EV Options for Converting Your Classic Car to Electric Power

EV Options for Converting Your Classic Car to Electric Power

EV: Options for Converting Your Classic Car to Electric Power

Conner Golden  Author  source  www.MotorTrend.com

These companies are some of the biggest names in electrifying automotive classics.

If you think the electrification wave is limited to mainstream automakers, wait until lawmakers run out of new internal combustion engines to tax. We're not saying gasoline-burning classic cars will be banished to hell, but there is no guarantee they won't gradually become tougher and tougher to own and operate. As such, converting a classic car to battery electric power is already a real thing, whether inspired by prescience or mechanical frustration. Interested in breathing "modern" life into your baby? Here is a broad selection of some of the biggest names in the EV-conversion biz to future-proof your pride and joy.

Chevrolet eCrate

The first available motor and battery-pack combo comes straight from the Bolt; a 60-kWh pack feeds the motor, sending 200 horsepower and 266 lb-ft through a four-speed automatic. Not enough oomph? Chevrolet confirmed GM's potent new Ultium battery packs will eventually join the eCrate lineup. Pricing and availability are still TBD, however, so you have time to decide. More info here.

Chevrolet eCrate

You might need to get used to saying "crate motor" instead of "crate engine." Chevrolet used the electrified K5 Blazer above to unveil plans for a range of electric crate motors and batteries for hobbyists, cleverly called "eCrate," falling right in line with GM's ongoing push toward an all-electric future.

Below are USA & European  based EV Conversion specialists:


Most people don't have six-figure budgets to invest in their old car electrification projects; California-based EV West is a bit of a one-stop shop for zappy conversion projects. Aside from handling full builds for customers at its workshop, EV West's extensive online catalog of both vehicle-specific kits and individual parts is comprehensive enough to jumpstart just about any homebrew build.

Website  www.evwest.com for EV Parts and components  direct from the U.S.A

EV West continued

Thumbing through the array of available DC converters, motors, chargers, controllers, batteries (like the Model S pack above), and hot-rod Tesla parts is enough to send anybody to the cheap car section of Craigslist for their next build. Pricing for EV West's in-house conversions depends on the project, so get in touch first before you move money around.

Garage Italia

For the smaller, chicer sort of guilt-free classic fun, the design-obsessed craftspeople at Garage Italia electrified a set of vintage Fiat 500 Jolly "Spiagginas." You might want to bring sunblock; the Spiaggina's cruising range of around 75 miles and top speed of just 53 mph means it's best kept within the confines of the Amalfi Coast.

Garage Italia

If the roughly $70,000 sticker is a bit too dear for a beachside toy, hit up Hertz's Selezione Italia collection the next time you're in Italy, where you can rent one for about $365 a day.


In sharp contrast to the many EV conversions performed on vintage 4x4s or small-ish sports cars, U.K.-based Lunaz focuses on a series of impeccably engineered electrified British classics. Lunaz's electric Jaguar XK120 and Range Rover Classic are a treat, but we have big eyes for its stunning, eco-friendly 1961 Rolls-Royce Phantom V.

Moment Motors

Got a hankering to kick the oil habit with something classic in the heart of Texas? Austin-based Moment Motors and its staff are your new best friends. Moment Motors works exclusively on vintage stuff, so bring 'em your shiniest BMW 2002, Triumph TR6, or Datsun 240Z. Heck, roll up in whatever old car you want; Moment's modular motor system is adaptable to fit in essentially anything, even replica Shelby Cobras.

These are high-quality conversions, so expect to pay between US$75,000 and US $150,000 for a complete project, depending on the car.

Stealth EV (stealthev.com)

Are big-money, ground-up EV builds what your heart desires? Call Stealth EV. This is another one of those do-everything shops: Aside from full in-house conversions, Stealth EV offers professional engineering consultation, custom parts development, and project planning.

Provided you have the budget, it seems Stealth is down for any challenge. More specifically, look for its handiwork under the hood of Icon 4x4's EV builds (the 1949 Mercury from the company's Derelict line is pictured). Pricing for Stealth EV's conversions are based on the car and level of build, so reach out with your ideas.

Totem Automobili

we'd be remiss to not mention Totem Automobili's wild, carbon-bodied  Alfa Romeo Giulia GTA. Although it starts life as a 1960s Alfa, only 10 percent of the original chassis is retained for the so-called GT Electric, reinforced and redesigned with top-shelf, cutting-edge hardware.

Totem Automobili -Continued

A 50.4-kWh battery and rear-mounted electric motor return an estimated 222 miles of range and a whopping 518 hp and 692 lb-ft, hustling the 3,100-pound coupe from 0-60 mph in a claimed 3.4 seconds. The Singer-esque interior is just as jaw-dropping—as it should be, with a price tag of about $500,000.

Zelectric (zelectricmotors.com) VW or Porsche

Sorry, but if you want Zelectric's high-voltage artisans to convert anything other than an original air-cooled Volkswagen or early Porsche, keep driving—any other gas guzzler will be turned away. If you happen to bring a well-kept VeeDub, you'll drive out in one of the most comprehensive and well-engineered EV conversions on this list.

Zelectric Continued:

With 100 miles of range from the Tesla-sourced battery pack and a top speed exceeding 100 mph, Zelectric VW is a silent cruise missile compared to a VW with the original pancake engine. The best bit? The cars retain their original manual transmissions, and the process is reversible. Prices forZelectric-fying a Beetle or Karmann-Ghia start at $68,000 and climb to $78,000 and $88,000 for the VW Bus and Porsche 911/912, respectively.

Zero Labs (zerolabs.com)

Get in touch with Zero Labs if you're after something plug and play. The high-end California-based workshop revealed a new modular "not-a-skateboard" skateboard EV platform designed to fit a wide range of popular classics, including Ford Broncos (which we've driven) and F100s, Toyota FJs, Land Rover Defenders, muscle cars, and even smaller sports cars.

Zero Labs

Aside from the available 600-hp dual-motor setup and claimed 235-mile range from a 100-kWh battery, each platform boasts 50/50 weight distribution and rolls on an independent Fox suspension. You don't even have to clear out your home garage space; Zero Labs will do the conversion for you at its facility as part of the cost, which should be revealed later this year.

Volta Automotive Ltd  Electrification Divn Te Aroha  can consider any Zappy conversion, especially  for your Classic Car, Truck or Tractors

Please contract us at the Contact page or email:   Convert2EV@voltanz.autos

About the Author

Volta Automotive Ltd which imports and sells Electric Vehicles and Hybrids Car dealers New Zealand and Australia can list and sell on our website www.voltnz.autos

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