(During the month of October, we’re publishing a series of stories on the “futureproofing” of collector cars through the use of electric powertrains, which also are coming to seemingly every automaker’s vehicle lineup. As always, your comments are welcome, and if you have converted a vintage vehicle to electric power, we’d love to share your story with others. Contact us at email@example.com.)
Just a few days ago, bbc.com dispatched a story headlined, “The classic cars being converted to electric vehicles.” Almost simultaneously, sciencetimes.com published a story headlined, “Classic cars can now be converted to electric cars; Here’s how this startup saved your vintage item!”
The BBC article starts with the story of Oswald, a 1953 Morris Minor, who drives “quiet as a mouse after having his fossil-fuel drinking heart replaced with a recycled electric motor.”
As BBC business reporter Beth Timmins phrases it, “Oswald is owned by a man called Matthew Quitter, who on a mission to help save old gas guzzlers from the scrapheap, converted him to battery power, and set up a company called London Electric Cars back in 2017.
“Working out of a garage under a railway arch in Vauxhall, the company replaces the combustion engines in classic cars with electric motors and batteries that would otherwise be scrapped.
“These parts typically come from crashed EVs, such as Teslas and Nissan Leafs, that have been written off by insurance firms but have motors and batteries that are not damaged.”
She quotes Quitter, “We’re the ultimate recycling.”
She also quotes him as saying that his company charges £20,000 ($27,200) for such electro-mod work, but expects the price to be reduced to £5,000 ($6,800) as such conversions become more popular and as the supply of parts needed for such conversions increases.
Quitter also suggests that governments that offer tax incentives for the purchase of electric vehicles provide similar support for those replacing gas or diesel engines with electric powerplants.
Also quoted is Steve Drummond of Oxford-based Electrogenic:
“The incentives are to buy new EVs, but that’s throwing away a whole car when you could just change the engine.”
The ScienceTimes story also features Quitter’s company, London Electric Cars, which is characterized as “a firm demonstrating how to convert historic cars to electric vehicles to prevent them from being discarded in landfills.”
The article also includes a YouTube video about Quitter’s company and shows Oswald in action.