While gearheads love the smell of burning gasoline and the roar of a high-performance engine tuned to perfection, the EV revolution is here. And while some enthusiasts will say an EV conversion steals the heart, soul, and heritage from a classic car, fans should also be excited about going electric.
Is a classic car still “classic” if converted to an EV? While that question alone will draw strong emotions from enthusiasts, it’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 $300K, concepts like Hyundai’s fully restored 1986 EV Grandeur Sedan, to Ford releasing an e-crate engine allowing anyone to build their own electric vehicle—classic or not. Those 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 ride.
Ford E-Crate Engine
Think about all the changes over the years to ICE (internal combustion engines) getting us to where we are now. Next, think about what electric vehicle components could look like in a few years. Then, when you combine that into a classic vehicle, the results could be stunning.
A prime example is the new Ford Eluminator e-crate electric motors that regular customers can buy for a little over $4,000 and put into any vehicle they see fit. It’s the same engine that comes in the Ford Mustang Mach-E. The company pulled out the F-100’s original 302 cubic-inch V8 engine, which is loud, old, and requires constant maintenance, and replaced it with two Ford e-crate motors. The result is a capable classic truck that delivers an impressive output of 480 horsepower and 634 lb-ft of torque.
Turning your classic vehicle electric 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. Just imagine the possibilities.
Classic Car EV Restomods
We don’t blame you if you don’t want to tear apart your classic car or truck to go electric. It’s a big job to rip out the engine, then eventually replace the entire driveline, brake system, suspension (to handle the added weight), and everything a classic e-mod entails. Luckily, a company will do it for you.
The California company named Zero Labs transforms old classics into modern EVs, and its proprietary platform can get the job done quickly. You won’t have to wait months on end for parts, fabrication, or troubleshooting. No, it handles everything for you, as long as you have a deep enough wallet.
Just imagine being able to drive over 300-miles per charge while enjoying a 200% increase in power on your old rust bucket. And while you won’t hear the engine roar or feel every bump in the road, those weekend drives up a canyon or around town will be far more pleasant.
If you don’t have the time or energy to revive a classic, or manage constant maintenance, going the modern EV route is worth exploring.
DIY EV Classics
What’s considered an iconic classic car to you may not appeal to someone else. While everyone can appreciate an old Corvette or F-100 truck, others might want something a bit more rugged. Some enthusiasts are taking the DIY route instead of buying a Ford e-crate motor or paying big bucks to have a classic car converted into an EV.
Popular YouTuber JerryRigEverything is turning a military Humvee into a powerful EV that can handle any terrain, just like it did when it was in service. It runs on a custom driveline, packs tons of Tesla battery cells where the rear seats once sat marine, and it’ll now go a lot 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 how much work goes into such a conversion.
As you can see, turning an old classic car, truck, or Humvee into an electric vehicle can happen several different ways, and the use cases are endless.
We could go on and on about EVs and how electric engines will have a significant place in the classic car community. The EV restomods mentioned above are just a few of the many options, and this is only the beginning.
Again, this is only the beginning of the EV evolution. We can’t wait to see what brands and manufacturers come up with, both big and small, whether that’s the new Tesla Cybertruck or a 1966 Mustang Fastback with four electric motors delivering insane yet silent power.
Converting classic vehicles into EVs may be controversial right now, but the future is bright. It might not reek of oil and roar like a lion, but turning a classic into an EV can bring vehicles from the past into everyday use and let owners enjoy them for even longer. Remember and enjoy its legacy, don’t bury it in the past.