Celebrities love their classic cars. With their high-profile status, they also need to show some environmental responsibility in today’s world. Up until recently, the combination of classic cars and climate change action did not pair well.
With classic car conversions to electric, a myriad of celebrities have kept these iconic vehicles on the road for longer, whilst producing zero emissions from their exhaust pipes.
Here are the top 6 celebrities that have converted classic cars to electric:
David Beckham’s Jaguar XK140
As an ambassador for dozens of brands worldwide, the ex-England footballer also has a focus on sustainable transport. He has given his son Brooklyn an impressive £420,000+ Jaguar XK140 as a wedding gift. This fully converted and upcycled EV was built as a bespoke project from the ground up for the Beckham family.
The EV powertrain was one major element to this exceptionally good-looking Jag. Thankfully the half-century old brakes, suspension and steering were upgraded too. With the EV instrumentation carefully blended into the factory dial arrangement on the dashboard to match its originality as much as possible.
Ellie Goulding’s 1970 VW Camper
Used on her wedding day, Ellie Goulding has a Tesla powered classic VW camper. Finished appropriately in electric blue, the singer wished for a zero-emission wedding which included the transport of course. Having three other vehicles to choose from, Ellie opted for the quirky camper for its iconic resemblance in the hippy scene of the 70’s.
Harry & Meghan’s Jaguar E-Type
This particular royal wedding was a landmark event for Brits and Americans. The newlyweds were transported to their reception in an extraordinary electric E-type Jaguar. This electric silver-blue car was converted by Jaguar themselves as part of their concept zero facility.
The 1968 E-Type was fully restored to better than factory condition and is now faster than ever. Reaching 0-60mph in just 5.5 seconds and reaching a top speed of 150mph, thanks to its 220kW electric motor. This all came in at an extortionate cost of £350,000 for the newlywed couple.
Gordon Ramsay’s Porsche 911
Classic Porsche’s are followed by a huge fanbase worldwide and the celebrity chef is one of those fans. When witnessing the 911 coupe in the Joe Macari dealership in Wandsworth, London, Gordon had to purchase the electric classic.
Achieving 0-60mph in well under 4 seconds, this quiet and refined 500hp machine will turn heads for different reasons. As the 53kWh battery is good for at least 150 miles of range and CCS charging allows for rapid 20-80% charging in just 45 minutes.
Dev Patel’s Fiat 500
The Slumdog Millionaire actor had already owned a classic 500. For longevity, simple maintenance and zero emissions he gave the go ahead and had it converted to electric. The vehicle was fully restored, resprayed, and converted to EV. The diminutive Fiat then underwent interior, suspension, and brake upgrades to make it even better than the modern edition!
Neil Young’s 1959 Lincoln Continental
Despite not being fully electric, Neil Young was a pioneer in converting classic cars with his 1959 Lincoln Continental. Being a hybrid capable of over 60mpg after converting to run on natural gas and biofuels. Thanks to its electric motor and batteries, combined with a Wankel engine and hydrogen technology, it has a plethora of powertrain options to make it more efficient for longer commutes.
The iconic artist also has a 1982 converted Mercedes coupe that runs solely on vegetable oil from a local restaurant. Young also believes that owners shouldn’t need to drive boring cars as we transition to sustainable transport. Proving it was all possible back in 2009 when he embarked on the journey to convert his classic Lincoln to a battery filled hybrid edition.
Brands are Now Converting to EV Themselves
The likes of Aston Martin, Jaguar and other OEM car makers now have sub-divisions dedicated to EV conversions. With Jaguar heritage division, a set of E-Types and other models have undergone complete restoration and conversion (and at an extortionate cost of course). The best part is they can use new technology that was already developed in house (on the modern i-PACE for example) and place it in these classic conversions for their very wealthy customers.
What it Takes to Convert to Electric
Taking out the engine, drivetrain, fuel tank and exhaust from your classic is the simple bit. But equipping the car with a suitably sized battery pack to produce a long enough range, a powerful enough motor, hooking up the drive train and upgrading other important components (brakes, suspension, steering) are all the difficult steps necessary for classic EV conversions.
Using a donor electric vehicle as your base, it is possible to take batteries, motors, and electronics from the likes of a Renault Zoe, Nissan Leaf or even a Tesla with minor crash damage. Retrofitting all of these components into a classic car requires a lot of skill and engineering, as classics were never designed for EV conversions. It is also possible to convert a classic car to electric with new parts, such as batteries from LGChem or CALB and motors from Netgain Inc or HPEV’s.
The most popular classic car brands to convert are: Land Rover, Rolls Royce, Mini, Jaguar, VW Beetle and Bus, DeLorean DMC as well as Porsche 911’s. All of which have not got the best reputation when it comes to engine reliability. This makes them ideal for swapping out the powertrain without compromising on iconic design.
Despite some kits being made available ‘off the shelf’, it is still an arduous task to convert a classic car to electric. With the electronics, safety precautions and specialist tools required to do so, it is not for the faint hearted. This is where Electric Car Converts come into play.
Convert your Classic Car to Electric Power
With a team of passionate and knowledgeable EV enthusiasts, we have converted many classic cars, from off roaders, to micro cars and roadsters. Our team take pride in designing bespoke EV conversions for any budget. Whether you need fast charging, better range, or more creature comforts, we have the knowhow to convert your classic car safely.
Best of all, the legislation is all taken care of when choosing us as your EV conversion partner. The DVLA requires strict rules to convert classics to EV, especially when it comes to electrical safety.
Take a look at our case studies and vehicles for sale and understand the full picture of our EV conversions. Or contact us today and get your classic EV conversion underway!