Bähr himself undertook the journey of a lifetime in 2015 with his 1964 Trabi, taking part in the eTour Europe. According to the organizers, this tour is the longest and most challenging rally for electric vehicles, period. The twelve teams from Spain, the Netherlands, Austria, Czech Republic and Germany covered 4,500 kilometers in ten days. The biggest hurdle came during an Alpine stage, on the descent from Grossglockner. “The drum brakes ended up melting the plastic hub caps,” Bähr recalls, chuckling. Disk brakes replaced the drum brakes for the rest of the tour.
Each car is individually appraised before its transformation
Taking ones treasured Trabi to Bähr’s Dresden workshop for refit costs 18,000 euros. But it is also possible to “do it yourself;” Bähr can alternatively provide the assembly kit and full instructions for 11,000 euros. “Of course, we offer our advice and support from the very beginning. Each car is a unique specimen and needs an individual evaluation.” There is no welding work for the customer, and all components are delivered, explains Bähr. The control system is already set up, he stresses. The installation guide helps with the transformation.
“But firstly, everything in the engine compartment needs to go. Then the new equipment can start going in”, Bähr explains the first stages of the refit. Under the Trabi’s hood go an electric motor, control system, DC-AC transformer, lighting system, electric heater, accelerator pedal, a lithium iron phosphate battery, and the battery management system.
The electric Trabant can go 100 kilometers, at 100 km/h
The phenol resin engine hood now hosts a modern three-phase asynchronous motor, according to Bähr. With a peak performance of 38 HP and torque of 148 Nm, the Trabant accelerates to 100 km/h and thereby around the same top speed as the original. After approximately 100 kilometers, the environmentally-friendly Trabi will need recharging.