There are few vehicles more iconic than the original Volkswagen Beetle. Their bubbly, distinct look makes them a favourite for many, particularly older models. Our CEO, Graham Robins, is a car lover who also wants to do his part in innovating away from reliance on fossil fuels for driving. The challenge with original, vintage VW Beetles (or “Bugs”) is that they aren’t particularly fuel efficient – and certainly are not electric. Volkswagen has made a concerted effort to expand into electric vehicles, with a new VW Beetle Concept Car, along with other cherished VW models. The automotive industry is in a state of reckoning, if innovation isn’t taken seriously when it comes to converting to electric.
Not one to wait around, Graham is embarking on a DIY VW-electrification project, retrofitting his original 1955 bug to be fully electric.
Why electric? Why now?
Solely gas-powered vehicles are on the chopping block, with 2030 as the cutoff date for when all new vehicles sold must be electric in the USA. This date has moved around some and varies in each country. The Canadian Government has announced that all new vehicle sales will be electric by 2035. This is fuelled (zing!) by concerns about climate change and emissions, which we’ve all been feeling. The announcement’s intention is aimed to make electric vehicles of all makes more affordable, and is a huge step forward for the electric car (and freight) industry.
Cars have always been a big market, and importing and exporting cars into Canada is one of BorderBuddy’s top specialties. According to Automotive Industries Association of Canada (AIA Canada) the Canadian automotive aftermarket was at C$38.8 billion/US$29.14 billion of GDP in 2019.
The US light-duty automotive aftermarket is a $324 billion industry (2021) with a compound annual growth rate of nearly 4% projected through 2024. Light-duty is a subset of the entire aftermarket.* The entire US aftermarket, including light, medium and heavy-duty vehicles, is projected at nearly $420 billion in 2021 and is projected to reach $477 billion in 2024.
DIY – Follow Along & Get Inspired
BorderBuddy CEO Graham Robins will be sharing video and images of his project, which we’ll share with you on our social channels and of course, our blog.
The first episode is slated for early Autumn 2022, with Graham sharing his vehicle history (spoiler: he’s had this car since he was 14!) and why…and how he’s taking the wheel of this project, well before gasoline cars are not sold anymore.
It’s a DIY dream of Graham’s, and you may find yourself inspired.
Don’t currently have a vintage VW Beetle that you’d like to try and electrify? Well…we’re pretty good (1100+ delighted reviews don’t lie!) at importing cars of all makes and models, so maybe you’ll be inspired enough to join along. A great one stop shop for all things vintage VW is Hemmings – where you can participate in auctions on sweet little Bugs dating back to 1954!
You won’t want to miss this series with Graham, he’ll explore things like:
- The car/idea
- The shop/company that is doing the work
- Sourcing and finding the products you want to import
- Figuring out the products and where to buy, the cost of them and how much it will cost to import
- How to ship the product across border, what documents are required
- What happens at the border, how to watch that process
And much more! We don’t want to give away all of the secrets, but hope you’ll join Graham and BorderBuddy for the ride!