To keep your classic car on the road, you may want to investigate converting it into electric. Not only does this save on maintenance, but it also quietens down the soundtrack and makes it more environmentally friendly.
Just be sure to know, it is not an easy task to convert a classic car to electric. You need significant technical expertise and knowledge to simply package the electric motor, inverter, management systems and batteries into a car not designed for EV powertrains, and then wire them together!. Luckily, companies like Electric Car Converts, in South East England (East Sussex) specialise in EV conversions and design/build parts to make the process easier, as it is a growing trend to convert classic cars to electric.
If you’re thinking of converting a classic car to electric you may already have your pride and joy car ready to go, which is great! But if not, here is our top 10 favourite cars to convert to EV power:
The early models of the Volkswagen Campervan are ideal for converting to electric. As the existing air-cooled engines are rear mounted, low powered and not eco-friendly at all, converting these 1950’s and beyond classics into zero emission ties in with their free-spirit owners’ lifestyle. An EV conversion is useful when loading with equipment for a big trip away, as extra load can cause the original low-powered combustion vans to struggle uphill, and hard to max out above 50mph. There’s plenty of space for batteries, the original gearboxes can be used and they’re originally well built, and hopefully rust-free.
The tiny British hatchback is a true icon. Whilst keeping a retro look, you can modernise a Mini with an electric drivetrain and motor. As they’re so small and light, you don’t need many batteries to get a long range, and you don’t need a very powerful motor to accelerate quickly.
This Japanese soft top is another icon in the ‘petrol head’ space. As it is rear wheel drive and has a low-slung setup, an electric conversion makes it quicker on the road, more fun to drive and significantly cheaper to run. Luckily the MX-5 has a large engine bay to house all the electric vehicle conversion components.
The classic rear engine, rear wheel drive layout we are all used to can be converted to electric. These conversions work really nicely when using Tesla motors, as they can be mounted where the original engine was between the back weeks. An EV converted 911 will have significantly more power and torque, better reliability and no noise, making the 911 an ideal candidate. With a promise of 100% reversibility to its original powertrain, it’s a no brainer for some owners who want to keep a classic running, whilst allowing it to be reversed if need be.
Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud
Often with luxury cars, the core aim is to reduce noise and improve ride comfort, the Rolls Royce Silver Cloud is an exemplification of this, however, is now dated mechanically, and therefore an ideal candidate for an electric conversion. With a large engine bay, bigger than most on the road, plenty of Tesla batteries can be slotted in to give it ample range. With their gas guzzling V12 engine, these classic Rolls-Royces are becoming very expensive to run, meaning an EV conversion could keep them on the road.
This 1960’s British classic is a true masterpiece in design and is recognised across the globe. Owners are so obsessed with keeping these classics going, Jaguar have a bespoke ‘Jaguar E-type Reborn’ programme they began in 2018. A dedicated team of experts convert E-Types in a standardised process where they can be bought from Jaguar Classic. This is a hugely expensive way to get an electric E-Type, so perhaps you’d be better off getting it converted to EV by a company such as Electric Car Converts.
Land Rover Defender/Series
The classic Defender that we all know and love unfortunately ceased production in 2015, so there is no factory EV option available. This is why owners are converting Land Rover Defender to electric, it extends their life by hundreds of thousands of miles and means their smoky diesels are replaced with a drivetrain with zero tailpipe emissions. Off-roading is an ideal use case for an EV conversion thanks to the instant torque from an electric motor powering both front and rear wheels in the Defender. Another example of taking a classic, iconic British design into the 21st century.
There is a running theme with rear mounted, air-cooled engines and EV conversions. The classic Beetle is another example of an ideal electric conversion donor vehicle. Their iconic design is full of character and owners want to keep them on the road for as long as possible. Beetles can be converted with 500 horsepower worth of Tesla motor, or with 120 horsepower mounted to the original gearbox.
This truly limited production vehicle has a place in history with film enthusiasts and classic car fans. Converting to EV is the obvious choice for something that looked so futuristic at the time. The EV conversion will make the DMC quicker, more reliable, and quieter as it whooshes past you at 88mph. The DeLorean brand has even been revitalised in 2022, promising an EV only brand-new model, which will be announced in due course too.
Aston Martin DB6
The rare classic British DB5 was made famous in James Bond movies. However, the DB6 is what classic car owners like to worship and convert to electric. This classic design can be kept on the road longer with an electric conversion. Companies in the UK such as Electric Car Converts exist to provide a full electric conversion for the DB6. These EV conversions give a range exactly suited to the client, improved acceleration, and handling, and a truly rare classic that lives on.
Convert Your Classic Car to Electric
Converting a classic car to electric may seem a daunting prospect, but nowadays it is easier than you might think. We at Electric Car Converts specialise in a multitude of classic car conversions in the UK. Whether you have a classic Land Rover, Jaguar, Mini or otherwise, get in touch today and we can help you build your dream EV conversion.