Here are 10 of the raddest electric beach buggies
And not the kind for ferrying your kids around…
At long last, the Moke is reborn – only it’s now powered by electrons, and comes from a company called MOKE International Limited. Yep, over half a century after the Mini Moke, MOKE claims to have reimagined the Sir Alec Issigonis-designed original “for today’s world – and tomorrow’s”.
Big talk indeed. The Moke for the modern age gets a reported 89 miles of range – enough to get you from London to Brighton, as long as you can find yourself a working charger there to get you home again. Power comes from a 44bhp electric motor that sends all its grunt to the rear wheels, with 0–34mph completed in 4.5secs and vmax a heady 62mph.
It’s not cheap, mind, with prices starting from £29,150 before tax. Perhaps a stiff coastal breeze will help dry those tears.Advertisement - Page continues below
Meyers Manx 2.0
OG beach buggies don’t come much more iconic than the Meyers Manx, the VW Beetle-based dune basher that first arrived in 1964. The road-legal Manx 2.0 stays largely faithful to its founder Bruce Meyers’ original design, though the same can’t be said under the skin, where there’s two electric motors (one for each rear wheel) for a combined 202bhp. Buyers get the choice of 20kWh and 40kWh batteries for a range of 150 and 300 miles respectively – making the latter able to go further than the likes of the Fiat 500, Honda e and Mini Electric. Decisions, decisions…
No price yet, though first deliveries are expected next year. We’re not jealous, honest.
The newest member of the beach buggy party comes from Dutch brand Savage Rivale with this, the Coastrunner EV – and it certainly looks the part. It is, says the company, “the ultimate beach cruiser”, capable of transporting passengers in style whether it's “from A to Beach” or “from A to Party”. Quite.
Power comes from a single 66bhp electric motor mounted on the rear axles good for a top speed of 75mph, while the 20kWh battery pack provides around 112 miles of range. Extra easter eggs come in the form of a fully washable interior, a 60-litre picnic-perfect fridge in the frunk, and brackets for watersports gear.
First-in-line buyers can expect to pay a premium of around £56k and a delivery date of late next year, with a second batch, and a price tag of around half that, expected in 2025. How’s that piggy bank looking?Advertisement - Page continues below
Citroen My Ami Buggy
The cutesy Citroen Ami attracted plenty of fanfare when it was unveiled back in 2020, and the French manufacturer was quick to capitalise with a couple of special editions including this, the My Ami Buggy.
The city car turned off-roader featured a new khaki paintjob, tubular doors, foldable/retractable canvas roof, rear wing (really), and 14-inch gold steelies, plus all-important adventuring essentials including front and rear bumper reinforcements and wheelarch extensions. Heck, Indiana Jones wouldn’t look out of place in this thing.
He would, perhaps, want a slightly quicker escape vehicle – the Buggy gets no upgrade on the regular Ami’s 8bhp motor and 5.5kWh battery, meaning a top speed of somewhere in the 30mph mark, and a total range of 47 miles.
Nevertheless, the public lapped up the My Ami Buggy, with the 50-run limited edition selling out in 17 minutes 28 seconds. Wowsers.
Back in 2019, Volkswagen revealed its own Meyers Manx-inspired coastal cruiser at the Geneva Motor Show – the ID.Buggy concept.
Built on the same platform as the manufacturer’s ID range, the two-seater does without fixed doors or roof with the interior reportedly fully weatherproof. Additional off-road features include aluminium underbody protection, 18-inch wheels with all-terrain tyres, rollbars, and tow hooks front and rear. Handy.
Power, meanwhile, comes from a 202bhp rear-mounted electric motor capable of 0-62mph in 7.2secs and a top speed of 99mph, with the 62kWh battery capable of around 155 miles. Plenty for finding yourself a secluded beach away from the crowds, in other words.
The ID.Buggy however, was never intended for production, with the concept instead built to prove the versatility of Volkswagen’s MEB platform. Still, the Germans also announced in the accompanying press release that it would offer “external producers” the platform, should they wish to build the beach cruiser of the future. Feeling inspired?
How does a Skoda Citigo with no roof and no doors strike you? You might say the perfect beach buggy bake, if you were feeling alliterative.
