DEBATE: Is it right to convert classic cars into EVs?
There’s no denying that the automotive industry has its mind set on the move to fully electrified drivetrains. Porsche has announced that after the Taycan, its normal models will feature varying levels of electrification. City hatchbacks like the Peugeot 208 already have electric versions and more and more hypercars are using all-electric drivetrains to reach mind-boggling power figures.
With so many different electric vehicles to choose from, one would have thought that there would be something for everyone. However, there are companies around the world that will replace an existing car’s engine, gearbox and fuel tank with a set of electric motors and batteries.
Not only does this let people feel like they’re contributing to the protection of the planet, it can also give a new lease of life to some of the most iconic cars ever made. Californian company, Zelectric has developed an all-electric Porsche 912. It uses the electric motors from a Tesla P85 and some LG batteries as the Tesla batteries would not fit the Porsche’s body.
The newly rejuvenated Porsche has gone from being a rust bucket destined for the scrapheap to a 550hp classic that the owner can drive on a daily basis. Based on this unique build, Zelectric’s partner EV West is aiming to sell a conversion kit allowing countless other people to have an electric Porsche from the 1960s.
Zelectric is used to creating EVs from classic bodies as, since the company’s creation in 2010, it has transformed countless classic VW Beetle, Bus and Porsches into modern day electric cars. But don’t worry, the company never ruin fully functioning cars to create these Frankensteins. In fact, they manage to find cheaper cars that are missing engines or covered in rust.
Zelectric isn’t the only company to offer this kind of conversion. A British outfit called London Electric Cars will also convert a customer’s car to run on silent pixies, for the right price of course. They have transformed a wide array of cars such as a Morris Minor and a Series 1 Land Rover.
Are EV conversions right?
As motoring enthusiasts, every time a car fails to start, develops an issue or needs working on, we develop a bond with it. This isn’t quite as possible with a new car, and even less possible with an EV. Therefore, I get the feeling that these converted cars will lack a sense of soul similarly to the cars of today.
On the other hand, electrifying classic cars allows them to be used on a more regular basis, and even daily. It means our roads can be more diverse than ever with cars from different eras driving side by side. Finally, electrifying classics will allow us to drive some of the most beautiful cars ever made even after the use of fossil fuel-powered cars is outlawed.
Classic cars such as the Porsche 912 are made famous by their engine layout. The air-cooled flat-six engine sat in the back of the car is a unique piece of motoring design that has inspired the company’s cars for over 50 years. This may lead some to feel like converting such a car into an EV may be robbing it of its culture and history.
Personally, I think an owner should be able to do whatever they want with their cars. If they want to fit a screaming Lamborghini Countach with an electric drivetrain, so be it. Let me know what you think. Is the practice of converting classic cars into EVs a decent idea to keep them going for future generations, or pure sacrilege?