BYOB-Bring Your Own Body: Classic Car EV Modular Chassis

Own a collectible car and wonder where you’ll get gas-or get to drive it, in 10 years? You’re not alone. Every day we at MotorBiscuit are posting more cities, counties, and countries getting ready to ban gas-powered vehicles. If you’ve got a classic Packard or favorite muscle car, what’s going to happen when the gasoline is shut off? Zero Labs has its BYOB-bring your own body classic car EV modular chassis.

California’s Zero Labs calls it a “classic electric platform”

Zero Labs’ classic electric platform | Zero

California’s Zero Labs calls it a “classic electric platform.” Is this the salvation for older vehicles that owners love and don’t want to see go to a museum? Or the crusher? Its EV platform is made to convert to a wide variety of vehicles. Let’s take a look at what this will work with.

Right now Zero Labs has four basic categories of vehicles its platform will work on, or with. Classic 4×4 trucks built between 1947 and 1975, muscle cars built before 1975, two-door coupes from 1948-1975, and classic pickups from 1947-1975. These are only broad ranges of vehicles and once you drill down there are a lot more this will work for.

For instance, if it fits pickups from 1847-1975, that means it will fit a Chevy pickup up to 1987. That’s because Chevy pickups from 1973-1987 are the same chassis. You get the idea if you go to the Zero Labs website where they show Toyota FJs, International Scouts, Land Rovers of different types, and more. And with the torque and instant acceleration that electric vehicles feature, the general feel and overall performance of your 1957 Chevy or 1949 Cadillac will most probably be enhanced. 

Each platform features a 400-volt battery with either 85 or 100 kWh

Zero Labs EV classic conversions | Zero

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Each platform features a 400-volt battery with either 85 or 100 kWh. That translates up to 600 hp. There are both single- and dual-motor configurations with a range of 235 miles. That figure should vary from application to application depending on the weight and aerodynamics of the host vehicle. A 1966 Porsche 912 converted to EV is going to get more range than the same unit in a 1963 Coupe DeVille. 

A lot of the trick functions of production EVs are also part of the Zero Labs’ program. DC fast charging and regenerative braking are just some of the features that come with the platform. But this doesn’t have to be an EV-DIY.

“Seamless transformation” 30-day conversions

Zero Labs EV classic conversions | Zero

Zero Labs offers what it calls “seamless transformation” 30-day conversions. Once your body is delivered Zero will do the conversion for you within 30 days. How much this will cost and other particular details have not been revealed as of yet. Zero is looking at Fall 2021 as the “limited” launch date. By then they should be able to tell whether your specific application will work with their EV conversion platform. 

Especially if you have a 1965 Mustang of 1957 Bel Air there will be plenty of stock examples for posterity and history. This could make it more palatable taking your classic out for a drive down PCH knowing you’re not polluting and your car drives and handles better than it did.

Zero Labs’ EV conversion for Land Rover | Zero