Electric cars are becoming increasingly popular – and not only for their impressive performance and low carbon footprint. As Tesla founder Elon Musk has shown the world, they can be as “cool” as they are economical. His Tesla Roadster has demonstrated that there’s more to electronic luxury than to enjoy a first-class experience with the Life of Riches at Red Flush casino by being the first truly exciting EV in modern history, and his Model S sedan has made it clear that EVs do have their place in the high-profile business world, too. But how about all the classic supercars roaming the streets even today? There’s a solution for them, too, to reduce their carbon footprint and keep up with the modern world.
One of the most eloquent examples is Jaguar’s E-Type Zero, a prototype built in its ‘Classic Works’ in Warwickshire, UK. The car, presented at the Jaguar Land Rover Tech Fest last September, is the replica of the 1968 Series 1.5 Jaguar E-type Roadster, and features “a cutting-edge electric powertrain enabling 0-62mph in just 5.5 seconds”. Thus, a car that Enzo Ferrari once called “the most beautiful car in the world” has found new life, even if only for an exhibition. Those impressed by this vehicle can order one for £350,000.
But such makeovers don’t come from the manufacturers alone. Garage projects haven’t been a rarity before but they seem to become more sophisticated and high-tech in the future – like the one made by British Columbia-based EPower Racing. The team, consisting of racing enthusiasts from Vancouver, have built their own classic/electric Shelby Cobra race car by combining the stylish exterior of the car with an electric motor from a Tesla Model S P85.
And there are those who turn this into a business. e-Drive Retro, an Estonian company, for example, offers to transform pretty much any classic set of wheels into an electric car. This is a perfect opportunity for those green-minded drivers who still prefer their old-school look to give a more eco-friendly makeover to their cars. Last year, the company showed off a Triumph TR6 fitted with their GT6 E-Drive1, with a lighter, 17.6kWh battery pack perfect for the lighter construction of many classic cars. And they will do the same for many other models – they future-proof classic cars, fitting them with the latest data-driven technologies.
Of course, nobody with a collection of classic cars would choose to transform any of them into an electric vehicle. But those who enjoy driving their retro wheels on a daily basis will likely welcome these conversion options that will turn their car not only into a more eco-friendly means of transport but also a more reliable one by seriously reducing the number of moving parts in them.