Want to go electric, but hate to simply scrap your old gas-burning ride? There’s help for that. Reporting on a small but growing cadre of enthusiasts, The Guardian claims that as many as 30,000 cars and other vehicles world-wide have been converted from internal combustion engines to electric drives.
“Some small businesses are determined to make sure the electric revolution is as environmentally friendly as possible,” writes correspondent Adam Forrest. “And their vision relies on repackaging the past. Since manufacturing new cars is energy-intensive and polluting, these specialists believe transforming old, petrol-guzzling cars into clean, green electric vehicles can play an important part in reducing carbon emissions.”
That remains to be seen, but the enthusiasts are finding a warm, if so far niche, reception, Forrest says.
In Utah, a company called EV Wilderness sells converted cars equipped with battery kits that deliver top speeds of 89 kilometres per hour and a driving range of up to 80 kilometres for C$4,400 to $10,700. California’s Zelectric Motors offers “vintage Volkswagens and Porsches, fully restored and electrified using the latest lithium batteries,” starting at $62,000 and claiming a range of up to 160 kilometres. And next year a French start-up, Ian Motion, plans to start selling lithium-battery-equipped Austin Minis, with a range it says will be close to 160 kilometres, for about $55,000.
That compares to the roughly $47,000 a Canadian will need to put down to acquire a new Tesla Model 3—the all-electric car line’s promised affordable model—when it becomes available late next year.