Hybrids & Electrics

More Specialty Shops Are Getting into the Electric Car Conversion Game

Automotive manufacturers are making headway in providing alternatives to the combustion engine. Although combustion engine vehicles may never go away, electric cars are making more of an impression. Many new cars and trucks are expected in the next few years that will be electric. But, the classic car niche does not want to be left behind. So, many specialty shops are themselves starting to embrace the electric conversion market to save the classics and change some current cars. 

A red Tesla Model 3 electric car on display
A red Tesla Model 3 on display at the Los Angeles Auto Show | FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP via Getty Images

Tesla has dominated electric car news

For a while, it seemed that Tesla was the only manufacturer with a significant effort in the electric car industry. There were others, of course, but it would still be fair to say that Tesla has had the spotlight for the last few years. Now other major manufacturers are piggybacking off Tesla’s lead, as well as government regulations around the world that are tightening for vehicles with an internal combustion engine, or ICE.

A black classic Rolls-Royce Phantom that has been converted to electric power is on the road at speed
A Rolls-Royce Phantom electric conversion performed by Lunaz Design | Lunaz Design

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Saving the classics

Classic car aficionados have been worried that the electrification of the automotive industry would make their niche irrelevant. So, many shops are now sprouting up across the globe that are converting vehicles into electric driven machines, including the classic cars of decades past. Yup, old Volkswagen Beetles and Jaguars alike can receive electric upgrades.

Lunaz is a company doing just that. The company, based out of Silverstone, England, takes customer’s classic cars and restores them. Along the way, however, they also strip out the old mechanicals and put in the necessary pieces to make the vehicles electric powered. They are currently working on a 1961 Rolls-Royce Phantom V and a 1953 Jaguar XK120.

The shell of classic, black, Jaguar XK 120 that is being converted to electric power
A classic Jaguar XK120 that is undergoing an electric conversion by Lunaz Design in England | Lunaz Design

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Lunaz is not alone. There are many companies offering electric conversion services. EV West is one of them. They are located in southern California and have been around for years. They specialize in Volkswagens. But EV West has worked on a variety of vehicles, including familiar brands like Porsche, Lotus, and Delorean. They have even worked on a paraglider engine. 

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Moment Motors, located in Texas, is another company offering conversions with the intention of preserving cars. They specialize in classic cars and have worked on brands such as Alfa Romeo, Aston Martin, BMW, Datsun, Mini, Shelby, and more. Their desire is to adapt the new electric technology without having to cut up the classic car in the process. This will allow people can appreciate the cars for what they were and drive them like what they were, while taking advantage of modern electric drivetrains.  

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Purists of the classic cars may get upset with the electrification of the vehicles. But, there are also those who say that by electrifying classic cars, they are ensuring that the cars will remain culturally relevant in the future. They are making it possible with the conversions for many people to still be able to appreciate the classic designs and history of a vehicle without having the environmental impact of an ICE vehicle. 

Electric conversions are not just for classics

Before anybody discounts the conversion business as something relegated to just classic cars, though, there are companies starting to offer training in how to convert almost any vehicle to electric power. EV4U Custom Conversions offers training videos, workshops, and a course to educate those interested in doing conversions. They even encourage existing mechanic shops to add electric conversions as another business unit.

As battery technology advances and becomes more affordable, many companies will continue to venture into the electric car conversion market. Also, many governments across the world are phasing in more restrictions against ICE cars. So, electric vehicles will become increasingly more essential as time progresses. It follows then that specialty shops that begin offering conversions services now will be at the forefront of the curve in the conversion game.