The automotive industry is changing. Drivers and car manufacturers are becoming increasingly aware of the harmful impact of fossil fuels on our planet and are looking to replace the use of petrol with more sustainable alternatives, like electricity.
What does this mean for classic cars? Classic cars remain popular and car fanatics continue to admire the design, style, and feel of a vintage vehicle. However, there are growing fears that new restrictions on fossil fuel emissions could take them off our roads in years to come.
This is where electric car conversions come in. Combining a classic car with an electric engine can give you the best of both worlds: a timeless vehicle without the carbon footprint.
We’re starting to see these electric vintage cars more and more now. Anyone remember the Jaguar E-Type that Harry and Meghan rode in after the Royal Wedding? That was a converted concept car dubbed the E-Zero, and Jaguar has since announced that it will be going into full production.
Read on to find out more about converting a classic car to an electric vehicle.
Converting Classic Cars to Electric Vehicles Reduces CO2 Emissions
One of the main motivations for switching to electric cars is, of course, the environment. Electric cars produce zero CO2 emissions, compared to the one million grams of CO2 and air pollutants that one petrol or diesel car emits in just one year. This figure climbs even higher in classic cars, which typically have a lower fuel economy.
New Legislation Makes Owning and Driving a Vintage Car More Difficult
If you become a certified mechanic, you’ll probably become aware of the changing legislation around petrol and diesel cars. Several countries have pledged to ban the sale of petrol and diesel cars by 2040.
A number of cities, including Vancouver, have also signed the Fossil Fuel Free Street Pledge, pledging to purchase only zero-emission buses beginning in 2025, and to make a major area of the city zero emissions by 2030. Electric cars are expected to slowly but surely push diesel and gas engines to the curb.
Modern Electric Engines Are More Reliable
As any owner of a classic car can confirm, they are not the most reliable. As you may discover during your auto service technician course, older engines become less efficient over time and have a tendency to break down.
An electrical revamp can make a classic car more reliable by giving it a completely new engine. This is perfect for drivers that love the look of their vintage car, but wish that it had the power and reliability of a modern car.
Electric Versions of Classic Cars You May Encounter if You Become a Certified Mechanic
There are some well known electrical versions of vintage cars available for sale today. These include the Jaguar E-Type Zero, the Electric GT Ferrari 308, and the 1981 Honda Accord, to name a few.
Volkswagen are in on the action too, with their Volkswagen E-Beetle and Volkswagen Type 20 Concept. Car fanatics can also access an electric version of the Ford Mustang which has additional modern features like all-wheel drive.
With an electric motor, these classic cars can also reach new speeds. For example, the Jaguar E-Type zero is 1.0 seconds quicker from zero to 100km/h than the original.
What Are the Disadvantages of Classic EV Conversions?
Despite all of this, many mechanics and car enthusiasts are still strongly against the idea of converting their beloved classic cars to electric vehicles. The value of a vintage car often ties into it remaining unmodified, and so it can be risky to dramatically change it by adding a new electric engine.
It’s also incredibly expensive, with electric car conversions costing hundreds of thousands of dollars at least. It’s more cost-efficient to buy a brand new electric car, making it unlikely that electric classic cars will become commonplace.
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