Everyone loves the Volkswagen Type 1 Beetle. Not only is the car a classic design but it is a symbol of good times and fond memories for many. iCon Electric Vehicle Group is planning on bringing the Type 1 Beetle back, this time as a fully functioning electric car.
The last Volkswagen Type 1 Beetle was built in Mexico on July 30th 2003, ending a 60 year production run that resulted in 21.5 million original Volkswagen Beetles being made. The VW Bug still holds the title as the longest-running and most-manufactured automobile of a single design platform in the world.
iCon claims that the company will acquire the original VW tooling from a Mexican production line. Instead of the rear-engine air-cooled flat-four, the replica VW Bugs will be powered by an all electric drivetrain. Along with the classic VW Bug tooling, iCon claims it will secure the tooling to recreate the Volkswagen Karman Ghia, the Porsche 356 and the Porsche 550 Spyder. The price for an electric VW Bug– iCon says $20,000.
Sounds good right, almost a little too good? Well, that is because it just might be. As of now iCon has not secured any of the tooling for the classic cars yet. Plus, iCon needs $1 billion (yes BILLION) to introduce these classic cars as electric vehicles— iCon does not have that either. To put things into perspective, a mainstream auto company, like Ford, or Subaru, spends $1-2 billion when they develop a new car.
Additionally, iCon wants to crowdsource the funding for the project. Crowdsourcing is usually used to have the public figure out a technical problem with a start up or tech company. iCon is using the tactic to raise the money needed, in other words public donations. Given the current economic situation here in America and in Europe this might not be the most lucrative or timely business plan.
Speaking of Europe, the home of Volkswagen and Porsche, it does not seem that either company would allow iCon to have the building rights to any of these classic vehicles; after all these are not some defunct older brands. A Volkswagen spokesperson confirmed to FoxNews.com that the car manufacturer has not yet been contacted by anyone looking to license or purchase the equipment that was used to build the Beetle, nor would the company be interested in doing so.
Whatever the turnout maybe of iCon’s proposed project, the idea of a fully electric classic VW Bug with a price tag of $20,000 seems great. Would you be willing to pass along a few bucks to iCon in order to move the project along?
Well even if your answer is yes, good luck. The website listed on the press release, www.iconev.com, does not work, thus making it hard for people to donate any money. iCon says you can also contact them through their Facebook page—but that does not seem to exist either. You could try to send an email to iCon’s e-mail address, firstname.lastname@example.org, do not hold your breath for a response though.
Exactly what is going on here is unknown; however any helpful information is welcome. Feel free to sound off below.
Andrew Meggison was born in the state of Maine and educated in Massachusetts. Andrew earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Government and International Relations from Clark University and a Master’s Degree in Political Science from Northeastern University. Being an Eagle Scout, Andrew has a passion for all things environmental. In his free time Andrew enjoys writing, exploring the great outdoors, a good film, and a creative cocktail.