Best Electric Car Classic Car ConversionsOctober 14, 2021
Well, it may have taken a long time, but the E.V. era has finally arrived. Whether through foresight or coercion, automakers worldwide are implementing ambitious electrification strategies intending to have an utterly battery-powered lineup by the end of the decade. Despite some initial skepticism, the automotive community has begun to accept the inevitable march of the industry’s progress. After all, such vehicles are constantly redefining the standards of automotive performance, providing instant torque delivery, lightning-quick acceleration, and improved long-term reliability, among a slew of other enhancements. So if you’re in the market for a new car, an electrified future may be more appealing.
But what if you’re a fan of classic cars? What if you’re obsessed with carburetor tuning, and the sound of a V8 is the only thing that gets you going? For the time being, emissions regulations only apply to newer vehicles; however, no one knows what the situation will be like in 10, 20, or even 30 years. Sure, your classic may be considered charmingly retro in 2050, but it may also be relegated to the status of a fossil fuel-burning relic.
As a result, many restoration shops have shifted gears in recent years, adapting their processes to account for the possibility of a future in which whicE.V.sVs are the only cars permitted on the road. Some may consider an electrified engine swap heresy, although giving vehicles a new lease on life. Furthermore, there is no denying the potential of such electromods. The following are our picks for the best electric car conversions money can buy.
Also read: Nissan Electic Cars
Electric Vehicles in London
London Electric Cars provide a made-to-order electric conversion service for any classic vehicle, focusing on Minis, Land Rovers, and Morrises. The English outfit’s most recent effort is a 1993 Rover Mini outfitted with a Nissan Leaf’s motor and drivetrain. It offers up to 70 miles of city driving thanks to a 20kWh battery pack crammed into the trunk and under the rear seat. However, if your commute necessitates more time in the car, it can be upgraded to provide ranges of up to and beyond 250 miles.
Electric Defender (ECD)
If you’re familiar withE.C, D.D. because of its eye-catching Defender customizations, you’ll be happy to know that the off-road restoration company has recently begun offering electric Land Rover conversions. It has a 450hp drivetrain pulled from a Tesla platform under the hood. It has a range of 220 miles on a single 10-hour charge (which can be cut in half with three-phase power) and can hit 60 mph in 5.5 seconds. If that isn’t enough power for your off-road adventures, there’s also a 600mph option that will shave two seconds off that time. In addition, of course, as an anE.C.DD. Build, the electrified Defender comes with a variety of off-road suspension upgrades and features such as downhill assist, traction control, and regenerative braking.
A Porsche and Volkswagen authority, Zelectric provides electric conversions for a wide range of German classics, including the 356, Beetle, and Thing. They built the Microbus shown here for an Omaze giveaway in early 2021, so it’s decked out in cutting-edge technology. It has a 115hp electric motor, regenerative braking, upgraded suspension, and a drive-by-wire throttle system powered by a liquid-cooled 32kWh Tesla Model S battery pack. Inside, the Microbus is even better, with electric cabin heating, an onboard 12V trickle charger, a custom Alpine sound system, a backup camera, and even a pedestrian alert bell.
Derelict Mercury Icon
The Icon Derelict Mercury is a Pioneer that was designed to answer a few simple questions. One of them was why the world couldn’t combine classic styling and quality with modern performance and practicality. So icon built this electric conversion from a 1949 Mercury Coupe to better answer this question.
The conversion includes an all-new powertrain designed by Icon and StealthE.VV. It has a dual electric motor, transmission-free setup that produces 470 lb-ft of freight-train-like torque and 400 horsepower. The vehicle can reach a top speed of 120 mph without using any gears.
Datsun Moment Motors
Moment Motors, based in Austin, is another bespoke build service that only works with classics of iconic status. Moment uses a modular power system based on single, in-line, and stacked dual-motor configurations, with interchangeable transmission adapters for easy mounting because each creation has unique requirements. Furthermore, they’ve created an accompanying battery enclosure setup out of reclaimed Tesla modules and buildable bricks that can be placed around the vehicle based on its available space. Though Moment has completed several eye-catching customs, our favorite has to be one of their old-school Z cars, such as the one shown above.
