Electric Vehicles

1971 Volkswagen Beetle Converted to All-Electric for National Plug In Day

September 30, 2013

Santa Monica High School's Team Marine converted a Volkswagen Super Beetle from gasoline to all-electric.
Photo courtesy Benjamin Kay
Santa Monica High School's Team Marine converted a Volkswagen Super Beetle from gasoline to all-electric.Photo courtesy Benjamin Kay

A group of Santa Monica High School students of the environmental science and advocacy group, Team Marine, debuted their gas-to-electric car conversion project at National Plug In Day at California State University, Office of the Chancellor in downtown Long Beach on September 28.

Working for four years on a 1971 red convertible Volkswagen Super Beetle, the students, whose ages range from 14-18 years old, replaced the car’s internal combustion engine and gasoline fuel tank with an electric motor and 30kWh Lithium-ion phosphate battery pack. Over the next few months, the students will test its anticipated 100-plus all-electric mile range, its maximum freeway speed, and its zero to 60 mph time.

Featured speakers at the National Plug In Day included Long Beach Vice Mayor Robert Garcia; California State University Chancellor Timothy P. White; actor/environmentalist Ed Begley, Jr.; Plug In America co-founder Paul Scott; Adopt a Charger executive director Kitty Adams; Assemblymember Bonnie Lowenthal; and alternative-fuel vehicle advocate Chelsea Sexton.

With technical and financial contributions from environmental partners Plug-In America, the Wells Fargo Foundation, Trexa, Alliance for Climate Education, QuikSCience, TeenNick, Left Coast Electric, City of Santa Monica, and Gas to Electric Conversions, Team Marine will tour the converted electric vehicle at many civic and community events, schools and other academic institutions, science fairs, and alternative transportation exhibitions throughout Southern California.

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