These two new conversion kits are plug-and-play – batteries not included – but take note, purists may disapprove
Not one, but two companies this month unveiled something electric car enthusiasts have been asking for for a long time — electric “crate motors” that can be pretty easily swapped into whatever gasoline-powered vehicle they’ll physically fit into. Batteries not included.
According to Autoblog, upstart Electric GT (EGT), led by Eric Hutchison, plans to soon offer both a single- and dual-motor EV conversion kit.
Both can be bolted onto manual transmissions, and many motor mounts and plate adapters for various gearboxes have already been developed; the company can custom-design adapters, too.
The company first gained popularity (or notoriety) for swapping an electric drivetrain into a Ferrari 308, swapping out the car’s old 2.9-litre V8 – which made 280 horsepower and 181 lb.-ft. of torque – for three AC51 HPEVS electric motors making a total 465 hp and 330 lb.-ft.
The new e-crate motor is shaped like a classic V8 motor, except it’s about 5 inches longer than most classic Chevy or Ford small-blocks. The single-motor kit makes 140 hp and 240 lb.-ft.; while dual-motors make 240 hp and 340 lb.-ft.
Swindon Powertrain in the U.K. is also throwing its hat into the e-crate ring, and will offer a smaller, more European-style motor.
Swindon’s motor is a more conventional transverse design for front-wheel-drive cars or small mid-engine cars. It weighs a more Chapman-esque 70 kg and makes a respectable 110 horsepower. Dimensions are 600 mm wide by 440 mm deep by as little as 280 mm tall, meaning it will fit almost anywhere, including under the hood of a Mini.
It’s worth noting if you convert your classic car to electric power, though, FIVA (Fédération Internationale des Véhicules Anciens), the global organization dedicated to preserving older vehicles, recently announced it will consider your car – or any vintage EV-converted car – desecrated.
The group regularly lobbies governments around the world for classic car owners’ rights; but in their eyes, your EV-converted antique ain’t a “classic car” any more, so you’ll be on your own.