Classic car EV conversions are on the rise. How are UK companies supporting the EV conversion sector?
The EV markets for cars & now motorcycles has seen huge increases over the past few years. With charging infrastructures advancing & more & more manufacturers including EV’s into their portfolios; the passenger vehicle market has changed forever.
However, one area of development which cannot alter & or change is the vintage classic car & motorcycle sector, simply because these vehicles were built generations ago. Despite their age, vintage classic cars & motorcycles still attract huge sums at auctions & people around the world spend millions sometimes billions on automotive collections.
Therein lies the rub. As the UK, Europe & many other countries are reaching for the Net Zero goal of 2030; vintage classic cars & motorcycles emissions will not be acceptable.
With this in mind & having spoken to colleagues & friends in the automotive industry, the general consensus is that whereby a car or motorcycle which is 40 years old is currently MOT exempt; to meet the ongoing driving down of emissions, could these vehicles have their exemptions revoked & thereby have to undertake mandatory emissions tests?
Some vintage classic car & motorcycle owners are already noticing the difficulties of fuelling their vehicles after the recent introduction of E10 onto the UK forecourts. Despite the government having an online checking facility to see if your vehicle can run on E10, this doesn’t change the fact that a lot of forecourts are now having to remove such things as Super Unleaded petrol to allow the pump to be used for E10 & for vintage classic cars & motorcycles, this is already proving a challenge.
However, there are some savvy vintage classic car & motorcycle owners who are already seeking more environmentally friendly solutions to allow them to keep their beloved vintage classics & that is to embrace electrification. To support this there are equally savvy business owners who are offering eConversions for these vehicles.
Thus far there are two ways in which to convert a vintage classic to electric. Either, take on the challenge yourself, sourcing second life EV batteries, or seek out a professional company to undertake the work for you.
Second Life EV Batteries
As the choice of EV vehicles continues to grow, there is a natural by-product of growth & or accidental damage to a vehicle & that is how to recycle the batteries.
Traditional Acid batteries have been being recycled for many years, but there are still some difficulties with recycling the new range of EV batteries due to their volatile nature.
However, Second Life EV batteries have found a way to enable the batteries to, as the name suggest, have a second life.
Reuse, Recycle & REPURPOSE is the ethos of Second Life EV Batteries Ltd & they are the first UK company to focus on the sale of second life lithium EV cells & modules for EV enthusiasts, domestic & commercial applications. (1)
EV batteries are now being upcycled for additional power storage & in some cases to enable some companies to convert ICE’s to electric, by utilising the power packs.
Second Life EV batteries test the capacity of each battery thoroughly & re-rate the Kwh accordingly.
With the domestic EV market set to accelerate over the next 5-10 years, second Life EV batteries are certainly making recycling EV batteries a much more viable option in the future.
Electrogenic based near Oxford, UK is the joint venture of Steve Drummond & Ian Newstead.
With Steve’s background in nuclear & then sustainable energy & Ian’s background in the RAF, being a apprentice motor mechanic & subsequently setting up his own garage specialising in restoring classic cars; the two founders of Electrogenic are well matched to be driving the electrification technology forward.
Electrogenic firmly believe that if vintage & classic cars are not adapted to suit an environmentally focussed future, then they will “go the way of the dinosaur” (2)
Electrogenic believe that by undertaking a retro fit EV conversion, the integrity of the classic car will remain intact, while also fitting into an emissions free, sustainable future.
Despite the expense of a retro EV conversion, Electrogenic do have a very strong argument for going down the EV route. If the classic car is for example 40-50 years old already & already facing a fuelling challenge from E10; in another 40-50 years time forecourts will mostly be for electric charging & fossil fuels having been banned. (2)This simple fact depreciates the value of these classic cars, as who will want to own one, when the fuelling infrastructure is non existent & even if there are way’s to get round this; taxation & insurance hikes will make keeping a classic car on the road financially impractical.
Electric Classic Cars
Electric Classic Cars based in Powys has found notoriety recently having been featured on Vintage Voltage & more recently with Guy Martin in Channel 4’s The World’s Fastest Electric Car?
The ethos of ECC (Electric Classic Cars) is to not only transform a classic car into an eco friendly vehicle, but to improve reliability & generate more power!
Richard Morgan set up ECC 4 years ago after working in the energy efficiency industry for 20 years, advising big corporations in how to reduce emissions. With a lifelong passion for owning, restoring & racing classic cars, Richard set up ECC with the vision to make classic cars more reliable & ecological to drive. (3)
ECC mainly focus on classic cars from the 1950’s to the early 1980’s utilising a wide range of EV batteries, some of which are Second Life Tesla batteries.
ECC conversions can improve performance by offering 45hp to 650hp – depending on the customer’s requirements & the suitability of the car that the EV drivetrain is destined for. (3)
The eConversion market is gaining traction alongside the EV development market, as we see new technologies being able to keep some of our iconic classic & vintage vehicles on the road, future proofing their unique qualities & above all helping them to become emission free, reliable & more powerful.
Written by Katy Mason for & on behalf of Dolphin N2.