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Home Garage Electro-mods: Company has plans for converting collector cars to electric power

Electro-mods: Company has plans for converting collector cars to electric power

Zero Labs Automotive has system designed for pre-’75 muscle cars, coupes and pickup trucks

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Founded in 2015 to convert vintage vehicles, especially 4×4 off-roaders, to electric power, Zero Labs Automotive has unveiled a new electric-powered chassis designed to work with a variety of classics, from pre-1975 SUVs to muscle cars, coupes, pickup trucks.

The Hawthorne, California-based company says the chassis will be available in the fall of 2021, though with limited availability.

“Introducing the world’s first complete electric platform made specifically for transforming the most beloved classic gasoline and diesel vehicles into clean energy heroes,” the company says on its website.

Electrified chassis awaits vintage donor body and interior

Zero Labs says its chassis conversions can be done in 30 days, meet 2030 global emissions mandates, and offer 235-mile range. The company says its chassis provides at least twice the power of the original liquid-powered engines.

In addition to 440kW (600 horsepower) of power, the chassis has independent front and rear suspension and 50/50 weight distribution. The setup employs regenerative braking, electric rack-and-pinion steering, and lowers the vehicle’s center of gravity.

Options include all-wheel drive, an extended-range battery, adjustable suspension with Fox Racing coil-over shocks, Brembo brakes, even what appears to be a floor-mounted shifter and transfer-case controller. 

Conversions come with a 24-month repair warranty and a 4-year/50,000-mile overall warranty.

Pricing has not been announced but Zero Labs’ website advertises turnkey electric-powered vintage Ford Broncos starting at $185,000.

Zero Labs workshop

The company notes that several nations plan to ban petroleum-fueled vehicles as soon as 2025 and doesn’t want “more than a century of beloved classic vehicles being left behind or on their way to being outlawed… the Zero Labs classic electric platform is designed to seamlessly marry to the original customer-owned classic vehicle to produce the best of both worlds. The soul of the past meets a clean energy future.”

“Many of our customers already have an EV as a daily driver but feel new electric vehicles lack ‘soul’ or a connection of personal history,” said Adam Roe, Zero Labs founder and chief executive. “That growing gap between modern electric cars, between the past you love and the future we need is where we come in.”

He added that, “While people love the detail and quality of our complete classic electric vehicles, we recognized early on that a massive global change is needed now and we could simply never make enough to satisfy classic car lovers’ goals or the 2025-2030 European and U.S. zero-emissions demands.

“We are offering the same engineering platform developed for our premium rebuilt classic vehicles to help transform classic vehicles without the time and cost of full rebuilds. We needed a far more scalable solution to support what we would like to see be an entire industry of classic electric vehicle conversion.”

Chassis can work with 4x4s, pickup trucks, muscle cars and other pre-1975 vehicles

He concluded: “Millions of classic vehicles are being left behind or are on their way to being outlawed in many countries as early as 2025 so we are racing to help global customers prepare for this transition. Vehicles converted on our platforms are upgradable and built to celebrate the spirit of the original vehicle while simultaneously producing a clean, reliable, covert electrical drive system. The result is a clean energy vehicle with the soul of a premium classic. 

“Our long-term goal is to offer everything you love, minus everything you hate. To be enjoyed now and well into the future.”

Larry Edsall
A former daily newspaper sports editor, Larry Edsall spent a dozen years as an editor at AutoWeek magazine before making the transition to writing for the web and becoming the author of more than 15 automotive books. In addition to being founding editor at ClassicCars.com, Larry has written for The New York Times and The Detroit News and was an adjunct honors professor at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.

7 COMMENTS

  1. Only 185K! Wow! What would P.T Barnum say to this show. I want to meet these people and try to understand what went horribly wring with them in their youth.

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