It’s not due in showrooms anytime soon, but Volkswagen is said to be working on a purely electric version of its legendary Beetle.

The iconic Volkswagen Beetle could be revived with electric power, according to global Volkswagen boss Herbert Diess.

According to a report by a Spanish media outlet, Mr Diess suggested a return to retro designs – but with electric power – could bolster the manufacturer’s image.

The German car giant is about to take the covers off an electric revival of the Volkswagen Kombi – as a people mover and a van, known as the ID. Buzz – but an electric Beetle could soon follow.

“I am very excited about the launch of the ID Buzz [an electric van inspired by the original Kombi] and, from this experience, learn how we can bring our traditional and emotional world to the electric vehicle sector, thinking of the Beetle,” Mr Diess was quoted as saying by Spanish news site HibridosyElectricos.

The original Beetle was built between 1938 and 2003, while the ‘New Beetle’ – based on the Volkswagen Golf – launched in 1997 before being axed 13 years later. A new-generation model went on sale in 2011 and remained available until 2019.

The new electric project has been rumoured for some time. Last year Volkswagen filed to have the names e-Beetle and e-Karmann protected in Europe.

Volkswagen has also expressed in interest in retro designs with its ID. Buzz and 2019 ID Buggy concept.

However, Drive understands – in the short term at least – the manufacturer is primarily focused on the roll-out of its existing ID electric range.

A production-ready electric Beetle is unlikely to break cover any time soon.

Customers desperate to get their hands on a zero-tailpipe emission Beetle currently have two options; order a factory-backed conversion pack and fit it to an existing car, or wait for the upcoming Ora Ballet Cat – a Chinese four-door copycat of the classic Volkswagen design.

William Davis

William Davis has written for Drive since July 2020, covering news and current affairs in the automotive industry. He has maintained a primary focus on industry trends, autonomous technology, electric vehicle regulations, and local environmental policy. As the newest addition to the Drive team, William was brought onboard for his attention to detail, writing skills, and strong work ethic. Despite writing for a diverse range of outlets – including the Australian Financial Review, Robb Report, and Property Observer – since completing his media degree at Macquarie University, William has always had a passion for cars.

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