Kombi electric vehicle

Project: Kombi electric vehicle

A two-year passion project has transformed a neglected Kombi into a modern, fully electric version, with the aim of inspiring others to embrace the EV option when it comes to purchasing or restoring

Nicknamed KEV, the Kombi Electric Vehicle is quite the transformation, evolving from a forlorn shell found in a barn in Timaru, with no windows, no wheels, and every panel a different colour, into a lovingly restored and repowered van, with a vibrant 60’s vibe.

The restoration and conversion took almost two years of intense research, tinkering (and coffee breaks). While the classic 1966 icon needed plenty of attention to its frame, the real challenge was converting KEV from a petrol vehicle to an electric version. The finished result embodies the nostalgia and charm of a classic while paving the way for a fresh direction of life on the road.

Once used by the Dunedin Health Board, KEV the classic has been lovingly restored and repowered with a new heart, fuelled by clean energy.

The brainchild of Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles, the project forms part of the much-anticipated arrival of the new, fully electric Volkswagen ID range.

Kombi electric vehicle
Transforming the shell of KEV was part of a complete overhaul

Volkswagen is encouraging other owners and enthusiasts to investigate the option of an electric vehicle by sharing the open source ‘Greenprint’ as a kick-start guide to converting a Kombi.


The guide (aka ‘Greenprint’) delivers a how-to plan for passionate owners to convert their own Volkswagen vehicle to a fully electric solution and can be downloaded from volkswagen.co.nz/ekombi.

Max van den Bergen, Volkswagen special vehicles manager, says the change from classic to e-classic has been extraordinary.

“I know Kombi owners are super passionate about their vehicles, so it’s great to share our journey and plans required to turn their classic into a full EV.

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“When almost half (47%) of Kiwis are likely considering an EV for their next vehicle, we’re thrilled to offer a range of electric and PHEV vehicles along with one that’s slightly more unexpected.”

Volkswagen’s goal is to continue to spread peace, love, and freedom with free-to-all access to how to convert a classic Kombi to an EV.

Kombi electric vehicle
Recycled battery cell packs and voltage cables in preparation for powering up KEV
Kombi electric vehicle
A new electric motor and heart for the classic 1966 icon
Kombi electric vehicle
The new interior
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