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Barkas B 1000 conversion - Tour start with electric GDR Bulli postponed

Barkas B 1000 conversion
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B back in 1972 people in the German Democratic Republic were thinking about the “economical use of liquid energy sources”. At the Technical University in Karl-Marx-Stadt (today Chemnitz), research was therefore carried out on the electrification of the 'Bullis of the GDR', the Barkas B 1000. With a direct current motor and lead battery, an operating range of 100 should be achieved at 50 km /h Kilometers per charge. Only a few copies made it onto the road, because the technology at the time simply lacked real range and performance. The Barkas B 1000 was therefore mainly in use with a two-stroke engine until the end of production in 1990.

Ostalgie meets innovation

So also the ocher-brown copy by Konstantin Neumann, which at first glance looks exactly the same as when he was born in 1986 at the Karl-Marx-Stadt plant. Four years before the end of production, an orange-brown fringed carpet was part of the interior. In Konstantins B 1000 it still reminds of the heyday of the East German automobile industry.

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The original motor has to give way to the electric drive.

Under the bonnet - between the two seats in the Barkas Located inside - but now the (N) Ostalgie is over. The original one-liter two-stroke engine with a powerful 46 hp is no longer slumbering here. Because it is now in a corner in Marko Batovanja's hall. With the company MSG Austria, Marko has specialized in turning off the internal combustion engine of classic cars and driving them electrically instead. In the case of the B 1000 with the help of an Engiro electric motor, which delivers roughly the same continuous output as its petrol and oil-burning predecessor. However, it delivers significantly more torque. The original gearbox remainedreceived, so the barkas is still switched by hand. For this conversion, which is estimated to cost Konstantin around 50,000 euros, he drove the B 1000 to Austria near Salzburg and allowed the old two-stroke engine a farewell tour at an outside temperature of over 30 degrees.

Elektro-Barkas With Tesla batteries

he will no longer fill up with oil and gasoline, but will have to control a power source after 500 kilometers at the latest - this is how long the range of the electric barca should be. The energy required for this is stored by batteries that are 'laid' in the floor of the vehicle and should have a capacity of 90 kWh. The batteries ordered (and shown below) were unfortunately too heavy for this, so that new energy storage devices had to be ordered from Tesla. MSG Austria obtains them used, which is why they are subjected to a special test again. Unfortunately, half of the cells delivered failed. A replacement is expected at the end of August.

At almost 500 kilograms, the Tesla energy storage device is a real lightweight in relation to its capacity. The originally planned batteries from another supplier were so heavy, at a total of 721 kilograms, that they filled almost three quarters of the one tonne payload of the B 1000. The planned expansion of the camping site would therefore have been in acute danger. More on this below.

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These batteries weigh over 700 kilograms and were therefore not installed. Instead, Tesla batteries were ordered.

50,000 kilometers on behalf of sustainability

Konstantin and his fiancée Marina are expected to break This autumn on a one-year 50,000-kilometer tour with the Barkas - once around Eurasia. “The Way We Go” ( www.thewaywego.org ) is what they call this project, with which they Want to transport topics of sustainability and innovation beyond European borders. On the way they collect plastic waste, give lectures on sustainability at schools and universities and want to build a network for startups with innovative ideas in this area through encounters. Everything with thatElectric GDR Bulli. By the way, Konstantin chose it very deliberately: Like the Barkas, it comes from the Chemnitz region.

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The Barkas B 1000 proudly bears the nameplate inside.

Solar cells on the roof

Since the route also includes stages through sparsely populated areas, the two main concerns are the real range. 'In colder temperatures, it can sometimes only be 300 instead of 500 kilometers,' remembers Marko. Without knowing how far away the nearest power source is, every journey can end in nowhere. The emergency solution for this case comes from above and is called solar energy. Solar cells on the roof of the B 1000 feed the Tesla batteries in an emergency. 'This is a minimal feed-in, but within a period of a week, for example, a sufficient charge would be conceivable to drive a little further,' says Marko. He cannot give precise information about the speed of the solar charge. But Konstantin is optimistic: “In the worst case, I'll have to push.”

Start already postponed

With a total weight of a good two tons, this is probably the worst solution. But one step at a time: First, the electric camping barcas must be roadworthy. The start, which was actually planned for August 9, has already been postponed indefinitely. The Barkas cannot leave the workshop on its own until the replacement batteries are delivered.

Technical data at a glance

  • Model: Barkas B 1000 (1986 )
  • Original engine: 1000 ccm two-stroke engine (34 kW)
  • Engine: Engiro electric motor (96 volts, approx. 30 kW continuous output)
  • Battery: Tesla module (16 pieces, total capacity 90 kWh)
  • Range: estimated 500 kilometers

Camping extension with T2 roof

In the meantime, Constantine is drifting and Marina, however, are advancing the camping expansion of their darling themselves. The B 1000 already got a window and - especially - a pop-up roof from the VW T2. The roof had to be adjusted and shortened all around, but is now tight.

Isolated and with a window - this is how it is to live in the Barkas.

Front end and cargo area are also already newly insulated and the kitchen installation is planned. To do this, the new Tesla batteries and their box must first be integrated.


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