Oxfordshire-based Everrati Porsche 911 964 Everrati Automotive provides electromods for various vintage vehicles, including four Porsche 911s, a Land Rover SeriesI.I.A.A, and a Mercedes-Benz 280SL ‘Pagoda.’ The 964 seen here is the most recent addition to the lineup, and boy, is it something special. It’s available in both narrow and widebody configurations, and it’s first fully restored by Porsche specialists before being outfitted with a 53Kwh battery pack, a 440-500hp electric motor, and a custom QuaifeA.T.B.B Torque biasing differential. Such a setup significantly improves over the petrol-powered flat-six, allowing the Stuttgart stunner to reach 60 mph in less than four seconds while still providing more than 150 miles of range. It’s topped off with a modernized interior that includes heated seats, Bluetooth, and Apple Car Play, and it’s made even better by the fact that Everett guarantees the conversion is completely reversible.
Fastback Mustang Charge Cars
If the Mustang Mach-E isn’t pony enough for you, Charge’s electrified Fastback should be just the thing. It ditches the original V8 in favor of a dual-motor four-wheel-drive setup and a 64 kWh battery pack and is built around an officially licensed shell for an authentic old-school look. In practice, this results in a mind-boggling combined 536hp and 1,106lb-ft of torque, propelling the modernized Mustang to 60mph in less than 4.0 seconds flat while still lasting for a respectable 200 miles of driving. Charge’s interior retains the retro styling of the car’s exterior, except for a large touchscreen interface that allows the driver to adjust the ride quality. Unfortunately, you will build only 499 of these muscle car masterpieces, so you’ll need to reserve one quickly if you want one for yourself.
Giulia GT Totem Automobili
Last but not least, we have this stunning Alfa Romeo electro mod from Totem Automobili, an Italian startup. It’s a tribute to the iconic Giulia G.T.A. from the 1960s, and it’s the result of 6,000 person-hours spent by 21 engineers, nine expert artisans, and 150 different Italian parts suppliers. The conversion is so complete that it retains only 10% of the original chassis. It is built atop a bespoke steel platform with an integrated roll-bar and some MacPherson struts. Totem has equipped the Alfa homage with a proprietary electric motor that generates 518hp and 722lb-ft of instantaneous torque, ensuring that the Alfa homage has the power to match its improved suspension. When you consider that it weighs just under 2,800lbs, the result is a car that brings classic Alfa performance into the twenty-first century.
GT 413 E-Crate System (Electric)
If you’re looking for a more comprehensive electrification platform, an E-Crate System from Electric G.T. is unquestionably your best bet. The 413 featured here is the line’s flagship model, built with the same footprint as an LS-sized V8 and designed to be installed using O.E.M. mounts. It has 275hp and 405lb-ft of torque and comes with the necessary E.V. infrastructure pre-built and bench-tested. Oh, and chances are it’ll work with your classic — Electric G.T. designed the system to work with over 10 million cars from the 1960s to the 1990s.
Silver Cloud Lunaz Rolls-Royce
After shocking the world with the first-ever electrified Rolls-Royce, a Phantom V, Lunaz doubled down and added a Silver Cloud to the mix. The attention to detail is nothing short of astounding, as it is with all of the British electrification specialist’s builds. After Lunaz has disassembled the Rolls and removed the internal combustion engine, each component is weighed and scanned to ensure absolute technical perfection. The car is then rebuilt by a team of expert engineers using top-secret traditional coachbuilding methods for an authentic, original finish while adding modern touches like a fully integrated infotainment system, climate control, WiFi, and even a personalized bar console for passengers. It’ll take you 300 miles in luxury quiet, thanks to an 80kWh battery pack.
Conversion Kit for the E.V. West Beetle
You can’t go wrong with this convenient kit from E.V. West if you want to give your Beetle a battery-powered refresh. It includes everything you need to perform the conversion yourself, except for a battery system, including a charger, a programmable controller, an A.C. motor with regenerative braking, and all necessary drivetrain adapters. If you own a different air-cooled German icon, E.V. West also produces Porsches, Karmann Ghias, and Microbuses kits.