While gearheads love the smell of burnt gasoline and the roar of a high-performance engine tuned to perfection, the electric vehicle revolution is here. And while some enthusiasts will argue that an EV conversion steals the heart, soul and heritage of a classic car, fans should also be thrilled to go electric.
Is a classic car still “classic” if converted into an electric vehicle? While this question alone stirs strong emotions among enthusiasts, that’s a topic for another day. That said, everyone is going electric, from Ford and Chevy to Bugatti supercars. Classic vehicles can do it too.
Lately, we’ve seen everything from a 1972 Ford Bronco EV conversion costing over $300,000, concepts like Hyundai’s fully restored 1986 Grandeur EV sedan, to Ford launching an e-crate engine that lets anyone build their own. own electric vehicle, classic or not. These are just a few examples, but if you look around, it’s clear that EVs aren’t going anywhere and could actually help preserve the memory of your classic commute.
Ford E-Crate Engine
Think of all the changes over the years to ICEs (internal combustion engines) that have brought us to where we are today. Next, think about what electric vehicle components might look like in a few years. Then when you combine that into a classic vehicle, the results can be mind-blowing.
A prime example is the new Ford Eluminator e-crate electric motors that regular customers can buy for just over $4,000 and put in any vehicle they see fit. It’s the same engine that powers the Ford Mustang Mach-E. The company removed the F-100’s original 302 cubic-inch V8 engine, which is noisy, old and requires constant maintenance, and replaced it with two Ford e-crates. The result is a capable classic truck that delivers an impressive 480 horsepower and 634 lb-ft of torque.
Turning your classic vehicle into electricity also requires an inverter, battery cells, power controls, and more to be fully operational, which Ford plans to sell soon. This is just the first-generation e-crate engine, and we can’t wait to see what the future holds for Ford and other manufacturers. Imagine the possibilities.
Classic car EV Restomods
We don’t blame you if you don’t want to tear down your classic car or truck to go electric. It’s a big job to rip out the engine and then possibly replace the entire drivetrain, brake system, suspension (to handle the extra weight) and everything else a classic e-mod entails . Fortunately, a company will do it for you.
California-based company Zero Labs is transforming old classics into modern electric vehicles, and its proprietary platform can get the job done quickly. You won’t have to wait months for parts, manufacturing or troubleshooting. No, it handles everything for you, as long as you have a deep enough wallet.
Just imagine being able to go over 300 miles per charge while enjoying a 200% boost in power from your old rust bucket. And while you won’t hear the engine roar or feel every bump in the road, those weekend drives through a canyon or around town will be much more enjoyable.
If you don’t have the time or energy to revive a classic or deal with constant maintenance, it’s worth exploring the modern EV route.
DIY EV Classics
What is considered an iconic classic car for you may not appeal to someone else. While everyone can appreciate an old Corvette or F-100 truck, others might want something a little more rugged. Some enthusiasts are going the DIY route instead of buying a Ford e-crate engine or paying big bucks to have a classic car converted to an EV.
Popular YouTuber JerryRigEverything turns a military Humvee into a powerful electric vehicle that can handle any terrain, just like he did when he was on duty. It runs on a custom driveline, packs tons of Tesla battery cells where rear seats used to be marine, and it’ll now go much further than the original Humvee’s 4-8 MPG rating. Of course, it’ll also end up being super fast with all that instant torque, and that’s certainly exciting.
You can watch the entire build process video playlist, which will show the amount of work involved in such a conversion.
As you can see, turning an old classic car, truck, or Humvee into an electric vehicle can happen in many different ways, and the use cases are endless.
We could go on and on about electric vehicles and how electric motors will become a big part of the classic car community. The EV restomods mentioned above are just a few of the many options, and that’s just the beginning.
Again, this is only the beginning of the evolution of electric vehicles. We can’t wait to see what brands and manufacturers come up with, big and small, whether it’s the new Tesla Cybertruck or a 1966 Mustang Fastback with four electric motors delivering crazy but quiet power.
Converting conventional vehicles to electric vehicles may be controversial right now, but the future is bright. It may not stink of oil or roar like a lion, but turning a classic into an electric vehicle can bring vehicles of the past into everyday use and allow owners to enjoy them even longer. Remember and appreciate his legacy, don’t bury him in the past.