over the past year, I’ve watched more car restoration shows than I’ve watched in the preceding five years. There’s something cathartic and soothing about watching a pile of rust be transformed back to its former glory with nothing more than skill, love, and time.

EV restomods are also big business right now. There’s a growing community of modders who take clapped out old sheds, and throw electric motors and batteries in them to breathe new life into what otherwise would have been destined for the scrapheap. You get all the aesthetic joy of seeing a classic come back to life, with none of the draw backs associated with rebuilding engines and gearboxes.

The VW doctor is in

Luckily for my lockdown sanity, YouTube is absolutely rife with the kinds of video that I just love to put on, so I can, zone in and out, and let my worries slip away. Sometimes I have them on as background noise whilst I read. Other times, I’m genuinely interested and follow every turn of the screw as some classic is brought back to life.

I urge you to watch the below 25-minute timelapse from Jehu Garcia over on YouTube, where he converted a classic VW bus to electric power, and see what it does for you.

After 20 minutes or so of watching a video like this, I return to life, refreshed. Perhaps it’s watching something go from rusted nothingness to something beautiful that reassures me.

Like it’s some kind of metaphor for life right now: that we’re going through a similar transformation. Perhaps we’re that same rusted-out VW bus, but with a bit of love and time, we’ll disengage our handbrake and roll out gorgeously into the world again.

Or just use it to kill 25 minutes and stave off your boredom. I don’t know, I’m not your dad.


Do EVs excite your electrons? Do ebikes get your wheels spinning? Do self-driving cars get you all charged up? 

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