It’s becoming widely accepted that electric cars represent the future of the automotive industry.
Even while new car sales dropped by some 29% in a turbulent 2020, electric cars and plug-in hybrids continued to grow in popularity and now make up over 10% of the UK market.
This rise comes in advance of almost all non-zero emission car sales being banned here by 2030. The shift has caused concern for car enthusiasts, however, who are reluctant to give up the appeal of classic models in favour of efficient but somewhat soulless electric options.
But what if there was a way to combine the looks of eras gone by with the engines of the future? Below we explore a new trend that could see more of our favourite motors reinvented for modern times.
Converting classic cars to electric
The good news is that it’s entirely possible to convert classic cars to run on electric engines. Some companies are already making a name for themselves as classic car conversion specialists, while others are offering DIY conversion kits for modern vehicles.
It’s not a simple procedure by any means however, and you could need to make several changes to achieve the kind of performance you’re looking for depending on what you’re working with.
First on your shopping list will likely be one or several electric motors. Based on some of the current options on the market, you could further need an electronic pump for power steering, as well as separate parts for the air conditioning and sound system. You’ll also need to think about your transmission (and its maximum torque rating).
Is it worth it?
Don’t let the procedure’s current cost and complexity deter you, however. If you can get over any initial horror at the idea of ripping out a classic engine, you’ll find there’s lots to like about this emerging trend.
Rather than being pitched as an option for fully functioning classics, more see it right now as an opportunity to revive those that may otherwise be destined for the scrapheap. And in later years when petrol stations may be harder to come by, conversion could allow classics to live on even further.
Electric conversion could offer peace of mind when driving too. You’ll know for sure that your car will start, keep going in traffic and get you to your destination. There’s also an economic argument to be made, as unlike new electric vehicles, your electric-powered classic shouldn’t depreciate.
Of course, it may seem like sacrilege at first – but could the future of cars be found in yesterday’s models, powered by tomorrow’s drivetrains?