Every once in a while, dead car brands come back to life. Usually, it’s in the form of a limited production car like the Avanti. But recently, some deceased nameplates have been resurrected as electric vehicles (EVs). Here are five of the most recent and promising car brands making an electric comeback.
DMC (DeLorean Motor Company)
Founded as DeLorean Motors Reimagined in 1995, DMC is the source for parts and performance upgrades for the original DMC-12. The company owns the parts, tooling, name, trademarks, and logo of the original company and sells new-old-stock parts and refurbished cars.
As early as 2011, there were rumors of an electric DMC sports car, but only recently did the company announce the Alpha5. The new vehicle is a modern take on the original DeLorean and includes the trademark gullwing doors, reports MotorTrend. But unlike the original car, with looks the lackluster performance couldn’t live up to, the new Alpha5 will do 0 to 60 mph in under three seconds, according to DMC.
Henrik Fisker designed legendary cars like the BMW Z8 and Aston Martin V8 Vantage before founding his own car brand in 2007. He quickly launched the Fisker Karma, a luxury hybrid-electric car that received a lot of press but never sold well. The company quickly went bankrupt, and a Chinese company bought its assets out of receivership.
Now Fisker is back developing purely electric vehicles. The Fisker Ocean SUV is expected out later this year, followed by the Fisker PEAR in 2024.
In the 1960s and 70s, International Harvester launched Scout as a competitor to the increasingly popular Jeep. A rugged, no-nonsense, go-anywhere vehicle, it predated the Ford Bronco and Chevy Blazer and developed a cult following among offroad enthusiasts. Recently it was announced that Scout would return as an all-electric vehicle under Volkswagen A.G., reports Car and Driver.
VW’s ownership of the Scout car brand is a story unto itself. The company owns Traton, which bought Navistar, the successor to International Harvester. Now the Scout brand is back with plans to develop a pickup truck and a rugged SUV.
If the timeline holds, prototypes should be running around next year, with production starting in VW’s Chattanooga, TN, plant by 2026.
If you’ve never heard of Wiesmann, you’re not alone. The German car brand was founded in 1988 by Martin and Friedhelm Wiesman and made a limited number of hand-built cars before filing for bankruptcy. Then financier Roheen Berry bought the company, reviving it to build electric cars, reports CarBuzz.
The company’s first electric effort is called Project Thunderball. The vehicle will be a hand-built convertible featuring the revived brand’s retro styling. A Wiesmann-designed spaceframe chassis will house two electric motors producing 670 horsepower.
The original Hummer made civilian versions of AM General’s military Humvee multi-purpose vehicle. The car brand died when GM sacrificed it as part of its bankruptcy restructuring in 2009. Now it’s back as a GMC sub-brand electric vehicle.
Launched this year, the Hummer EV is an updated version of the original Hummer. However, three electric motors that produce 1,000 horsepower replace the internal combustion engines and allow the 9,000-pound vehicle to hit 60 mph in 3 seconds from a standstill.
It’s also a serious offroader equipped with four-wheel steering that includes Crab Mode, letting the Hummer maneuver in and out of tight spaces.
Do these dead car brands deserve a second chance?
Electric car critics bemoan the death of the internal combustion engine, which may happen sooner than later, thanks to recent legislation. But that death may not be all bad if it leads to a slate of high-performance electric vehicles under long-dead brands that deserve a second chance. If the Hummer EV and DeLorean Alpha5 forecast the direction of these brands, we can’t wait for Scout and other brands to arrive.
Now, if only someone would revive Studebaker.