Jaguar, with its electric-converted E-type Zero, and Aston Martin with its “reversible” DB6 conversion to a battery-powered motor, are high profile advocates, but in addition there are classic car electric conversion specialists at the more affordable end of the market.
Newest is an electric VW Beetle from German firm eClassics, previewed at this year’s Frankfurt Motor Show. The VW-approved electric bug – which is fitted with the electric motor, battery and gearbox from the VW e-Up – has 81bhp for 0-50mph in eight seconds, a top speed of 93mph and a range of 124 miles. It can be charged up to 75 per cent capacity in an hour, they say.
British company Electric Classic Cars, which will also electrify the Beetle, specialises in converting classics from the ’50-‘80s. It offers conversions for the Range Rover and VW campervan, while sportier offerings include the Fiat 500 (47bhp, 50-75 mile range) and an electric Porsche 911 with 130bhp and 54kWh battery pack offering a 200-mile range. Prices start from around £20,000.
London Electric Cars offers DIY conversion kits for cars like the Land Rover Defender and Morris Minor. The electric Minor does 45 miles on a charge – and costs £1 to recharge, as well as (like all electric cars) avoiding some charges, taxes and parking restrictions levied against combustion-engined vehicles.