15-Year-Old Turns 1972 VW Beetle Into Electric Car

Ashton Stark isn’t old enough to drive, but he has already built himself a vehicle. It took him a year, but he just finished converting his grandfather’s 1972 Volkswagen Beetle into an electric car.

“I was actually looking online with my dad at electric cars, because we heard a lot about them and thought they were kind of cool,” the 15-year-old told NPR. “I decided I wanted to do one. And once I got the body from my grandpa, it all just kind of fell together.”

So what makes this Bug crawl now? Nine golf cart batteries. Stark’s father helped him to install the batteries and connect a single motorized shaft to the transmission, according to NPR.

While he won’t be speeding down the autobahn in the VW, it will get him anywhere a young teenage boy needs to go. That is, once he’s old enough to drive! The electric-converted Beetle will travel for about 45 miles at a 45 mph pace on a full charge.

Not only is Stark smart and resourceful, he’s sweet, too. He wants his next project to be a car for his sister. “You can convert almost any lightweight vehicle to electric,” he said. “VWs and Porsches work the best for electric, though.”

So he’s on the lookout for another Bug or a Porsche to convert, but as for his grandfather’s Beetle, he said, “My grandpa would be incredibly proud of something like this.”

Photo by egat via Flickr.TS