Well, back in 2017, a team of 21 students at Skoda’s Vocational School had exactly the same train of thought – and set about making it a reality. Called the Skoda Element, in addition to shedding the roof and doors they raised the ride height by 60mm, added stronger underbody protection, and fitted 16-inch alloy wheels wrapped in all-terrain tyres.
Being youthful students, they also naturally decided to throw in a 400-watt sound system, a cool box in the boot, and a smart TV hidden behind the front seats, all powered by a solar panel and additional battery. Sounds like just the ticket to a beach party.
Speaking of power, under the bonnet there’s an 80bhp electric motor capable of powering the Element from 0-62mph in 13secs on to a top speed of 81mph, while there’s enough juice in the battery for around 100 miles. And all this achieved in just 1,500 hours…
Just us that wishes this had made it into production?
Back in 1968, Citroen launched the Mehari, an open-top, plastic-bodied beach buggy based on the 2CV. Fast forward to 2016, and the French manufacturer decided it was ripe for a refresh, with this – the all-electric E-Mehari.
It was powered by a 67bhp electric motor and had a top speed of 68mph – somewhat at odds with the fast-running camel it’s named after. Then again, the E-Mehari wasn’t intended for the drag strip, but instead cruising around France’s famed beach resorts. As we intend to do when our numbers finally come up in the lottery.
And in truth, that’s likely all the E-Mehari could manage, with a range of up to 124 miles. Like the original, the bodywork was bump-friendly plastic, while you also got a fold-down rear bench and hose-down interior for power washing any sand away.
Sadly, it was never intended for the UK, and priced around 28,000 euros, you’d have needed deep pockets to buy one anyway. Not a bad holiday rental, though…Advertisement - Page continues below
The much-loved original Volkswagen Beetle had all the ingredients to be a purpose-built beach buggy, so how does a plug-in Bug for the modern age strike you?
You’ll surely know, of course, that the Type 1 Beetle met its maker back in 2003 following a production run of over 21 million models. Fast forward to 2019, and VW announced an electric conversion kit offering any tired old Beetles a new lease of life.
The result of a team effort between Volkswagen and a company called eClassics, the former supplies the 81bhp powertrain from the e-Up to the latter, who shoehorns it into the Beetle. VW says it allows for 0-50mph in just over eight secs on to a top speed of 93mph.
The 36.8kWh battery reportedly offers a range of up to 124 miles – many miles of blissful Bug motoring, in other words – and should you run out, it’ll support fast charging, too.
Sacrilege, or a match made in heaven?
Dacia is best known for its cheap and cheerful approach to motoring but that’s not to say it doesn’t ever surprise us with the odd curveball as it did with this – the Manifesto concept.
Revealed at the Paris Motor Show earlier this year, Dacia describes it as “a super compact and fully open SUV, so passengers can feel at one with nature”. Indeed, there are no doors, no windows, and no windshield – goggles are probably a must have here, folks.
OK, it looks better suited to the moon than it does to Margate, but you do get several beach buggy friendly innovations, including a headlamp that can be removed and used as a torch, seat covers which double as sleeping bags, a removable battery that can be used to power anything you so wish, and chunky airless tyres. Oh, and it’s fully jet washer proof, too.
While there’s no word on powertrains, and it’s unlikely it’ll ever make production, a car this space age surely suits electrification, right? Just in case the big bosses are reading this…Advertisement - Page continues below
Back to the real world, and a car you can actually buy – the Renault Twizy. At least you could until recently, with Renault having discontinued the model in 2021. Ah.
To the classifieds it is, then – because the Twizy has already proven its beach buggy credentials in many a Spanish beach resort, including traversing the volcanic landscapes of Fuerteventura. And if it can handle that, it can surely handle the likes of Folkestone.
Yes, it may only get a 17bhp electric motor, a top speed of 50mph, and a maximum range of 62 miles. But its 7kW battery can also be charged in just three and a half hours from a domestic power socket – giving you plenty of time for a quick dip in the sea, fish and chips, and an ice cream, or all three, if you so fancy it.
With used models currently fetching between £6-8k, the Twizy is also by far the cheapest beach buggy on this list, and makes a convenient commuter car in its spare time, too. What’s not to like?