Home LIFE Couple Built Their Own Solar Electric VW Camper Van

Couple Built Their Own Solar Electric VW Camper Van

Brett Belan has always been passionate about clean energy. He gained an interest in building power plants as early as high school, and his passion has only developed and grown from there.


photo credit : solarelectricvwbus

With a Bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering, Brett co-founded Apparent Energy, an engineering company dedicated to improving electrical systems.


photo credit : solarelectricvwbus

For their most recent project, the family chose the iconic Volkswagen bus because of its interior cabin space and surface area of its roof. Brett knew the roof would be perfect for a large solar panel that could be rigged to tilt for maximum sun exposure.


At full tilt the panel has a 40 degree angle, which allows it to face the sun directly, according to Design Boom. It takes just over a day for the battery bank to fully charge.


photo credit : solarelectricvwbus

An average day of charging at their home in Oregon produces about 15-20 miles of city driving.


photo credit : solarelectricvwbus

The entire conversion project cost about $25,500, according to Treehugger, but that price included the cost of the bus itself.