Electric cars are gaining popularity with every passing day, and with the UK set to ban the sale of new petrol and diesel cars from 2030, it’s a trend that’s here to stay. For many people, the cost of a brand-new EV remains prohibitive and the supply of second-hand EVs hasn’t yet caught up with demand.
Electric car conversion kits offer a viable alternative, especially if you already own a classic car that you can upcycle. Building your own electric car from scratch can be more affordable than a new car and there’s nothing quite like constructing something with your own two hands .
In this post, we’ll cover everything you need to know about electric car conversion kits and whether they’re the right fit for your classic car conversion.
What is an Electric Car Conversion Kit?
An electric car conversion kit is exactly what it says on the tin – it includes everything you need to transform a conventional car into an electric car, whether you choose to DIY it or enlist the electric car conversion services of a specialist.
The kits typically contain an electric motor and mount, a controller, inverters, onboard chargers and battery mounting plates. Many kits include batteries, but you can also customise your car with a larger battery to extend its range.
Are Electric Car Conversion Kits Safe?
Although you’re dealing with high-voltage electronics, using a pre-made electric car conversion kit is much safer than starting from scratch as the dangerous parts of the battery packs will be made up for you by professionals – you will only have to install it.
While the kits are generally safe to use, installing them is not as easy as it can be made out to be. Unless you’re knowledgeable about electronics and car mechanics and have the machinery to do it with you may want to engage a specialist car conversion service, such as Electric Car Converts, to build and fit a kit safely.
How Does a Conversion Kit Work?
Converting a conventional car involves taking out the engine, transmission, fuel tank and exhaust system, and all the associated component parts to leave room for you to install an electric motor, controller, and battery pack.
A conversion kit supplies all the component parts you’ll need in one place, saving you the time, hassle and expense of tracking down individual parts. The only extras you’ll need are the car and the know-how – it’s not quite as simple as following the instructions in your Lego kit.
What Kind of Cars Can be Converted to Electric?
Any classic car can be converted to electric, provided you’ve got enough room for each of the components. Classic cars like the Land Rover Defender 90 are especially popular, as people seek to revive old favourites.
The Benefits of Conversion Kits
Converting a car to electric can seem daunting, but using conversion kits offers many advantages:
- Simpler: Everything you need comes in one pre-wired package.
- Quicker: You’ll save time and effort hunting down all the parts you need for your classic car conversion.
- Cheaper: Converting your existing car can be considerably more affordable than buying a brand-new EV and a kit is often cheaper than buying all of the parts separately.
- Familiarity: Once the conversion is complete, you’ll drive a car that you already know and love.
- Satisfaction: Imagine driving around in a car that was built by you or just for you.
Are Electric Car Conversion Kits Legal?
In the UK, conversion kits can legally be applied to virtually any car, but upon completion of the conversion, you may need to re-register it with the DVLA. Depending on how much work you’ve had done, you may also need to file paperwork, such as the V627/1 form, per the DVLA’s “Rebuilt Vehicles” or “Radically Altered Vehicles” rules.
You’ll also need to inform your insurance company about the conversion, as the changes may impact your cover and premium.
Can I Install an Electric Car Conversion Kit Myself?
It’s entirely within the realm of possibility to install a conversion kit yourself, but an electric car conversion is an intricate process. If you have the skills and equipment to do it, then crack on! Otherwise, engage a professional electric car conversion specialist for the reassurance of a warranty.
How Much Does a Conversion Kit Cost?
The cost of a conversion kit depends on a few factors: the type of car, its age, and the complexity of the conversion. A kit can cost anywhere between £25,000-£55,000. Universal kits are cheaper, while kits for specific vehicles tend to cost more.
Although you can install a kit yourself, it’s far safer to engage a professional to tackle the complex electronics. At Electric Car Converts, we offer safe kit installations and peace of mind.
Where Can I Get a Conversion Kit?
Many online stores offer conversion kits, but you’ll need to do your homework to ensure you’re purchasing from a reputable vendor. Companies that offer installation services often sell the kits and some are endorsed by big-name car manufacturers. If you’re looking for a classic car, you’ll need a company that specialises in classic car conversions.
Other Ways of Converting Your Classic Car to Electric
Buying all the individual parts yourself or engaging a specialist electric car converter are some alternatives to a kit. Our expert team has a wealth of experience in converting classic cars and will consult with you throughout.
Electric car conversion kits provide you with everything you need to transform a classic car into an electric version and are often more affordable than buying a new EV. Just remember that your converted car will need to be registered and when dealing with high-voltage electronics, you’re strongly recommended to employ a specialist, like us here at Electric Car Converts. Our friendly team can assist with any classic to electric car conversion queries and kit purchases.