The last Volkswagen Type 2 rolled off of a Brazilian assembly line less than three years ago, and so far the German automaker has yet to commit to a worthy 21st century replacement. That leaves an opening for a new kind of hippie van to fill the void left by the original Microbus, and the Nimbus e-Car may have what it takes, if it ever manages to become more than just a concept.
The Nimbus e-Car concept is powered by a 180 horsepower electric motor linked to a lithium-ion battery pack for zero-emissions urban commuting. Should a bout of wanderlust strike you though, a small gas generator can provide a much longer driving range. Liberal use of lightweight materials like carbon fiber and aluminum would make for a strong-but-svelte body. Of course this would also add substantially to the production costs and thus, the MSRP, but since this is merely a concept, why bind yourself to such small concerns?
The truth is, the Nimbus e-Car will probably never move past the concept stage. More likely Volkswagen will eventually give us the electric or hybrid successor to the original Type 2 that the world deserves, as concepts like the Nimbus prove there’s plenty of interest left in the nostalgia of living a bohemian life, in the city and beyond. Now if somebody would just gather up the necessary signatures to prove to Volkswagen (or any automaker, really) that the hippie bus needs to make a comeback for us modern-age hipsters. Make it efficient, highly connected, but simple too, so we can make it fit our particular brand of crazy.
You know, just like the original hippies.